17 year old skipper taking electric RIB on record voyage around Great Britain

Meet Harry. A young skipper with a passion for the marine environment who is on a mission to pilot an electric RIB around Great Britain this Summer to bring attention to all of the opportunities for ‘going green’ with small leisure powerboats.

Harry (surname Besley) started the Round Britain eRIB Challenge project with the idea that an electric rib going around the the entire coast of Great Britain would bring attention to electric boats and boating and help achieve the project mission:

To develop the knowledge and understanding of the requirements for eBoat charging and to demonstrate the capability of an electric propulsion system.

He has the enthusiastic support of major players in the UK marine world like the RYA (Royal Yacht Association),  British Marine, British Ports Association, UK Harbour Masters Association, Yacht Harbour Association and ‘The Green Blue’, an organization dedicated to inspiring sustainable recreational boating for cleaner, healthier waters.Electric RIB stop locations map and sponsors logos

Phil Horton, Sustainability Manager of the RYA, says “Promoting zero-carbon boating is a key element of the RYA’s sustainability strategy and carbon pathway to zero and this challenge will demonstrate the state-of-the art and help to develop the required infrastructure.”

Sponsors so far include:

  • MDL Marinas, who will be providing space at their Green Tech Boat Show (21-23 April) for 
    the Round Britain eRIB team to display the Challenge vessel. The boat and motor setup is being finalized now.
  • JOTRON, who develop, manufactures and market communication products and systems. They will be contributing a number of those products and services including Emergency VHF, an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) and an AIS-SART (Automatic Identification System – Search and Rescue Transponder).
  • Winch Design, an international multi-disciplinary studio headed by Andrew and Jane Winch that specializes in the bespoke design of superyachts, architecture, private jets and interiors.
  • ROLEC, whose products include electrical connection, charging, hook-up and distribution equipment for marinas, and
  • Lyme Regis Town Council (Harry’s home port) where the Challenge will start and Finish.

You can help support Harry’s electric RIB voyage

You can also give your own support in a variety of ways. They are fully detailed on the Round Britain eRIB Challenge website, but here is a quick look:

    For £25 you will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to visit and come aboard the Challenge boat with a crew member.
    Donate £100 to see your name on the console of the Challenge boat.
    For £500 your company name will be listed on the website as the Location VIP and you will be invited to see the boat, and to provide an independent witness for our Log book.

There are Premium (£10,000), Gold (£5,000) and Silver (£1,000) packages available and of course all donations of any amount will be gratefully accepted.

“I want to do something that will have an impact”

A live tracker is being developed for all supporters to follow the electric rib challenge in real time and there will also be a YouTube channel to complement the facebook page

According to the CIA Factbook, the length of the UK coastline is around 12,429 km or 7,723 miles. There are 47 ports on the route map (final stops to be confirmed). If all goes well, it will enter the record books.

It’s an ambitious undertaking for a 17 year-old, even with all the support he has gathered. Harry feels it is all worth it, though. The youthfulness that makes it so challenging also gives him the perspective of someone whose future is at risk.

​Harry believes that powerboats need to stop using fossil fuels. “We cause too much damage to the world” Harry says, “and I want to change that. I want to do something that people will remember, something that will have an impact. If we are successful then this project might help change the future of the leisure marine industry forever.”

Good luck Harry!

Round Britain Electric RIB 

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