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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi again,
I have recently been appointed as General Secretary of the Electric Boat Association, and I am looking for boaty-minded people on this list to contribute some ideas about what we should be doing to promote electric boating.
Please bear in mind that electric boats go back to the C19th - they are not exactly a new idea. But it seems that they are an idea whose time has come, with solar boats, hydrogen-cell boats, hybrid boats, and even plug in ferries.
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Don't know much about electric boats but on Tuesday we hired a day boat from Richardson's on the Norfolk Broads and it was a very pleasant experience with none of the noise, smell and pollution associated with motor boats.
 

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I rented an electric dinghy on the river, from Danish Camp, near Bedford, last week when my 3 year old granddaughter was staying with us.

Simply 12v, almost totally silent on anything but the highest power. Very nice.
 

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In theory a boat should be easy to electrify - they usually need a heavy ballast weight very low down for stability. A large battery pack could replace that otherwise dead weight there without any loss of internal space.
 

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Seem to recall that submarines in the last war ran on batteries underwater. So it would be nothing new.
 

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Aren't most ships electrically driven anyway? With the big Diesel engines only used for generating electricity?
If so, then we need to find out how much energy we'd need to store for a typical sea voyage.

I suspect that even modern batteries aren't energy dense enough for large ships to run without a suplimental power source. Although if they could combine the battery storage with a solar array over cargo areas or on top decks, plus maybe use the wind to assist (Like the racing yacht with their rigid airfoil wings)?

I'd say that nuclear is probably the way to go for supertankers and large ships. Marine nuclear has been around a long time and could be made with more suitable, more stable and relatively safer radioactive materials than the enriched uranium of older designs.

Smaller craft seem to be available now, if at a higher price than their fossil fuel burning versions. As with all things I'm sure they'll get cheaper.
 

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Some 30 odd year ago it was possible to hire River cruisers on part of the Thames that were electrically powered, The problem was that customers failed to understand the need to fully charge up before moving on even though there were charge points at specified moorings. There was even a discount applied to River and Canal Licences for electric boats.
As a family we did consider building a solar powered Narrowboat where weight is no problem , the problem we came across was the high price of solar PV panels at the time . Vetus already produced a suitable electric drive , but the overall economics didn't work out.

There is a place for Electrically propelled boats esp for short distance ferries, yard boats and on Lakes. My electric Outboard works very well with my sailing boat as propulsion onto the mooring/slipway.
 

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Surely the drag generated by the wind turbines would cancel out the energy they produced.
But then the boat would stop, and the wind turbines would still produce (some) energy, so it could be moving again, and so on.

Sounds like a sailing boat to me, but with very inefficient and expensive "sail".
 

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But then the boat would stop, and the wind turbines would still produce (some) energy, so it could be moving again, and so on.

Sounds like a sailing boat to me, but with very inefficient and expensive "sail".
Depends on the boat's course in relation to the wind direction. Ask any sailor.
 
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