Thames Solar Electric completed the UK's first fully solar powered electric widebeam canal boat in 2017 and has been running successfully for two years. The SunFlower broke new ground by eliminating the need for diesel or gas on board by running purely on 100% renewable energy. The electric motors power the 65 x 13 ft boat almost silently through the water with no harmful emmissions. 

"This boat could herald a quiet revolution in inland boating" - Waterways World magazine 2017

Due to the success of The SunFlower, Thames Solar Electric is now producing a new wave of solar electric inland boats for clients who want to enjoy a cleaner, greener life on the water. We offer complete Solar Electric Propulsion System (SEPS) packages which run both the motors and all domestic power, a consultation service and work with reputable and established UK boatbuilders creating hulls in which to install the diesel-free systems. We currently have a 60 x 12 ft more traditional style widebeam under construction which will be finished summer 2019.

Solar powered

All the power comes from the rooftop array of solar panels which power both the motors and the onboard domestic appliances. A large battery bank enables energy storage for use at night. And yes, it works in winter!

Quiet cruising

No diesel fumes and no noise. Electric motors power this widebeam almost silently through the water. With a full battery, she can cruise for up to 10 hours without additional daylight. In summer, you simply keep going until you're ready to moor up.


Built as a floating eco home, life onboard is supremely energy efficient. Triple glazing, superior insulation, a thermal mass storage heater floor and even rainwater harvesting make this solar powered houseboat a fantastically sustainable home.


The spacious and stylish interior offers 64 sqm (640 sqft) of open-plan living space, with fully fitted kitchen,  two double bedrooms with storage and a large wet room complete with full-size bath. Energy efficient domestic appliances include a dishwasher.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 08:23

Featured on also produce a quarterly magazine on all things green, distributed with the Guardian newspaper.


Peter Randazzo wrote:
Friday, November 17, 2017, 00:56
What is the cost
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 10:33
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Ryan wrote:
Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 16:34
Very excited , the river is starting to flow , waiting for it to get to 2 knots to test the water power generation ! Excited
Ryan wrote:
Monday, January 29, 2018, 15:22
Hi Peter , thank you for your interest .
The cost for a turn key build exactly the same as Sunflower would be £210,000 excluding Vat . Vat is not chargeable if it is a residential boat . We are currently working out some more affordable option for people who might like to do some or part of the work them selves to try and compete with our diesel competitors .
For example Collingwood boats for a 65x12 charge £70,000 for a "sail-way lined" boat the cost of having a complete solar option the same as would be £90,000
Alternatively they charge £55,000 for a sail-away only where we would charge £75,000 for a sail-away boat so roughly the cost of £20,000 more for never having to put diesel or gas in for ever never mind not contributing to the greenhouse affect
please email me directly if you have any more questions
Ryan Collingwood wrote:
Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11:38
Solar panels still producing 400w even with an inch of snow on them
Malcolm wrote:
Sunday, May 12, 2019, 13:44

Are you planning to design/build a boat that is normal canal boat width - which is just over 2 metres wide?

ryan wrote:
Monday, May 13, 2019, 08:02
Yes we would difinatley love to build a narrow boat version .
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