Plymouth one of the first stops on challenge to circumnavigate Great Britain by electric boat

11 Jul 2024

Plymouth will be one of the first stops on an attempt to circumnavigate Great Britain in an electric rib – a challenge which begins this weekend.

Starting from Lyme Regis this Saturday afternoon (13th July), 18-year-old skipper, Harry Besley, will attempt to circumnavigate Great Britain in an electric boat stopping at over 40 locations around the UK to recharge using a range of shore-power options.

Harry will be in Plymouth, alongside on the Barbican Landing Stage (BLS), on Sunday 14th July, with his challenge vessel ‘Electra’. With planned charging times and using points on the BLS and Queen Anne’s Battery, Harry and his ground support team will be in the city between 10am and 1pm before he sets off on his next leg of the attempt. Cattewater Harbour Commissioners have sponsored the Plymouth stop for this challenge.

Harry’s Round Britain eRIB challenge is a not-for-profit event supporting the marine industry’s transition to electric propulsion and the use of such systems in UK Coastal waters. The challenge is supported by several key industry bodies including the RYA, British Marine, British Ports Association, The Yacht Harbour Association, UK Harbour Masters Association, and The Green Blue.

The Round Britain eRIB challenge is a not-for-profit environmental project aiming to support leisure and small commercial operators in the marine industry in their transition to a more sustainable future.

A significant part of the Round Britain eRIB project is to demonstrate charging options for sailing clubs, marinas, harbour authorities, port operators and private owners to support the transition of their vessels to electric, zero emission propulsion. Encouraging and building knowledge about the charging options for eBoats helps build momentum in the direction of the UK Government target which states in the Clean Maritime Plan 2050 that “all new vessels being ordered for use in UK waters are being designed with zero emission propulsion capability.”

Captain Richard Allan, CEO and Harbour Master, Cattewater Harbour, Plymouth:

“As sponsor for the Plymouth leg of the Round Britain eRIB challenge, we’re pleased to be able to support Harry and his team on this attempt to circumnavigate the UK in an electric boat. Owners of vessels of all sizes, ranging from RIBs to cargo vessels are keen to understand more about the opportunities for green fuels and energy and shore power options, and a challenge such as this can only benefit the leisure yachting industry to highlight the alternatives available.”

As part of the challenge local charities are also being supported, and for the Plymouth stop, volunteers from the Plymouth branch of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, will be shoreside on Sunday morning between 10am and 1pm highlighting the charity’s work within the city.

There will be a live tracker on the eRIB challenge website for up-to-date information on position and expected arrival times at each location – find out more at