Books about electric boats and how to proceed with electrifying your boat. We have not read all of these books, but have gone through reviews and weeded out those that did not have good reviews. Notification: Plugboats receives an affiliate commission from Amazon for each purchase.

Electric Boats and Ships: A History Kevin Desmond

Electric propulsion for boats was developed in the early 19th century and–despite the advent of the internal combustion engine–continued with the perfecting of the modern turbo-electric ship. Sustainable and hybrid technologies, pioneered in small inland watercraft toward the end of the 20th century, have in recent years been scaled up to create integrated electric drives for the largest ocean-going vessels. This comprehensive history traces the birth and rebirth of the electric boat from 1835 to the present, celebrating the Golden Age of electric launches, 1880-1910.

A MUST read “Well illustrated, meticulously written and researched, this book is a guaranteed ‘must’ on the bookshelves of all who have interest in this subject.”

Solar Electric Boats: Plan, Build and BenefitSolar Electric Boats - book cover by Sandith Thandasherry

Author Sandith Thandasherry is the man behind Navalt Solar Boats and the Aditya solar commuter ferry that won the first Gustave Trouvé Awards for Electric Boats and Boating in the category ‘Electric Boats Designed for Paying Passengers’. With the mind of an engineer Mr. Thandasherry clearly outlines all of the aspects and details that need to be considered for the physics of a solar boat. At the same time he brings the experience of an entrepreneur who achieved success by understanding the needs and desires of both private investors and government officials.

Best study book on the subject “It is one of those books that achieves two goals. It is general enough to be understood by the novice, but also detailed enough to provide food for thought and specific guidance for the expert.”

124 Miles on Sunlight book cover124 Miles on Sunlight

Imagine a voyage along England’s best-loved river, the Thames – but on SUNLIGHT, not diesel or petrol. No noise, no nasty emissions! This was the author’s dream, and he turned it into reality by designing and building a 22ft catamaran powered by four solar panels. Paul and his wife Rike launched “Solar Flair” near the source of the Thames in Gloucestershire, and cruised 124 miles to London on SUNLIGHT. They were the first to do it. This is a picture book as much as a story, with 80 pages in full colour, including 108 photographs – a light read about a joyful experience.

Electric Propulsion for Boats Charles A. Mathys

After years of researching, building and testing many designs, Charlie Mathys has found the answers to inexpensive “Electric Propulsion for Boats”. This book starts with an overview of his successes and failures. With each success Charlie moves ahead until you have an excellent understanding of electric propulsion for boats. This book delves deeply into the technical aspects of electric propulsion. However the information remains extremely easy to understand. The book will take you through each phase of the required work thoroughly, with detailed explanations for each step along the way.

Good read  “Not a bad read for getting your feet wet on making an EV for water. It covers hulls, batteries, speed controlling and motors. Along the way is a few efficiency graphs from various builds.”

My Electric Boats Charles A. Mathys

My Electric Boats is the 2nd Edition of the popular textbook Electric Propulsion for Boats. (Above) This updated version includes a new Rhodes 19/Etek conversion, plus more performance and efficiency tests, new photos and four complete step-by-step conversion chapters. Divided into three sections, the book starts with an overview of the author’s successes and failures while researching basic concepts. With each success, he moves ahead until you have an excellent understanding of electric propulsion for boats.

Excellent for the DIY “For anyone with a serious interest in DIY EV this book is great. I was curious about what kinds of motors I should be looking for and how controllers worked and this book did a great job of explaining it in a practical means that anyone can understand.”

Mobile Solar Power Made Easy! William Errol Prowse IV

Finally an easy approach to mobile solar design and installation:
-Add a solar system to your RV, Van, Car or Boat
-Step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow
-Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced methods for calculating your solar system. You choose!
-Tips and tricks that will save you time and money
-You can read this book from start to finish, or use it as a reference
-Large, easy to understand pictures
And much more! I promise that this book will be worth your time, or you will get your money back.

Excellent Solar Power bookThis book is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’ve read other books on this topic and watched a few YouTube videos, but still had questions…It is a small, well-written, well illustrated book. No fluff and no getting bogged down in a lot of technical jargon. But he doesn’t skimp on the basic knowledge you need to understand what you’re doing.

DIY Lithium Batteries: How to Build Your Own Battery Packs
Micah Toll

Are you a hands on person? Do you prefer making things yourself? Are you working on a project that requires lithium batteries?

If so, then this book is for you! We’ll cover everything you need to know about lithium batteries. From choosing the right cells to designing a battery pack and building it yourself, this book includes all the steps for building safe, effective custom lithium battery packs.

Building a Lipo power source? Get this book Americans have been writing good DIY books for over 130 years. I have a collection. Trouble is they tend to address the how and spend little time on the why. This book is different. It’s broadly split into two sections, one discussing batteries and what works best. Call this the “why”. The writing is simple and there is NO jargon. That said, the knowledge is very detailed and is essential to building an effective, safe battery.

Understanding Boat Design Ted Brewer

If one boat has a round bottom and another’s is veed, what difference does it make in the way they perform?  How big an engine and propeller will it take to move that powerboat? What elements make a boat safe, or comfortable?
Understanding Boat Design has been the place to look for quick, uncomplicated answers since 1971. Founder of the Yacht Design Institute, a highly respected designer for more than 30 years, and a frequent contributor to SAIL, Cruising World, and other magazines, Ted Brewer has again revised his classic primer. This new volume has been greatly expanded and contains information on many aspects of design that were not even thought of twenty years ago.

Five StarsExcellent overview of design from an excellent designer. Takes concepts and goes from simple to a detailed level.

The Propeller Handbook: The Complete Reference for Choosing, Installing, and Understanding Boat Propellers Dave Gerr

On the surface, choosing the correct propeller for a particular boat seems simple. But one factor affects another, which then affects another factor, leading many boaters to believe that propeller selection depends more on black magic than logic.

All the questions are answered in this complete reference, the first of its kind. This clear, easy-to-use handbook for all small boats is written not for Ph.D.s seeking the latest wrinkle in high-tech propeller design, but as a practical aid for the average mechanic, engineer, boatbuilder, fleet operator, serious yachtsman, or naval architect.

Comprehensive and understandableI needed to re-prop and there is nobody in the country with the information I needed for my 15 meter full displacement boat. I learned enough from this book and some study of the contents to do a very satisfactory calculation for a new prop. Is it perfect ? I do not know, but it is certainly better then what I had ! Very informative as well.


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