Solar Boating

Like a lot of people this past weekend as the temperature rose and the heat wave settled in, I scrambled to find solice in the form of a body of water that led to two distinct aquatic experiences.  My initial inclanation was to debate the pros and cons of motorized versus paddle power boating.  Upon some thought, I realized I don’t want to!

I consider them to be seperate forms of activity altogether.  The nature of this blog implies that I would pontificate on the virtue of self propelled watercraft while attempting to dissuade the use the evil motorboat but I just can’t do it.  I enjoy them both immensely but did find myself feeling a little guilty as I was doing donuts on a jet-ski and choking on the the fumes I was creating.

I don’t know if it’s possible but the pontoon boats that are so prevelant on the lake I was at in Webster seem to be prime canidates for some type of solar electric conversion.  Almost all of them have large steel frame canopies, some even have a second level and they all spend most of the time trolling slowly along the lake with long periods sitting on the open water baking in the summer sun.  As we sat, docked up with another pontoon boat I couldn’t help but wonder what the added expense would be of going electric or hybrid on a small boat engine and powering that engine with solar panels.  It appears to me that the boating community gets screwed every summer as they must constantly fill up their 5 gallon tanks during the period when gas prices maintain there highest levels of each year.

Would people trade a few MPH off the party boat top speed to cut that gas bill a lot or out completely?


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