Are Electric Boat Motors Any Good?

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WRITTEN
18 Oct 2022

Electric outboard motors are receiving a lot of attention these days as a result of the current emphasis placed on cleaner and more renewable forms of energy.

When compared to a gasoline outboard engine, do electric motors offer any advantages? Even if the initial investment in an electric outboard motor might be more than that of a gasoline outboard motor, the fact that electric motors have simpler engines means that they are less expensive to maintain throughout their lifetime.

In addition, electric outboard motors produce no emissions of carbon dioxide, making them a better option for the environment. They are also cleaner and produce less noise. Electric motors are here to stay because they provide an alternative to engines driven by fossil fuels that are not only cleaner but also quieter and more efficient. However, the technology is still not quite where it needs to be for it to be able to offer dependable propulsion for larger vessels.

However, they are an excellent substitute for dinghies, inflatable boats, kayaks, and even some small fishing boats due to their size and portability.

Electric Outboard Motor Advantages

Electric outboard motors offer the following advantages:

Very Quiet

You got that right. Electric motors are almost silent. When you leave a busy mooring place in the wee hours of the morning, you won't frighten away the fish or the wildlife, nor will you wake up your neighbors.

Lightweight

The technology behind electric outboard engines has advanced significantly in recent years.

In today's world, lightweight engines that contain lithium batteries on the inside are simple to operate.

Less Maintenance

Because electric motors have fewer moving components than their gas-powered equivalents, there are fewer opportunities for something to go wrong!

Additionally, they do not need to be serviced as frequently, plus there is no need for filthy oil changes, and there are no fuel filters that can become clogged up.

Easy to Store

Electric outboard motors are typically far more compact than their gas-powered counterparts.

Because of this, they are more convenient to store in a locker, and because they do not contain any fuel or oil residue, you can even store them flat somewhere on your boat. This makes it easier to store them.

Types of Electric Boat Motors

Here are some of the following types of electric boat motors.

Electric outboard boat motors

Smaller electric motors were some of the earliest electric outboards to hit the market for recreational boating. These engines were typically installed aboard fishing boats and utilized as trolling motors. The range of electric outboard boat motors can vary tremendously based on the type of vessel, the total weight of the vessel, the propeller, and the size of the battery.

Features of electric outboard boat motors

  • Waterproof. Some electric outboard motors are completely watertight and are built to survive being submerged.
  • Remote controls. You have the option of using a tiller or remote throttle control.
  • computers installed on board. Some electric outboards come equipped with capabilities such as connectivity for a chart plotter, navigation functions, sonar, GPS anchoring, and autopilots.
  • batteries that are either built-in or sold separately. Some of the more compact motors come with their batteries already installed, whereas the larger motors require additional battery packs.
  • Battery monitoring and tracking systems that calculate and display the remaining range in real-time shaft length are called shaft length. Electric outboards are available in a variety of shaft lengths, ranging from short to long, to serve a wide range of uses.

Electric inboard boat motors

Electric inboard motors of today are capable of delivering anything from 3 to a staggering 330 horsepower (2 to 246 kW) and are employed in a variety of applications, ranging from huge displacement vessels to fast, planing powerboats.

Electric inboard engines have a range that varies, similar to that of outboards, depending on the boat, the load, the size of the battery, and the speed of the boat (among other things).

Features of electric inboard boat motors

Each manufacturer offers a selection of electric inboard motors that is somewhat distinct from the others. The following is a list of some of the most important options and features to search for:

  • Kits for home-made conversions
  • Monitoring and tracking systems for batteries, capable of calculating and displaying the remaining range in real time
  • Computers with a touchscreen display aboard the vehicle
  • Components of systems that are waterproof
  • Hydro regeneration capacities

Hybrid systems

A combustion engine and an electric motor are combined in hybrid systems, which allow you to travel without making any noise while still ensuring that you have enough gas to get back home. These systems provide many of the benefits that are associated with pure electric motors, but they do so without the range restrictions. If you want additional power for onboard luxuries like air conditioning, hybrids can also provide a significant increase in house-side fuel efficiency. One drawback shared by all hybrid approaches is that the resulting systems are noticeably more complicated. Not only do they require more equipment, but to get the most out of the system, you'll also need highly sophisticated software to manage the multiple power sources and switch between diesel and electric power. This is a requirement for an optimized system.

