The electric boat – future of the sea?

Written by Jørgen Løwe September 23, 2019

Our own el-boat Goldfish 23 eFusion

It’s great to see the constant development and growth of boat technology in the world. The summer of 2019 has focused heavily on electric boats, and gives seafaring a big push towards greener boating experience. 

In Scandinavia, and especially in Norway, electrical cars have become very popular in recent years – both due to costs and environment. The concept and technology seems to be gaining ground in the boat industry, and several companies are looking at the possibilities of electrifying pleasure boats – the most common type of boat in the maritime sector. 

Why electric boats may be the future

There are several reasons why electric boats may be the future of the sea. Of course, one of the great advantages is the electric motor which does not pollute the environment – a focus that will be increasingly important in the years to come.

Another important aspect of electric boats is that it will be much cheaper to charge versus filling up the tank. In other words – boats made for the environment are also good for your wallet! 

Electric boats will also revolutionize the boating experience. With an electric motor, you will be crossing the sea quietly. Some will surely miss the sound of a Mercury 525 roaring through the archipelago. 

Still, there is no reason to believe that the combustion engines will leave the boat industry soon, but with an electric motor you will hear the sound of the sea, seagulls and waves. Doesn’t that sound like a dream or what?

Still a long way to go for el-boats

Although there are several good reasons to why more people should choose an electric boat, the technology has not come as far as for the electric car – which indicates that there’s still a lot that must be in place before this becomes the everyday boat.

Building boats in Norway is a given, and we get a lot of questions regarding electrical boats. It’s important to understand how energy demanding it is to propel a boat in 40 knots. Propelling a boat can best be compared to driving a car up a Olympic Ski Downhill circuit at all times. 

At Goldfish we have the world’s most efficient hulls and we believe there is no other brand better equipped to meet the electrical revolution when it arrives. And it will arrive – the questions is when

As of today, the electric boats are expensive to buy. Compared to those that run on fossil fuels it’s not for anyone to consider. The price of electrical installations is much higher than the price of conventional motor installations today, and for the people who already have a boat it is very expensive to change the engine on existing boats.

We need better infrastructure and battery capacity

The electric boat trend is not only low due the price. Before the electric boat industry can really take off, there must be plenty of charging stations in place before the majority can dare to switch to electric power. As it is today, there are no charging infrastructure in ports that can curb the range anxiety, and as you may know – it’s never fun to run out of fuel in the middle of the ocean!

Another factor to note is that it requires a lot of energy to propel the boat forward, and it’s even more energy consuming to operate a boat at high speed – like our boats today. To get an electric boat with the speed of our fossil fuel boats today, will require a large battery capacity. That technology is not yet in place – a lesson we soon learned when we came up with our own el-boat.

Once upon a time there was an Goldfish 23 eFusion

Our electric boat Goldfish 23 eFusion on the water

Long before the electric car became a big hype, we in Goldfish boat developed an electric boat called Goldfish 23 eFusion in 2011. Our idea back then was to make an electric motor for our regular 23 Tender, in order to be more innovative and in line with the evolving environmental focus. 

Our electric Goldfish came into the industry at 47 knots, and was powered by UQM Technologies’ PowerPhase® Select 145 jet drive propulsion system. Put differently – we went water skiing with the boat and it went fast and smoothly!

The Goldfish 23 eFusion motor

Something we like to boast about from that time is that we, in February 2012, won the prestigious “Boat of the Year” award in the “Innovation” category for our eFusion during the boat show in Düsseldorf. We think we deserve a pat on the shoulder for that – don’t you?

Will Goldfish Boat make a new electric boat?

Like we said, the technology regarding electric boats still has a long way to go, especially when it comes to electric speed boats and RIB boats. 

Still, we are very excited about what the future will bring and how the evolution of battery technology will progress in the years to come. 

Nevertheless, we know we will make a new electric Goldfish boat someday, because in our opinion, no other manufacturer in the world is better equipped with hydro dynamic efficiency  than Goldfish Boat!

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