electric ferry

electric ferry

powered by
the sun

"We’re looking to the past for our creative inspiration in terms of the aesthetics, the style, the ambiance of the boat but we are combining this with modern solar technology, with modern brushless electric motors, with lithium ion batteries, with electronic controllers."

designer & builder, Derek Ellard

ferry interior 1


A sleek solar-electric launch comfortably combining the spirit of the past with the technology of the 21st Century. "So in other words you’ve got something that looks and feels like it’s from a hundred or more years ago but in fact is bang up to date in its underpinnings."


Custom fit-out to suit eco tours, family or ferry, professional or private use. "This boat in particular was designed as a commercial ferry but in the back of my mind I thought right, how about the private sector, how about families - the toilet is big enough to change in, in the centre of the boat there’s various options for tables . . ."

interior 4
rounded bulkheads


Rounded Art Deco style bulkheads and comfortable seating, all enriched by elegant hand-crafted timber detail a perfect setting for that perfect day and as the sun sets there's some clever lighting, from clear spotlights to a subtle indirect glow, all the better to reflect the mood of the occasion.


"With regards to usability, the skipper’s needs are addressed with a step up on to the foredeck for anchoring and easy access to the mooring cleats without leaving the helm. He’ll enjoy good all round vision thanks in part to those rounded bulkheads. He’ll love the instant torque of the brushless electric motors, the boat’s easy motion, and the sprightly top speed of 7.7 knots."

ferry and skipper
Ferry solar panels


"The solar array comprises a bank of sixteen lightweight panels, each one raised with plastic spacers to keep the panel and the passengers cool. They feed the battery banks via voltage regulators and the built-in smart chargers top it all up via the mains, if necessary. For remote operations a small diesel charger can be incorporated and there’s space for even more lithium batteries for those who suffer from range anxiety. The batteries and chargers are located in a spacious locker forward with four inlet vents and a solar powered extractor on the foredeck."

"Secret 33s weigh in at under 3 tonnes and with a full complement of passengers they’ll hit over 4.0 knots when the 1.2kW solar input equals the draw on the batteries, that’s allowing for losses in the power train too. So with a not too early start on a sunny day, lunch at a quayside restaurant and a light touch on the throttle, day-long free fuel is entirely feasible."



Length overall
9.9 metres (33’)
2.5 metres (8’4”)
0.6 metres (2’)
8-12 kilowatts electric
lithium or AGM to suit
custom fitted up to 1.6 kilowatts
12-18 passengers
includes digital readouts & global monitoring
maximum speed 8 knots
typically 15 hours at 5 knots every single day


Download the Secret 33 brochure HERE ⇾

Download an alternative layout HERE ⇾

Download article in The Report magazine (International Institute of Marine Surveying) HERE ⇾


Photos: Ray Cash

Video: Chris Hughes


Designer & builder: Derek Ellard
Email: derek@scruffie.com
Phone: +61 7 5545 1013

Contact Manufacturer: Phillp Walters

Email: phil@collegeofmarinestudies.org

Phone: 0432 213 079


"In years to come my grandchildren can say my granddad built these boats and he was a man who really cared about the environment, he was a man who put his money where his mouth was, he was somebody who really tried hard to make a difference in this world and to leave something good and lasting for future generations."

designer & builder, Derek Ellard


As of 2021 The College of Marine Studies will be building all new sailing and ferry versions of the Secret 33. Based in Northern NSW, Australia, the college offers a wide range of services and training. Designer of the Secret 33, Derek Ellard, will be available for consultation.

Contact: Phillp Walters

Email: phil@collegeofmarinestudies.org

Phone: 0432 213 079

Website: collegeofmarinestudies.org