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Reducing pollution from boats by switching to electric motors (purewatercraft.com)
136 points by andyrebele 70 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments



What this article is really saying is "Two stroke engines are outrageously nasty". Which we knew. They really are dozens of times worse for immediate pollutants (soot/particulates, hydrocarbons, NOx) than a routine car engine and catalytic converter. And they're significantly less efficient, so even their CO2 output is quite a bit higher than a gas engine of the same power.

But they're a tiny market and no one has bothered to try to regulate it. This just isn't a big thing from a save-the-planet perspective. But it's a nifty product.


This is not 2-stroke. This is 4-stroke engines. There are no catalytic converters on marine outboard motors, so the 4-strokes are allowed to be > 100X as polluting as cars.


Out in open water it doesn’t matter as much as in front of your kids school.


Try swimming anywhere near a gas-powered boat and you'll instantly taste and smell how gross it is.


It's a 25-40HP outboard. I don't have numbers, but the bulk of completing conventional engines in that range are going to be two strokes. They aren't selling big motors yet.


Most 25-40 HP outboards sold today are 4-stroke. The only significant brand that's still 2-stroke in the US is Evinrude, and it has < 10% market share.


I think it is illegal to sell >= 25HP two stroke boat engines in Europe. When we last bought one they only had four strokes.


Is 2 stroke really that common for personal-use boats? I've only heard of them running on 93 gas, which is all I see sold at marinas, no oil to mix in.


With 2 stroke you need to mix the oil with the fuel before injecting it into the engine in order to lubricate all the moving parts. With 4 stroke the oil and gas are kept separate and you just feed the fuel in.

4 stroke is more commonly sold today but with boating, the lifespan of the equipment is so long that there are a non-trivial amount of 2 stroke engines still in use today.


True, and they're so bad that CARB published a report saying one long day in a 2-stroke jetski pollutes as much as 10 years in a typical car.


It depends. My family bought a boat, and it came with a 90HP outboard engine that was 4 stroke. For they same price, they offered a 2 stroke engine that was 120HP. Everyone agreed adding a single bottle of oil when you fill up the tank with gas was a simple enough thing to do to get the extra 30HP. My family also never filled up at the marina because of the extreme mark up. The boat was always on a trailer, so it just got filled up on the way at any normal gas station.


I’d damn near take that 90 over the 2 stroke. The father in law just got one on his McLay boat and it’s quiet with none of that 2 stroke smell. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been idling out at sea idling and asked each other “is that thing still running?”


Wow. That makes me consider upgrading. I feel guilty just staring at or hearing my (2 stroke) motor idling!


Many small boats have an oil injection system that injects 2 stroke oil from a tank into the fuel as it's consumed (so that you can fill the fuel tank with pure gas and the boat manages the injection/mixing).


I grew up in the 80s & 90s running a 150HP 2-stroke Mercury outboard. Fed it oil on each fill-up. Amazing sounding engine, but in hindsight, horribly polluting.


With that outboard at wide-open-throttle, you were emitting ~ 4 gallons of unburned gasoline per hour out the exhaust, not to mention the oil you cited.


I've seen tiny outriggers used for fishing,etc that are two-stroke. Maybe some jet skis too? I'm not sure.

Certainly anything substantial won't be two-stroke.


As I understand it, there are increasing restrictions and calls to ban 2-stroke marine engines for smaller lakes, because the exhaust contains a fair amount of oil mist that settles on the water.


If nothing else, the noise is a nuisance on small lakes. I grew up next to a small community-governed lake on which all gas was banned. People have been using electric on that lake for ages, which is particularly feasible since it's a small lake (300 acres or so iirc). Electric for small stuff makes a ton of sense and has for a long time.


My parents-in-law also live by a lake where all ICE's are banned. Mostly people row, and a few have electric outboards.

It's really wonderfully quiet, even though it's close to a city.


Besides the oil, the carbureted 2-strokes emit 25%+ of their fuel unburned.


A long time I read about some "next generation" 2-stroke thing, where they had fuel injected directly into the cylinders, after the piston had already blocked the exhaust port. The intake port was only used for air. A bit like those behemoth 2-stroke marine diesel engines.

Evidently it didn't really work out well enough, considering most outboards they sell these days are 4-stroke. I've always had a soft spot for 2-stroke engines, seems so wasteful to "waste" half of the strokes on a 4-stroke. Oh well.


