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Thoughts on electric boats?

Old 01-17-2021, 06:43 PM
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Reo
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Default Thoughts on electric boats?

Well, it's 2021 and looks like electric boats are gaining more traction. Looks like some of the companies are succeeding in raising significant capital so seems like development is only accelerating.

I'm an engineer so find this stuff very interesting and reducing running costs sounds very compelling. Thought it would be interesting to hear other's thoughts?

Have any of you considered an electric boat? What ultimately made the decision for or against?

Would you consider one? If not, what's holding you back? What would need to change?

Personally, I'd definitely consider electric for a day boat but not a larger boat where I'm expecting multi-day endurance. My favorite is the Candela, with the hydrofoils it gets real compelling range and speed figures. But, i'd say not a huge market out there for 250k runabouts. For me, I personally wouldnt buy a runabout... My style would be more like a CC or something with a cabin like the Axopar. Also wonder how people feel about the foils?

My overall take is, tech is right about at the point it makes sense for day boating applications. I'd venture going more than 50nm in a single trip on ~25-30ft day boat is rare unless you're serious into offshore fishing.

I feel the biggest holdback to major adoption when thinking about smaller day boats is getting an attractive package together that appeals to popular uses like fishing, etc. at a pricepoint that isnt too far off a gas-powered equivalent. But, curious to hear other takes?
Old 01-17-2021, 06:44 PM
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Yawn
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Reo View Post
My overall take is, tech is right about at the point it makes sense for day boating applications. I'd venture going more than 50nm in a single trip on ~25-30ft day boat is rare unless you're serious into offshore fishing.
The trouble is, even close to home boating can rack up more miles than you expect - I can spend a day within 3 miles of my mooring (it's where some of the best local fishing is) and still find I clock 25-30 just hopping between marks, going back uptide after drifts etc - limited range my suit if all you want to do is go directly there and back, but I wouldn't want 'range anxiety' on a day where marks aren't performing as expected so you want to push on to the next one.

I can't see electric boats becoming common in my boating lifetime, although I'm sure there will be significant steps forward - such as: Interesting take on electric boat propulsion
Old 01-17-2021, 07:03 PM
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Lots of threads. Energy density of batteries isn’t remotely close yet. Realistic electric boats will be after long haul trucks. Well after.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:06 PM
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Probably not more than 10-years ago I think that I swore I would never own an electric car. I have owned one for over a year now and just look at gas stations with nostalgia.

With today’s battery tech I don’t think that fully electric boats are there yet. Tough to get the range and speed that folks want. Seems like a hybrid would be where the tech is at, for now.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:21 PM
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I could easily see diesel/ electric.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:30 PM
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:32 PM
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Diesel electric doesn't achieve the desired result, it has some advantages, but saving fuel is not one of them.
Old 01-17-2021, 07:47 PM
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Saltwater+High voltage=Swimming home
Old 01-17-2021, 07:50 PM
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yup. the duffy bay boats are a good use.
problem is batteries, always been batteries and at this point will probably always be batteries.

I remember in the 70's the fear of no oil, environment, and such.

My thinking was hybrid, gas generator and electric motor.

Seems that is also a dead end because of power needed to drive a genset and the amount of juice loss making it bake to a motor.

so in 50 years, no substantial way to increase electric output from a genset and no major bat tech to hold power.


Old 01-17-2021, 07:59 PM
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Every time you transfer energy , you lose some. Make electricity, transfer it, store it , turn it into propulsion. That’s a lot of steps.
Old 01-17-2021, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by dm View Post
Probably not more than 10-years ago I think that I swore I would never own an electric car. I have owned one for over a year now and just look at gas stations with nostalgia.

With today’s battery tech I don’t think that fully electric boats are there yet. Tough to get the range and speed that folks want. Seems like a hybrid would be where the tech is at, for now.
What do you think the range is that people want?

I know there's also some perception issue here... gap between what people think they need and what they actually use. For example, my current boat has a 2500nm range. I dont think I will ever need to do anywhere close to that between fuel stops, and in the last two seasons of boating I've never filled more than about 1/4 tank at a time. But, when I look at spec sheets and I see ranges like 500mi on a similar size boat, it turns me off, although it would suit my needs just fine in all likelihood.

For me, I think like 60ish miles for a day boat would do it for the way i'd use.. but range would still be on my mind.
Old 01-17-2021, 08:46 PM
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It might make sense on a smaller inland lake, but I can’t see going very far offshore in an electric boat.
Old 01-17-2021, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Softhammer View Post
Saltwater+High voltage=Swimming home
From an engineering standpoint this one is easy to solve. Don't forget, most larger boats are running 220V systems without issue. The electric cars we have endure salt spray in cold climates just fine (salted wet roads) and are designed to endure immersion, crashes, etc. without electrocuting everyone around, or blowing up.
Old 01-17-2021, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Reo View Post
What do you think the range is that people want?

I know there's also some perception issue here... gap between what people think they need and what they actually use. For example, my current boat has a 2500nm range. I dont think I will ever need to do anywhere close to that between fuel stops, and in the last two seasons of boating I've never filled more than about 1/4 tank at a time. But, when I look at spec sheets and I see ranges like 500mi on a similar size boat, it turns me off, although it would suit my needs just fine in all likelihood.

For me, I think like 60ish miles for a day boat would do it for the way i'd use.. but range would still be on my mind.
60 miles at displacement speed is one thing, but a planing boat uses a shit ton of energy. I can see it in low-speed applications, like a launch that brings people to their moorings.
Old 01-17-2021, 09:34 PM
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The technology is there, the motors are high powered and small, batteries are really good, but, to give any sort of speed AND range, there needs to be lots of them, and that is size and weight, charging is the biggest hurdle, plugging it in at home is dumb, and if I have to explain that, it's way over your head, until free, fast charging (you can have one of those now) the whole concept is for dreamers and tree huggers, but, the time will come.
Old 01-17-2021, 09:36 PM
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We rented a Duffy in Oceanside (near San Diego) for a few hours. It was a great boat to check out the sights around the bay.
Old 01-17-2021, 09:41 PM
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I think we'll see them become popular in lakes first, where range isn't an issue but emissions are.

Range is the killer for most people on THT. Maybe diesel /electric hybrids would works for some people.

​​​
Old 01-17-2021, 09:46 PM
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Along with most boaters, I agree that battery technology needs to come a long way to be feasible for long trips. However, the technology is just around the corner. While I have no problem burning fossil fuels, the future is in electricity and batteries. Just look at the coal industry being phased out by natural gas. Yes you can point to environmental restrictions on coal, but in the end it was fracking and natural gas that put coal out. One day, like it or not, gasoline will be a thing of the past except for classic cars. It’s an inevitability.

Just google: “Quantumscape solid state batteries”. It’s coming.


Old 01-17-2021, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Softhammer View Post
Saltwater+High voltage=Swimming home
never heard of boats with mains power, generators, inverters? It's a non issue.

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