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Electric vessels grab attention at the Progressive Detroit Boat Show

Huntington Place showcase open to the public
Posted at 2:51 PM, Jan 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 05:12:55-05

Making a comeback for the first time since the pandemic, the Detroit Boat Show is on full throttle at Huntington Place.

The showcase is among the top across the country based on size, attendance, and sales.

In fact, the boating industry in Michigan brings over $7 billion to the state's economy. And that number is expected to grow even further thanks to the up-and-coming electric boat market.

Michigan is also the third largest marine market in the county, behind Florida and Texas.

"This is Detroit muscle. This is where it's at," said Jesse Sacker.

A proud Michigander, Jesse Sacker showed up with his entire family, including his dad, John Sacker, who says they have six boats in total, and an electric boat will be their next purchase because it's the future.

"You don't have fuel, you don't have smells, the maintenance, everything about electric seems to be a better way to go," said John Sacker.

At the boat show, enthusiasts can find two 100% electric boats at the X Shore display area. In fact, the X Shore 1 is making its American debut, and Cri Boratenski says X Shore boats come with all the latest tech.

"This watch over here actually acts as the key to the boat, so this allows me to start and run the boat, and also works as a man overboard function, so if I go overboard while I'm wearing this watch, the boat is going to stop automatically," said Cri Boratenski, Head of Customer Excellence, X Shore.

The mobile app also provides a full status of the boat along with other features. Jon Conrad from Elk Rapids Marina says these vessels can hit top speeds of 30 knots and cover up to 100 miles on a single charge.

"Like this X1, a typical combustion engine model, would probably cost you maybe $150 or $200 to fill that up, and you are $7 to $14 for a full charge, so there is a significant saving on the electric to the gas side, but I would say performance too, the acceleration and torque they produce too is amazing," said John Conrad, General Manager, Elk Rapids Marina.

According to Future Market Insights research, the global electric boats market value is projected to increase from over $5 billion to $19 billion in the next ten years. John says things would have been even better if there were no supply chain issues.

"Looking back at things three to five years ago, we thought we would be further ahead right now, but it's coming. It's here. We have high-speed charging stations that are rapidly being deployed across Elk Rapids area. And we will be deploying them across the state," said Conrad.

The Progressive Detroit Boat Show will wrap up on January 22. For information on timings, ticket prices, and more, head to boatmichigan.org.