Evinrude's E-Tec line is two-stroke and goes up to 150 horsepower in the G1 series, and to 300 horsepower in the recent G2. That's pretty substantial.

OTOH, they have done a lot of engineering to meet emissions requirements, so they are a far cry from grandpa's old outboard that left trails of blue smoke.


The E-Tecs have done exactly what you said - a lot of engineering to meet emissions requirements. Unfortunately, the requirements for outboards include CO, NOx, and HC, but not P2.5 or P10 (particulate) emissions, because they are much simpler and less scrutinized than the regulations on cars (which DO have particulate limits). The E-Tecs put out 30X as much particulate emissions as the 4-strokes.


My understanding is that things are a little more complex than they appear. Take a look at the Tohatsu offerings [1]

They offer both 4 stroke and "TLDI" versions of many of their outboards. The TLDI is a two stroke but with updated tech that meets pollution standards and the oil is not mixed with the gas before hand, the oil is mixed with the gas in real time from it's own separate tank with in the motor.

Tohatsu is pretty careful not to mention "two stroke" on their site because of its bad connotations from the past.

[1]https://www.tohatsu.com/outboards/all.html


There are 15.7 million recreational power boats in the US alone (1 for every 10 households), 70% of those in the installed base are powered by outboard motors. This is not the car market, but it is not tiny.


In terms of pollution you also have to consider that these boats are being used a lot less than cars. However, another thing to consider is that some of the diesel, petrol, and oil inevitably ends up in the water.

In terms of maintenance and cost, I think it is interesting that battery electric is becoming competitive here. It wouldn't surprise me if some countries start putting rules in place to ban dirty engines from some sensitive areas. Apparently the EU already has a lot of rules around boat engines already that are complicated and hard to enforce and not that effective yet. But like the car industry, boat engines are subject to emission standards, inspections, certifications, etc. and the rules are getting stricter.

I imagine that once battery electric becomes cheap/common enough, a lot of boat owners will choose to go electric rather than buying a cleaner engine just to ensure they stay on the safe/legal side with their boats and avoid fines. Also, doing the right thing when you are actively enjoying nature is probably going to motivate a few people.


While it's not a small market, it's in the Bay Area's blind spot. Fishing is the 2nd most popular outdoor activity in the US, behind running. In the US, there are 20 million people who fish for freshwater bass alone (1 in 16 Americans). Bass Pro Shops is the Missouri unicorn that grew from nothing to be big enough to buy Cabela's for $5 billion, based largely on their boat sales.


If you have numbers about how often these recreational boats are used I'd be interested


There are all sorts of surveys, but the best source I've found for real data on how much these boats are used is this official report on fuel usage (2013):

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/pubs/pl17012.pdf

Basically, it indicates that recreational boats use 1% of the fuel of all passenger cars.


Many types of pollution are also less impactful over the middle of the ocean. Acid rain and smog for example simply get diluted into nothingness under the ocean.


For my second link to a Fully Charged episode on YouTube today, they did a story about this company in Europe refitting older vehicles with electric gear

Their big plan is to have local river barge traffic be managed with electric tugs instead of diesel, but they’re having fun as they prove the technology. They have a Jaguar XJS converted to the same system as the tug to help debug it

https://youtu.be/7zz3H0pSQ4Q


That nasty CRT whine (15KHz) made me instantly guess Siemens old timely brushed system :( You have to be really old to not go insane from hearing it.


I've always loved being on the water, but had a kind of instinctual revulsion at the gas usage, the fumes, the oil that leaks into the water, and the sheer noise from the engine -- like boating is about being with nature, but the gasoline aspect just ruins it for me.

I tried sailing, but even then you need a backup motor and to get in/out of the oil-soaked harbor. (And sailing is a lot of work.)

The idea of electric boats makes me actually interested in the idea of boating for the first time again... does anyone know if they leak oil just as much though?


I had a small sail boat with an electric inboard engine. The electric motor, through pulleys and a belt, turned a shaft to turn a prop. All of the machinery from the shaft to the prop would be the same whatever was used to drive the shaft. It was a joy to use. Absolutely quiet, always worked, instant power whenever wanted or needed. Basically zero motor maintenance, no pollution or oil anywhere. The shaft is effectively watertight through seals called packing glands. You get a drip but it is manageable and needed for lubrication.


Why would they even have oil to leak? Oil is a lubricant for the extreme heat conditions of a combustion engine. This is just an electric motor. If you think about it, you don't put oil in a ceiling fan that runs 24/7.


