Green Power Hybrid Houseboats - Gas, diesel, electric conversions?

by Joe
(Miami, Florida, USA)

Could houseboats benefit from Green Hybrid Power?

Could houseboats benefit from Green Hybrid Power?

Houseboats could benefit from Green Hybrid Power for propulsion. Are there any gas, diesel, or electric conversions out there?


Has someone converted an older motor boat to hybrid power using electric motors for propulsion and a gen set to recharge the batteries?

I am interested in finding out more about a hybrid conversion process for boats. I own a 29' Chris Craft houseboat with a very comfortable cabin that I use for cruising the Florida coastal waters.

It has twin 4 cylinders gas engines that consume about 4 to 6 gallon per hour at 3200 RPM (depends on conditions). I wonder if a gas, diesel, or electric hybrid conversion would be more efficient.

It would be fun and hopefully cheaper if I can convert to twin electric motors with a battery, genset, and wind powered generator. That is if the genset needed to recharge for long extended use can be small enough to use less gas than I am currently burning.

Anyone out there this crazy? Joe.




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Reply - Answer
Well Joe, I happen to think that you're not "crazy" since many of my boating buddy's and I have discussed this before.

The thought of driving a houseboat for great distances on very little fuel has always been a popular and diversified topic with us.

I remember once at a BBQ supper, asking my boating buddies what they thought would be the cheapest method to push a houseboat around?

One of my friends said that it had already been invented. Wow, we felt shocked that we didn't know what it was, and we all sat there eagerly waiting for his reply. He said yeah, there's SAILBOATS..., boy, did that start another discussion :)

Now getting back to hybrid powered houseboats, I remember reading an article recently about a 32ft flybridge Powerboat (don't remember the make) that was going to repower his twin engines, and he decided to do with the diesel/electric hybrid route.

I can't seem to find the article, but to summarize it, he had completed it all and the diesel electric conversion had gone well and he was pleased with the outcome.

It was however not cheap, but rather pricey for the conversion, something like $100,000 dollars for the total re-power, engines and conversion, but it was basically a success. New technologies are usually expensive to start.

Now, I am sure that this will become a large comment filled topic here, since with the high cost of fuel, and all the new hybrid technologies being used in automobiles, cars, and trucks, that soon there should be some trickle down to the recreational marine boating market. And houseboats fit into that market.

Now if you're trying to reduce your fuel costs and save some money, you should also have a look at our houseboat milage tips page to get some tips on how to consume less fuel and getter better mileage.

In closing, maybe in my lifetime, we will have technologies that allow us to push or plane a houseboat without burning some from of fossil fuel. Than again, we can now "clone sheep" so who knows what's around the corner.



Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their green power hybrid houseboat experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.


Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats


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Comments for Green Power Hybrid Houseboats - Gas, diesel, electric conversions?

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Toyota Engines?
by: Rudolpho

I'm brand spankin' new to boating. My houseboat has twin 350 gas engines. The engine compartments are huge. Why couldn't a hybrid system from a hybrid automobile be retro-fitted into an inboard/outboard propulsion system?

I would imagine some genius marine mechanic could do it with parts from junked Prius automobiles.

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Electric Solar Houseboats - Re-power with electricity
by: Woody

I re-powered my pontoon boat with a Ray electric outboard and MAN am I happy I did. It will run all day long on a single charge and later this year I am putting a hardtop on my boat so I can install an array of solar panels and stay out all weekend.

With the hardtop I plan to put drop curtains on it so we can be in comfort no matter what the weather. I am sure it will work with a houseboat as well. I went with the 48 volt system but it is available in 60 volts as well.

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