I bought a $1,000 electric boat from China. Here’s what showed up.

by Micah Toll

Ever since I helped my dad upgrade his fishing kayak with an electric motor, I’ve been angling for an electric boat of my own.

And with some significant internet digging, a deep breath and, a leap of faith, I sent $1,000 off to China for an electric boat I found on Alibaba. A few months later, this is what showed up.

After finding what seemed to be a nice little boat maker on Alibaba, I contacted the company, and the owner Frank showed me all the different models they produce.

The only problem was that shipping was a fortune. I had to do LCL shipping (less-than-container-load), since I wasn’t about to fill a 40-foot container with these boats. I didn’t even really need one, let alone a dozen of them.

LCL shipping meant I shared a container with other people and we each paid our share of the container. Except that sea freight last year was still insanely expensive, and my share would have come out to over $3,000.

Frank advised me to wait a bit, and over the next few months we saw the price slowly walking downward. Once it got to $2,200, I decided to pull the trigger.