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.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 13:56

Waterways World put The SunFlower through her paces for their boat review - 8 pages of comprehensive assessment with a very positive verdict! Here's just a taster...see December's edition for the full review.

clemens Van himbe(...) wrote:
Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 19:18
Hi Sunflower team,

My name is Clem Van himbeeck from Belgium and I am really exited of your concept: living on the water+ ecological solutions.
I am planning to invest in a house/boat beginning next year to live on the waterside. I am single and I was wondering if you guys can help me with your solution?
What is your plan for the future with this concept?
I am an industrial designer and therefore able to understand the potential of new ideas (I think)
First step might be just additional information on the Sunflower?
i will appreciate if you can send me that,
Kind regards, Clem
Ryan wrote:
Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 08:35
Hi Clem
And thank you for your interest in our project.
Interestingley we are about to start a build prosecess for a customer who’s boat will end up in Belgium . So potentialy you could see one of our boats in September of this year . We are negotiating a (european sales office agreement ) with this new boat owner as he is also keen to spread the consept .
There is more information following the build of our prototype “Sunflower” on or facebook page @thamessolarelectric if you have any further questions please feel free to ask.
We are in the process of putting a costing together for building the boat to different stages and sizes to try and help reduce the cost, as we are finding that our diesel competitors do a similar price line to help people complete parts of the builds themselves to save costs .
As our primary goal is to help educate and teach people how this is possible.

Yours Sincerely
Ryan Collingwood
Thames Solar Electric
Ryan wrote:
Sunday, January 20, 2019, 15:31
Nerd News
Second winter , and Solar is performing better than expected , I realise it has been a mild winter but solar arrays are keeping the batteries well above 80% and boat is quite warm reaching 24 degrees today with just the sun through the windows
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