Use Case Series: Electric Boat Ride To A Kiteboarding Session

Use Case Series: Electric Boat Ride To A Kiteboarding Session

All of us who practice wind sports have a great appreciation for the bays, oceans, and lakes that provide the playground for us to do what we love. Phrases like "leave nothing but wake" have been thrown around for years, but actions speak louder than words. Companies in the industry, such as Duotone, are doing their best to minimize their environmental impact and offset their carbon footprint. But windsports often rely on support from motorboats that are powered by fossil fuels. Jetskis are often used to teach kitesurfing lessons, and sailors rely on motorboats for coach boats, patrol boats and committee boats to support their lessons and regattas. Even if we're riding a carbon neutral kite from Duotone, there's a good chance we drove a non-electric car to the beach or rode over to a sandbar on a boat with an internal combustion outboard.

Gasoline or diesel powered motor boats are not fuel efficient vessels. This article from Triumph Boats does a great job breaking down averages miles per gallon on different types of boats, and the news isn't great- most fishing boats get between one and four MPG. While four strokes are cleaner and more fuel efficient than the old two strokes, which deposit 20 to 30% of their fuel unburnt or partially burned into the air and water, they still burn gasoline, contribute to climate change, and pollute our local waters.

Fuel burn at full throttle. Information in this tables is from Triumph Boats.

Fortunately for us, the technology behind electric marine propulsion has made leaps and bounds in the past few years, and electric boats are finally gaining traction in the boating world. The new generation of electric outboards are not your grandfather's electric trolling motor. These electric boat motors are high performance, high tech motors that are designed to be a vessel's primary source of propulsion.

So what better way to start a kite session than to ride over to a sandbar on an electric boat?That's exactly what I did last fall with EMO Electric's electric Boston Whaler 130 Sport, powered with Pure Watercraft's 50hp electric outboard motor! Pure Watercraft is a Seattle based company that manufacturers electric outboards and electric boats. Check out our repowers page for more information on our electric Boston Whaler.

Our electric Boston Whaler, powered by Pure Watercraft's 50hp electric outboard.

It was a warm day in late October, so I put on my 3/2, loaded up the electric boat with my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade that I had recently bought from the team at Mackite, and pulled away from the dock. As you can see in the screenshot below from Pure Watercraft's app, I left the dock with 84% charge. It didn't take long to get there, with the electric boat cruising around 22mph for most of the trip.

A screenshot of Pure Watercraft's app.

I had decided to kite at Pike's Beach in Westhampton Dunes. In the early 1990s, a storm broke through the barrier beach (Dune Road) and formed the sandbar that you can see in the image below. The breach was closed many years ago, but the sandbar it created makes for a great flat water spot in a NE wind. With the electric boat anchored, I pumped up my kite, turned on my Woo and hit the water!

Screenshots from my Woo and a nearby SailFlow station.

The wind was super gusty and I ended up walking upwind to get to the West side of the sandbar. On that side, the wind was a lot cleaner and I got a few good boosts in! On the South shore of Long Island, North winds are always pretty gusty, and being so close to a lee shore certainly didn't help. The graph above is from a weather station on land on the North side of the bay, so in reality it wasn't quite as gusty as the graph shows.

A screenshot from our Woo.

With my kiting fix satisfied for the day, I landed my kite and decided to try to get a selfie with the electric boat and the kite. Somehow I managed the photo below on the first try! With my blog-ready selfie in hand, I deflated my kite and called it a day.

My Cabrinha Switchblade and our electric Boston Whaler!

Before leaving Pike's Beach, the electric boat's battery had 56% charge left. We have one 8.8kWh battery from Pure Watercraft, and we'd like to add a second so that our electric boat has a bit more range. By the time I got back to the dock, the electric boat had 16% charge remaining. I would have liked to have a bit more of a buffer, but had I started with a full charge (instead of 84%), the electric outboard's battery would have had 32% remaining. Plus, the battery lasts about 15 times longer at 4kts compared to 18kts up on the plane, so had I been running lower, I would have just gone more slowly for more of the trip home.

A screenshot of Pure Watercraft's app.

Pure Watercraft's app (screenshot above) is a great tool to see how your electric outboard is performing. Most internal combustion outboards require an expensive gauge to see metrics like fuel burn and miles per gallon, but with many electric outboards, similar information is available in an app or right on the throttle. A photo of Pure Watercraft's throttle is below.

Pure Watercraft's throttle.

Back at home and rinsing my kite gear, I had the realization that I was probably one of the only people on earth who had ever taken an electric boat to a kite session. But that certainly won't be the case for long, not if we can help it! EMO Electric is here to help drive the future of electric boat propulsion. Check out our services pages if you're interested in repowering or designing your own electric boat. And please send us an email to if you've taken an electric boat out for a kiting session or have any questions. See ya on the water!

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