Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Electric boats and motors- green alternative on the water

by Jeni Bone on 31 May 2011
Steven Mullie Eco Boats Australia. .. ©
Eco-friendly boating is a great option for reducing our footprint on the water and our reliance on fossil fuels.

Last summer, many Australians enjoyed their local waterways on a power boat - without realising the impact it has on the environment.

According to government agency research, a few hours in a petrol powered boat has a bigger environmental impact than a road trip by car from Sydney to Brisbane. Petrol powered marine engines are among the highest contributors of hydrocarbons, oxides, and nitrogen emissions in the country*.

But it's possible to have fun on the water without wrecking the planet. Eco Boats Australia offers electric boats and motors that are emission-free, low-maintenance, will cruise for a whole day, and cost less than a dollar to recharge.
Steven Mullie founded Eco Boats Australia Pty Ltd in 2008 to offer a green alternative in boating. Their product range encompasses electric boats, as well as electric inboard and outboard motors complete with batteries and charger.

'The beautiful thing is that electric boats are so quiet,' he said. 'Our Duffy electric boats for instance are a lifestyle boat, perfect for relaxed day or sunset cruising on the bay, river or harbour with family, friends or business associates.'

These new boats employ the latest technology, but electric boats themselves have been around since the late 1800s. They remained popular into the 1920s, when the arrival of the internal combustion engine saw people fuelling their boats with the faster technology. That's all changing now.

Steven said the threat of global warming and rising fuel prices had generated a lot of interest in electric boats in his native Holland. 'Electric boating is getting a lot of attention from Dutch councils who've decided to clean up their act, reducing noise and pollution on their waterways. Some rivers and canals already only allow electric-powered vessels.'

'In the USA, electric boats are a hit with owners of waterfront properties and are popular with both men and women because they are so easy to operate and maintain,' he said.

Electric motors are quiet, clean, reliable and economical to run. Where combustion engines have hundreds of moving parts, which can all break down, an electric motor has just one moving part - they are extremely reliable and almost maintenance free. Especially for displacement vessels such as yachts and classic boats it makes sense to convert to electric drive, as relatively little power is needed to bring a boat up to its ‘hull speed’.

A 25 kg electric motor with a diameter of less than 300mm can replace a big and noisy diesel inboard giving you a quiet ride and lots of interior space in return.

Many yachting enthusiasts favour electric propulsion as it gives the same quiet experience under power as when under sail. Electric motors have full torque at any given RPM, which makes them ideal for low speed maneuvering inside a marina.

Batteries are generally fitted close to, or below the water line to add to the stability of the boat. Recharging can be done either by plugging in to shore power or via solar panels if the boat is on a mooring. Diesel-electric (hybrid) systems for larger craft and longer range are also available.

Eco Boats Australia represents the world’s leading brands in electric boating such as Duffy electric boats from California, Mastervolt-Bellmann inboard motors from Holland and highly efficient Torqeedo outboards from Germany. People are seeing the benefits of electric propulsion and Eco Boats has supplied boats and motors to many boaties across Australia over the past years.

Eco Boats operates out of Northbridge Marina (Sydney) with two demonstrator vessels that are also available for self-drive trips for people wanting to experience quiet and clean electric propulsion themselves. Pack a picnic and glide down Sydney’s Middle Harbour in style and complete silence.

More at www.ecoboats.com.au or Tel (02) 9929 8834.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

*Source: Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Water Resources: 'Comparative Assessment of the Environmental Performance of Small Engines - Marine Outboards and Personal Watercraft'

According to this research one hour of operation of a boat that complies with US 2006 emission standards (i.e. has a relatively clean engine) produces the same pollution as about fifty cars operated at a similar speed. Older style outboard engines that do not comply with US EPA 2006 limits are likely to emit around ten times the amount of pollution compared to conforming engines.

Barz Optics - FloatersInSunSport - NZupffront 660x82

Related Articles

Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug