Although alternative energy sources such as electric, solar, propane and natural gas continue to inch their way into the marine market, the advances in diesel and gasoline engines in the past five years already have boosted the environmentally friendly factor on the water.
With advances such as diesel-electric inboards and electric and propane-powered outboards, the industry continues to improve the way it powers boats.
Lehr LLC introduced its highest-horsepower propane-powered outboard ever — the Lehr 25, which joins a fleet that consists of 2.5-, 5-, 9.9- and 15-hp models.
Tender 4, the first electrically powered workboat in the New York State Canal System, was selected as one of the Significant Boats of 2014 by WorkBoat Magazine for advances in technology and design.
Electric hybrid technology has become commonplace in the auto industry — each of the major manufacturers builds one. Toyota, with its popular Prius leading the way, now offers 15 hybrid models and sells about 6 million hybrids a year. Look around; hybrids are in every parking lot.
The Monaco Yacht Show is known for luxury yachts set amid immaculate scenery, but a different breed of boat was introduced this year.
In August, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut will launch the Spirit of the Sound, a $2.7 million boat that will be the only research vessel in the country operating on hybrid electric propulsion.
During the last 18 months, I have written several stories about the diesel/electric hybrid boats from Greenline Hybrid Yachts, a company based in Slovenia that has a growing presence in the States.
Greenline Hybrid Yachts will unveil its new flagship 48 Hybrid to the world at the Düsseldorf Boat Show Jan. 18.
Minneapolis-based Electric Yacht is expanding with a new office in Annapolis, Md.
The International Council of Marine Industry Associations’ second International Hybrid Marine Propulsion Conference will be held Nov. 12 immediately before the Marine Equipment Trade Show at the Amsterdam RAI. Organizers say the conference is a must for anyone considering investing in hybrids, including boatbuilders, equipment suppliers, systems integrators, equipment, engine and propeller makers, designers and…more