From the outside, the Epic 232 SE has all of the typical marks of a great wakeboard boat -- spacious open bow, big tower, deep V shaped hull, and a nice molded swim platform. However, lean a little bit closer and pop open the engine bay and you’ll find that there is nothing typical about this wakemaker.
Underneath the hood lies an all electric engine, making the Epic 232 SE the first of its kind. Since it was first released in 2011 this boat has brought hope to watersport enthusiasts who live where gas powered boats are restricted. Many waterways throughout the globe have restricted gas consumption on the water by charging a steep fee for using a gas powered boat, whereas others have banned them completely.
Some lakes in Europe have started charging upwards of 500 euro for an annual permit to use a standard gas combustion engine. Even federal regulators in the United States have started cracking down on boat emission standards. And even if you aren’t affected by the evolving laws surrounding gas powered boating, it’s a great feeling to know that you can go wakeboarding or waterskiing without contributing to local water and air pollution.
In just a few short years the Epic 232 SE has become the pacesetter for a new generation of tow boats. And as this aptly titled “epic” company continues to evolve this completely electric marvel, only good things can come.
This boat is: Medium sized and completely electric
Who’s it for: Environmentally conscious watersport enthusiasts
Motor: 268 HP Electric (200KW) with 664 FT/LB torque
Length: 23' 2” / 7.06 M
Weight: 5,800 LBS / 2639 KG
Seating Capacity: 10 Persons
Battery Run Time: 8 hrs at 9 MPH to 1 hr at 24 MPH
Hull Type:Deep V, Wake
Bow Style:Traditional, Open, Single Point
Beam: 102" / 2.6 M
MSRP: $150,000 USD
- Zero emissions
- Quiet ride with very little motor noise
- Premium Audio with 4 speaker CD/Mp3/Radio
- Custom Drop Down Tower
- Integrated Ladder on Swim Platform
- Water sealed motor compartment
- Digital LCD screen command center
Is it the Right Boat for You?
The idea of owning an electric boat is appealing to just about everyone. If you’ve owned a boat for more than a day you quickly realize that gas is a big budget killer. So most people would jump at the prospect of having a versatile sport boat that consumes no gas.
However, considering this electric boat technology is still in its infancy there are a few minor setbacks involved. At it’s current capacity the 232 SE is limited to a one hour wakeboard session per charge with a typical speed of 24 mph. However, provisions have been made using a quick charge Volkswagen diesel generator that can have the boat charged to full capacity in about an hour. So that means you can still have a great day of towing with a nice break in between sessions.
Another drawback to this boat is the placement of the propeller. The prop sits directly underneath the swim platform which makes it way too risky to try wakesurfing. Which is somewhat puzzling because this boat carries a lot of features that you would look for in a dedicated surfing boat -- it’s heavy, has a nice deep hull for bigger waves, and it seems to have a longer battery life at lower speeds. Perhaps future generations of of the 232 SE will feature a center mounted prop to appease the wakesurfing market.
The last major component that should be considered is the price. Coming in at around $150,000 dollars this is probably one of the most expensive watersport boats on the market. So most will opt for a less expensive gas guzzler to avoid the initial sticker shock.
At the very least though, you can’t help but be lured to the innovative 232 SE. This boat is sure to go down in history as a game changer as it sets a new standard for wake boats in years to come. And owners of the 232 SE will take solace as they cruise through exclusive waters in this guilt free quiet ride.
You can find out more about the Epic 232SE from the official Epic website.
If you're still having trouble narrowing down your boat options, then drop me a line and I'd be happy to make some recommendations based on your specific needs. You can also head over to the forums and get input from other boat owners in the About.com community.