Shellfish farmers often spend lots of time in small boats with loud, gas-powered motors. For some, going electric can provide a cleaner, quieter alternative.
Nick Planson is COO of the Boat Yard, a boat dealer in Yarmouth, Maine, that offers electric outboard motors.
“There’s no pollution, whether it’s exhaust into the air or into the water, or leaking oil,” he says. “Additionally, when you’re operating it, it’s virtually silent. All you hear is the water moving in your wake.”
Planson says electric motors are also more reliable and easier to maintain.
The technology is still in its early stages. The batteries cannot yet provide enough power to go long distances at full speed. But for some shellfish farmers, the pros outweigh the cons — especially if their farm isn’t too far from shore, Planson says.
“So you motor out there at a reasonable pace, and then it will last all day while you’re going really slowly tending your oyster gear, and then you have enough battery left to get back to your farm.”
And the technology is developing quickly. So Planson expects that within five to 10 years, many more people who make a living on the water will be able to switch to a cleaner, quieter ride.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media