Chairman's Newsletter - February 2017

The Electric Boat Association (EBA) was founded in the UK in 1982 to promote the development of Electric Boating and to serve the needs of all who had an interest in electric boating, whether boat owners or business members. The EBA has successfully promoted electric boating throughout the UK and is the voice for electric boat owner's interests at discussions with the inland waterway authorities and government departments involved with legislation for inland waterways issues such as waterway access, charging points, slipway facilities, reduced licence fees and the Boat Safety Scheme.

The EBA is an unincorporated association governed by its committee elected at AGMs by the whole membership and it follows its written Constitution. Members of the committee have served for a few years or for many years over its 35-year history but in the past few years, finding volunteers to serve on the committee or hold office has become much more difficult than in the past. This is a common problem with many voluntary organisations today and is generally regarded as a consequence of modern day life where pressure of work and the country’s financial state create other priorities.

It has been known for some time that Barbara Penniall, our Secretary for 21 years, would be retiring this year. Over the years, she had taken on much wider duties than just as secretary, such as PR, giving expert advice and dealing with day to day finance of the association. In many ways, she has become the well-known face of the EBA through her manning of the stand at shows, email and telephone contacts.  We have been fortunate in having received offers from a number of members to take on aspects of her work from the AGM on 24th June next.

Having been Vice Chairman, I took on the task of Chairman when Tony Rymell stood down in 2015 and I too propose to stand down this year having been elected to another charity post. It was expected that my vice chairman would replace me but due to family and professional pressures he is now unable to do so. We need a new chairman asap! You do not need to be on the committee to do this job; knowledge of being the figure head in a voluntary position, chairing a meeting and being keen on electric boating is sufficient.

The final challenges will be the requirement for a new treasurer and a new editor. Don Wright has done a superb job in both these roles for some years and he feels that he does not want to continue in these roles without the assistance he has had and needs.

So, there you have it – all (almost) change at the EBA. In an ideal world, this situation should have been a smooth and planned matter, but without the individual members of the Association putting themselves forward on a regular basis enabling it to happen, fewer people find themselves taking on more roles and when they have to leave, the organisation is left in difficulties. That is what has happened here. So, please help now. Feel free to ring Barbara or me for a chat if you think you may be able to help.

Jeff Hide   Chairman EBA

New electric drive system for Stratford trip boat

Avon Boating have upgraded the control system on their Stratford-on-Avon based Edwardian launch
'Spray' to the Marlin 8 Marine Drive system provided by Lynch Motor Company to replace the original
elecric drive system with mechanical switch gear which has been in the boat for the last 20 years. 


Another boat in the Avon Boating fleet is being fitted out this winter
with a complete electric drive system using the Marlin 5 Drive system.


Electric water bus for the Kennett & Avon

The new Polish made electric water bus ‘Sir John Knill’ is set to operate on the Kennett & Avon canal
between Bathampton and Bath and will be operated by Jenkyn Knill who also operates the 1890
Gentleman's launch Lady Lena.  The new pontoon boat will have console stearing and a door
and a ramp on the port side for wheelchair access,   Power is via a Torqueedo 4kw outboard

Solar Boat crowdfunding appeal

The University of Exeter College of Engineering have launched the Solar Boat crowdfunding appeal to support student projects to build an electric boat. The College are looking to raise up to £2000 with a minimum of £1000, to enter the World Cup for solar powered boats. Please support this campaign by helping to put the word out. The crowd funding website is here:

Also follow on social media:   @uoesolarboat

Dutch Electric Hydrofoil

New Dutch boating company Edorado Marine has unveiled its first product,
an electric speedboat that floats above the water: details

Part time job opportunity coming up

I shall be retiring from the Electric Boat Association in 2017, having completed 21 years as Secretary and we need someone to take over from me.

It is a very flexible job and working from home, it can be organised to suit your other commitments.  With only events such as Shows and Cruises having fixed dates in the calendar, it fits in very well with any other commitments on your time you might have.

The position attracts an adequate honorarium and reimbursement of reasonable expenses. You will be working with a very supportive team of volunteers and I would hope to have several months to gradually hand over – and of course will always be available should any queries arise.

You do not need to have an electric boat yourself, but you will meet some super members with lovely boats, so there is plenty of opportunity to experience electric boating for real!

I am more than happy to chat to anyone interested in the vacancy, either by email or on the phone, but briefly, someone who is computer literate and happy to keep the records in order would be the main requirement.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for further details.

