Last weekend at the lake I watched $200 go down the proverbial drain as our motor boat was refueled. The whole time I kept thinking, why aren’t there more fuel-efficient boats, hybrid boats, or boats at least partially powered by renewable energy? Eco-dude (me) likes to ponder such matters when he is baffled by inefficiency.
A quick scan on the net shows there are very few “green” options out there. The investment in eco-friendly technologies for watercraft does not seem to have the momentum that it does for land based motor vehicles. The sad thing is, boats would be a great place to explore solar options, considering the majority of them are located or used during sunny weather conditions. Pontoon boats on lakes and waterways seem especially favorable for utilizing solar panels on the roof. Here’s an advertisement for one made in Canada.
Given the fact that the fuel was $4.99 per gallon last weekend, I am very surprised there are not hybrid boats on the market right now. Even if they were 10 percent more fuel-efficient, that would make a big difference.
To me, it would seem like partially solar-powered boats would be terrific in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates, as well as in more temperate climates during the summer season. Granted, replacing a boat does not occur as often as replacing the car, but still it would be nice to see some on the waterways.
Motorboats, recreational vehicles, lawn mowers, tractors, personal watercraft, and other vehicles are all ripe for becoming more eco-friendly. Personally, I would be willing to bet that an early motorboat pioneer like Christopher Columbus Smith (Chris*Craft) would jump at the chance. Eco-dude predicts the firm or firms that take advantage of this prime opportunity will leave the laggards in their wake.
Wind power, dude, wind power. And don’t forget the oars.
Yes, I agree wind power is great, but not sure how it would do pulling skiers.