How Durable Are Electric Outboard Motors?

Electric outboard motors can now easily compete with their gasoline-powered counterparts in terms of design, quality, and performance. This is made possible by advances in battery technology.

Because of the straightforward nature of their construction and the absence of any moving parts, they do need less frequent maintenance. In addition, the engine does not need to be "primed" before it can be started, which makes them a lot more reliable. The vast majority of electric outboard motors manufactured today are designed to be long-lasting, trustworthy, and equipped with built-in safety mechanisms to ensure that the motor will last for many years.

In addition, it is essential to consider whether you will be using the electric motor in saltwater or freshwater while making the selection that is best suited to your requirements (or both). It is possible to utilize an electric outboard motor designed for saltwater in freshwater, but not the other way around.

To get more life out of your electric motor, make it a habit to give it a good rinsing with some clean water after each time you use it. This will prevent any buildup of grime or salt.

How Long Do Electric Outboard Engines Typically Last?

The length of time that an electric outboard engine normally lasts depends, just like the lifespan of any other type of motor, on how you use it and what you put it through.

When used properly, a motor of the same size and brand can last for many years. On the other hand, the same motor may only last for a few months if it is constantly operated at its maximum speed or if it is used in conditions that are particularly demanding.

Therefore, with proper care and maintenance, an electric outboard engine can provide you with boating that requires no upkeep and can last for more than ten years.

It's comforting to know that replacement components for the most popular brands of electric outboard motors aren't hard to come by, except in more isolated regions. Even though electric outboard motors require very little maintenance, it is inevitable that after a certain number of hours of operation, certain components will need to be replaced. This should not come as a surprise. A few examples of these components are the motors, gears, propellers, and shafts, as well as the control boards, compass boards, and switches.

The good news, however, is that the majority of do-it-yourself boat owners will be able to replace the worn-out parts on their own.

How Is the Warranty On These Motors?

If you have a problem with your product's warranty, you need to follow the instructions that have been established by the manufacturer of the product in question. This is true for any big purchase of any product. On the website of each respectable business will be found a set of rules for the guarantee they provide.

Before investing in a brand-new electric outboard motor, it is important to inquire with your dealer about the terms and circumstances of the warranty.

Assuming that the warranty card has been filled out in its whole and sent back to the manufacturer, the majority of the companies that are discussed in this article provide a warranty that is valid for two years beginning on the day that the product was delivered to the customer.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How fast is an electric boat motor?

The first of its kind in electric boating, the electric outboard sports 180 horsepower and can go at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The E-motion 180 is compatible with all boats that use a 180 horsepower outboard gas engine and are typically between 18 and 26 feet in length. It comes at an additional cost of approximately $5,000 when compared to a regular internal combustion engine.

2. How long does it take to charge an electric boat?

The charging time for batteries used in electric boats can range anywhere from 1.5 to 36 hours. The amount of time required to fully charge your system is going to be directly proportional to both the amount of energy that is stored in the batteries as well as the amount of current that the charger can deliver.

3. How long do electric boat batteries last?

The typical lifespan of a boat battery is between three and four years, although, under the correct circumstances, it can remain functional for up to six years. Maintaining a connection between your batteries and a maintenance charger will guarantee that they receive a full charge and allow them to live out their entire expected lifespan.

Wrapping Up

Electric outboard motors are the wave of the future for outboard engines, even though their adoption has been a bit slower than expected.

Electric outboard engines have proven to be more than a match for their gasoline-powered counterparts, thanks to ever-advancing technology as well as the introduction of lightweight lithium batteries.

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