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Nominations Open for Second Electric Boat Awards

27th May 2021
The first year’s electric boat awards featured 50 boats from 19 countries
The first year’s electric boat awards featured 50 boats from 19 countries

Nominations are now being accepted for The Gustave Trouvé Awards for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating, the international electric boat awards started last year by electric boat website Plugboats.com

Nominations are being accepted in four categories:

  • Electric Boats Under 8 metres/26 feet
  • Electric Boats Over 8m/26 ft
  • Electric Boats Designed for Paying Passengers
  • Customized / DIY Electric Boats

Members of the public as well as manufacturers and others in the marine industry are welcome to nominate any electric boat and can find the qualifying criteria and nomination form here 

The awards were created to recognise the inventors, designers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are making advances every day to develop clean, quiet, zero emission technologies and designs to reduce reliance on fossil fuel for marine propulsion.

They are named to honour Gustave Trouvé, a prolific French inventor with over 75 patents to his name who was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1882. Among his innovations was the world’s first outboard boat motor, which he devised so that he could detach the motor from his prototype electric boat ‘Le Teléphone’ and take it home to work on in his Paris apartment.

While M. Trouvé’s invention predates the 1887 patent of the internal combustion engine, and electric boats have been available since the first years of the 20th century, it is not until recently that they have begun to enter the mainstream. Analysis from Research and Markets in February of 2020* estimates that the global market was worth US$ 4.49 Bn in 2018, and is expected to grow to US$ 12.32 Bn by 2027.

‘The Gussies’, as the awards are known in the electric boat world, are the only international boating awards that focus exclusively on electric boats and boating. The 2020 awards had 50 boats nominated from 19 countries with the winning boats hailing from France, Singapore and India.

Winners are selected through a combination of online public voting and weighted voting by a panel of industry experts from: the Electric Boat Associations of the UK, USA, Greece, Canada and Switzerland; the Alternate Fuels Committee of Inland Waterways International; and the Venice 2028 organization and e-Regatta. Online voting is hosted on the plugboats.com site.

“The first year of The Gussies saw over 10,000 votes from electric boat enthusiasts all over the world” said Jeff Butler, Editor/Publisher of Plugboats and Founder of the awards “and with interest in electric propulsion growing literally by the day, I expect many many more this year.”

The opening of nominations, May 26, is the 140th anniversary of Gustave Trouvé’s first trip down the Seine River in his electric boat in 1881. Nominations for The Gussies close on June 15 and voting will begin the next day – June 16 – to select which 6 boats in each of the 4 categories will move on to the finals. Finals voting will begin July 6 to decide the winners, announced on the 118th anniversary of Trouve’s death in 1902: July 27.

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About Electric outboard engines

The direct-drive component in electric outboard engines means that the electric motors are incredibly efficient compared to conventional marine combustion motors, operating with considerably higher torque whilst using less power.

Without any need for gears, cooling systems and moving parts the motors are maintenance free, highly efficient and economic to run.

As a result, electric boat engines are becoming more popular on Irish waters as the world transitions from fossil fuels to green energy.

To date, popular electric engine sizes have been trolling engines typically used by fishermen on lakes.

These marine engines are available in models that can be used in fresh water and sea water, for your boat or kayak.

Electric motors are Ideal for fishermen because they are quiet and create little in the way of disturbance 

Popular electric trolling models range from 30lb thrust to 55lb thrust in a range of shaft lengths.

But use is becoming broader now in 2021 and electric outboard engines are being used on small runabouts and RIBS where electric outboard engine sizes are getting bigger.

Outboard electric engines are economical and environmentally friendly. Battery technology is also improving at a rapid rate meaning they are becoming smaller and lighter and run for longer.

Built in hydro-generation provides alternative recharging options whilst under sail are also options meaning the electric outboard now has a home on the stern on small yachts and dayboats too.

As far back as 2014, Torqeedo owner Jack O'Keefe from Cork Harbour told Afloat readers of his sailing adventures in a Drascombe Coaster dinghy and how after swapping from a petrol version the rewards from his new electric outboard engine are less noise, no smells, more stowage, better sailing performance and a motor that can be started by a small child. But it's still not silent, there's a whine he says here 

Popular brands in Ireland are Torqeedo, ePropulsion, Pulsar and Minn Kota but there are more arriving all the time as the technology advances

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