A New Electric-Powered-Boat Speed Record

By Kevin Falvey.

Princeton Electric Speedboating, in coordination with Flux Marine, achieved a record speed for an electric-powered boat.

On October 26, 2023, a team of engineering students at Princeton University—Princeton Electric Speedboating—set a new world record of 114.20 mph for an electric-powered boat. The famed pro-outboard hydroplane Big Bird ran on Lake Townsend, outside Greensboro, North Carolina.

Princeton Electric Speedboating made one pass clocking 111 mph and another at 117 mph for 114.20 mph. At the helm was veteran racer John Peeters, of Arlington, Washington, who holds over 60 records in multiple boat classes.

This record is one known as a “kilo record” because it is run on a 1-kilometer course.

Princeton Electric Speedboating beat the old record of 88.61 mph set by team Jaguar Vector in 2018, with Peter Dredge, of Great Britain, another multiple world-record holder at the helm.

According to the Princeton University Engineering News, the record-breaking boat is outboard-powered and equipped with a three-phase, 200 hp electric motor designed by the Princeton team and built in coordination with Flux ­Marine of Rhode Island.

Big Bird will be familiar to racing fans as the vessel, built by legend Ed Karelsen, which won many races powered by gas engines. Big Bird was designed for an outboard up to 1,100 cc. Now, the canopied race boat features a permanent magnet AC motor weighing just 65 pounds. Power is from a 24 kWh 400-volt battery pack. It is said to produce in excess of 200 hp.

Princeton Electric Speedboating team captain ­Andrew Robbins, of ­Michigan, grew up around powerboats and boat racing, according to ­published reports. Big Bird was in storage nearby to his hometown.

Princeton Electric Speedboating is a student-run team made up of 44 undergraduate and graduate students, and represents most engineering disciplines as well as members studying economics and physics.

read more at boatingmag.com.