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CMD Redwing 18 – A Pretty Bird

  The Redwing 18 from Chesapeake Marine Design fits many of my ideals for a Harbor cruiser / adventure craft.  It can take electric power with the efficient shape of a launch.  You can beach it, and it has berths.  At 18 ft, it should sit inside most garages.  It has a small cabin. I love traditional picnic launches, but I think Boston requires some protection in order to enjoy spring and fall, the most quiet and thus best seasons for boating.   CMD claims it can be built for $5000 in materials, which brings it out of the far reaches of the price stratosphere, where most boats float. Pang. They have the one for sale whose construction was documented over 3 issues of wooden boat magazine. Redwing 18 – Boat Plans and Yacht Designs — Chesapeake Marine Design.


UPDATE: CMD also wrote up a nice summary of choices in electric boat hull shape choices.  Check out the PDF.

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Elco electrics invite interest

Elco Drop-In Electric in a sailboat

I first read about ELCO in the book Devil in the White City.  The book tells the true story of a serial killer living the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. It simultaneously tells the story of designing and building the fair itself. ELCO was the company hired by Frederick Law Olmstead to bring electric boats to the waterways he designed. He was insistant the boats be electric rather than   steam-powered for their clean, quiet nature. I couldnt agree with him more.  Well, steam is pretty cool these days, but as much as I love the soothing rumble of a diesel engine (I have loved three diesel engines in my life), I hope go electric on the water from now on.  

No surprise then that I surfed over to ELCO’s site to see their current work.  These drop in electrics are interesting in their modularity, and appear to do a lot of the hard work for you in setting up your own inboard electric.      

ELCO Drop in Diesel repacement

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29 Day Solar Powered Atlantic Crossing

Last year the solar electric boat Sun21 crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 29 days with five men aboard, a Shipbuilder, Skipper, Doctor, Historian, and Biologist.  This passage set the record for the fastest ever solar-powered atlantic crossing.  The fastest Atlantic crossing by any boat, set in 1998, is two days, 20 hours and nine minutes.  Sun21 has a cruising speed of 5 knots.  65 square meters of solar panels provide 10 kilowatts of power for the 12 ton boat.  In the keels sit 520 Amp Hours worth of 48 volt batteries that store 25 kilowatt hours of power, about 80% the average daily use of an American home.  These batteries keep two 8 kW motors, one quarter the size of the electric motor in a Toyota Prius, running 24 hours a day.

The boat cost over US$600,000 (700,000 Swiss Francs) to build and was funded by “idealistic individuals.”  Considering the bloated floating trophies available for view in most large ports, costing many millions of dollars each, this boat is a great example of well directed wealth!

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