I mean, the buyer doesn't, but the factory does. Ceiling fans function with ball bearings that are oiled, same as bicycles function with chains that are oiled. Obviously oil doesn't get into the air, but contact with water is a different matter.

I have zero knowledge about boat motors but had always assumed the oil leakage had something to do with lubricating movement of the propeller that also prevented sea water from getting in and corroding internal elements. Is this wrong? Do electric boat motors function completely without oil?


Yes, electric motors function without oil. They're mainly magnets and coils of wire and are mostly* friction-less. Boat engines are the same concept as your car. Air, fuel, spark, piston. In fact, the boat my family had when I was a kid had an inboard/outboard setup. The engine was a Chrysler V6. It was fascinating to me as a kid because when the cover was pulled off, the entire engine was exposed and very accessible compared to it being in a car. Instead of a transmission connected to a drive shaft, it was connected to some worm gears that turned the prop. The main difference is a car's leaking oil mainly falls onto the streets (and gets diluted before hitting the water sources) where the boat's goes directly into the water.


If electric motor is anything like PC fan, than it should have bearing? My fans have either double ball bearing or sleeve bearing and last I heard there are also some maglev type of fans but I don't know if they are really maglev or they also have some kind of bearing. Will check later.


Electric motors need bearings, but the bearings need a minuscule amount of oil compared to an internal combustion engine.

Boats have something called a "packing box" which is a seal around the propeller shaft so that water doesn't leak into the boat. Traditionally they use hemp fibers and tallow, nowadays PTFE or similar is a popular alternative.


I actually rode on a boat with one of their motors, and it was a very positive experience, having grown up with gas-powered boats. It felt much less invasive and more like I was enjoying nature and the water, rather than just enjoying the boat. Like being on a sailboat. And you look down and don’t see the rainbow swirls of gas/oil in the water. I don’t know how much oil they actually leak, probably very low/none.


Sailing isn't really that much work. With a little skill it's possible to sail in and out of most harbors without using a motor. My sailing instructor only allowed us to start the engine in emergencies.


Try kayaking. I've been doing it for 15 years, you get all the joy of being on the water, and can go more remote places than the bigger boats can.


Electric cars don't reduce emissions from tyre and brake wear. These particles make up a huge amount of air pollution at a size small enough to cause health issues. Once they settle, they are swept into waterways and form the majority of our microplastic problem.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135223101...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/22/tyres-an...


Regenerative braking certainly is reduced by EV's; a Tesla may never replace its brakes during its lifetime. Reading the paper, the dominant source of PM2.5/PM10 is resuspension of dust already on the road, rather than tires or brakes.


> a Tesla may never replace its brakes during its lifetime.

If you live in a northern area where they salt the roads you will need to reduce regen or perhaps occasionally do an emergency stop to grind the corrosion off the brake disks in the winter.

I had to have two brake disks replaced at the last service on my 2015 S 70D because they were too rusty.

But generally speaking you are correct.


What's the dominant source of dust on the road? Would expect a large amount of that to be tire/brake wear.


Brakes on Tesla are said to last twice as long or more. That would be a direct reduction in brake dust. Even with my Model 3 being floored from every stoplight since I’ve bought it, I’ve yet to hear the tires chirp. Suspect the tire wear is less than a comparable gas car due to the better traction control, and the harder tread in pursuit of lower rolling resistance.


All tyres are in a state of slip when you are accelerating or braking, it's unavoidable.


Isn’t the purpose of traction control to keep the tires in contact with the ground in a static coefficient of friction, and thus not slipping?


If there was zero slippage there would be zero acceleration.


My understanding is that tires, even when accelerating, can operate in the static coefficient of friction range. And, you want them to operate in the range, because it provides the greatest acceleration. But, maybe my mental model is wrong. The following video is from someone who has considered it much more in depth.

https://youtu.be/iyeLXkacocA


That is a "driver's view" of tire slip (for best results, don't spin or slide the tires too much) rather than a chassis or tire engineer's view of tire slip (if you don't slip the tires, you can't generate any force).


Not quite right? The tires have strain, but they do not have to slip on the surface.


That's not very intuitive. Can you provide a longer explanation for this?


Here's a pretty decent, graspable explanation: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/142463/does-a-ti...

Tires that are not slipping are not creating any force against the road surface (so they don't have to slip when coasting, but will slip while accelerating longitudinally [braking or accelerating fore/aft] or laterally [cornering]).


