Production set to begin on Loon solar-electric boat
By Ben Coxworth
February 8, 2011
Five years ago we first reported on Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company's Loon, a proposed production solar-electric boat. At that time, creator Monte Gisborne told us that “exhausting hydrocarbons directly into your own lake isn’t much different from urinating in your family room.” In 2009 the 8-passenger watercraft received a design overhaul, and production was scheduled to begin later that year. Now, with a just-announced deal in place to manufacture the boat at facilities in the city of Rome, New York, full-scale Loon production should finally be commencing within the next few months.
The current version of the Loon is 22 feet (6.7 meters) long, with a beam of 7’4” (2.24 meters), and a resin-infused fiberglass hull. Its 48-volt lead-acid battery is charged via 115 or 220-volt mains power, to in turn power a 5.5 hp motor – a 1,000-watt rooftop solar array helps extend the boat’s range, which sits at over 50 miles (80.5 km). It has a cruising speed of 6.5 knots (7.5 mph/12 kph) and a top speed of 8 knots (9.5 mph/15.3 kph).
The company will also continue to produce the Osprey, its 30-passenger all-electric boat.
Should you be interested, Tamarack is now taking US$500 deposits on its new Loons. The complete price will be $32,500.
All images courtesy Tamarack Electric Boat Company.