GBF Winter 2022 Newsletter

Photo: Courtesy of Candela. CandelaII C-7 cruising over 20 knots on computer controlled hydrofoils. GBF notes there continues to be many innovations in high-speed electric boats to deal with battery power/size required and this is just one example. IS THIS THE FUTURE? Still — that fear of being stranded is real — so GBF asked the Mueller’s (M) about that fear for both their electrically powered-boats (a small watercraft and a pontoon boat). Before you bought the electric motor — were you worried about being stranded somewhere? M: We're concerned so we bought two TorqeedoII batteries. However, one battery has been sufficient on Otter Lake to go about 8 kmwhich is about as far as we go. Were you worried that charging would be very hard to figure out? M: No, we knew how easy charging can be from driving EV's. If so, how have you overcome this fear? M: We had a charging outlet installed at our dock for a cost of $1900 where we plan to charge the Pure WatercraftII electric motor for the pontoon boat. The small portable TorqeedoII (4 HP) motor and batteries are light weight and easy to store in our basement and re-charge there in about 7 hours if near empty (average plug). We like the convenience and over-all lower operational cost of charging at home. Is charging your battery(s) really complex or time-consuming or really hard to do? M: Re-charging a battery is simple. Like recharging one's cell phone. What about bigger, high-speed boats? That doesn’t mean there aren’t options for big high-speed boats, and yachts and so on that travel very large distances and require a lot of energy. There probably are — but they represent a smaller portion of drives due to the high price point, and/or require huge batteries that make them difficult to design. Hydrofoil speedboat technology might be one way to overcome the significant challenge of drag that sucks up battery juice and would therefore increase efficiency, according to an article on Swedish company CandelaIII. This company has apparently also developed a range of high-speed long-range ferries, and yacht options. Other potential areas of interest and progress centre around building in operational artificial intelligence. Smart boats, like smart cars, can benefit from technology whereby performance is constantly optimized via “the cloud” and software upgrades can routinely improve boat performanceIV. There are likely many other progressive technologies and solutions arising, and we are interested in hearing of any developments from you (email: But, if you can’t charge at home/ seasonal residence — charging at your marina is a challenge that needs a lot of government support to help identify and solve. GBF talked to marina owner and GBF donor Drew Lichtenheldt of Point Pleasant Marina. Drew wants to do more to support the reduction of polluting emissions from all combustible engines though electrification but notes that the grid (at least up farther north) does not support more than a few electric charger installations for cars at his marina let alone adding capacities for charging more and bigger electric boats. Also, he points out that while a few of his docks on the water support hydro/ electricity (as a service for electric amenities in bigger boats) — the costs of expanding the number of hydro supported docks is at least 4 times as expensive as straight mooring docks. Drew points out there is a real opportunity if proper financial and regulatory supports are put in place. Supplying gas to customers is a cumbersome service, not a profit-making exercise for many marina owners — and pollution emissions from oil and gas motors are clearly evident in his experience on the water. • Drew has deployed a Seabin, a kind of stationary surface water vacuum at Point Pleasant Marina that is collecting pollution and data as part of the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup program of which GBF is a collaborator. The Seabin has an absorbent cloth that is designed to catch hydrocarbon pollution (such as oil and gas) that are in the water. 90-95% of the time it is completely saturated when he goes to empty the Seabin! • That is especially worrisome given the care Drew takes when summerizing customer’s inboard/outboard boats. He makes sure they are outfitted with a fresh specially made pad in their bilge that absorbs oil pollution from ICE inboard engines. (GBF will be looking to do a specific article on this tip/process which should be widely adopted for ICE inboard/ outboard engines). Even if everyone adopted use of these pads and had the newest 4 stroke engines — a really high bar — it is been his experience that there are still concerning amounts of emissions that would get into the water. CONTINUE READING “Charging of the electric motor is enabled by a battery charging system that must be plugged into shore power or by the optional solar charging controller.” Notes GBF Executive Director David Sweetnam. “Expected routine daily usage of the watercraft will utilize only 25% of the installed battery capacity. If the boat is not in use and the battery was starting from 10% capacity, the system would be capable of reaching the maximum battery capacity after 4 hours.” This utility boat will be used daily by students going to Phragbusting locations and mapping, and for shoreline remedial work. GBF.ORG | WINTER 2022 | 7