Bennington Survey - Electric Boats

LaurencetheAdventurer

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Just finished a Bennington / Polaris survey on Electric Boats. Some interesting questions - seems they really put some thought into pulling existing boaters views on all aspects of moving to an Electric Motor. Two of the questions suggested currently available ranges: Would the following work for you: 8 hours of cruise time with 1 hour of water sports / WOT, 3 hours of cruise time and 8 hours of sandbar time. While those would work for most boating days, it's the "lake run" or "Kids day" that requires 4 hours plus of Sport / WOT time - I just don't see that in the near future, until more advanced battery systems are made available. But exciting to see them thinking about it!
 

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Jack M

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Just finished a Bennington / Polaris survey on Electric Boats. Some interesting questions - seems they really put some thought into pulling existing boaters views on all aspects of moving to an Electric Motor. Two of the questions suggested currently available ranges: Would the following work for you: 8 hours of cruise time with 1 hour of water sports / WOT, 3 hours of cruise time and 8 hours of sandbar time. While those would work for most boating days, it's the "lake run" or "Kids day" that requires 4 hours plus of Sport / WOT time - I just don't see that in the near future, until more advanced battery systems are made available. But exciting to see them thinking about it!
At the end of your survey did you get invited to the 1 hour phone interview ?
 

Vikingstaff

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Going to work out great when most docks up here dont have any power at them :D
I see things like this as transitory IF any shift to electric motors were to happen.

In my mind, it’s no different than garage chargers for electric cars. No one has one until they have an electric car, then they add it. I think the same would likely apply in this regard with boats or other recreational vehicles.

My concern in regards to boating (as I like the “idea” of electric) is bringing electric power to docks over water. Makes me VERY nervous! Even if I took pains and cost to have something SAFELY and professionally installed, I cannot say I have faith in the next guy down on the lake to do the same…
 

Seadoorxpguy

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The size of a electrical service that would have to run to a marina to charge a dock of boats would be bigger than what powers any Vegas casino. “Hey kids let’s go boating, oh wait the gfci must have tripped last weekend and we’re at 4% battery”.
 

Maynard G. Krebs

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There is a 30' tritoon on our local lake that was originally purchased by a nature conservancy group as a floating classroom. It arrived in the early 2000's with two small electric motors and conventional lead-acid batteries. The recurring problem was it would go out early, then get caught in the afternoon breeze and didn't have the power to get back. Eventually, the boat was donated to the Rotary Club which ditched the electrics for a 90hp gas outboard. The original concept might have worked if today's technology were available back when the boat was built. I own an electric scooter that's used for quick trips to the hardware store. It was also made in the early 2000's with the same wet-cell technology. Originally a 24V system, it provided a 5-mile range at 13 mph. I recently made a 36V Li-ion battery pack for it. The new battery, together with a gearing change, now allows me to move at 25 mph and travel 20 miles on it using just 25% of the battery's voltage.

Most of my working career was as a trucking contractor for FedEx Ground. I had a small fleet of trucks that all ran diesel motors because nothing else could provide the power and reliability. Having sold the business years ago, I was really surprised to see an electric FedEx truck making a delivery to my house last month. I called one of my friends that still works there who told me he owns several and is switching his entire fleet over to electric power. These are the big UPS style vans that must be able to carry many thousands of pounds, climb steep grades, and do 150-200 stops over a 10-hour day. He says the electric vehicles are flawless and will pay for themselves with the reduction in maintenance and fuel costs. I never dreamed that electric vehicles could perform this type of work so well, but it's a reality.

I agree that overcoming the logistics of charging on the water will be a challenge, but for those like me who take their boat out for the day and then trailer it home, an electric boat makes perfect sense. The boating industry will piggy-back on the advancements the auto industry is making with regards to battery technology, and I expect to see electric boating as a viable option in just a few more years.
 

jcr159

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I see things like this as transitory IF any shift to electric motors were to happen.

In my mind, it’s no different than garage chargers for electric cars. No one has one until they have an electric car, then they add it. I think the same would likely apply in this regard with boats or other recreational vehicles.

My concern in regards to boating (as I like the “idea” of electric) is bringing electric power to docks over water. Makes me VERY nervous! Even if I took pains and cost to have something SAFELY and professionally installed, I cannot say I have faith in the next guy down on the lake to do the same…

I don't disagree that safety and getting used to it will be an issue. I'm all about choice, to each their own.

