Powering your boat 2022
Along with the birth of recreational boating came the desire for all the comforts. Gone are the days of paddling around. We want power. Navigational lights and other safety features need the energy to work. We need our GPS to know where we are going. The stereo system to entertain our guests and us. We need to charge our cell phones.
Traditional lead-acid batteries have been keeping us boating comfortably for decades. Yet there is a downside to the typical battery. Lead-acid batteries can leak and cause damage. This type of acid is highly corrosive and dangerous when not properly contained. These types of batteries are not sustainable or environmentally friendly. They contain lead and sulfuric acid and need to be disposed of properly. Leakage can contaminate soil and groundwater. Not the best thing for humans and the environment to be exposed to.
Technologies utilized in other industries, and even commercial boating, are not being successfully applied to recreational boating
Harnessing the power of the sun has been around for a long time. The technology cannot be used to replace traditional batteries but is an excellent supplement to battery power.
Solare panels placed on bows, sterns, or hard tops can charge small boat appliances, cell phones, etc. Using solar power can help reduce battery drainage and fuel costs. Electracraft boat manufacturer has a pontoon-like solar-powered boat with a 50mile radius. Its boxy look isn’t the sexiest of recreational boats, turning heads for possibly the wrong reason. This technology is more widely used on sailboats but gaining traction in the recreational powerboat industry.
Lithium batteries have been very popular. Hybrid cars to children’s toys use Lithium-Ion batteries. This type of battery is smaller in size and is ½ the weight of traditional batteries.
While more expensive upfront, they can last up to 5x longer. Lithium-Ion batteries last 3,000 to 5,0000 charging cycles which can equate to up to ten years longer. The size and strength mean fewer batteries on a boat. Freeing up space and weight on a boat is always a good thing! Lithium batteries are sealed, which means water or moisture will not damage or compromise the power.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen Fuel cells are gaining popularity for quite a few reasons. A major plus is the end-of-life solutions – these batteries are 100% recyclable. The European Union has supported its development due to the sustainability of the batteries. Hydrogen fuel cells maintain a steady high charge, with their system receiving a constant fuel source. They do not use combustion to make electricity and are emissions-free. Hydrogen Fuel Cell batteries are less expensive and seven times lighter than their lithium-ion counterpart. This battery system is successfully used on cruise ships and large commercial vessels and now has recreational boating applications.
Recreational boating continues to grow every year—the benefits of outdoor life, family, and self-care dominate. Yet as we explore and enjoy – we also turn inward and ask how we can better protect the waters and wildlife that bring us such joy.
These emerging technologies improve our recreational boat experience while lessening our footprint on this earth.
Carefree Boat Club as a shared economy business model is green. The CBC Network is part of emerging technology and up-to-date boating trends. This allows for the best member experience for you and your family.