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Electric Boats and Outboards

Last updated 2018.01.14

Looking for a smart, small, lightweight, affordable charger for your small EV?
They're here! Soneil chargers for lead-acid batteries from 6 to 72 volts .

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.

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 [Site no longer exists: http://www.marygordon.org.uk/marygordon.htm] oldest electric boat known still in existence.
UK National Historic Ships Entry

Electric Water Go-Karts 2010.03.12

Gliss Speed Electrical Water Karting

Sailing Around The World With Solar (PV Powered Catamaran) 2010.02.26

[dead site: http://www.getsolar.com/blog/sailing-around-the-world-with-solar-sunpower/3776/] The solar powered catamaran will be at sea for a projected 140 days as it travels nearly 25,000 miles during 2011.

New Electric ferry boat line in Marseilles 2010.02.07

[dead link: http://www.demotix.com/news/241982/new-electric-ferry-boat-line-marseilles] Photojournal essay includes this in the write-up:
"The service, using a shiny glass windows electric ferry boat, that can carry up to 45 people in each round, is free of charge and it takes 30 seconds to cross the beautiful port and the sight worth every second."

Island Queen DIY electric boat touts bamboo interior 2010.01.04

[dead link: http://www.ecofriend.org/entry/eco-boats-island-queen-diy-electric-boat-touts-bamboo-interior/] Home-built 12-seater featured in ecofriend article.

Hornblower Cruises has Hybrid electric boat (wind, solar, shorepower, diesel) 2009.11.21

Crusing catamaran uses 75% less diesel than prior to electric drive refit.

Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior III has electric drive 2009.11.17

In addition to sails for propulsion, the newest GreenPeace boat boasts an [Site no longer exists: http://www.bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=62960] electric drive system that can be powered by photovoltaic panels or a biofueled diesel genset.

Solar Boat Project Inauguration 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 [website defunct: http://www.greencarmagazine.net/2009/09/solar-boat-project-inaugeration-in-yverdon-les-bains-switzerland/] 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 [dead link: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1932401,00.html] of four solar electric ferries that will take to the waters of Hong Kong harbour.

Low budget electric boat
Electric boating on a low budget (image found at Aviva Fishin' Buddies Web site 2009.09.20)

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