Vlog 244: Electric Dreams

At the end of May 2021, I attended a narrowboat trials day arranged by boat builder Ortomarine. Starting on the River Severn and going up the Droitwich canals, eight boats using a variety of power plants would have their fuel, efficiency and any solar input measured and compared. This video summarises what happened and the results.

Ortomarine: www.ortomarine.co.uk

More details about two of the serial hybrid boats can be found here:-
Perseverance: www.perseverancenb.com
Old Nick: thesumpnersafloat.com

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  1. Now if the Canal trust can only install charge points…..

  2. A fantastic little docu vid about the pluses and minuses..
    I m not sure about electric or hybrids myself..
    May seemingly be ‘greener/more environmentally friendly’ etc on the face of it
    I think if you offset the viability factor etc against diesel
    and the environmental destruction and pollution of battery manufacture, production, disposal.. in its entirety, i genuinely believe internal combustion is still greener.. . . Even if one chooses to not filter ones exhaust…
    (Which by the way is extremely easy to do)
    So im not sold on electric…, yet.. but a very interesting comparison/preview of what may be to come David..
    Thankyou for your efforts and time put in to yet another high quality production…
    Kindest regards

  3. Fascinating stuff – no doubt there’s little (or no) end to the possibilities.

  4. Excellent vlog once again David. The new concept may have us waiting longer for each new instalment, but it is certainly worth the wait.

  5. An interesting report. However, it was vastly incomplete for any accurate forecast/dissemination of the real costs.
    My main concern is that no costings for the time schedules and charging device, ie solar panels; shore power; petrol diesel generators; etc, charges for the batteries. As an indication, the cost of replacing batteries in a small all electric sedans is approximately the same cost as purchasing the new sedan, and about every five years. Together with this, there is the cost of disposing of the used batteries, if indeed they can be legally disposed of.
    Replacement batteries are sold at their real price, not the highly subsidised price the car/other manufacturer pays. Similar price structuring will apply to narrow boats.
    So far, at least here in Australia, all electric vehicles cost considerably more to operate than petrol/diesel vehicles. This price differential will remain for many more decades.
    However, 10/10 for making such a vlog. I look forward to seeing more such vlogs, but perhaps with more objectivity.

    • The video was never intended to cover “forecast/dissemination” of the costs. It was a report on the trials day as it occurred.

  6. Michael Higgins

    David, your documentary skills are truly unparalleled, the BBC has got nothing on you! I very much enjoyed this video and appreciate all the time and effort which went into it. I have on two occasions experienced operating an electric boat. In Southern California, a company named Duffy, has been manufacturing small electric boats which are primarily used to navigate around Newport Harbor in Newport Beach. One can enjoy sailing past the homes of former movie Stars such as John Wayne and Shirley Temple. The Duffy Boats are so smooth and quiet, one can play a game of cards, enjoy a picnic lunch and converse quite easily.

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