Somerset student to take electric powerboat around UK
Harry Besley, now 16-years-old, has been boating since the age of three

Somerset student to take electric powerboat around UK

A student is to attempt the fastest circumnavigation of the UK in an electric boat.

Harry Besley, 16, from Somerset, said he wants to demonstrate the potential of electric engines in boats.

He has now launched the Round Britain eRIB challenge for this summer to encourage the marine industry to find a more sustainable future.

He said: "I was fed up with going out in boats and knowing that we are causing harm to the environment."

"I knew that there would be a solution and I just need to find it," the Wellington School pupil added.

"I did some research and found that there were electric motors but I didn't know why people weren't using them instead of petrol engines.

"I realised there wasn't the charging infrastructure and awareness for these motors to actually be a viable solution.

"Hence the Round Britain eRIB Challenge which encourages locations around the UK install charging infrastructure and demonstrates the capabilities of electric boats."

Harry Besley on the high seas in a rib
Image caption,
Harry said he wants to demonstrate the potential of electric engines in boats
Harry will be 17 when he attempts the record.

The route will start west along the south coast, north past Wales, stop at the Isle of Man and across to Northern Ireland, through the Caledonian Canal then south down the east of Scotland and England and back to the south coast.

There will more than 40 charging stops used on the journey.

"I'm now confident that by the summer we will have the boat and charging facilities for this challenge to be a reality," Harry said.

"I believe that we cause too much damage to the world, and I want to change that."

Harry said his passion for boats started at a young age and he is currently in the Navy Section of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at school.

He has his power boating level 2, sea survival, VHF, and lifeguarding certificates and plans to get his intermediate and advance powerboating by the challenge this summer.

"Because I'm only 16, experience is limited, but still I have many hours on the water," he said.

"If we are successful, then this project could change the future for the leisure marine industry forever."


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