The era of environmentally friendly boats has begun in the world. In 2021, the market for electric yachts and boats was estimated at $5 billion, and in 2031, according to forecasts, it will grow to $16.64 billion and will increase annually by 12.9%. Read about the cost of an electric boat and the ability to assemble it yourself in our material.
An increasing number of bans appear in relation to boats with gasoline engines . In Amsterdam, authorities have banned all boats in the city center with petrol and diesel engines from 2025.
Meanwhile, electric boat companies are expanding their product line . The market for electric boat engines is also actively developing.
Electric boat components
An electric boat is a powered boat. When designing boat electronics, consider the main components of the boat’s electrical system:
- electric charger – controls and manages charges in accordance with the capacity of the battery,
- battery – responsible for the accumulation of energy for the movement of electric boats,
- transformer controller – a static electrical device that transfers energy between two circuits,
- motor controller – turns direct current into alternating current,
- an electric motor that allows the boat to work.
Electric boats run on clean energy and do not pollute the environment thanks to batteries. The batteries on such boats are similar to those used in electric vehicles .
The electric boat market is divided:
|On the move||– pure electric|
|By battery type||– lead acid battery|
– lithium-ion battery
– Nickel-based battery
|By range||– less than 50 km|
– 50-100 km
– 101–1000 km
– more than 1000 km
|By strength||– below 5 kW|
– from 5 to 30 kW
– more than 30 kW
|By transportation||– passenger boats|
– cargo boats
|Major players in the market||The main players that will drive the growth of the electric boat market are expected to be:|
– ABB LTD,
– Aquawatt Green Marine Technologies,
– Boesch Motorboote AG,
– Boote Marian GmbH,
– Candela Technology AB,
– Corvus Energy,
– Domani Yachts.
Arc electric boat
The Arc boat is inspired by the Tesla model . The developers aimed to create a high -end speedboat that competes with the best in the industry. It has 500 horsepower and a speed of 64 km/h. It is powered by an 800 -volt battery at 200 kW / h. It is the most powerful electric commercial watercraft to date. The battery on the boat is three times the size of the Tesla Model Y and weighs 1,360 kg. In order for such a large battery to fit in the boat, the developers provided a special case .
The company decided to work with an aluminum body instead of the more common fiberglass . This decision was explained by the fact that the aluminum case is lighter , more durable and allows you to test and improve the shape well in search of the most optimal one. The company sees its mission in the electrification of the maritime industry.
The engine and battery are located under the floor of the boat. Integrated software connects everything on board and is updated via wireless internet. Built-in premium speakers and wireless phone chargers. The average boat use time is 3-5 hours.
The Arc model costs from 300 thousand dollars. The company’s strategy is to sell a small number of boats at a high price and invest in mass production of cheaper options.
Electric boat Naiver
The Navier 30 electric boat was created by two engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They used electric hydrofoil technology, allowing them to fly over water. Maximum speed – 30 knots, cruising range – 75 nautical miles when moving at a speed of 20 knots.
The boat has three retractable wings located at the bow and on both sides of the stern. Can overcome waves up to 1.2 meters. The price is from 300 thousand dollars. The boat is designed for fishing, family outings and water skiing.
The developers have provided three options for the boat: with a cabin, a roof and a fully open version of the design.
Electric boat E-Motion 180
The Vision Marine E-Motion 180 is the world’s first lithium -powered speedboat . The E-Motion 180 has a top speed of 96 km/h and an engine power of 180 horsepower.
The estimated range is 112 km with a cruising speed of 32 km/h or 3.5 hours. These factors depend on weather conditions and load.
Startups in the electric boat market
Among the best startups operating in the market are:
- Candela Speed Boat,
VINSEN is a South Korean electric boat manufacturer founded in 2017. The pleasure boat Hydrogenia is 8.2 meters long and is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
The boat has an integrated control system, there are seats for five people. The body is made of aluminum or fiberglass, depending on the wishes of the client. The console is offered in closed and open type and in different colors. The company is working on energy storage technologies in boats.
Candela Speed Boat
Swedish firm Candela builds electric hydrofoils for long-distance travel . The boat hull, made of carbon fiber, is extremely strong and lightweight. Ultrasonic sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers and GPS are part of the boat’s digital elements that are used to track the boat’s position, speed and acceleration.
Aquawatt is engaged in the research and development of solar and electric propulsion systems for small boats and yachts . The company offers electric outboard and inboard motors, as well as lithium-ion batteries. The startup creates engines and other powertrain components for battery-powered boats and ships. It also has its own production workshop, where it assembles electric boats.
Electric Boat Design Trends
More than two-thirds of the global electric boat market in 2021 was in passenger boats. Since they are predominantly used for recreation, developers prefer the calm and attractive design of electric boats. At the same time, cargo electric boats are forecast to show strong growth of 14.8 % in 2022-2032 .
Electric boat development stages: design features
The main requirement in the process of building an electric boat is efficiency . Electric motors are very efficient , something that fossil fuel powered boats cannot boast of. For example, the engine efficiency of a fossil-fueled pleasure boat for mooring is between 2-3 % and 14 %.
Efficiency must be tested on every component of an electric boat.
Overall System Efficiency
Multiply all components individually:
- propeller efficiency
- Bearing efficiency
- Stuffing box efficiency
- Thrust bearing efficiency
- Reducer efficiency
- Engine efficiency
- Controller Efficiency
- Wiring efficiency
- Battery efficiency.
