A Guide To Choosing The Right Marine Propulsion System

There are approximately 10 different methods for powering and propelling a boat on water, with some of these marine propulsion systems dating back more than a century. More marine propulsion systems are being developed as technology advances to cater to greener shipping operations and achieve marine electrification goals.

How does one choose the best boat propulsion system now that newer technologies are available? Here are some key factors to consider.

  1. Propulsion Size

The propulsion size that you need will vary depending on the size of your boat. Typically, the hybrid marine propulsion system can be installed on both large and small boats as it can provide both high power and low power propulsion.

        2. Rules & Regulations

Some ports require entering vessels to adhere to their “zero emissions” rules and regulations. This means that all boats and vessels entering their waters must be operating with green propulsion systems that do not release harmful emissions into the environment.

In cases where your boat needs to frequently enter waters subject to the aforementioned rules and regulations, it is best to install marine propulsion systems such as hybrid or battery-powered systems. With a hybrid propulsion system, you can use batteries to enter the area and then switch back to diesel once you’re out of the restricted zone.

         3. Cost

Marine propulsion systems have varying costs, which are classified as Capital Expenditures (Capex) and Operating Expenses (Opex).

Capital expenditures are the costs of installing your marine propulsion system, whereas operating expenses are the funds required to keep your boat running with the installed marine propulsion system.

For example, investing in Capex for diesel-electric propulsion system, will have great impact on Opex due to the low operating costs.

         4. Travelling Distance

The type of marine propulsion system you should choose is determined by the distance your boat needs to travel. This is because you will need a propulsion system capable of producing enough power to operate your boat.

Marine propulsion systems such as diesel-electric and hybrid systems are recommended for long distances whereby charging facilities may not easily available, as the energy produced needs to last for long hours of sailing. Both of these systems have the ability to generate power and convert it to electrical power, which can then be stored and used when necessary.

As for shorter distances where charging facility is available, you may choose to install the battery-powered system or hybrid marine propulsion system, both of which can be sufficiently sized for the distances but do not generate excess energy.

          5. Operation Goals

Lastly, the goals you have for your business operations will influence your choice of propulsion; do you want to start adopting greener practices or do you want to save more on overall costs?

If your end goal is to achieve marine electrification and minimise the impact you have on the environment, a battery-powered or hybrid marine propulsion system will work best for you.

Looking for propulsion systems or electric thrusters for your boat? Our E-Pods are designed to optimise system efficiency, maximise comfort on board, and minimise the impact our industry has on the environment. Contact us today to find out more.