I converted my 2016 Bayliner 175 to All Electric

I converted my 2016 Bayliner 175 to All Electric

I bought the boat brand new, pulled a zero hours, brand new 3.0 Mercruiser and put it on a pallet. Here are two links to video.

You can find videos on youtube. Search for Electric Bayliner 175.

I hope you like it. If your interested in additional information, I will be more than happy to share.

Ross1 | 30 luglio 2016

Thanks, I passed it on.

No links there but?

smasterson2 | 30 luglio 2016

Thanks Ross. I tried to put links in, but it said I was spamming and wouldn't let me. Maybe you know what I'm doing wrong. Thanks again.

Coastal Cruiser. | 30 luglio 2016

It's pretty easy to find because the video matches up to your forum name. But here are the exact video IDs for the two videos I found under your name on youtube.



That's a nice project!

How many people have looked in the engine compartment and thought those leads were spark plug wires? ;>

Do you have a little gas trolling motor as double-secret emergency backup... just in case. I'm scared to be on the water unless the boat has two motors.


smasterson2 | 30 luglio 2016

Thank you! Your right about the leads looking like spark plug wires, but no one has made that comment yet. I do not have a trolling motor backup, but I do have a BoatUS membership. They typically come to your rescue within 10 minutes, 24/7. Cost $60.00 per year and is the best $60.00 I ever spent. Also, I only go a few miles out, here and there, so I'm always close. I think if I put a gas trolling motor on it, I will never hear the end of it. Thanks again.

grega | 30 luglio 2016

Looks great, well done. So how many kWh of batteries did you put in?

I hope this kind of thing becomes much more common soon.

bb0tin | 31 luglio 2016

Awesome job.
Thanks for posting it.

Earl and Nagin ... | 31 luglio 2016

Nice clean job.
Do you or anyone else have any aspirations of 'productizing' this or is this just going to be a one-off personal conversion project?

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016


Thank you! 32kWh battery pack. I hope it becomes more common too. More and more lakes are becoming "no gas" lakes. I think it's reasonable to say that there is a need for this alternative.

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016


Thank you very much. It was my pleasure.

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016

Earl and Nagin,

Thank you! I would like to partner with a manufacturer to provide this as an option. So for, I have found it difficult to get the ear of the right guy to move forward. At this time, the market is probably a bit limited due to range and charging times. (25 miles and 12 hours.) One would also need to pay almost double for this option. For me, it was a simple matter of growing tired of Busting Out Another Thousand. (See what I did there? B.O.A.T.) Old joke. I'm a bit older and am more than happy to keep it in a enclosed unit at the marina, have them put me on the water, bop around to the lakes "hot spots", then back to the marina, plug it in and it's ready to go for the next time out. I do not miss fighting with other boaters to gas up, or the smell and the noise. The question is, how many people feel like I do and are willing to pay twice as much for their new boat? Thanks again.

David N | 31 luglio 2016

Nice, I would've like to hear with the microphone of the video camera maybe tucked in behind the windshield to hear how quiet it really was. The wind noise prevented that.
Nice job. Awesome!

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016

David N,

I'll give it a try. Sounds like a good idea. Thanks for your kind words.

Earl and Nagin ... | 31 luglio 2016

I'm sure there is a demand at some price/range point. I'm just not sure where it is. In the Southern California marinas of Newport Beach and Huntington Harbour, electric boats are nearly on parity with gas ones, however those are the wimpy Duffy and Electricraft ones that top out at 5 mph (maximum speed for the harbors. These are the boat analogy to golf carts. They are great for folks who live on the water for cruising around since they are zero maintenance and very convenient. They aren't good for most places where folks really want to get up to speed in their boats.
I think it may be a bit early for sport boats because battery costs are still quite high and it takes a lot of batteries to get high speeds and long endurance. Your use of old Smart EV batteries was resourceful but clearly not a sustainable source of good batteries. I'm hoping that in a few years, Tesla's Gigafactory will be in full operation and possibly able to source battery packs at feasible prices for sporty boats.
Like with Electric cars, I'm sure there will be a market. Someone will just need to engineer a solution. Yours looks like a good start.

