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Steve Corrigan, professional sailor and racer, explains why you should be choosing an electric boat motor

electric boat motors

A Professional Perspective

"No fuel costs, no servicing, no engine costs. Crazy."

Find out why professional lifetime sailor, Steve Corrigan, uses an electric motor.

Steve Corrigan, the professional lifetime sailor, racer, and knighted explorer has travelled over 100,000 ocean miles and competed in the highly renowned Sydney Hobart Yacht race 13 times.

Previous to this he also sailed single-handedly across the world which has provided him with a lifetime of knowledge. In this article, Steve gives us his insight as an accomplished boating expert into the benefits of switching to an electric motor.

Being “crazy about weight” is a saying in many sports and is particularly prominent within yacht racing as weight is the key to sailing performance. However, in Steve’s own words “we did not even think about the engine! Why did we not think of an electric drive system?” On average, Lynch Electric Motors weigh up to 10 times less than traditional engines. With improved control. The 200 kilo saving could Steve 2 knots with the wind behind, half a knot against, a huge advantage when racing. Steve questioned why they had not made the conversion to electric sooner.

electric boat motors

Other problems Steve had faced with a traditional engine include: Cabin temperature whilst sailing in the tropics with the engine piling on the heat below, noise, smell and fuel storage. All of these issues would vanish by using an electric motor. Yet still, electric motors are not commonly used and as Steve emphasised “none of the boats in that harbour have an electric drive and why new yachts do not already have this drive fitted I do not know.” A contributing factor could be the sailing industries inability to change, as previously, even fibreglass was frowned upon.


electric boat motors

He reminisced on his first years of sailing and the difference switching to electric can make. “As a young man I used to always stink of diesel, oil and fumes. The boat smelt of fuel and many boats still do as I think about it.”

 His enthusiasm towards electric engines was prominent: “You have no fuel costs, no servicing, no engine parts. Crazy!! I had my doubts over range, however this was in my old way of thinking. 80% of the time you don't need an engine for more than a few minutes. Efficient batteries and storage can provide reliability for the other 20% of the time.”


"Dirty fuel has always been a problem as well as air-conditioning on pleasure boats with old engines, they are troublesome."Steve is certain his next build will be driven by an electric motor. He seemed all too aware of recharge methods and generators. We asked, why? Technology has improved so much. Battery lives are exceptional. We can always use batteries or the generator once we arrive.