There’s no doubt that many of the boats of the future will be propelled by electric power, but just which are currently the best electric boat brands? That’s tough to sort out, especially since so many of the companies building them are so new. But over the past few years, we’ve been able to check out a number of electric craft ranging from deck boats to offshore fishing boats, and there have certainly been some serious standouts. If you’re on the hunt for one of the best electric boats around, be sure to check out these options.
Best Electric Pontoon Boats
There are a million and one pontoon boats on the market, and you could always get a pontoon boat without power and put an electric outboard on the back. That said, some brands go the extra mile and have created purpose-built electric pontoon boats.
The Crest Current is an all-electric 20’ pontoon boat with forward couches and an L-shaped lounge aft. Its motor is an ePropulsion Navy 3.0 or Navy 6.0 Evo outboard (approximately 6 and 9.9 hp) and comes with a 48-volt E175 lithium-ion battery with 8960 watt-hours of electric power. Highlights include SoftTouch upholstery, a wireless phone charger at the helm, and a full suite of options ranging from customizable panel colors to premium audio systems. Crest boats for sale
Crest Current. Crest photo.
Pure Watercraft’s 25’9” Pure Pontoon surely qualifies as one of the best electric pontoon boats around if speed is one of your considerations. This is no slowpoke, powered by your choice of single or twin Pure Outboards, which produce up to about 50 horsepower, and a twin motor model can hit speeds up to 25 mph. It comes with a 65 kWh GM automotive battery pack, which gets you a range of around 30 miles at top-end or 185 miles if you pace yourself at 5 mph. Go for the upgraded Level II integrated charger, and recharge time from half to full is just four hours. Note that unlike most electric pontoons this is a boat and system designed for electric propulsion from the ground-up, as opposed to an outboard-powered model that’s been adapted to electric power. So, we’d expect Pure to be on the cutting edge of electric boat offerings as new models get introduced. Pure Watercraft official website
Pure Watercraft Pure Pontoon. Pure Watercraft photo.
Vision Marine builds 20’ and 23’ tri-toon pontoon boat models, the WX 20 and WX 23, which have couches fore and aft and are powered by ePropulsion 3.0 outboards. The smaller version is rigged with a single, the larger model gets twins, and they get their juice from one to three 3-kWh lithium-ion batteries. In both cases top speed is around 5 mph and depending on how many batteries you choose, you’ll get between 3 and 10 hours of running time. Although these boats are adapted to another manufacturer’s motor line, they are entirely electric and are not available with gas-powered engines. Vision Marine official website
Vision Marine WX 20. Vision Marine Technologies photo.
Best Small Electric Boats
Many of the best electric boats to hit the market have been on the small side, since they’re easily adaptable to small electric outboards. In recent years, however, some purpose-built boats have been introduced that rate being included in this roundup.
There are three models in the ElectraCraft TR range, from 15’0” to 18’0”. All are mini trimaran-hull cruisers of sorts that will prove perfect for exploring many of the waters that allow electric boats only. They have full tops (either canvas or fiberglass hard tops) that can be fitted with solar panels to increase range and center-facing seating from bow to stern. Power comes via an inboard electric motor hitched to a V-drive, providing a top-end of 6 mph and a cruising speed of 4 mph with 3.5 hours of running time at full speed. ElectraCraft also offers 15’ and 18’ lapstrake V-hull boats with a more traditional look. ElectraCraft boats for sale
ElectraCraft 152 TR. ElectraCraft photo.
The Gosun Elcat is certainly among the most unique craft to rate consideration as one of the best small electric boats around. It’s an inflatable solar-powered catamaran of sorts, which is powered by an ePropel Spirit 1.0 Plus (about 3 hp) and gets a recharge to the 1,276 watt-hour lithium ion battery via a pair of 100 watt solar panels. At 14’9” long and 8’2” wide, it has plenty of space and can carry up to six passengers, and is stout enough that people can lay atop the roof. Gosun Elcat official website
Gosun Elcat. Gosun photo.
The Encore E by Nauticraft is a simple 14’2” long, 4’11” wide boat that’s sold in both pedal and electric versions. Propulsion comes via a 55-pound-thrust Minn Kota electric motor wired to whatever 12-volt battery you supply. Despite being decidedly low-tech, this little boat is so cute we couldn’t resist including it in this roundup. Nauticraft official website
Nauticraft Encore E. Nauticraft photo.
Best Electric Offshore Fishing Boats
It should be said right from the start that few electric boats have the range to be considered true offshore fishing boats. And on top of that, few feature the designs that are ideal for bluewater angling. Still, for anglers in areas where the run to the offshore grounds is exceptionally short, such as south Florida, we found one example of a modern electric boat that can get the job done.