Would you say that a rubber belt on a pulley is slipping? I’m sure at a microscopic level there are some places where the belt isn’t making perfect contact and the rubber is slipping across the pulley, but at a macro level, the belt remains in contact with the pulley in the same place from when it initially contacts until it disconnects.


https://youtu.be/ZVW9uMeFXK8

Yet another video about static coefficient of friction on tires that aren’t slipping. Electric cars are more easily able to keep their tires in this maximum static coefficient of friction range, maximizing acceleration.


At a micro level, I would say that a rubber V-belt on a pulley which is transferring significant force is slipping as an unavoidable element of delivering that force.

What traction control/ABS does is keep the the tire slip ratio in the right range to optimize acceleration. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Typical-tire-longitudina...

What we intuit about whether or not we're slipping our tires every time we brake for and then drive away from a traffic light "without slipping them" is not actually correct at a micro level. With respect to this thread, it is the micro level that is relevant to tire wear and resulting particulate emissions from that slippage.


Well that and the regenerative braking.


What is the relevance to the article? I skim read it, was there a part to do with tyre wear I missed?


It's great that they're getting reductions of this magnitude for watercraft, this should absolutely continue.

But it is damning for electric cars. The tailpipe emissions (measured in this article) that are reduced by going electric are marginal in comparison, and the other emissions are still entirely present.


It doesn't seem damning, electric cars are a not a silver bullet. This seems like an additional problem to tackle concurrently.

If we came up with a new "Environmentally Friendly" tyre that solved that problem, than we would still have exhaust emissions to deal with. You don't need to fix both to attempt to improve one.


Relatedly, here's a 2012 video of Jamie Hyneman talking about creating an electric outboard for Mythbusters for quiet operation while filming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EV2qq2-Lck

Pure makes a lot of the same claims about noise and performance. They seem to have upped the appearance though.


Before we did this outboard, I watched the Jamie Hyneman video you referenced. Because he doesn't use active thermal management of the cells, I would expect the cycle life to be ~ 300 rather than the 1500 we expect with this one. Since battery depreciation totals about 4-5X as much as electricity usage over the life of the system, not doing thermal management multiplies the cost of an outing by about 5X. The Hyneman system would effectively pollute more than gas outboards, because of how quickly the batteries would be consumed.


My bicycle is infinite times better than an electric car but it doesn't really serve the same purpose does it?


They could. LA has been painting their streets white to combat the heat island effect, think how much more effective it would be to replace all their roads with canals!


They may not have to wait long, nor do any replacing. Just let the ocean levels continue to rise, and flood the LA basin. Venice's canals will be useless, but downtown LA will be just about right ;-)


I think LA is a fairly bad example - drought, desert earthquakes all conspire very much against that use case


Yeah, it was maybe not an entirely serious suggestion


A bicycle is not infinitely better. In fact, due to emissions from agriculture and livestock and inefficiency of conversion of food to mechanical work, if you have a heavily meat-based or fresh-fruit-Based diet (neither of which are common, I admit), the extra calories spent biking can actually have worse CO2 emissions than an electric car per mile.


This is hardly a full lifecycle assessment.

The assertion is true only for cyclists eating a mad diet and only if:

1. Motorists really do eat less food than cyclists, controlling for other factors.

2. You only count transit-energy emissions (not construction or recycling or road maintenance or healthcare etc).

To my knowledge, there is no evidence that active travel modes are associated with greater calorie consumption. There is plenty of evidence that all kinds of important externalities are worse for any kind of car-travel versus cycling.

You can perhaps make an argument based on average lifespan that motoring is better for the environment because it costs more life years per km, but advocating for shorter lives in the name of carbon emissions is not going to be popular (and if so, there are less polluting ways to do it).


Source for this?


Here is the assertion: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/are-meat-eating-cyc...

I believe most people don't need extra calories from carbon intensive sources.


Thanks. I think you missed some rather critical bits in your comment: that such an already extreme cyclist might produce more gases than the most efficient gasoline powered vehicles. It's quite misleading when you don't mention that, since then people think of the average car to compare against.


Yeah, the focus was on "might", not on typically (and an electric car, not a gas car). The comment I was replying to was that bicycles were infinitely better.

tl;dr: diet is also very important, and human labor is not necessarily a good substitute for machine labor.


...because marine fossil fuel engines are unbelievably filthy.


No marine boat has a muffler. Guess what they use instead?


The water. So they put the noise underwater, and it sounds quieter to the operator, so they think they're approaching the fish in a stealthier manner.


