This is the season to be jolly, and I am! I have come to really enjoy doing this blog. But, the truth is it’s the information that comes from YOU that makes “Dealer Outlook” fun for me. In virtually every case, it’s your comments back that contribute the most knowledge and insight on any given topic.
A great example is last Thursday’s blog in which I wrote about battery technology. While I was imagining that electric boats might play a bigger future role here, we’ve learned from Hans Menzel in Germany that electric boats have apparently been developing more rapidly in Europe. The Swiss-built Boesch electric Tournament Ski Boat holds the Men Trick World Record, runs 49 km/h (30.4 mph) and can do it for about 3 hours! Hans also says he’s been aboard the Boesch 750, a 25-footer with twin electric drives and a top speed of 47km/h (29.1 mph). I had no idea!
Pat contributed that in the Pacific Northwest they race electric powered drag boats at very high speeds using an automotive starter motor. “These things are amazingly fast. Though they have no duration,” he said. (As I reported, battery development may change that duration thing soon.) But Pat also says his experience indicates, while battery technology is gaining, development of reliable, cost effective propulsion systems is a greater need.
Ted Fagerburg noted that in Europe, electric powered boats have been popular for at least a decade, but interest has increased significantly the past two years. Why? Because environmental pressure is moving against internal combustion engines in more and more inland waters, such as in Switzerland and Austria, and particularly in environmentally sensitive areas like Venice, Italy.
Take a minute and go back to last Thursday’s “Dealer Outlook” and read their full comments. There’s a lot of enlightenment on electrics in there. Not that I’m about to suggest every dealer find an electric boat line tomorrow. But, the technology is moving faster than I, for one, realized. And here’s a critical point: In Europe they’re apparently seeing that, if for no other reason, environmental issues are driving changes to electrics and the market is apparently responding.
Now, I live in Ohio where there are many electrics-only lakes and reservoirs. Until now, I’ve just assumed if you wanted to go boating there, you use a canoe or jon boat with an electric trolling motor. But, how about a Boesch Ski Boat or a 25’ electric twin screw?
There’s a bigger role for electrics in our future. I’m now even more convinced thanks to the input from our readers in Europe. And, here, some dealers are going to make some good money by recognizing they may be in an area where electrics can play a role. In this case, if the environmental emphasis is on “green,” my thoughts go to the color of cash! At least, that’s the way I see it.