The Eelex 8000 is X Shore’s take on a center console boat, and several of its 10 modular layout styles are appropriate for angling. This Scandinavian creation has a 170-kW direct-drive inboard and a 126 kWh battery capacity, giving it a range of around 40 miles when cruising at 20 mph and just over 100 miles when operated at pre-planing speeds. Top end can hit 30 mph. In the fishing arrangement, perks include a cockpit rigging station, a livewell, tackle stowage, and five fishing rod holders. It wouldn’t be tough to add a pair of outriggers and turn the Eelex 8000 into an offshore fishing machine. X Shore boats for sale
X Shore Eelex 8000. X Shore photo.
Best Electric Lake Fishing Boats
This builder’s electric pontoon boat lineup is called the Brio, and it includes three models from 17’7” to 21’7”. All are offered with a range of Torqeedo power systems including the Cruise 3.0 RL (6 hp), the Cruise 6.0 RL (9.9 hp), and Cruise 12.0 RL (25 hp). They can be rigged with 24-volt, 35 watt-hour or 48-volt, 5,000 watt-hour Torqeedo lithium-ion batteries; obviously with the wide variety of options, range and speed will vary accordingly. In any case, the Brio models are well-outfitted, with perks like multiple couches, cupholders, stereo systems, and more. What lands the Brio in the category of best electric lake fishing boats is the optional conversion kit that turns it into a fishing machine, adding a livewell and three rod holders. Princecraft. boats for sale
Princecraft Brio 19e. Princecraft photo.
A newcomer starting production in 2022, Veer boats offer a single 13’ rotomolded polyethylene model called the V13. Designed specifically for fishing, it has a forward casting deck, Marine Matt surfaces, and the ability to add accessories like rodholders and electronics mounts via a SportTrak track system. The boat is available with a gasoline outboard, but was specifically designed to match up with Mercury’s new line of Avator electric outboards. And, while it won’t plane with the stock 7.5e (approximately 3 horsepower), Mercury recently announced that the 20e (approximately 6 horsepower) and 35e (9.9 horsepower) will soon be available. Veer official website
Veer V13. Veer photo.
Best Electric Deck Boats
Electric deck boats are few and far between. Still, the design works out perfectly for many boaters and as time goes on, we’d expect to see more and more hitting the market.
Ingenity makes several models designed and built solely around integrated electric propulsion systems, the Luxury among them. This 25’6” boat rides on a unique fiberglass hull that is a sort of a meld between pontoon and trihull in design and is powered by an inboard/sterndrive electric system fed by a 63 kWh integrated-battery system. Cruising speed is 20 mph and top end is 25mph, and the boat is rigged with telematics so you have a full suite of remote monitoring functions from afar via an app. Designed from the ground-up for electric power and integrated connectivity, this is one of the most technologically advanced electric boats around, and we’d keep an eye out for future developments from this company. Ingenity official website
Ingenity Luxury. Ingenity photo.
Best Electric Bass Boats
We need to start off by noting that none of the electric boats currently available today have the speed and range to compete with what’s traditionally thought of as a tournament-level bass boat — the tech available at this point simply doesn’t allow for dozens and dozens of miles of range at speeds of 70-plus mph. That said, there are some interesting electric options out there now and more on the way that freshwater anglers, and bass anglers in particular, will find very interesting.
Freedom Electric Marine
The Twin Troller, built by Freedom Electric Marine, offers the X10 and X10 Delux. These compact 10’0” by 4’0” boats have 45-pound-thrust electric inboard motors integrated into the rotomolded polyethylene catamaran-style hulls, and they’re protected by grates. That means you can drive the boat through stump-filled shallows or along rocky shorelines without worrying about running aground or causing any damage. Hull draft is just eight inches, and the boat can carry up to three people or 4800 pounds. Speeds vary by load (but are pre-planing) and since the battery isn’t supplied range will be dictated by your battery choice. Freedom Electric Marine official website
Freedom Electric Marine Twin Troller X10. Freedom Electric Marine photo.
While it doesn’t yet exist except on paper, Lurion gets a mention here for the iOn21. According to the manufacturer, it will carry an electric inboard coupled to a surface-piercing drive with 100 kW batteries, and the equivalent to 250-hp. Allegedly the rig will be capable of speeds up to 100 mph and up to two hours of running full-tilt. We’ll have to stay tuned to see if this boat becomes a reality, but if it does, the iON21 could well rule the lake. Lurion official website
Lurion iON21. Lurion Boats photo.
What if you really want an electric tug boat, an electric cabin cruiser, or an electric flybridge boat? Right now, the choices are slim to none. But give it time—considering how few companies could claim to be in the running for building the best electric boats five years ago and how many there are today, it’s a sure bet that we’ll see electric boats of all genres plying our waterways sooner rather than later.
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