Startup Weenav Electrifies Boats… and Makes Your Sailing Smarter

That’s what they call ” safe return to base (safe return to port). ” With electric propulsion at sea, range becomes the number one issue, as by definition there are no offshore charging stations. “Comments Anthony Tartare, the president of Weenav, 24 years old, associate Antoine Bouchez, 24 years old and Kévin Capendu, 25 years old. From Bondues in the metropolis of Lille, the young shoot first had as its objective ” renovate thermal boats » on electric boats through custom-made systems.

The retrofit – or conversion – from boat to electric already existed before the creation of Weenav but it presented itself” most often one meter by one meter batteries that land on boats over ten meters “, contextualizes Antoine Bouchez. ” Gold notour market research estimated that of the 1.04 million boats in France, 86% are less than 7 meters long “, continues the young designer.

Made-to-order and made-to-measure

Weenav thus began by adapting electrification to demand, through the development of around fifty different electrical modules, with installation being carried out by its design office. With powers ranging from 10 to 500 horsepower and, above all, a price two to three times cheaper than buying a new one.

Although Weenav’s business model is obviously aimed at boat owners, it is also of interest to boat rental companies, but it can also equip barges for transporting goods, knowing that the average lifespan of a boat is around 30 years. The Weenav solution allows for a reduction of up to 56% in the effects of greenhouse gases. Thanks to this retrofit, the boat not only stops emitting CO2 but also becomes completely silent, which is more pleasant, especially for yachting.

Like the ZFEs, low emission zones that concern the big French cities, and the entire ecological transition of thermal engines, the world of shipping and yachting will inevitably be concerned, one day or another, with the acceleration of the environmental transition. Many pristine coastal bays, like inland water bodies, should logically ban heat engines. The Calanques National Park, from Cassis to Marseille, is thus financially encouraging the transition to hybrid boats. In Switzerland, the city of Lausanne, for example, wants to remove thermal engines from pleasure craft, from 2030 for new registrations, to 2040 for old ones. In Geneva, two-stroke engines have been banned on the lake since 2018.

ZFE: regulations speed up, cities slow down

best sea route

If, today, Weenav undeniably has an advantage in the market, it is very likely that bigger fish will dive into this succulent business… The northern start-up thus developed its project, with the help of the European space agency. ” We are working on the concept of “safe return to base” allowing the boat, based on satellite data, to make the best possible maritime route so as not to consume too much, or even save up to 30% of its precious electrical energy reserves. “.

This intelligent routing is calculated in real time from all correlated marine data. Incubated by ESA BIC Sud France, the Safe Return to base project is the first, capable of removing electronic energy from the boat, to ensure that it has sufficient autonomy. ” When the boat considers that it no longer has enough autonomy to go where it was planned, it will automatically follow the route to the nearest charging station sums up Anthony Tartar.

Weenav’s innovation thus takes on another dimension, having, on the one hand, the possibility of switching any boat to electric and, on the other hand, using satellite data to optimize its electricity consumption. Proposed from the outset for each retrofit, the device was to be marketed as a tablet with an app, just like a car GPS, and sold as a subscription. The commercial launch is scheduled for this year, in about eight months.

Retrofitting, the other way to decarbonize public transport