If you think about it, sustainable boats are nothing new. From canoes that pioneers used to travel down streams in search of fish and safe places to camp to small sailboats that harness the power of the wind to get around, people have used eco-friendly boats for centuries. Of course, what these crafts share in common in their size—it’s a lot easier to paddle a small canoe than it would a larger vessel that holds multiple people. This is why most larger boats use some non-sustainable type of fuel source, like gasoline or diesel.
Thanks to the boating technology available today, sustainable forms of power are being used to power large sailing boats, houseboats and more.
A solar boat is an electrical boat that uses the sun to power the engines. Those who spend a lot of time out on the open water away from places where they can connect to electrical sources will typically find that a solar-powered boat is a terrific solution. In addition, harnessing solar power as a sustainable and eco-friendly way to power a boat means less reliance on batteries, which need to be replaced and often run out of juice. The technology for solar powered boats has improved dramatically in recent years, and using this form of energy has many benefits. These include a more quiet sailing experience that is free of pollution, no moving parts that need to be constantly maintained, no more hauling heavy containers of fuel to keep on hand, and a wide range of power choices for the solar units. For example, if you are a boating newbie a smaller system might be a good starter solar power supply. Over time, upgrade to a 75 W or higher solar power unit. Solar-powered boats do look different in some ways than traditional models—equipped with either rigid or flexible solar panels that are permanently affixed to the deck. People who use solar power on their boats need to be sure that they are purchasing panels and connectors made of stainless steel. This will help to prevent the salt water from rusting and damaging the unit.
Just as electric and hybrid cars and buses are becoming more prevalent on the road, electric boats are becoming more common, according to Boating Industry. Most people who purchase an electric boat are looking for an environmentally-friendly, zero-emission, and quiet way to enjoy time on the water. While some electric motors obtain some of their power from the sun, others are meant to plug in or propel with pedal-run paddles. In many cases, boats that run on electricity look about the same as those that use gasoline. In fact, boat owners can now add an electric power source to their existing craft. Elco is at the forefront of the sustainable electric industry. Elco offers a brushless AC motor that replaces the Earth-unfriendly diesel engine. Electric options are typically more cost effective and can take you further, for longer periods of time. Compared to a typical diesel engine that can travel 76 hours on 50 gallons, the E-Power Electric Hybrid engine can last 221 hours.