Electric motors for houseboats | Our recommendations

Electric motors for houseboats | Our recommendations

Are you looking for an electric motor for your houseboat?

Which houseboat is worth using an electric motor for?

For almost all houseboats, an electric drive is extremely suitable. There is enough space for batteries and solar panels on houseboats. Weight does not play such a big role and there is usually enough space. Usually, the requirement for range is not so high.

In addition, the advantages of a very quiet, efficient and odorless motor outweigh. No maintenance, no warm-up of the engine, easy switching on by pressing a button. In general, an electric motor performs significantly better. Especially in terms of travel costs, if a few solar cells are installed on the roof.

Find more information in our blog or with our partners Rollyboot.

Which houseboat is worth using an electric motor for?

Worth it for all houseboats with conventional propulsion.

Recommended outboard motors for houseboats (price-performance)

Boat weight

Current recommendation



up to 1,500 kg

ePropulsion Navy 3.0 EVO

3 kW motor with 3 kWh battery

from 5,699 €

up to 3,000 kg

ePropulsion Navy 6.0 EVO

6 kW motor with 6 kWh battery

from 8,299 €

up to 5,000 kg

Aquamot Trend 11 kW

11 kW motor with 10 kWh battery

from 13,999 €

up to 10,000 kg

ePropulsion X20

20 kW outboard motor with 20 kWh battery

from 29,499 €

up to 20,000 kg

ePropulsion X40

40 kW outboard motor with 40 kWh battery

from 45,999 €

What should I consider when choosing an electric motor for a houseboat?

The electric motor is usually used for shorter to medium distances of 4 to 6 hours on houseboats. Houseboats are often slightly larger and heavier. The streamlined shape is good, as many have a catamaran or trimaran hull. A houseboat with a single hull has higher water resistance.

On inland waters, you should calculate with at least 2 kW per tonne, with strong currents or winds rather 2.5 kW per tonne. You mainly need the maximum power against the current, for stopping and maneuvering.

What should I consider when choosing an electric motor for a houseboat?

Electric houseboats - self-sufficient and efficient

If you are currently looking for a new motor for your houseboat, you should definitely consider an electric motor. If you buy a new motor now, it should be designed for the next 10 years or more. Especially due to the increasing driving bans on the water, this can pay off for you.

Depending on the size of your houseboat, you can already be fully self-sufficient on the road with a few solar modules. In addition, you can of course also charge your boat normally via shore power, especially if you are on longer trips or on the road for several days.

Electric houseboats - self-sufficient and efficient
There are many suitable electric drives for houseboats. We will find a suitable solution together with you. Please feel free to contact us personally (phone, email or contact form). Please send us information and pictures of your houseboat!

Outboard motors for houseboats

Most houseboats use outboard motors. These are very flexible and easy to install. The outboard motors are usually located on a bracket at the stern of the houseboat. The motors provide optimal propulsion. Depending on the size, theft protection may be recommended.

For outboard motors up to 6 kW, ePropulsion drives are currently the most popular. Since 2021, the 6 kW Navy motors without gears, so completely silent, are available. For power above 10 kW, we also recommend Torqeedo, E-Tech or the new high-voltage series from ePropulsion.

Outboard motors for houseboats

When choosing an electric motor for your houseboat, the following points should be considered:

  • Optimally dimension motor and battery (not too much or too little power / capacity)

  • Lithium batteries are lighter and better suited due to their high cycles

  • Suitable charging option (solar panel or land connection)

  • Compatibility of components (especially for motor and battery, as well as the inverter)

  • Special features (battery information via Bluetooth to mobile phone, feeding in of electricity)

When choosing an electric motor for your houseboat, the following points should be considered:

Electric houseboats - inexpensive to operate

Similar to electric cars, electric houseboats offer great advantages in maintenance and operating costs. The biggest cost driver is the operating costs. Instead of many liters of gasoline, only a few [partly self-generated] kWh of electricity are needed.

The kWh is only ~30 cents, while a liter of gasoline is 1.70€. Especially since gasoline costs are constantly rising. In addition, there are also the annual costs for maintenance and repair of wear parts (oil change, filters, etc.)

Electric houseboats - inexpensive to operate

Houseboat with RiPower electric motors

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Installation of the electric motor in the houseboat

The installation of an outboard motor is uncomplicated and is done at the motor mirror, which is located at the stern of the boat. The attachment is done by means of clamping screws or bolting. Depending on the weight of the motor, this is easy, especially for motors under 11 kW (15 hp), and can usually be done by a layman.

Afterwards, the batteries only need to be connected to the outboard motor. This is usually done via a plug & play connection. Depending on the scope of the on-board electronics, this can be done by oneself, but if a solar system is installed, a trained electrical specialist must always do this.

The installation of other types of motors is more complex than with an outboard motor and should be carried out by an expert. In most cases, the boat must be lifted out of the water for this. We have a nationwide network of boat builders and shipyards from the Baltic Sea to Lake Constance. We will be happy to refer you to a contact person in your region.

Please contact us in good time before the start of the season so that we can secure a place for you!

When is an electric motor not worthwhile for a houseboat?

There are also some applications for houseboats where an electric motor is currently not optimal. For example, for intensive water hiking with 10 hours of driving time per day and no possibility to recharge the battery in the harbor.

The range of the batteries is somewhat limited, as large battery banks are very large, heavy and expensive. In summer, the yield of a solar system is usually sufficient for completely autonomous use, but not in spring and autumn. Although it is technically possible, it is not always economical compared to a combustion engine. Here, a hybrid system can be useful.

When is an electric motor not worthwhile for a houseboat?

In exceptional cases, we recommend a hybrid drive from E-Tech or Fischer Panda for your houseboat. Purely electric drives, of course, do not suit every driving style.

Contact us now for your electric houseboat!

Open questions?

Contact us now for your electric houseboat!

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