Electric boating certainly isn’t new, but for a long time it has been outside the constraints of most recreational boaters’ wallets. Get ready though, as a new wave of innovation is seeing several new low-cost electric boats starting to enter the US market. Here’s a collection of some of the most interesting and affordable electric boats for rest of us.
Keep in mind that lower-cost electric boats usually mean lower power and shorter range.
You’re not going to get high power and elegantly designed electric boats such as those from companies like Candela and X Shore for just a couple month’s salary. Those luxury electric boats can reach well into the six figures, and their high-end design helps explain the high sticker price.
But for the rest of us, these more everyday electric boats can help scratch the itch for an affordable, quiet, and relaxing lake cruiser.
Veer is a recently launched low-cost boat company, with the Veer V13 serving as its debut model.
Veer’s parent company is Brunswick, which also owns Mercury Marine, a popular outboard engine maker. So it should come as no surprise that Veer’s boats are powered by Mercury drivetrains. While the base model has a combustion outboard, the electric version uses the newly-released Avator 7.5e electric outboard.
The 13-foot (4-meter) two-seater boat is manufactured from rotomolded polyethylene. That’s the same way kayaks are made, and is a cost-effective method to produce large and hollow plastic parts such as boat hulls. If you’ve ever wondered why a canoe costs three to four times the price of a kayak on average, there you go.
That rotomolding production helps the Veer V13 achieve a much lower sticker price than fiberglass or aluminum electric boats.
The base model comes with an entry-level price of US $11,995, including a trailer, though the electric version adds a US $2,100 premium to the total.
Since the Veer V13 is being marketed to new and first-time boat owners, it comes in a bundle with a galvanized trailer, making it easy to start boating right away.
TwinTroller eVenture bundle
TwinTroller is another manufacturer that offers small format boats, though this time with an interesting hull design. A pair of sponsons feature recessed electric motors that give the boat more maneuverability, as well as foot controls to allow the operator to keep his or her hands free. That’s perfect for a small fishing boat.
The hollow cavity under the sponsons floods with water surrounding the two electric motors, creating a form of suction that makes the boat even more stable. Two men can stand on the same gunnel together without the boat tipping over.
The base model of the TwinTroller X10 is priced at US $4,795, while a deluxe version costs US $5,495.
The TwinTroller eVenture bundle adds a more powerful rear electric motor for extra speed or longer run time. That bundle includes the company’s US $4,795 X10 boat as well as a US$2,599 ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus electric outboard motor outfitted with an extra short shaft to fit the X10.
It also includes the Spirit Battery Plus to power the outboard and a US $1,399 trailer, bringing the total price to US $8,293 (including a US $500 discount for buying it all together as a bundle).
The Go-Float Vortex is a bit more of a recreational, afternoon-on-the-lake kind of boat. Think more along the lines of something you’d rent for a couple hours on vacation, not something you’d take out fishing with your buddies.
But at US $6,995, that low-tech design helps keep it mighty affordable.
The Vortex is powered by a single 12V DC electric motor and enjoys a top speed of 4 mph (6.4 km/h or 3.5 knots). Accessories include deck color choices, rod holders (I guess you can go fishing in it!), a water proof stereo, bimini top, and more.
It might not be the fastest electric boat in the pond, but it sure does look relaxing.
Like the Go-Float Vortex above, the GoBoat is on the minimal end of what could be considered an electric boat. But since it pushes even further out into the no-man’s land of electric boat minimalism, it also pushes the price further down too.
At just under $1,000 for the recently released GoBoat 2.0 (or closer to $700 for the kid’s size version), this is one of the cheapest electric boats on the market.
The inflatable e-boat is light enough to carry by hand when deflated, yet still packs a (small) punch with its 35 lb thrust 12V trolling motor designed by GoBoat. The company claims that it is the “lightest and most compact 35 lb thrust motor on the market.”
The motor comes with five speeds in the forward direction and two reverse speeds, though the top speed of 5 mph (8 km/h or 4.3 knots) isn’t going to win any water races.
The Quietude 156 goes a different direction than the more affordable electric boats on this list, but that also makes it a bit more expensive too, at US $35,495.
The four-passenger fiberglass boat is 15.5 feet long (4.7 meters) and comes in a variety of color options for the hull. The boat features a 5 hp outboard motor that can hit a top speed of 6 mph (10 km/h or 5 knots), but cruises at 5 mph (8 km/h or 4.3 knots) for 20 miles (32 km or 17.2 nm).
Owners can customize the color of the deck, interior, and canopy materials to match their preferences.
Budsin 15′ Lightning Bug
According to the manufacturer, “the 15 foot Lightning Bug has been considered the jewel of electric boats ever since we started making them in 1987.”
The cockpit, which seats four adults, includes a single lever for controlling both the speed and the direction of the boat, making operation extremely easy.
At around US $27,000, the 15′ Lightning Bug features wooden decking and interiors. The hull is constructed using three layers of molded cedar and mahogany bonded with epoxy, and includes a mahogany transom.
It’s certainly an elegant looking boat, but it costs a bit more than some of the budget-level offerings on this list.
BOTE + Bixpy
If you don’t mind getting just slightly DIY, BOTE and Bixpy have teamed up to offer an interesting solution to combine their products into an electric boat.
BOTE is well known for its inflatable watercraft, from dock platforms to skiffs, kayaks, and SUPs. Bixpy, on the other hand, creates electric motors and waterproof batteries for electric kayaks, surfboards and other light watercraft. You can probably see where this is going.
The two partnered to create a kit that uses Bixpy’s gear to turn BOTE’s inflatable kayaks into electric boats. The kit makes use of the port on BOTE’s boats that is designed for a pedal drive. But instead of dropping a pedal-powered system into that scupper hole, Bixpy’s adapter drops in to support an electric motor.
The entire setup costs just north of $4,000 and creates an electric boat that can fit into a backpack.
The Electracraft 15LS is a six-seater fiberglass boat with a molded interior, making it the highest capacity electric boat on this list so far. Though at US $42,000, it’s also the most expensive. If you want to take five friends out with you, though, this is the electric boat to do it in.
The boat comes with upholstered interior, fiberglass dining table with cupholders, and a center helm.
It runs on a 48V system using a set of four 12V marine batteries. The boat also includes an automatic bilge pump, though many of the other nicer accessories are more expensive add-ons.
AQUOS Backpack Series
If you really want to keep things affordable, the cheapest option on this list so far is the AQUOS 7.5-ft Backpack Series inflatable electric boat.
The inflatable pontoons help this boat go from in a bag to on the water in just a few minutes.
There’s only seating for one, but you probably weren’t expecting too much out of this vessel.
It may be spartan, but it does include a fairly nice looking swivel seat and a small 20 lb thrust trolling motor! Not bad for just $795!