By David Gee
The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create.” Leonard I. Sweet
What kind of future is the recreational boating industry working to create? What will power the boats of the future? And what will be at the heart of these next generation propulsion systems? High energy-density Lithium-ion batteries, or something we may not even know of today?
Electrification will certainly be among the topics discussed during the industry panel session at the Boating Industry ELEVATE Summit Conference in Orlando, Fla., November 14-16 at the Caribe Royale Resort & Conference Center.
Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin has been active on the innovation front, and he no doubt will have something substantive to say. Joining him on the November 15th panel will be Danny Goldberg, CEO and co-founder of Marine Connection, the 2021 Boating Industry Top 100 Dealer of the Year, and Dan Cowens, founder of Oasis Marinas. It will be interesting to get the perspectives of a boat manufacturing leader, as well as a dealer and prominent marina owner and operator.
And then the next day, November 16, we will dive even deeper into next generation propulsion systems with a dedicated breakout session featuring Sean Marrero, President, Watershed Innovation and Ingenity Electric, along with Jonathon Burns, General Manager, U.S. Marine Development and Planning at Yamaha Motor Corporation.
The pair were part of a panel at the NMMA’s American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C., moderated by Callie Hoyt, Director of Federal Government Relations.
During the discussion Yamaha’s Burns said that current electric technology works on certain activities such as trolling on fishing boats, but there will have to be improvements for other common use cases before electric is practical for the masses.
“So much of our business is offshore, and it just doesn’t make sense going offshore and having such limited range, at least for now,” Burn said.
Sean Marrero says those changes are indeed coming. He has 25 years of marine industry experience and has been a part of Correct Craft for the past decade-and-a-half. At the Miami International Boat Show, they debuted the Ingenity 23 Electric, combining the space of a pontoon boat with electric power, as well as showed off the all-electric Nautique GS22E towboat.
“There are a lot of changes coming to recreational boating and we want to use these changes to create better experiences,” said Marrero, who was my guest in Miami on this Boating Industry Insider podcast episode where we talked about battery technology and the electrification of boating. “There is a lot of investment and some very smart people working on battery technology and it is evolving and improving very rapidly.”
That technology might include Lithium-Sulphur batteries, or hydrogen fuel cells, or solar, wind and wave power.
In the words of Peter Drucker, “The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.”
Join us in Orlando and be part of the discussion about the future of the recreational boating industry, and all its challenges and opportunities.
David Gee is a communications consultant, keynote speaker and former editor-in-chief of Boating Industry.