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Monday, July 29, 2013

Electric Boat Engines

Electric Boat Engine
Get around on quiet, electric power on Zoo Lake in Oklahoma City.

Engines are obnoxiously noisy.  When I'm up in the sky, I don’t lament the sound of whooshing clouds streaming past me at 300mph.  However, on a boat – with the rush of water, the calls of birds, and the swishing of flora on the banks – it would be nice to be able to hear the environment around you.

For some time now I have pined after electric marine engines.  Torqeedo in particular seems like a company that is heading in a fabulous direction, with a range of electric engines powered completely by electricity.

As technology grows, we are seeing some amazing advancements in marine propulsion.  At the Oklahoma City Zoo, for instance, Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 engines are powering 40’x12’ 50-passenger vessels on 15 to 20 minute lake tours.  The owner/operator of the fleet, Bob Bekoff, says “the Torqeedo motors have corrected the overheating and dependability problems,” and that “although the old engines were 10 hp, the smaller Torqeedo motors push the boats just as easily.” 

Quiet, efficient, dependable, and light.  What more could a boater want from an engine?  There are many other alternatives as well, including trolling motors by Minn-Kota and other brands, as well as a few propane-powered outboards by Lehr

After a noisy dinghy cruise this past weekend, I was certainly ready for a quieter alternative to scooting across the water.  With widespread adoption of alternative engines, we might just be able to go back to a standard of tranquility on the water. 
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