All that said though... most of the marinas on the coasts, and great lakes have 30-50 amp shore power at every slip already. or at a large percentage of them. it's safe. been there for decades and i don't hear of people dying from electrocution... that said, i'm on a dock where we have a port a john, and no running water to hose anything down. I'm guessing that is the type of situation a lot are in, and good luck getting power distribution to a location like this. especially since the expertise to do it right probably isn't in the area like it is on the coasts where the electricians regularly run and service such systems. Especially when Red Green or Howard decide to DIY a power hookup on the lake, and electrify the whole thing... need more than duct tape to fix that one... ;)
 

Vikingstaff

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Especially when Red Green or Howard decide to DIY a power hookup on the lake, and electrify the whole thing... need more than duct tape to fix that one... ;)
This is the situation I am referring to - us inland lake owners with our own private lots spread across the mid-west. It is 90%+ private individuals doing their own thing on their personal lots and docks. And since this is our situaiton, and I’ve seen a few things over time that make my head spin, it is a very legit worry for people like me.

Marina setups are less common, and I’d expect them done up to codes that would mitigate the risk and make it a safer option.

That said, I do like the idea, and want to see it happen. I just worry about the lakeside “duck tape and MacGyver“ crew that may lead to stray electrical current. I had a neighbor a few years ago charging his boat battery. His extension cord fell and dipped into the lake…20’ from our property line, and 30’ from our dock. Ugh!!!!
 

jcr159

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This is the situation I am referring to - us inland lake owners with our own private lots spread across the mid-west. It is 90%+ private individuals doing their own thing on their personal lots and docks. And since this is our situaiton, and I’ve seen a few things over time that make my head spin, it is a very legit worry for people like me.

Marina setups are less common, and I’d expect them done up to codes that would mitigate the risk and make it a safer option.

That said, I do like the idea, and want to see it happen. I just worry about the lakeside “duck tape and MacGyver“ crew that may lead to stray electrical current. I had a neighbor a few years ago charging his boat battery. His extension cord fell and dipped into the lake…20’ from our property line, and 30’ from our dock. Ugh!!!!

yep, I hear ya. it's going to be a crazy time for a while i bet... my family has a "camp" (cabin in the woods for all yinz non-PA residents...lol)

there's fix it... and then there's: "that's good enough for camp" fixing things... Not the type of thinking I want around high amp current, big batteries, boat docks, and water.... Maybe i just talked myself into moving to the coast? nah... ;)
 

LaurencetheAdventurer

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At the end of your survey did you get invited to the 1 hour phone interview ?
Yes, but felt I really did not have much to add - so declined.
 

ILLINOIS AVE

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I don't like the thought of electric Vehicles or Boats. Electric Vehicle batteries weight up to half ton (1000 lbs.).Probably wouldn't be that heavy for a boat but the battery would ad some weight.
 

Michiman

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Some good discussion so far. My wife drives a Mach E and loves it (so do I). It’s fast, smooth and quiet, but sadly not ready for prime-time IMO for a variety of reasons that will also impact an electric boat motor. Perhaps in my lifetime they’ll develop a solid state battery that’ll change everything.
 

DVW

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Batteries are heavy. Planning hills are sensitive to weight. Displacement hulls are less sensitive to weight. Pontoons are more like displacement hulls despite lifting strakes. From that perspective pontoons and heavy electric power could be a fit. Range anxiety will limit application. Water taxis might be a good fit. Range anxiety might be a non issue on a small lake. Silent power as if under sail could be magic. Yes I think there could be a application for battery power.
 

mtudb24

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Unless it's an evinrude.
Oh come on now Jack. Their brand of TCW3 oil always had the best smell around especially in the older VRO outboards :):):)
 

BigKahuna

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I know that EV's or EB's (Electric Boats) are the wave of the future. For me it's a longevity factor. No one really knows how long these big batteries will last as well as the cost factor to replace them when needed. My son has a Volkswagen ID4 EV. Beautiful car very futuristic, loaded, rides great and fast! But on a simple 4 hr. trip from Atlanta he has to plan his route carefully and has to stop for about 30-45 mins. to charge up. That's not for me yet.....
 

Jack M

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Oh come on now Jack. Their brand of TCW3 oil always had the best smell around especially in the older VRO outboards :):):)
I was referring to them being discontinued . Had they not been ,I ( most likely ) would still have my 2020 QCW . Even though it had a 7 year warranty ,My concern was parts availability ,warranty means nothing if you cant get the parts.
 
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