Zodiac Hybrid Boat
The Navy has contracted Solomon Technologies to manufacture
a hybrid-electric drive for their seven-meter Zodiac boat. Solomon
Technologies is joining with Donald L. Blount and Associates
(DLBA), which currently holds the transatlantic speed record
with their Destriero (Italian for steed), jet-powered yacht
to design the new hybrid power-train.
According to Solomon Technologies CEO
David Tether, "Needless to say, this is a major addition
to our design team. DLBA will help us select the best drive
type for the electric Zodiac - whether it's a standard submerged
propeller, out-drive, tunnel drive or something else. They have
the engineering expertise to make precise predictions of the
exact drive required for specific conditions based on the actual
torque put out by our motors."
The Navy expects the new hybrid-electric drive to provide
silent operation and reduced electromagnetic and thermal
signatures for stealth operations. Another advantage of
the hybrid-electric motor is that it will provide a modular
"plug and play" capability for replacing components
to facilitate maintenance and adapt to changing mission
Navy Seals, the U. S. Coast Guard, Canadian and U. S. Armies
and other marine rescue workers have long relied on the
Zodiac RIB's (Rigid Inflatable Boats) for perilous missions.
Both tactical and practical the Zodiac is also being sold
to 80 other countries worldwide as well.
In fact the Zodiac H-733 military RIB is so popular that
Zodiac has created a civilian version for weekend warriors
dubbed the CZ7 (Civilian Zodiac 7m RIB). Built by Zodiac
Hurricane of Delta, Vancouver, the CZ7 has the exact same
hull used by Navy SEALs and the US Coast Guard for use by