Electrified Marina is a new business set to open this spring in Norfolk, VA. Co-owners Erin Gatling and Erick Pinzon will offer rentals aboard their electric powerboat fleet on the Lafayette River, as well as sales from electric boat manufacturers Vision Marine Technologies and X Shore. They currently have seven boats but are looking to acquire more, including electric jet skis, and are under contract to purchase Willoughby Harbor Marina as a second base of operations. Their picnic boats can run for 12 hours on a single charge and top out around six mph, but they also have an eight-meter center console that achieves 30 knots. “We literally have the slowest electric boat out there and the fastest,” Gatling noted.
Previously, Pinzon was a Tesla technician and Gatling was an engineer with SpaceX. “We feel like we lived through electric cars coming onto the market with a lot of haters pushing back against it. But now electric cars are becoming accepted, so we feel as if that’s going to happen with electric boats, and we are not afraid to be at the forefront of that,” Gatling explained.
They’re also passionate about the environment and giving back to the community. Pinzon reflected that, “These electric boats aren’t zero-emissions; they’re still charging off the grid, but it is a heck of a lot more efficient to charge off the grid than to extract oil out of the ground, process it, drive it to a station, and pump it into your boat. We’ve got nuclear, we’ve got natural gas, our grid is pretty clean.” Reducing noise pollution is important to them, too. “They are dead quiet,” Gatling said, “You can have a normal conversation around the picnic table in the boat without screaming over the engine noise.”
Electrified Marina has already partnered with the Elizabeth River Project, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Elizabeth River. They applied for oyster castle permits and hope to get involved with local schools and charities to improve access to the water. “We can give away boat rides for charity events, as raffle prizes, or something else; just hit us up and we’ll see what we can do to donate,” Gatling said.
To learn more about Electrified Marina’s rentals, sales, and their grand opening this spring, check out electrifiedmarina.com or find them on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @electrifiedmarina.
By Kelsey Bonham