Barbara Penniall
Phone: 01491 681449


Electric Boats - the Potential near You

Alongside the electric car, electric and hybrid electric boats are making a steady  and silent progress around the world. The German electric marine engine manufacturer Torqeedo has recently announced a total sales of 140,000 units, while the Californian boatbuilder Duffy has now sold over 40,000 electric boats worldwide. With inboards and outboards, nearly one quarter of a million electric boats are in private and public use.  Regular electric ferryboat services are in operation in seven French cities, 35 tourist boats in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin, Venice, Sydney, Hong Kong, Kerala (India), Valdivia (Chile) and Chobe (Botswana) and even the Galapagos Islands. By 2020 only electric boats will be permitted on the Amsterdam canals and the Swiss lakes. Since the 1980's, the Electric Boat Association has been one of the main pioneers of electric boating - and to continue that impetus, there is still much to be done around the lakes, canals and rivers of the British Isles. We should like to invite you as a EBA member to help in this, by please forwarding this message to those who organise the transport and the environment in your locality, providing them with the website address of the EBA.

From our Chairman Jeff Hide with thanks for the international statistics to Kevin Desmond at home in France

Follow the EBA on Twitter

To follow either the Editor or Secretary of the EBA on Twitter, please find: @editoreboat or @ElectricBoatsUK

EBA Shop

The EBA Shop is now accepting on-line payments for goods & membership subscriptions

Accepted payments icon

The Great Ouse Challenge

100.7 miles on one charge

The flotilla arriving at St Ives

Over the 2015 August Bank holiday weekend, Les Fidler of Westview Marina Earith achieved his personal challenge of cruising from Bedford to Denver Sluice (then the return trip to Earith), a distance of over 100 miles on one charge. Annie, Les and Elaine Fidler’s 27ft cruiser has solar panels fitted to the roof to assist charging but the weather for most of the weekend included torrential rain and very little sun to be seen.

Prof Stephen Gull’s boat Siren cruised the the length of the River Great Ouse under electric power accompanied over shorter stages by Nick and Yvonne Goldring’s Silent Adventure, and Cllr Ian Jackson’s Ripple. Les Fidler’s feat drew large crowds when passing through St Ives and a joyous, if noisy, welcome from the Town Crier.

Well done Les for demonstrating how far you can travel in an electric boat on one charge – and well done to Graham Fidler, who supported his father by kayaking the whole distance to keep him company – in spite of getting absolutely soaked on the Monday!

Annie, Les and Elaine Fidler’s 27ft cruiser

Oyez!, Oyez!, Oyez!

Les Fidler, St Ives mayor councillor Ian Jackson & town crier
Photo: Tom Rawlinson, St Ives Town Council.


At Denver Sluice - mission accomplished!
Photo: Jeff Hide

Gustave Trouvé (1839-1902)

French electrical genius & father of the electric boat

New book published by Founder Editor of Electric Boat News – Kevin Desmond.

Published by McFarland and Co. Inc.

UK's No 1 Romantic Experience

Mills and Boon vote the Lady Lena (the oldest electric boat still operating as a trip boat) Number One Romantic Experience in the U.K. more details

Solar Assisted Electric Boat

New business member Electric Marina based in Florida, shows the efficiency of a solar assisted electric boat Details

Secret Discount from Canal and River Trust

Canal and River Trust offer a 25% licence discount for electric boats but that is not made clear when you apply on line. We have queried this with CRT and they assure us the discount will be applied ‘by the office’ so we suggest you telephone CRT’s Licensing Office on 03030 4040401 when applying for a licence for an electrically propelled craft

Regeneration Under Sail

New video from hybrid electric marine propulsion specialist Hybrid-Marine

Click on this link to watch the video: regeneration under sail

Award for Hybrid Boats

The Electric Boat Association has been awarded the prestigious Mansura medal for its contribution towards the  promotion of hybrid power.


The Mansura Trophy

Turanor PlanetSolar futuristic "super yacht"

When PlanetSolar's lithium-ion batteries are full, the vessel can navigate for 72 hours in complete darkness!

The Swiss catamaran Turanor PlanetSolar is the first vessel to travel round the world using only the power of the sun. Leaving Monaco in September 2010 the boat followed a course close to the equator, with stopovers including Miami, Cancun, the Galapagos, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Bombay and Abu Dhabi – 28 countries in total. It arrived back in Monaco on 4th May 2012 after a journey of 58,308 kilometres (36,231 miles) and now holds five Guinness World Records: for the longest journey by a boat using solar power only, the first world circumnavigation by solar powered boat, the fastest crossing of the South China Sea by solar power, the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by solar power and for being the largest solar powered boat in the world.

The catamaran, built in Kiel in Germany, is 35 metres long with a beam of 15 metres and a displacement of 85 tonnes. Its upper surface is covered in 537 square metres of photovoltaic panels. Maximum engine power is 120 kW and average engine consumption is 20 kW (26.8 horsepower). Its design and construction includes many technological advances, especially in composite manufacturing and storage of solar energy. more details