Donald Trump Says Electric Boats Will Sink Because They're Heavy, And Then You'll Have To Decide If You Want To Get Electrocuted Or Face A Shark

Screenshot: PBS on YouTube
Screenshot: PBS on YouTube

Former president and convicted felon Donald J. Trump held a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada this week in over-100-degree weather. During this event the MAGA man told a crowd of 2,000 gathered supporters about a recent conversation he claims to have had with the owner of a boat manufacturing operation. Specifically, Trump shared his thoughts on electric-powered boats and sharks. If an electric boat were sinking and you had to choose between being electrocuted and getting eaten by a shark, Trump (whose fear of sharks has been well documented) says he would pick electrocution. Surely these are topics that will resonate with land-locked Nevadans living in the largest metropolitan area in the Mojave Desert.

Perhaps as a result of the high heat and the lengthy talk, Trump went on a rambling tangent about electric motor boats.


“I say what would happen if the boat sank from its weight?,” offered Trump, “And you’re in the boat and you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery is now underwater, and there’s a shark that’s approximately ten yards over there? By the way, a lot of shark attacks lately, did you notice that? I watched some guys justifying it today, ‘well they weren’t really that angry, they bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they were not hungry, but they misunderstood who she was.”

It’s often difficult to fully understand what Trump is talking about. It seems like he’s saying that battery-powered boats will simply sink because they are heavy, which simply isn’t the case.

After a minute he got back to his original electric boat story:

So there’s a shark ten yards, or here. Do I get electrocuted if the boat is sinking and water goes over the battery? Do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted, or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted? You know what I would do, if there’s a shark or get electrocuted? I would take electrocuted every single time. I’m not gettin’ near the shark.

Just to be clear, EVs (of the car, boat, or plane variety) can get wet and won’t electrocute you. Electric cars are designed to be capable of travel on wet days, and they aren’t water-bound vessels. Electric boats are similarly designed to prevent any ill effects that may come with combining electricity and water. Boat makers—like Nautiques and their all-electric GS22E ski boat—put the high-voltage battery in a watertight case. Heatmap reporter Jeva Lange reached out to every boat maker with an electric model in 2023, and each of them confirmed their electric boats meet a waterproofing standard “at, or just below, what is required for a submarine.”

Engineers designing electrically propelled machines are forced to think through many unlikely eventualities. If you drive your electric car into a body of water, you should not be afraid of electric shock upon exiting the vehicle. It is no more electrically dangerous to you than it is on land. The same goes for electric boats.

Maybe Trump is talking about something he doesn’t really understand. But he wouldn’t do that, would he?

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.