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016

Earl and Nagin,
I think your right about it being too early. For now, it's nothing more than something a guy made in his garage. You would find it interesting how simple the conversion was. I was very surprised. The folks at HPEVS do a great job of a turn key motor package. The rest of it was a simple matter of adapters and changing the front mount. Needed to do a little plumbing too, but not bad. Putting a battery pack together with those Tesla modules was a breeze. Like you, I am also keeping an eye on the Gigafactory. When battery density rivals that of petrol, watch out! Of course, the cost needs to come down a bunch too. When it happens, this will be a exciting new world. If anyone is interested in how this all comes together and possibly try one on yourself, I would be more than happy to help.

grega | 31 luglio 2016

The downsides at present are the limited range and slow charging. Of course once batteries are cheap & large enough a speed boat can be trailered home and charge ready for next weekend - but that'll be a few years.

In terms of finding the right price/range point, it's a tough one. I looked at my father's slow 42' Grand Banks boat (unfortunately now sold) as an unusual potential for several reasons.
1) Our waterway is less than 10 miles long
2) A cruiser often sits on a mooring once a destination is reached (so a day trip or weekend trip uses similar power).
3) The boat has a bimini and sat on a mooring between use - and was used every 4 weeks, so a hard SOLAR bimini could add considerable charge between uses (otherwise a berth with power would have worked).
4) although 8knots was normal speed (9 max), the efficiency at 5knots was much better. Our hull was NOT optimal.
5) big boats are expensive, batteries do not double the price.

A 100kWh battery would provide 4 hours of cruising (8 knots) plus a few days lights and cooking.

However I think a "range extender" ICE would be an absolute requirement. The boat already has a 3.5kW generator plus the 2 diesel engines, with huge diesel tanks. The generator was used inefficiently on demand to boil water and cook dinner, and while on it also heated the water and charged the batteries. A quiet, optimally tuned higher kW generator to charge the batteries and enable a backup unlimited 5 knot "return to base" would have been perfect.

And this was a potential I could see for an old boat, not optimised at all for efficiency at present.

Which is all to say - slow speed, large boat, streamlined hull (catamaran hull?), with solar surface area might be an effective sweet spot for now. And I think there are a few manufacturers doing it.

(Then again, the petrol usage is so high on the more expensive high speed large boats that perhaps a 400kWh battery would pay for itself in a short time).

smasterson2 | 31 luglio 2016


I think more specifically, a displacement hull is a better choice currently for electric. This is assuming that the consumer understands that they most likely will never go faster than hull speed unless they are prepared to make a sizable investment with limited range. It probably explains why the only people who are selling electric boats with any degree of success are Duffy and Electracraft. I converted my 22 foot pontoon boat years ago and I still enjoy the nice leisurely cruise. It really all comes down to range and cost. You lose a lot of one and gain a lot of the other. The 42' Grand Banks boat sounds interesting. Like you said, too bad it's sold. As far as a large speed boat goes, the same range and cost dilemma applies. For example, for the 400kWh battery pack to be utilized, you would need to put it in something in the order of a 50ft, 15,000 pound monster just to be able to support the over 5,000 pounds of batteries, which by the way would run somewhere in the neighborhood north of $100,000, then you need at least 1,500kw worth of motor to power it, running around $60,000 to $100,000, plus the cost of the boat and you might get a half an hour run time out of it. These boats are usually set up with gas tanks over 300 gallons. That is the equivalent of almost 10,000 kw. Lets take into consideration the fact electric is at least four times more efficient than petrol, that still requires a 2,500kWh battery pack to provide a comparable range to it's ICE counterpart. We keep getting back to the same age old problem. We have to get that power density comparable to petrol. True big race boat owners would be more than happy to shell out $100,000 more if it meant no more motors to repair or maintain and no more trips to the pump, but they will expect to stay out on the water for a lot longer than a half hour. The reason I have all these numbers is that I had the same thought years ago, did the math and it didn't work. Very cool thought though.

bb0tin | 2 agosto 2016

Getting closer to a medium range powerboat but still expensive

donaldmeacham1 | 2 agosto 2016

Check out Solar Star solar powered boat from Phoenix Az.

brando | 2 agosto 2016

pontoon boat with solar panel roof

Internet search on above for boats starting at $3,000.

