As executives continue flocking to coastal hubs like the Hamptons or Miami and Palm Beach, the international boating circuit is surging. Boat slips in prime marinas are hard to come by, and most manufacturers have more than a 12-month waiting period for deliveries, with bidding wars breaking out over iconic models. Not all boats are created equal, and socially conscious business titans would be best served leading by example and avoiding the reliance on fossil fuels.

Environmentally friendly luxury boating has arrived, and with the introduction of new technology, you get all of the power with none of the carbon footprint. Who doesn’t want to look great jetting across waterways, lakes and oceans in these sleek models to reduce emissions to zero? To navigate this new landscape, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to entering, and leading, the luxury electric boating market.


Understanding the Impact of Combustion

To fully grasp the movement of eco-conscious boaters migrating from combustion engine boats to electric, you only need one statistic. In the early 2000s, eight million ICE speedboats produced 15 times more pollutants than the oil spill caused by Exxon Valdez in North America alone. With the pandemic boating boom, it’s only gotten worse.

Following in the Footsteps of Giants

You can always count on one company to lead the charge in entering a new era. For electric cars that was Tesla. They created a product that was sleek, powerful and provided momentum for the entire industry to move away from fossil fuels. The key is, they proved it was possible. The boating industry equivalent is Vision Marine Technologies, the first company to utilize lithium in boat motors, creating a truly luxury and powerful boating experience. Prior to this new technology, electric boat motors were slow and without enough HP to give customers the experience they crave.

It May Be Your Only Option

As the spotlight shines on the pollution caused by combustion boats in high-traffic canals and city waterways, governments are proactively banning combustion engine boats in order to turn the tide. Venice, Italy, Amsterdam and Canada are leading the way for the removal of fossil fuels from their networks of waterways by implementing orders for electric boats or offering grants to companies that are creating clean technology for the boating industry. The government of Québec through Investissement Québec (IQ) just granted up to $1.72 million to Vision Marine Technologies to fast-track commercialization of the E-Motion™ 180.

Vision Marine Technologies' E-Motion™ 180. Photo courtesy of Vision Marine Technologies
Vision Marine Technologies’ E-Motion™ 180. Photo courtesy of Vision Marine Technologies

Understated Is Underrated

With a roaring stock market, it’s tempting to gravitate towards the yachts covering the pages of Robb Report. But ask yourself: What are the optics this sends? We prefer design and functionality over status symbols. It’s more interesting to own a sleek and immaculately built water vehicle rather than something rapidly depreciating in value that elicits eyebrow raises.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Lithium

Lithium batteries have gained traction this past year, largely in part to Tesla’s meteoric rise. They do not produce waste like their acid battery counterparts and can power luxury boats. Although they still require a mining process for special metals, they are fully renewable and changes are being made every day to their production process. As the cost basis for lithium batteries lowers, those savings are being passed on to the consumer, leveling the playing field and allowing more people the option to purchase an electric outboard.

Wood Paneling Is Out

Although exotic wood paneling looks great on boats, it’s hardly ecological—especially given the California wildfires and destruction brought to the Amazon rainforest. When possible, opt for fiberglass: It’s durable and gives off a robust sheen.

Consider Joining a Boating Club

One of the best things about boating is the community. Humans by nature are social creatures, and there’s nothing better than bonding with new friends on the water during a sunset. Joining a boat or yacht club will allow members to network and learn more about the intricacies of the boat market, as well as provide early access to new models for test drives.

Alex Mongeon is the CEO of Vision Marine Technologies, an electric boat company traded on the NASDAQ exchange.