September 9th, 2012
Here at Elco, we are passionately invested in keeping our world’s water sources clean. Fortunately, we’re neither the first nor the only people to think this way. This week’s Waterway is the St. Croix River. Starting in northwestern Wisconsin, this 160-mile river makes up part of the boundary between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The concern with keeping this river clean started early, as the St. Croix River Improvement Association was founded in 1911. Until 1989, these volunteers worked to keep the river navigable and pollution-free, as well as to secure federal protection. It was one of the original eight rivers to have portions protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Today, the St. Croix is a National Scenic Riverway under the protection of the National Park Service.
Despite its protected status, the St. Croix is a popular recreation spot. Boating, fishing, canoeing, and camping are common activities along the river, and state parks, quaint towns, and scenic highways can be found on both the Wisconsin and Minnesota sides. A great blend of eco-friendly spirit and recreation, just like the Elco Electric Propulsion motor. Safe travels!
For more information about the St. Croix River, visit http://www.nps.gov/sacn/index.htm
September 4th, 2012
Elco’s Waterway this week is Skaneatles Lake, just southwest of Syracuse, New York. One of the 11 “Finger Lakes” in this region, Skaneatles is sometimes called “The Roof Garden” of the lakes due to its high altitude (more than 800 feet above sea level). Why is it our Waterway, you ask? Simple. This lake is incredibly clean. So clean, in fact, that the city of Syracuse uses it unfiltered.
From the Iroquois word for “long lake”, Skaneatles is 16 miles long and only three quarters of a mile wide. Former Secretary of State William H. Seward called it “The most beautiful body of water in the world.” Several towns and villages cozy up to the lake’s shores, and recreation on the lake is encouraged with cruises and canoe rentals, as well as several public boat launches. Try out an eco-friendly Elco motor on Skaneatles Lake, and have a hand in keeping the water clean enough to drink!
For more information on Skaneatles Lake, visit http://www.fingerlakes.com/skaneateles
August 26th, 2012
The buildup to the 2013 America’s Cup continues this week with the America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco. Unlike the baseball version, this is a true world series, with previous events held in Portugal, Great Britain, and Italy. Defending champion Team Oracle Racing 4 leads the standings with 102 total points, nine more than New Zealand’s Emirates Team and 20 more than Sweden’s Artemis Racing.
The pinnacle of sailing technology, the boats used for the America’s Cup can actually sail faster than the wind that powers them! Upwind, they can achieve speeds 1.2 times faster than the wind, while sailing downwind could see speeds up to 1.6 times faster. While many of us won’t have the chance to sail on these catamarans, we still wonder: what if there isn’t any wind?
That’s where the Elco electric motor comes into play. A range of electric motors can power boats anywhere from 10 to 56 feet, with almost no engine noise and absolutely no gasoline or oil used. While we doubt these guys need our help, maybe you do!
August 26th, 2012
Bryan Gittins knows a thing or two about boats. They’ve taken him from his childhood home in Argentina to points all across the globe. His journey has swept him to London, Canada, Chile, South Africa, and eventually back to Canada, where he now owns the exclusive rights to manufacture the Falmouth Cutter 34. Gittins has extensive knowledge of woodworking, and has graduated from working for a Peruvian furniture maker to owning his own boatyard: Channel Cutter Yachts in Ladysmith, British Columbia.
The Falmouth Cutter 34 is the final design of Lyle Hess, a native Idahoan who made his home in southern California. Hess called the 34 “The best boat I’ve ever designed,” a lofty statement from an architect with a devoted following and numerous designs under his belt. His customers and friends knew Hess as a man with an incredible eye for, and attention to, the detail work of designing and building sailboats. It’s fitting, then, that Gittins be the one tasked with building his final design.
Gittins first began working on boats at the lowest rung of a Canadian boatyard building another Lyle Hess design, the Bristol Channel Cutter (BCC) 28. From this he graduated to owning a small boatyard with his friend Al Brunt. After several years of superior craftsmanship at the expense of a steady income, the venture dissolved. He spent seven lean years building a 28 named Danzarin, and sailed to South Africa in search of more BCC-building boatyards. He looked up Ed McNeil, who had purchased the exclusive rights to build the Falmouth Cutter 34 but needed help with the kind of fine woodworking – rudders, hatches, tillers, etc. – at which Gittins excels. From this partnership, Gittins eventually realized his dream.
He returned to the States, sold his beloved Danzarin (“dancer” in Spanish), and bought five acres in the shoreline city of Nanaimo, in British Columbia. After finishing a beautiful BCC 34 for McNeil while in Houston, he saw the possibility of making a living from this craft. Gittins purchased the exclusive rights to build the 34 from McNeil and set up Channel Cutter Yachts, where he’s been working ever since.
Gittins puts immense care and craftsmanship into each boat he builds, so it should come as no surprise that he outfits his boats with Elco Electric Propulsion (EP) motors. With thousands of hours at sea and multiple major ocean passages, Gittins is a world-class sailor building top-notch vessels. Check him out at http://www.channelcutteryachts.com/
August 4th, 2012
Green Vehicle Credits
In the automotive industry a system known as “Green Vehicle Credits” was
established to put a cap on the amount of emissions a vehicle is allowed to release.
These credits can be traded, sold, or bought as long as the company remains
under their cap. Could this system be used for boats in the near future? Read on to
find out more:
July 31st, 2012
“Wenona” is a 32’ electric Elco launch. She was built in 1899 and delivered to the F. R. Smith yard on Lake George where she was used to demonstrate the qualities of electric boats. In 1903 she was purchased by Bishop Stires, who owned a camp at Shelving Rock and who was a prominent figure in New York as well as on the lake. “Wenona” became a Lake George icon throughout the 20th century, as the favorite boat of the popular bishop, his son, and finally his grandson Ernie Stires, who finally sold the boat out of the family in 2006—but right back to her old stomping grounds.
She is being launched very soon!
July 9th, 2012
July’s Waterway of the Month is Dana Point Harbor. This beautiful spot is located in Orange County, California and is home to the Dana Point Boat Show. This year’s show was the platform for the first West Coast presentation of the Hunter e36 Hybrid. Elco’s innovative technology was well received by many patrons of the eco-aware event. Learn more about the show by taking a look at their website: http://www.danaboatshow.com/
In keeping with the goal of the Waterway of the Month initiative, we chose Dana Point Harbor because it is also a prime example of environmental responsibility. Well kept and clean, the area has been claimed as one of California’s Historical Landmarks. The harbor also houses the Ocean Institute, which offers classes and other educational modules that deal with the marine sciences and maritime history to over 100,000 students who live in the area.
For more information on the harbor, click here: http://www.danapointharbor.
July 3rd, 2012
The ocean needs our attention. One World One Ocean has taken responsibility to speak on behalf of the ocean through this short clip:
To learn more about the organization and their initiative, visit http://www.oneworldoneocean.org/
June 11th, 2012
To kick off our new “Waterway of the Month” initiative, we are highlighting Clear Lake, located in Clear Lake, Iowa. The CLEAR (Clear Lake Enhancement and Restoration) Project focuses on maintaining the beauty and purity of the area’s entire ecosystem. You can find more information, as well as photos of the lake and clean-up efforts at: http://www.clearproject.net/index.html.