New Horizons: An Eco-Friendly Approach to Faster Boating

Written by
Jocelyne Wijaya '26
Dec. 7, 2023

Flux Marine is changing the boating industry one motor at a time. 

According to the company’s website, Flux Marine aims to bridge the gap between sustainability and performance, by utilizing a “clean slate approach” to “redesigning the marine propulsion system with a renewed focus on performance, reliability, and sustainability.” Originally founded by Princeton Alum Ben Sorkin’ 17 and Jonathan Lord’ 18, the Rhode Island boating company has come a long way since 2019, when they won the Cleantech Open as the National People’s Choice winner. Just recently, at a speed of 114.20 mph, the boat “big bird”, powered by a Flux Marine engine and driven by Princeton Electric Speedboating, smashed the electric boat world speed record

As an avid boater himself, Sorkin always looked for innovative ways to improve the boating experience. It was during Sorkin’s sophmore year at Princeton that he started entertaining the idea of utilizing hydrogen cells as a fuel source. He built some early prototypes and pitched the idea until this dream turned into a possibility. He realized that he had a unique opportunity to bring something new to the marine industry, minimizing the environmental footprint without impacting the fun of boating.

“If you look at the marine industry,” Sorkin explains, “there are thousands of companies that build boats, but only a handful that build the propulsion systems for the boats.” 

This is where Flux Marine stepped in. They create these propulsion systems as eco-friendly solutions to the boating industry. Still, even with this focus on sustainability, Sorkin emphasizes that the company does not trade off the capabilities of the boats themselves.  This is because electric propulsion systems require little maintenance and avoid common boating pain points —like winterization — that other boaters experience. Moreover, Sorkin explained that these systems provide faster acceleration for those who see boating as not only a passion, but also as a career. 

In other words, “Flux Marine is not just sustainable. It commits to a superior product and experience,” Sorkin insists. 

In looking towards the future, Sorkin said that he is building the company keeping these principles in mind. According to Sorkin, Flux Marine will remain loyal to their mission of developing all-electric propulsion systems for partner companies who are looking for long-term yet efficient electric solutions to boating.

“We’re still at the tip of the iceberg,” Sorkin argues, “it truly takes a village, but we have grown from a small company of 3 to amassing over 50 workers.” “We relied on our network, our passion, and grit, to turn this company into what it is and to achieve our goals,” he added.

“We want to focus on getting the right product out there,” Sorkin explains. “As an innovator, my belief is not that we have to convince people to buy a sustainable solution, but to ensure and design a sustainable solution that is also superior so that the consumer does not have to make a choice.” Thus, the company seeks to broaden the scale of impact they can reach — on domestic and international consumers. 

“We want our engineers to see how consumers can utilize their product, while also emphasizing the capabilities of our creations.” Sorkin summarizes. “A critical part of our company is to ensure that we can also build other people up for success in a collaborative and challenging environment.”