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Electric Boats and Outboards
Last updated 2013.02.07
We don't sell electric boats. We continue to provide unbiased information about electric boats because we feel they are a superior solution for many water (surface) transportation applications, notably recreational boating. For a list of electric boat suppliers (complete boats, kits and components), please see our electric boat links page or the advertisements to the right. (We do sell Soneil battery chargers, some of which are ideal as chargers for electric boat batteries as they are small, lightweight, intelligent and affordable.) (Like any electrical device, they do need to be protected from submersion and the elements.)
There is definitely more to electric boating than trolling motors. And there are options available smaller than the QE2 and military submarines - yes, the QE2 is electric powered, and most non-nuclear submarines are diesel-electric hybrids that run as pure electrics when submerged.
Imagine yourself out on a quiet lake, enjoying the tranquility, while still making good headway thanks to the virtually silent electric motor pushing your boat across the water. Imagine boating without trips to the marina for increasingly expensive fuel, without lugging gas cans (and oil) to the boat, without cantankerous, hard-to-start engines, without annual tune-ups. Imagine being able to practice meditation on the open water without being interrupted by your boat's gasoline engine.
What's left? Only the pleasures of boating, without the headaches, and without the guilt of thinking about what your fun is doing to the environment. Marine engines are a major source of environmental damage, according to the US EPA.
In our electric boat, we have come closer to wildlife on the lake than we ever managed in a canoe, as the splashing of paddles is much noisier than the electric drive.
No electrical hookup at the dock to recharge your electric boat? Consider the potential for charging your electric boat using solar panels or wind generation. In my first season with my electric boat, about 40% of its charging came from a single 33-watt photovoltaic panel, and I have electric power right to the boat at the dock. In subsequent years we have used even less shore power.
The Mary Gordon electric boat (historical) 2010.03.13
Built and launched in 1898, the oldest electric boat known still in existence.
Electric Water Go-Karts 2010.03.12
Sailing Around The World With Solar (PV Powered Catamaran) 2010.02.26
New Electric ferry boat line in Marseilles 2010.02.07
Photojournal essay includes this in the write-up:
Island Queen DIY electric boat touts bamboo interior 2010.01.04
Hornblower Cruises has Hybrid electric boat (wind, solar, shorepower, diesel) 2009.11.21
Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III has electric drive 2009.11.17
In addition to sails for propulsion, the newest GreenPeace boat boasts an electric drive system that can be powered by photovoltaic panels or a biofueled diesel genset.
Solar Boat Project Inaugeration in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland 2009.11.12
Landlocked Switzerland isn't the first country that comes to mind when it comes to electric boat innovations, and yet here we have the announcement of a solar electric boat to be launched early in 2010.
Cleaning Up Polluted Harbors with Greener Ships 2009.10.28
This article in Time Magazine talks about a fleet of of four solar electric ferries that will take to the waters of Hong Kong ha
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