Pathways to Carbon Emissions Reductions in Recreational Boating

New research outlines propulsion technologies to propel the industry toward decarbonisation.

While recreational boats account for less than 0.1%1 of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the recreational marine industry has come together to find solutions to further reduce its environmental impact.

Engineers and environmental experts across the industry, led by the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) with more than 100 members around the world, investigated propulsion technologies across nine common recreational watercraft under 24m in length to compare the impact of lifetime GHG emissions, financial cost, usability, range, performance and infrastructure implications, including:

  • Battery electric (electric-powered boats and watercraft)
  • Hybrid electric (internal combustion engines using liquid fuel and electric)
  • Hydrogen (internal combustion engines or fuel cell)
  • Internal combustion engines with sustainable liquid marine fuels (a sustainably produced liquid substitute for conventional fossil fuel)
  • Internal combustion engines with petrol or diesel