smasterson2 | 2 agosto 2016


I'm with you on the hydrofoil/electric marriage. I think it makes a bunch of sense. You sure are right about the $150,000 price tag. Yikes! $150,000 gets you a 23.3ft boat with 108hp worth of motor, (most likely under powered even with the hydrofoils), a 42kWh battery pack and seating for 4. Your right. Doesn't sound like a real good deal. I hope when someone writes them a $150,000 check, they get more than a few cad drawings, (or Corel Draw or Illustrator, etc.). Hey, my boat has a 147hp electric motor. Do you think I should ask $200,000 for it. (Just kidding of course) Good stuff to share. Thanks bb0tin.

smasterson2 | 2 agosto 2016

Is there a website for Solar Star? I'd like to check them out but I couldn't find them. Thank you.

smasterson2 | 2 agosto 2016

I think solar panels and pontoon boats as well as other displacement hull types could really benefit from solar panels. I am looking into turning the 22ft pontoon boat I converted to electric into a mini house boat. Solar panel should assist in a little range extending and battery charging. It will be on the must have list when I start the project. (That is assuming I can talk my wife into another project.) Thank you.

bb0tin | 2 agosto 2016

The job you did on your job was really good.
Hold onto it long enough and it will become a classic :-)

smasterson2 | 2 agosto 2016

Thanks bb0tin. I just might do that.

Red Sage ca us | 5 agosto 2016

That is very impressive. Thank you for sharing. I especially liked the tight wake behind the boat. But, yeah... I'm one of those guys who prefers Landscape mode for phone video.

smasterson2 | 7 agosto 2016

Thanks Red Sage. I'm working on the whole landscape thing. I'll get my daughter to help.

Brian H | 10 agosto 2016

Hold the phone sideways.

smasterson2 | 10 agosto 2016

Got it. Sideways it is.

nathanieltkobza | 10 agosto 2016

Hey, Scott! If you could, at your earliest convenience, email me at, I'd love to feature your project on our website (Electrek). Let me know if that is something you'd be interested in. Look forward to speaking to you!

David N | 11 agosto 2016

It's common here in Ohio to have "electric motor only" lakes. This is generally either because it is a smaller body of water or if it is a larger body, it is a main water supply for a community(don't want gas/oil in the water) Fisherman on these waters are running the typical electric trolling motor, running around at 1-3 MPH.
I chuckled at the thought of buzzing around in smastersons Electric Bayliner at 25MPH, getting stopped by a Watercraft officer (thinking I'm running a gas engine) and explaining that "yes, this is electric motor only".

Red Sage ca us | 11 agosto 2016

David N: Yes, that is certainly smile and chuckle worthy!

KP in NPT | 11 agosto 2016

Our boat is made by a friend here in RI. He recently introduced an Electric version. One of our friends just got one - doesn't have much of a top speed, but would be good for putting around. :)

Mike83 | 11 agosto 2016
Ross1 | 11 agosto 2016

Ummm. Drinking water lakes.
Would a electric boat that does 1-3 mph have a toilet/ head on board?
If not, when you gotta go, how far away is the bank?

smasterson2 | 11 agosto 2016

Thanks again Nathaniel for the great article. It's kind of cool when someone writes about some guy doing something different in his garage then the usual pandering to the big boys with there same old, same old, because they take out ads. Very cool.

smasterson2 | 11 agosto 2016

David N,
I too have one of those no motor lakes by me that I'm dying to do that to. There are a ton of pontoon boats running with Ray Electric's 5hp. It would be so cool to breeze on by pulling a skier. Many EV grins!

smasterson2 | 11 agosto 2016

That's a really good looking boat. I love the fit and finish. Very sharp.

KP in NPT | 12 agosto 2016

@smasterson2 - yes they're pretty little boats. Ours is the blue 24" center console on the website - though we've added a t-top and a teak table. And named her Surrey. :)

smasterson2 | 12 agosto 2016


mdryan2 | 5 agosto 2017

Thanks Scott,
Nice job.
A few questions -
1. What was the cost of the project?
2. Could you get by with a smaller motor?
3. Are the batteries liquid cooled?