"It is only by public demonstration on the water, that electric boats can be accepted by the public, by ship and boatbuilders and by municipalities."
Q: Mr. Desmond, when was the firtst time that you had involved with Electirc Boats ?
A: I first became involved with silent zero emission electric boats in the 1980s. As Chairman of the Electric Boat Association of the UK, I organised a small annual regatta on the Upper Thames where the boats were covered in flowers and balloons, a speed record attempt where the boat was clocked at 50 mph, a 3-hour endurance race for electric outboards skiffs in Little Venice, London; etc
Meanwhile a friend called Hans Aysee in the Netherlands took an electric boat on an extended cruise of the canals in that country and launched electric boats of which there are now several thousands.
Emigrating to France, I co-founded the French Electric Boat Association and again, both in Nantes, in Bordeaux and La Rochelle, we organised electric and solar electic boat contests.
Taking an interest in converting Venice, Italy's entire fleet of motor vessels to electricity, this year with Assonautica Venezia, we organised a round-the-island cruise of 25 electric boats of every description, followed by the world's first point-scoring E-Regatta for 7 boats, with slalom - e-ballerina - speed trial - and endurance cruise. Around this, both the Municipality, the Italian Government and the European Union are investing money into the electrificiation of Venice from its vaporetti, its taxis, its workboats to privately owned outboard runabout, with innovations such as E-Dock where the recharging device is discreetly hidden inside the wooden mooring pole
I applaud the program to electrify a ferryboat for the Greek port of Aegio as it will be a vanguard for the converstion of the Greek shipping fleet, commercial and pleasure, to zero-electric propulsion.