Is There an Electric Boat in Your Future?

Is There an Electric Boat in Your Future?

If you are like most boat owners and enjoy day boating, relaxing with friends and family going to nearby islands, beaches, across the lake or up the river, then electric boats are something you should get to know better. They have been built for the times we live in. They require almost no maintenance and they are economical to operate.

For example, in Virginia, a gallon of gasoline at a marina costs $5.50 a gallon, but shore power costs only 10 cents per kilowatt. That means a boat like the X Shore Eelex 8000’s 126 kW battery can be filled from 0% to 100% for $12.60.

Electric boats, of any brand, are not for everyone. Most don’t have blazing speed, and range is still limited by the relatively low efficiency of lithium-based batteries–though lots of changes are in the works., the nation’s best known online video testing service for recreational boats, tested the Eelex recently. Here’s what they found.

Top Speed of the Eelex 8000 was 33.5 mph turning 1660 rpm for an endurance of 39 minutes, going 22 miles, with 10% of the battery capacity in reserve. All range numbers have been calculated on 90% of the battery capacity.

The Most Economical Planing Speed was at 1200 rpm where we recorded 22.5 mph, for a range of 29 miles and a duration of one hour and 16 minutes.

While a range of only 29 miles would not be suitable for many anglers who run that far one way to their fishing spots, or for a cruising boater who wants to travel the ICW for hundreds of miles, it’s plenty for dayboating on a home lake, or for shuttling family and friends back and forth to a remote beach.

These boats are still too expensive for what they can do, in the opinion of many in the boating business, including virtually everybody who makes gasoline or diesel powered boats. But it seems likely as both the electric motors and the batteries continue to improve–and the pace of engineering on this stuff is astonishing–electric boats will have a definite place on the recreational boating scene, likely within the next five years, surely within a decade.

See more on the X-Shore lineup here: