A 17-year-old skipper is to stop in Douglas next summer on his way to travelling around the British Isles in an electric rigid inflatable boat (eRIB).
Harry Besley, who goes to Wellington School in Somerset, wants to do this challenge to raise awareness to the environmental benefit of electric engines.
Speaking to the Examiner, he said: ‘I was fed up going out on boats knowing we were causing so much harm to the environment.
‘I did some digging and found out there were electric engines, I just didn’t realise or know why people weren’t using them.’
Harry wants as many of the ports he is stopping at along the way to have eBoat charging facilities to make them more accessible for electrically-powered boats in the future.
Harry said: ‘I believe that we cause too much damage to the world, and I want to change that.
‘I wanted to do something that people will remember, something that could have an impact.
‘If we are successful, then this project could change the future for the leisure marine industry forever.’
The challenge will begin in Lyme Regis on the south coast of England and reach Douglas three to five days after launch.
The journey will then end in Portland, back on the southern English coast.
The team is hopeful the launch will happen in summer 2023, and as part of pre-challenge trials, sponsors may be offered a demo/drive experience.
The event is sponsored by a number of high-level industry bodies, including the British Ports Association, the UK Harbour Masters Association and British Marine.
Harry said: ‘We want to show the UK and anyone really that it is an option.
‘Even if we don’t get all the way round, this is what electric engines are like in the UK, going forward there will be more charging infrastructure.’
The challenge will include Harry and one other crew member in the eRIB, and also a support vehicle on land in case they need assistance.
This adventure should last ‘two to three weeks’ according to Harry but this could vary due to weather conditions and tide levels.
He also said: ‘My school have been very supportive, they encourage pursuing hobbies and interests.’
Harry spoke about his preparation for this challenge: ‘Training is meant to challenge and push you, so you experience new things and learn new skills.
‘I’ve done a few training trips now including an endurance trip to Dartmouth and a night sail to Portland.’
When asked where he is excited to visit, he said: ‘Around the top of Scotland and through the Irish Sea, I’m just really looking forward to experiencing the beautiful UK landscape.’
Harry also said he was ‘definitely excited’ to visit Douglas along the way.
l You can follow Harry’s journey through the web page, https://www.roundbritain-erib.org/, where you can also sponsor a location, including Douglas harbour.