Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

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.

PredictWind.com 2014Insun - AC ProgramProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar