2021 Super Air Nautique GS22 E
An electric-powered watersports boat, this Nautique boasts technology that rivals that found aboard any class of boat. Learn what the editors of Boating, the world's foremost powerboat experts, say.
At first glance, the Super Air Nautique GS22E looks like its sister, the GS22, and, for that matter, many other V-drive watersports boats these days. But one push of the start switch and it becomes clear that the GS22E is unlike any other boat on the market. The E in the model name stands for electric, and this zero-emissions boat delivers unrivaled performance in entirely new ways.
Equipped with an Ingenity electric motor turning the prop through a 2.84:1 gear ratio and “fueled” by a 124 kWh battery, the GS22E boasts up to three hours of “typical watersports use” on a full charge. While three hours might not seem like much on paper, for many families involved in watersports, especially those who house their boat on the water, this is plenty. The most unique difference that comes courtesy of the battery power is the noise, or lack thereof, when the GS22E is underway. For experienced boaters, that difference is discombobulating. When in idle, the boat is nearly silent. At speed, the cockpit is noticeably quieter—making conversation amongst passengers much easier and less strained. In fact, most of the noise is from water breaking outside the boat.
Other than the power source, there are differences between the GS22E and the GS22. Most noticeable is weight. The battery of the GS22E adds some heft, as its dry weight comes in at 5,900 pounds, compared to the GS22′s 4,750. Combine that extra weight with the 2,250 pounds of subfloor ballast and the GS22E can kick up sizeable wakeboarding wakes and wakesurfing waves. With Nautique’s Configurable Running Surface (NCRS) plate at the transom, those wakes and waves can be customized to suit a variety of riding levels and styles.
For charging purposes, the GS22E utilizes a system, and a cable, those familiar with electric cars will recognize––the Combined Charging System (CCS). Charging intervals range from a 12-hour recharge to a 1.5-hour DC fast charge. The system has been designed with redundant safety protocols to ensure fail-safe charging.
Interior and Accessories
With its lower gunwales and narrower beam, the GS22E features a sportier look than most bigger wake boats on the market today, but with Nautique’s impeccable fit and finish, luxurious comfort flows throughout, for up to 11 guests. The transom walkthrough makes getting out to the swimstep or back into the boat a breeze, while the lounge seats at the swimstep are great for riders getting ready or just hanging out. Seating is customizable, as a pop-in backrest can be added to the lounge seat directly behind the captain’s chair, while on the port side a cushion flips up to turn into a backrest. This allows crew to easily face aft and watch all the action on the water. Storage is ample throughout the boat, especially under the seats. The engineers behind the boat made sure not to reduce storage space with batteries or wires. All seats are held up on hinges, and a trash can and full-size cooler fit under the starboard side cockpit seats.
At the helm, the captain has easy access to the boat’s vitals, in this case battery power, temperatures and remaining running time. The GS22E is also equipped with an Eco mode, preserving energy where needed to maximize runtime. With Nautique’s signature Helm Command rotary dial, situated on the armrest above the throttle, all of the boat’s functions and controls, including audio, wakesurf settings, rider profiles and much more, are easily accessible without having to move your hand.
In the end, designing a boat to run efficiently and practically on pure battery power takes a lot of ingenuity. But to do it with a boat that is designed to plow water (while taking on ballast to displace more of it) is a whole different ballgame. The teams at Ingenity and Nautique have not only proven electric boating is possible, they’ve ushered in the future in epic fashion. Truly, the GS22E is a marine engineering marvel that needs to be seen (and heard) to be believed.
How We Tested
- Battery: 124kwH
- Drive/Prop: Inboard/ Acme 18″ x 13.5″ 4-blade
- Gear Ratio: 2.84:1 Crew Weight: 400 lb.
- Quiet operation is almost hard to believe, and makes conversations while onboard and underway much easier.
- MyNautique integration allows for remote monitoring of the boat’s systems, including the charge level and other vitals.
- Battery provides plenty of torque for pulling riders and getting on plane, even under a full load.
- Zero fuel oil and filer costs; less maintenance than an internal combustion engine, overall.
- Costlier than an internal combustion counterpart
- Less running time; longer, refuel (re-charge) time than an internal-combustion counterpart
The internal combustion engine powered sister ship—Nautique’s own GS 22—is the likeliest boat for shoppers to compare. At least, that is, until more electric-powered watersports boats become available.
Pricing and Specs
|Seat/Weight Capacity:||11/1,500 lb.|
|Avg. Runtime:||2 to 3 hours (typical watersports use)|
|Charge Time:||AC: 10 hours at 240V/50A; DC: 4 hours at 25kW; Supercharger: 1.5 hours at 80kW|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Nautique Boats - Orlando, Florida; 800-346-2092; nautique.com