If you’re planning on hitting the lake or oceanfront on your own electric catamaran, I’ve stumbled upon one you may want to check out. It’s part of our weekly Awesome Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column, so I don’t recommend actually trying to buy one, but it’s still fun to look at!
In fact, the luxury vibe of this electric boat makes it all the more appealing! We’ve seen some cheap e-boats from Alibaba before (and I even bought one), but this one looks pretty slick compared to most of the cheap-looking stuff.
That might explain why it’s priced at US $7,500, roughly 7.5x the price of my own five-seater Chinese electric boat that definitely didn’t come with a woodgrain interior like this one.
This model features nicely upholstered seats for the captain and his or her first mate, as well as a center console that allows the controls to be operated from either seat. That’s perfect for when the captain has too much to drink and needs to relinquish the reins for the night.
The 13 ft (3.8 meter) long boat floats on a pontoon-style setup and even has a nice awning canopy stretched over the seats.
I have to wonder if a solar panel array wouldn’t have been a good addition to that canopy though, helping to extend the range of the boat.
It’d be an easy addition on your own though, if anyone is crazy enough to actually try ordering one of these online (again, not recommended).
We don’t have any data on how powerful the electric motor is, but by the looks of things, it’s just a little trolling motor like you’d find on a small electric kayak. The vendor claims a max speed of 8 km/h (5 mph), which is pretty peppy for a small catamaran like this.
The Alibaba page lacks any specs on the battery bank, so it’s hard to say how far you can go on a single charge. For most small electric boats, the range varies considerably based on speed, so you can likely go pretty far on this boat if you aren’t leaving a massive wake behind you.
They claim a max operating time of 6 hours, but that could vary significantly based on speed. We’ve seen some small electric outboard/battery setups that can operate from 1 hour to over a day, solely based on how hard you crank that tiller-mounted throttle.
While the renders of the product look nice, a render-only Alibaba page makes me worried about whether or not the product has ever been produced. In this case, they also show off some nice real-life shots of the electric boat in action.
After doing a little reverse image searching though, it appears the pictures were ripped off an Abu Dhabi resort’s website. I’m not sure if this is a chicken or egg situation, and whether the resort got the boats from Alibaba or whether Alibaba discovered a cool electric catamaran and made their own spurious posting about it afterward.
Either way, it’s nice to know that these fun-looking electric boats do exist somewhere, and that someone has been enjoying them!
Author: Micah Toll