Getting to know the man behind the brand:

An Interview with
Michael Frauscher

What is your role in the company?

I am the co-owner of the Frauscher shipyard. My brother Stefan, my cousin Andrea, and I have cared for the shipyard since we took over from our parents. I am in charge of leading the boat production and the development of new products at the Frauscher shipyard – for the Frauscher x Porsche project, I have been the first point of contact for every technical aspect.

What is your background?

I am an engineer and have an apprenticeship in boat building, after which I gained a Master craftsman’s diploma. I have been in this company for many years now, and it is a great feeling to lead a family company in the true sense of it – I remember sharing the offices first with my uncle and father before taking over the business.

How did the project with Porsche come about?

I can recall when we were approached by Porsche in October 2021 – they have been scouting the market to find a suitable boat builder who could partner with them to transition the Porsche technology from the road to the waters. We, at the Frauscher shipyard, were still looking for a top-notch technology to leverage our electric boats performance, so this is where it all matched.

„We feel very proud to work with the Porsche team as we recognise that this is one of the most experienced companies with electric technologies. We are now able to build the electric boat of our dreams.“

Michael Frauscher
Managing director –
Shipyard Management

Why is it a good idea to use the Porsche car technology for a boat?

The boating sector generally has much lower volume than the car industry. Getting the best technology developed at a significant level for boats is therefore much harder for us. Traditionally we couldn’t implement the newest battery and drive train technologies. Thanks to the economy of scale, Porsche technology is on a higher level than all available technologies in the marine industry, and that’s why we have believed in the success of this project from the very beginning. Porsche choosing Frauscher as a suitable partner shows appreciation for our history of electrification. The Frauscher shipyard is probably the most reliable and solid electric boat producer – let us think that my grandfather built the first electric boat in 1955!

What are the challenges in adapting a car-based battery system to a boat?

We had to modify the boat’s hull completely to fit the battery, this was the only possible way to go. So the battery now sits where the fuel tank is usually located but obviously needs more space in the mid-section of the boat. The challenges that our team had to overcome to succeed were twofold: first, it was essential to build a boat that would remain within the weight of the target of the petrol power variation. Also, we didn`t want to impede the comfort features of the boat. Simply put: it was a packaging challenge: how could Frauscher achieve the same features of the ICE variation while keeping the weight targets.

For the Frauscher x Porsche project, you decided to rework an existing boat – could you tell us more about this decision?

We chose the 858 Fantom Air because, with the high-power output and big battery of the Porsche system, we could electrify a boat with a combustion engine power boat. Based on the characteristics of the 858 Fantom Air driving system, this was the perfect model where we could integrate the system.

What are the specific marine environment’s requirements compared to the automotive industry?

The marine environment has higher requirements for the durability than the automotive industry. Some challenges include shock absorption, high-temperature differences, a humid climate, and proximity to salt water. However, the most significant difference is that an electric boat runs at a much higher power output than a car for extended periods. This is because water resistance is much higher than when you drive over the road with tires. So cooling of the drive-train and battery is also a higher challenge compared to automotive applications.

Frauscher and Porsche are very different companies due to their sizes – however, they worked well together. Why so?

Yes, undoubtedly. Porsche and Frauscher differ significantly – regarding their sizes and the frequency of announced new products. However, these are both family-based companies. Even if Porsche has a more prominent structure, they can set up a start-up approach to make this happen, so decisions go fast and more straightforward.

What sets this project apart from existing electric boats available on the market?

I was personally blown away when I first tried the prototype in the summer of 2022. Not only was it the best electric boat, but it was simply THE BEST BOAT. The drive train’s quietness is impeccable, and with fast charging capability, this is the best boat money can buy now.