Just tried to find out some information on their Outboard motor. The video there has got to be up there with one of the worst marketing pieces I've seen in a long time. There's nothing that gives me any info on the product, what it is, why it's different, nothing. Looks like somebody had a fun day at the lake shooting, but had no idea what the footage was to be used for, and then some poor guy in the edit bay had to make something (maybe the same person?). It's right up there with the Fyre festival promos. They might as well have shots of a cheese sandwich rather than the guys in the row boats.


Ha! Thanks. The video (if you're referring to the one on the web site) is an attempt to give the viewer a modicum of the feeling you get with a ride in the boat. The FAQ on the web site, and the specifications listed there, address the questions you're posing.


Unfortunately, like many vehicles electric boats are limited to new... no one offers retrofit parts, and it will take decades before enough of these trickle down to new owners for them to take the place of existing boats, even assuming the drives last that long.

I'd convert my boat to electric in a heartbeat if I could retrofit the drive for a similar cost to a replacement engine/transmission... but that's still impossible, and probably will be for longer than I'll own it.

Most of the people on the road or on the water don't buy new for very good reasons. If we're going to limit climate change, there has to be more done for all those people than just telling them "buy new or go without". An effort needs to be made by the governments of the world to provide affordable conversion parts or replacement vehicles for those who will never buy new.


Torqueedo do offer a range of outboard and inboard motors that can be retrofitted into existing boats. https://www.torqeedo.com/us/en-us/products/inboards


Only for tiny boats, though, and they're quite expensive.

My boat needs two 150kW plus engines to move at speed. I might be able to get by at displacement speed with two 50kW engines, but something that like isn't available, and neither is the needed battery pack (Li-Ion, lead is too heavy to work).


If you can afford a boat with twin 200HP motors you can afford to retrofit it with electric.


Common misconception. I purchased my boat for $3000, and have spent around $12000 on it in four years making it safe and cleaning it up.

I don't have the money to pay for a $20,000 retrofit to electric power. I can't afford a Tesla, either.


That sounds like you got a pretty good deal.


They can also much more cheaply afford to not retrofit it, despite having some amount of inclination/willingness to do so.

(They literally can't afford to retrofit it right now as nothing is commercially available in that power output range.)


They seem to be selling an outboard engine and battery pack that goes on your outboard boat, so I'm confused by your comment.

https://www.purewatercraft.com/pure-outboard/


They're selling a 25-40 hp equivalent.

My boat needs something like two 75 HP motors to run safely at displacement speeds, and much more to get on plane.

In case you're curious, it's about 10M long. You have to have a larger boat to travel away from shore with any safety... small boats have to stick to the coast. My boat isn't actually very big, and doesn't have the range or stability to travel between continents away from shore, either.

Electric scooters and electric outboards have been around for a while, they're okay for what they do.

However, what I would need (and most of the people who own boats larger than 5M long) is the equivalent of a tesla battery pack and motors... which aren't available.


It's understandable that the first useful motors would be smaller than you seem to require. Big boats are fun and useful, but so are small boats. Someone will eventually make motors big enough for your needs. In the meantime, other boaters will enjoy the motors described in TFA.

If you want to "travel between continents", get a sailboat. No powerboat is practical for that. If you're just talking about a fishing trip, powerboats smaller than 10M can certainly get you out of sight of shore.


>If you want to "travel between continents", get a sailboat. No powerboat is practical for that

Not true. Lots of power cruisers are out there, and all commercial traffic (cargo, people shipping, etc) happens via motor vessels.


There are 3 answers to the "higher power" topic: 1) higher power motors are easy, bigger batteries are expensive and heavy. 2) frequency and regularity of usage are the best determinants of whether electric makes economic sense, not size/power, but the bigger power boats tend to go infrequently and highly variable distances. 3) longer-term the low utilization rate high capex problem is solved by shared usage models (as it has been in every other field).


This outboard motor is 100% compatible with existing hulls, and complies with ABYC standards. That's the beauty of the boat market - a built-in API for the interface between the powertrain and the hull. The rowing club in the article is using the same hulls they've had for years, and mounting the new Pure Outboards on them.


Doesn't meet "similar cost" criterion, but check out Torqeedo: https://www.torqeedo.com/us/en-us


It’s really cool to see advancements in electric boat power. The Hinckley Dasher has dual inboard Torqeedo drive units. If you’re looking to retrofit something smaller, there’s a blog out there by a guy putting an electric outboard on a smaller Whaler.


