The world of boating is changing and for many, electric motors are the future. But not for everyone, so here’s what you need to know when shopping for a new boat (electric vs. gas).
Pros of Electric Boats
You Can Fish Like a Ninja
Electric motors are known to be so much quieter than gas. This allows you to navigate through the waters without disturbing wildlife. This means you can get around without scaring any fish away, leaving you with more (and better) opportunities to get that catch that impresses your friends. For certain types of fish, slow and steady wins the race and it can only be achieved with an electric boat.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
Of course, electric boat motors are much better for the environment when compared to gas propulsion. This is just one reason why many local community lakes mandate electric boats for their homeowners’ associations.
They’re Great For Community Lakes
Between electric propulsion engines being so much cleaner and quieter than gas, lake homeowners associations make them a must. So if you want a lakefront home, there’s a really good chance that you’ll have to go with electric, so you can be courteous to your neighbors and local waters.
They’re Becoming Much More Affordable
Because the prices of lithium-ion batteries are falling, electric propulsion engines are becoming a more viable option for more and more people. For this reason, people are seeing more and more electric cars on the road as well. Just about every car brand has at least one electric model, with other companies like Tesla relying exclusively on electric engines.
Maintenance is Easier
There are no pistons in an electric engine, so there’s no need to change the oil or check the gas. As a result, there is also no need to winterize an electric engine for our friends on the east coast, so the whole beginning/end of boating season process is seamless compared to that of a gas boat owner. This is especially useful for that “in-between” time of year, which is when every time you go out, you never really know if it is your last time of the year. Of course, once you winterize your motor, that’s it for the year. Not having to winterize can certainly help you get out on the water for that “nice freak weekend in November”.
Cons of Electric Boats
They’re Not As Powerful
Naturally, gas boat engines are stronger than electric, so users can go much faster and farther without the need to recharge or fuel up. Of course, gas engines are better suited for larger bodies of water and choppier waters (like the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans).
Replacement Parts May Be Harder To Find
Electric boat motors are a little more unique in their design. While this typically leads to more innovative results, it can also be more problematic if things go wrong. Like anything else, the more common the motor/design is, the more available the parts will be (like engine parts for American/Japanese cars). Expect the parts to become more accessible in the future, but for the time being hope your motor stays intact.
Diagnosing Problems Aren’t Always As Easy
And boat mechanics aren’t as widely available as there would be for gas engines. For the same reason that parts are harder to find, there will be fewer mechanics that have the know-how to fix them.
It’s not necessarily which is better, but more of what is best for your specific needs. So in this case, it really boils down to having the right tool for the job. If you’re sailing across oceans off a coast, you’ll be better off with gas. Lakes? You’ll definitely want to consider electric for the cost and performance benefits.