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Oct 6, 2023  •  10 min

Small Boat with Electric Motor: What’s Your Best Option in 2023

With more and more companies coming out selling small boats with electric motors, what are your thoughts?

Going electric may sound bold with speedboats, but small boats with electric motors have already become an affordable (even cost-effective) solution in a lot of applications due to their low operation and maintenance costs.

In this post, we will discuss the benefits of electric boats with electric motors, and explore the easiest solutions and most affordable options to make your own electric small boats and enjoy the benefits immediately.

Table of content:

Small Boat with Electric Motor

Why Electric Small Boats?

So why small boats with electric motors?

Here are some top reasons why you might consider switching to electric propulsion.

#1. Better Experience

A small boat with an electric motor promises the best boating experience ever. It’s quiet, clean, and exhaust-free. If you are switching from gas to electric power, you will notice the difference immediately and will never want to go back.

When fishing on a small boat with an electric motor, it’s virtually silent and you will never worry about spooking the fish. Here is a video that compares the boating experience on a small boat with an electric motor vs its combustion counterpart, so you can have a better idea of what you can expect from the electric small boat:

Besides that, there is no messy fuel or oil leaks on your small boat with an electric motor, and therefore no greasy stains on your hands, car trunk, or boat. It’s totally exhaust-free, keeping you and your family safer and healthier.

#2. Easier Operation & Maintenance

A small boat with an electric motor is friendly to boat novices with very shallow learning curves.

It’s easy to install and transport. For example, the small electric boat motor ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus features a lightweight integrated battery, so you can just clip the battery into place without complex wiring and installation.

A small boat with an electric motor comes with an electric start and digital control, providing you with real-time operational data. With only one press on the button, you are ready to go. No more tiring pull cord starts.

Besides that, electric motors require significantly lower maintenance (maintenance-free on direct drive models) and energy costs than combustion engines, saving you a lot of time and money over time. That’s why small boats with electric motors are more cost-effective in the long run.

Small boats with electric motors are also proven to be more durable and robust than those with combustion engines since there are much fewer moving parts and less vibration in electric motors.

#3. Kinder to the Earth

It’s easy to understand that using electric motors on small boats is more environmentally friendly since there is no fuel cost and harmful exhaust.

Some advanced small boats with electric motors (such as ePropulsion motors) come with innovative designs that allow the electric motor to be recharged with hydrogeneration, wind turbine, and solar panel.

#4. Ideal for Small Boats

Although electric power is still hard to beat the energy density of gas/diesel in situations that require motoring long distances (especially at speed), it’s a great option for small boats.

Small boats with electric power are now commonplace in many situations.

For example, small powerboats operating on smaller lakes can benefit greatly from the electric motor (as discussed above), especially for lower-speed boats, like pontoons, dinghies, tenders, recreational boats, etc.

Also, sailors would love electric power. A sailboat operates its axillary engine minimally and benefits a lot from a larger battery (to run the fridge, instruments, etc. longer between charges). For sailors with lots of solar power or who tend to hop between marinas, electric power will work great and should lower maintenance costs.

Some small boats with electric motors, such as ePropulsion Navy Series outboards, allow you to generate power while sailing, making it a more feasible and appealing option for long distances.

Editor’s Note: For the discussion concerning small boats with electric motors, we don’t include electric trolling motors here since they are only intended for slow trolling and can hardly be used as the primary power source for even small boats. Click to learn the difference between electric small boat motors vs. trolling motors.

Small Boat with Electric Motor: 2 Solutions

So what kind of boats have electric motors?

In fact, all boats can be turned into electric boats, especially smaller boats. There are two feasible solutions if you want to build a small boat with an electric motor.

Solution #1. Small Boat and Electric Motor Bundle

If you are a boat novice and don’t know where to begin, a small boat with an electric motor bundle will save you a lot of trouble.

Some boat manufacturers have partnered with outboard manufacturers to provide customers with a one-stop solution that helps you enjoy a comfortable day on the water with the least effort.

That’s to say, you don’t need to worry about shaft length selection, power limit, weight problems, etc. Everything is tailor-made and tested to bring out the best performance on water.

If you buy a small boat with an electric motor together as a bundle, you can usually get a discount.

Currently, there are several small boat and electric motor bundle options readily available on the market. You can easily find one for fishing, cruising, or recreational purposes.

For example, the TwinTroller eVenture bundle includes a small format boat with an electric motor (with battery) and a multi-sport trailer, providing you with enhanced fishability and mobility on the water.