Maybe for commercial boats that are often in use.

I live where there are quite a few sport fishermen, many have bass boats. But even the hardcore enthusiasts might go out a day or two a week, for a total of maybe 10 hours. The vast majority probably put less than 100 hours a year on the boats.

So..... maybe big reduction in emissions, but only for a short while. The cars don't make the same reduction, but they're in use a lot more hours.


From the article: Imagine the more mainstream boats, like bass boats, that can use 20-30 gallons of gas in a day,

So taking your minimum... 100 hours a year, at 10 hours/day.. that's 10 days * 30 gallons = 300 gallons/year.

A car averaging 30mpg, would use 300 gallons to travel 9000 miles. The average car travels 13500m/year.. so that's equivalent to 2/3rds of a car co2.

It gets worse for your hardcore enthusiasts... day or two a week.. so 50-100 days or 1500 to 3000 gallons/year. That's equivalent to 45,000-90,000 mi/year.. or 3-6 cars worth of co2.

If you have better numbers, then please provide them.. but it doesn't look like it's a co2 savings just for "commercial boats that are often in use"


On top of that, the bass boats are only on ICE powered engine while getting to their spots. Once there, they switch to electric powered trolling motors.

It's all of the ski boats and jet skis that are the annoyingly loud and high emission crafts. One thing that surprised me growing up is that most water craft do not have mufflers. They just exhaust directly into the water which muffles. I used to think how the fish must love that.


Power-boating was going to be my new expensive hobby, but I couldn't get over the noise and horrible pollution, not to mention direct (usually inadvertent) leaks of fuel and oil into the lake. So after training and getting my license, it has been shelved until I learn to sail, but electric will do nicely when it is ready.


The gas is a little expensive but the motor noise seems fine to me and you can just not have leaks. Rinker 230 Festiva here for reference.



Its not just boats going electric with positive results. Electric chainsaws starting to appear on trial near me for emergency services dealing with fallen trees. Much less noise, no smell (two stroke) and recharges itself on the truck. Just need someone to invent a self cleaning and sharpening one :)


I've got an electric chainsaw (Kobalt 40v).

Pros : quiet, clean, light, ultra-reliable

Cons : weak. Not good for cutting up medium-to-large trees. Only good for softwood under 9", hardwood under 4"

I don't do much serious treefelling these days so I prefer it. And if I need a Husqvarna 350 or whatever I borrow it.


I had an 80v electric chainsaw and it was great for odd jobs. Unfortunately, it stopped working. I know the battery is good- I've got a leaf blower that used the same battery.

Therein lies the problem. If it were gas, I could take it down to the local small engine repair guy and get it fixed cheap. Who the hell knows what could be wrong with am electric one?

Ultimately, I gave up on it, since I moved to a house with an outdoor wood furnace and upgraded to a 64cc gas model. There's really no comparison between the two, though that makes sense since they're definitely made for different markets.


I use a handheld cordless circular saw--Makita 6 1/2" 18V brushless. These types of saws are in their 3rd or 4th generation. 6 1/2" isn't very big, but there are larger ones with 36V packs. I can't imagine the corded, handheld circular saw market lasting much longer. I know they're much more expensive (~3x excluding battery), but cordless is infinitely more convenient.

Cordless chainsaws have been out for awhile, too, though perhaps until recently they lacked the necessary power and duration for professional work.


I bought a new outboard for my fish-a-dinghy a few months ago, and I looked into getting an electric one. The prices are converging, but it seems like there are serious reliability issues with the (few) electric outboards currently on the market. I ended up getting a fuel-injected 4-stroke.


Most of the electric outboards have bad reputations for reliability, as you said. And the warranties are even shorter than those of gas outboards. But this one is the first to be designed from the ground up for electric, and while the warranty hasn't been announced, it will be far longer than those of gas outboards. The reason the other electric outboards break down so much is that there are weak links, borrowed from other products (like gas outboards).


I love renting a Duffy [1] and putting around Newport Bay. I wish there was something similar but a little more sea-worthy for the San Francisco Bay!

[1] https://duffyboats.com/


We took a coaching launch like the one in this article, fitted with the Pure Outboard, from Pier 52 in SF to Alameda Island and back. (Granted, it was not the wisest move.)


Nobody needs a recreational power boat in the first place.


Start making a list. There are quite a lot of things nobody needs. How much are you ready to sacrifice?




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