Electric dive boats bring eco-friendly marine tourism to Raja Ampat
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 5:33 PM
Raja Ampat is a dream destination for scuba divers and snorkelers thanks to its rich marine life, which includes more than 1,300 species of fish and 75% of all the hard-coral species on the planet. Protecting the coral reefs from the ravages of climate change and pollution while maintaining public access is a high priority for the Indonesian people.
Fossil fuel-powered dive boats, tour boats and cruise ships are common sights on the reef but one resort is setting a greener example. The MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge is providing a sustainable and climate-friendly diving experience for their clientele by switching to emission-free dive boats powered by Torqeedo electric outboards.
Mahasti Motazedi, the founder of MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge, explains "We are nature lovers. As professional divers, we know how unique and fragile our undersea world is and we’re passionate about its protection. Converting our dive boats to Torqeedo electric outboards has proven that divers prefer an environmentally friendly experience that won’t harm the reef and without the noise and smell of combustion engines. We hope that this will be the first step for cleaner and more eco-friendly diving all over Raja Ampat and the rest of the world."
MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge has transformed two traditional Papuan long boats into electric dive boats. The first boat, “Puck Tiga”, is a 22-metre long boat equipped with a Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 engine and lithium-ion batteries. The boat has a range of up to 20 kilometres with one charge, which is more than enough to transport 12 divers to and from the dive sites. The second boat, “Puck Ampat”, is an 8-metre long boat equipped with a Torqeedo Travel 1003 and is used for up to 6 passengers on trips of 10 km or less.
“Our partnership with Torqeedo was key for our success. Torqeedo provided us with the right support to implement and test the electric motor and battery systems. The next step is to share the electric motors with the local Papuan villages to allow them to travel in a way that’s healthier for them and for the environment," Motazedi said.
“We are pleased to work with MahaRaja Eco Dive Lodge. Their eco-friendly dive operation is a true ‘lighthouse’ project which has proven that clean, electric boats are the best way to explore Raja Ampat, one of the most stunningly beautiful, yet ecologically fragile, locations on the planet. We look forward to a long and successful partnership,” said Marcus Magiar, president and managing director of Torqeedo Asia-Pacific.