Small Boat and Electric Motor Bundle

Solution #2. Small Electric Outboard Motors

If you already own a boat and want to switch to electric propulsion, putting a small electric outboard motor on your boat would be a more suitable and straightforward solution.

This solution allows you to power any boat with electric motors, whether it’s a pontoon boat, fishing boat, inflatable boat, or lake boat. For example, ePropulsion outboard motors have been used in different small vessels to provide clean and sustainable power for various boating needs:

Small Boat with ePropulsion Electric Motors

The only thing you need to do is to determine the power rating and shaft length. If you are not sure about the power needed, be sure to contact a local dealer to communicate your specific needs and requirements.

Or you can check the test reports as an easy reference to understand how the electric boat drive systems perform on a variety of boats:

Small Boat with Electric Motor Report

Click to see the full test report of the 12” small boat with 3 HP electric motor.

Best Small Boats with Electric Motors

When it comes to buying a small boat with electric motors, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Some might be looking for an electric propulsion solution for specific boat types, such as small pontoon (fishing/inflatable/lake) boat with an electric motor, while others may just want some affordable electric boat solutions for 2 people.

Our recommendations here only cover the most popular small boat with electric motor options for your quick reference. If you have other specific needs for your setup, feel free to leave us a comment below and I will try to get back to you ASAP.

#1. Small Boat and Electric Motor Bundle

If you are a fishing enthusiast, you will love the eVenture Bundle.

It includes Freedom Electric’s Twin Troller X10 or Deluxe fishing boats, ePropulsion’s Spirit 1.0 Plus electric motor, a multi-sport trailer, and a FREE custom-fit canvas boat cover.

If you buy this small boat and electric motor bundle, you will save $500 immediately.

ePropulsion and Freedom Electric Boats Bundle

The small boat and electric motor are made for each other. The Twin Troller X10 fishing boat is designed for the ultimate fishing experience with hands-free control and an in-hull propulsion system with recessed motors. The 3 HP small electric motor Spirit 1.0 Plus provides great portability as well as long-range between charges.

Featuring a 1276Wh large integrated battery, this small boat and electric motor bundle allows you to go 22 miles at an economical throttle.

“No matter what kind of fishing you’re doing, the Twin Troller combined with the Spirit 1.0 Plus will give you the outboard experience you want and the performance you need.”

#2. Small Electric Outboard Motors

If you just want a small electric outboard motor for your existing boat, you may check out the ePropulsion outboard motor range first. It’s durable and affordable, covering your diverse needs from 3 HP to 9.9 HP:

  • Its best-selling 3 HP Spirit 1.0 Plus is a portable 3HP electric motor made for dinghies, fishing boats, sailboats, and tenders.
  • As the backbone of ePropulsion electric outboard motors, the 6 HP/9.9 HP Navy Series outboard motors provide efficient and clean power for aluminum fishing boats, dinghies, daysailers, and cruising sailboats.
ePropulsion Small Outboard Motor Range

All ePropulsion small electric outboards are designed for both freshwater and saltwater, so you don’t need to worry about corrosion problems even if you are using them in the sea or brackish waters.

Besides that, you can easily control your small boat with ePropulsion electric motors remotely (even for the 3 HP outboard solutions). If you prefer wheel steering, make sure to check whether the small boat with an electric outboard is compatible with remote control.

If you have other customized needs for your boat, you are very welcome to discuss your requirements with our specialist to come up with a tailor-made electric propulsion solution for your small boat.

Electric Small Boat FAQs

Here we’ve also collected some frequently asked questions concerning the small boat with electric motors. You may browse and check the answers quickly in case you share similar confusion.

#1. Can you power a boat with an electric motor?

The answer is absolutely YES. In fact, more and more people are now driving small boats with electric motors. There are even electric-only lakes where you can only power your boat with an electric motor.

#2. What’s the smallest electric boat motor?

Currently, the most popular small electric boat motors are 3 HP models and you can hardly find an electric boat motor smaller than 1 HP. Small boats with electric trolling motors are not on the list here, since they are usually not intended as the primary power source.

#3. Do you need to register a boat with an electric motor?

Generally speaking, if your electric motor is 10 HP or above, you must register it regardless of the motor type. However, mind that the requirements can vary across different regions and states. For example, all boats with electric motors must be registered in California.

#4. What is a small boat with a motor called?

A small boat with a motor can be called a motorboat or powerboat.

#5. Do electric boat motors exist?

Yes. Electric boat motors have already become a popular choice, especially for smaller boats including dinghies, fishing boats, sailboats, and tenders. The global electric boat market value has achieved US$ 5.6 billion in 202 and is expected to grow to US$ 15.1 billion by 2033.

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