Features of creating an electric boat
The efficiency of the vessel is equal to the overall system efficiency multiplied by the hull efficiency.
If you increase the efficiency of one component, such as a propeller, from 60 % to 80 %, then you will increase the efficiency of the entire system by 33 % (20% increase must be divided by 60% and multiplied by 100).
On an electric boat, use the largest diameter propeller with the largest possible pitch. This is necessary because electric motors have a flat torque curve. If you put a large propeller on a fossil fuel powered boat, it won’t be able to turn it at low RPM and the engine will stall.
This is just one of many areas where electric boats are more efficient than their fossil fuel counterparts. Therefore, the choice of engine when designing a boat is very important.
Fossil fuel powered sailboats have the highest efficiency at full power and are therefore most efficient at full throttle.
Electric boats have the highest efficiency at the lowest power, so they are efficient at low speeds and motorized sailing.
Difficulties in Building an Electric Boat: Component Placement
Locate the batteries at the bottom and center of the boat and check the waterline before installing them. Some builders use batteries to balance the boat.
Ideal component placement includes:
- The engine is installed as high as possible.
- The controller is installed outside the thermal space of the motor.
- AC wires are bundled to compensate for electromagnetic interference and separated for protection.
- DC wires run in separate conduits.
- The display is installed inside the cab.
- The throttle is installed inside the watertight compartment.
- The contactor can be installed anywhere between the batteries and the controller.
- The fan relay is mounted next to the contactor for easy wiring.
- The Hall effect sensor and motor temperature sensor wires are not in the same harness as the AC wires, they should be mounted as far away as possible.
- All controller cables must exit from the bottom of the controller.
- Position the batteries as close to the controller as possible while maintaining proper boat trim.
48 volt electric motor connection diagram
How to install a propeller on an electric boat?
Horizontal is better
The more horizontal the cardan shaft is, the better. The horizontal shaft pushes the boat forward. The propeller shaft, tilted down, pushes the boat forward only due to the horizontal component of the total force. The rest of the force pushes the boat up.
On most recreational boats, the propeller angle has been reduced in favor of an interior layout. It is expected that in the future, when electric boats are designed from scratch, boat builders will take advantage of the small size of electric motors and develop boats with more horizontal propeller shafts.
The larger the propeller of an electric boat, the more efficient
The larger the propeller, the more efficient it is. Larger propellers have less slip, which is the difference between the theoretical distance the propeller travels and the actual distance the propeller travels.
Pitch is the theoretical distance the propeller travels in one revolution. The most efficient propellers have a pitch to diameter ratio of 1.3:1.
How to design an electric boat
An electric yacht or boat must be designed electric from the start
Design development from the very beginning should provide that the boat will be electric. If you upgrade your boat with an electric motor instead of a traditional internal combustion engine, you will never achieve maximum efficiency. The boat must be designed from the very beginning with the idea that it will be electric.
The designer should ask the following questions from the very beginning:
- How will the owner use his boat?
- Will the boat have a displacement or planing hull?
- What is the weight of the boat to set as a “goal”?
- What construction technology to rely on?
- What will be the speed?
- What are the required maximum specifications?
- What is the motor range?
- What electric motor to install, with what batteries and what charging system?
But the most important question – how much will the boat cost ?
You can design the best electric boat in the world, but if the upfront cost or cost of ownership is too high, you’re not going anywhere. You will make just a good prototype, and that’s it.
Assembling an electric boat: how much does it cost
Excluding assembly costs, materials for the construction of an electric boat will cost approximately $ 11,000 :
|5KW Electric Marine Motor:||$5000|
|4 West Marine 4D Batteries ($599 each):||$2396|
|4 West Marine 8D batteries ($689 each):||$2756|
|Battery Cables 30ft x 2/0 ($12/30cm):||$360|
|2x Pro Mariner Quad Chargers ($425 each):||$950|
|Battery installation materials: (battery straps, PVC pipes, fiberglass)||$100|
|Total materials:||$ 11,562|
5 reasons why it is beneficial to use an electric boat
Electric motors can develop full torque in a millisecond . It takes a lot of horsepower to start a boat. In diesel or petrol powered boats, they are usually produced by the internal combustion engine, but it takes longer to produce that power. In the meantime, electric powered boats can provide a big boost in power, making them perfect for riding on the water.
Electric Boat Availability
Electric motors are extremely cheap to run. You can charge the boat using your home socket.
You may hear a screech, but not a roar, during morning fishing as you sail away from the local boat ramp in your electric boat. Noise pollution is something that few people think about until you experience the benefits of traveling in an electric vehicle or boat without disturbing people or nature.
Leaves no chemical contaminants
There are no oil residues from the bilge water that could get into the ocean with electric motors. It just heats up like any other engine. You can be sure that you are not polluting the ocean or lakes by riding your electric boat.
Ideal for the environment
Charging an electric boat is likely to become even greener over time, as it will be possible to use wind, water or solar power.
It is worth relying on the electrification of yachts, boats and boats. Payback on initial investment – yes . Between the cost of fuel and electricity, there is a delta of 2.6 euros per mile in favor of all-electric propulsion. Considering also the additional maintenance costs of a conventional engine, the savings are at least 3 euros per mile. This means a refund of 3,000 euros for every 1,000 miles driven and a reduction in carbon emissions of 5,400 kg. Then you will forget about maintenance, noise and unpleasant odors on board. But the main advantage of an all-electric system still concerns the environment .