eBoats, electric boats for rent, now operating at the Convention Center docks in downtown Tampa

Rentals another part of riverfront development

TAMPA, Fla. - The quietness is what you notice first.  The movement of water is the only noise around.

The 21-foot electric boat is the newest addition to Tampa's waterfront.

Josh Dohring is the owner of eBoats, and is confident the time is right.

"I think we found a product that really helps people get out and experience the waterfront.  Whether they're visitors, residents or businesses it's a good way to get out and experience the waterfront," Dohring said.

eBoats is now open at the convention center docks.  You don't need a license to rent one - and it costs about $80 an hour.

The boats are powered by 16 on-board batteries that supply the juice for a modest electric motor that sits under the steering console.

The boats' maximum speed is 6 mph.

City officials are hopeful that the new eBoats will become another successful piece of downtown waterfront growth.

"I think it's a great idea.  I think it adds activity to the waterfront.  It brings people down there, it gives them a reason to see downtown from the water," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

When the city displayed lights on five downtown bridges, it provided a glimpse of what a focal point the Hillsborough River can be.

"Taking a casual quiet cruise under and through these five bridges when they are lit up different colors at night is a wildly different experience than simply viewing them from on land," Dohring explained.

A newcomer that hopes to create a wave of success one rental at a time, and help transform an area of Tampa that is yearning for attention.

Mayor Buckhorn knows things are headed in the right direction.

"I think that we're seeing that everyday.  There's more interest in development.  There's more activity on the waterfront and I think more people are taking advantage of the Riverwalk," he said.

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