Going Green: Solar-powered boats
Our Terry Ettinger tells us about a boat that offers something different in comparison to your average pontoon boat.
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A sunny day makes perfect conditions for taking a quiet cruise around a local lake. This particular cruise might seem quieter than your average boat though, and that is because the power is coming from the sun.
"This boat is effectively a battery-powered boat, so the electric motor, which propels the boat forward, gets all of its energy from the batteries. The batteries in turn, get their energy from the sun," explained Montgomery Gisborn, Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company. "There's 800 watts of solar on board this boat, which is constantly working, whether the boat is moving or not, to keep the batteries fully charged, giving you an effective range of roughly 50 miles, which is a lot of boating."
The Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company is building these boats in Rome, New York with funding assistance from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
"The retail price of this boat is just south of $40,000 and it comes with a guarantee that you'll never have to buy a stinking gallon of gas for it, ever," said Gisborn.
With average use, the breakeven point with a lower priced, gas-powered pontoon boat is about five years, and there are other benefits too.
"This boat is seamless to the operator that it's not a gas-powered boat, except for the fact that you don't have the noise. So therefore, we can conduct this interview at a normal voice level and you don't have the smells and the vibrations associated with internal combustion," added Gisborn.