An S2 Powerboat with Vision Marine power sets the electric speed record.
By Gregg Mansfield
Shaun Torrente is a fierce competitor and coming up short isn’t in his DNA. After setting the electric boating speed record of 116 mph at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in August, Torrente was relieved.
He had a lot on the line running the new S2 Powerboat he helped design with a pair of Vision Marine E-Motion 180 electric outboards.
“I’m not a big celebrator, there’s few things that I’m really excited about because I feel like this is what we’re hired to do,” said Torrente, a three-time Formula One world champion. “I’m more relieved for my guys. I’m relieved for Vision (Marine) that we did what we said we would do because I really believe in doing the things that I say and say the things that I do before I do them that way we get to do cool things like this in the future.”
A year earlier on the same lake, Torrente set the electric speed record with a 109-mph pass in a 32’ Hellkatt catamaran. Coming into the 2023, the team didn’t know what speed to expect from the carbon-fiber S2 Powerboats catamaran built by Charleston Composites. Torrente’s team had just 15 days to rig the catamaran before the Shootout.
“I don’t ever want to give the first of anything to one of my clients, I want that so I can fix it and make sure it’s right,” Torrente said. “We didn’t get that opportunity and it makes it especially hard because we’ve got a brand new boat that works in computer land, but it’s not computer land, it’s the real world.”
Torrente’s first pass was 111 mph on the radar guns, and he went out three hours later on Saturday morning to set the 116-mph mark. A third run on Sunday morning was 111 mph. To conserve the battery, the team towed the catamaran back to the launch ramp and used air conditioning to cool the battery pack while charging to offset the high temperatures in Lake of the Ozarks.
Vision Marine CEO Alexandre Mongeon was happy to take the victory lap after setting the world record in front of a massive audience. Mongeon popped a bottle of champagne and gave out three gold Rolex watches he personally bought for the leads on the project.
“I was not planning to fly back to Canada with my Rolexes,” Mongeon said. “I knew those guys deserved those watches. We were on the same mind track that it was going to happen.
Pat Weismann of Weismann Marine was brought in to improve the drives and give Torrente more rpm to work with, especially for the 3/4-mile course with minimal start up. Weismann removed everything in the drives except for the forward gear set and added a spacer with a quick-change gear to give the catamaran the ratio Torrente wanted.
“From zero rpm all the way through the range is the same torque, so you’re dealing with quite a bit of torque,” Weismann said. “It acts a little bit different than normal piston engines do where you’re dealing with the resonance that the motor puts off itself. Everything has to be the best because for longevity, so we’re changing quite a few things.”
While the Vision Marine team smashed the 2022 speed record by 7 mph, the team says the new S2 Powerboat still has more speed left in it. Mongeon said the boat has a small battery, noting the battery on a nearby Four Winns H2e provides 4-1/2 times the power for the same weight.
Torrente is looking forward to a longer setup time rather than the 15 days his shop got before hauling the catamaran from Fort Myers, Fla, to Lake of the Ozarks. The team is talking about a new engine package to go with the new catamaran for the 2024 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
“The good thing is we’ll have the boat now so we don’t have to worry about being in the last second,” Torrente said. “We can work in a proper way from hopefully about January through August to get it done right.”
Read more on the 2023 LOTO Shootout here:
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