Electric boats have come a long way in a short timeframe, and while most still have some drawbacks like limited range and speed, there are some impressive options being offered for the 2023 model year. Why are there so many more electric options today than there were just a few years ago? Manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and begun to offer fully integrated electric propulsion packages, as opposed to leaving it to the consumer to choose a boat, choose an electric motor, choose the batteries, and choose a charging system. Finally, you can get it all in final form — and people are responding by signing on the dotted line. Of course, different boats are more or less ideal for different folks, and this is just as true about electric boats as it is of those propelled by fossil fuels. So, how will you know which to pick? That’s your decision and yours alone. But we can help, by calling out these top 10 choices for new electric boats in 2023.
Alfastreet Marine 23 Open Electric
Alfastreet Marine makes a series of electric boats ranging from 21 to 28, and we find the 23 particularly interesting as it’s one of the few cuddy cabin boats offering electric power (and the only one making this roundup). It has a unique carbon fiber hardtop with sliding doors that let you close the boat up, an extendable sunpad aft, and a cabin with a mini-galley, V-berth, and head. Details are thin on the battery system but rather than utilizing an outboard or inboard, the Alfastreet has a 30-kW electric pod drive mounted aft of a notch in the hull bottom.
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Alva Yachts Ocean Eco 54
The largest boat in this roundup by a longshot, the Alva Yachts Ocean Eco 54 is powered by a pair of 100-kW or 250-kW inboard electric motors. It carries 100-kWh or 240-kWh of juice, so you can’t run at the 12-knot cruising speed for too long, but an array of solar panels and an onboard generator provide multiple ways to recharge the power-packs while you’re out on the water. This is a true yacht, which can be owner customized with perks like a 75,000 BTU air-conditioning system, a washer/dryer, retractable side thrusters, and a watermaker. Alva Yachts makes an entire line of electric yachts ranging from 50’ to 90’ in addition to the 54.
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Since pontoon boats generally don’t need a huge amount of range (limited range being one of the biggest drawbacks to many electric boats), are often powered by outboards, and have modular interiors, you’d think they’re a great candidate for electrification. And you’d be right. Crest is one of the latest pontoon boat manufacturers to take on the challenge, and their 2023 Crest Current is the result. This 20-footer incorporates an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 Evo electric outboard motor, a 51.2-volt, 8960 watt-hour LiFePO4 E175 battery, and an onboard charging system that can be plugged into any 110V outlet. The Navy 3.0 Evo provides about as much power as a six-horsepower gas motor so this boat won’t be a speed demon, but it also won’t burn any gas, won’t make any fumes, and won’t increase your carbon footprint.
See Crest Current electric pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Duffy Sun Cruiser 22
Duffy is one of the few boatbuilders around which has been building electric powered boats for decades. The Sun Cruiser 22 has a straight inboard drive powered by a 48-volt electric motor, fed by a bank of 16 six-volt batteries. Top speed is six mph, which the boat can maintain for about six and a half hours. Recharging is via a regular 110-V outlet. The 22 is essentially a cocktail cruiser style of boat, with seating around a centered dinette table, a helm, and an aft bench seat. With a 9’3” beam it’s roomier than most similar craft and can carry a hefty load of up to 12 passengers.
See Duffy Sun Cruiser 22 electric boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Four Winns H2e
The Four Winns H2e represents a rare foray into the electric boat building world by a major manufacturer of molded fiberglass runabouts so there’s a lot to talk about, and we examine the boat in detail in our full review, Four Winns H2e: Power Jolt. The critical elements include a power system designed by Vision Marine, which incorporates an electric outboard creating about 180 horsepower at wide-open throttle, coupled with a 700-volt, 35-kWh power bank produced by a French company called Neogy (which builds specialized purpose-built batteries). Along with a 220-volt shore power charging system that will allow for fast charge-ups at most marinas, the system is integrated with a dual touchscreen display at the helm for the user interface. The layout of the boat is that of a standard Four Winns H2 bowrider, with a few changes made to integrate the electric power system.
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Nova Luxe Eight 40
The Nova Luxe Eight 40 is this builder’s smallest power catamaran yacht (they go up to 70’) and features a vast six-kWh solar array that feeds twin 48-V electric inboards. Utilizing solar alone it’s theoretically possible to cruise at five knots (without accounting for atmospheric conditions and geography, which can affect solar power output), top-end hits 10 knots, and the LiFePO4 battery can provide up to 10 hours of operation without solar input. It has enclosed cabins in each hull as well as an enclosed head compartment and an open forward saloon, with a trampoline forward.
See Nova Luxe electric boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Old Town 106 Sportsman
Kayaks count as boats and electric-powered kayaks count as electric boats. Hence, the Old Town 106 Sportsman. This fishing-centric kayak has a 45-pound-thrust Minn Kota electric motor, a throttle with forward and reverse, and an integrated battery power meter. However, it doesn’t come with a battery so choosing one which provides maximum juice yet still fits into the kayak’s battery compartment is left up to the owner. Additional accessories include four 18” mounting tracks, three flush-mount fishing rod holders, and foot-brace steering. Twelve-foot versions are also available.
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Princecraft Brio E Pontoon Boats
Princecraft was an early adopter of electric power with their Brio series, which started with just one model but today includes three from 17’ to 21’. Topsides they’re exactly what you’d expect from a Princecraft pontoon boat, but there’s a Torqeedo electric outboard on the motor pod, lithium batteries in the boat, and a charging system under the aft sofa. It’s tough to say just how much speed and range you’ll get because the power systems are configurable, ranging from one to two 12- or 24-volt Torqeedo batteries and Cruise 6.0 to Cruise 12.0 motors. As a point of reference, the Cruise 6.0 equates to about a 9.9 horsepower gasoline outboard and the 12.0 puts out around 25 hp.
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With a catamaran hull design and an open cockpit under a hard top built of one big solar array including four 285-watt panels, the Solliner 21 is designed to run on solar power alone. Of course, the sun doesn’t always shine so the boat also carries two to four 210 AGM batteries which provide about 10 hours of run-time (Solliner doesn’t specify at what speed). The motor puts out three kW, and an onboard charger is also integrated into the system.
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X Shore Eelex 8000
The center console X Shore Eelex 8000 offers gas-like performance, with a 170-kW electric inboard that drives the boat to a top-end of over 30 knots and provides a 20-knot cruising speed for up to around two hours. At a six-knot cruise, the boat has 100 nautical miles of range. Dual lithium-ion batteries pack 126 kWh. Predictive software includes route planning and range so the boat will tell you just how far and just how fast you can go, and if battery levels drop below 10-percent it automatically enters a get-home mode of sorts to extend the range. The Eelex 8000 has a European look and style, with a plumb bow, broken sheerline, and aft-angled transom. See our full review of the boat, X Shore Eelex 8000: The Latest in Electric Boats.
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