Electric outboard motors may be on verge of revolutionizing boating

Motorboat
(faungg's photos)

“The Tesla of boats,” that’s the way one maker of electric marine motors is billing itself and its products.

Electric outboards today are capable of producing the same speeds as similar power gas outboards, are extremely reliable and require less maintenance than their gas counterparts, say their manufacturers. We seem to be on the verge of an e-motor boating revolution.

So, the Fish & Boat Commission had no choice recently but to update its regulations governing electric motors and the speeds they generate. Previous regulations that assume all electrics are not disruptive running wide open in no-wake zones and on small lakes managed for electric motors only are obsolete.

My, how things have changed since a certain young man I remember many decades ago used to chase beavers around Black Moshannon Lake in central Pennsylvania in a beat-up orange Coleman canoe until they would slap the water with their tails before diving — making a “crack” like a gunshot that delighted his little boy.

It was the wrong thing to do and, of course, I regret it. But before you turn me in to the game warden, know this: The beavers were in no jeopardy. The measly 4 pounds or so of thrust from that little Minn Kota — the first electric motor I owned — couldn’t get close to catching those aquatic rodents.

And by the way, fun fact, beavers really are rodents. They are the largest rodents in North America and the second-largest rodent in the world, behind only the capybara, which are found in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Northeast Argentina and Uruguay.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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