Catch of the Day:
For many fishermen competing on inland lakes, the question isn’t whether or not to repower their vessel with an electric propulsion system, but which type of motor they should choose. Anglers who regularly compete in tournaments push their equipment longer and much harder than the average boater, so we interviewed Walt Marchant, the president of Metro Reservoir Anglers (a club based in Maryland), for his thoughts on the latest electric motors as well as his advice for fellow fishermen researching the technology.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Walt. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your experience with electric propulsion?
I’ve been fishing for most of my life, and over the last six years I’ve been competing in tournaments with the Metro Reservoir Anglers on electric-only lakes across Maryland.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually been using electric propulsion since the late 70s. Of course, there’s no comparison between that electric motor and the motors of today. The electric motors of the 70s had a design similar to today’s motors, but they were low-capacity and low-power. Today’s technology performs similar to a traditional gas outboard motor, and I’m excited to see the technology continue to develop.
Which Elco motor propels your boat? How does it perform?
I currently use an Elco EP-7 electric outboard motor, and I love it. Electric power is infinitely cleaner and inexpensive compared to traditional gas engines. I just plug in the charger and I don’t have to think about it until the next morning. Recharging is so cheap that I don’t even notice it on my electric bill. There’s also little required maintenance because it’s a brushless AC motor. All I’ve had to do is replace the lower unit oil once a year, and that only takes 15 minutes. Replacement props are also inexpensive and easy to get in the size you need.
What really sets the Elco apart from its competitors is the fact that the motor is water-cooled. Most other electric motors are air-cooled, but Elco’s water-cooled motors are better at preventing overheating, which ultimately facilitates efficient running. I can go for long runs at high speeds without worrying about the motor.
What is your favorite benefit of using an electric motor?
It’s hard to pick just one thing, but if I have to then I’ll go with reliability. Elco’s technology is very reliable and easy to use. Every time you get on your boat and turn the key, you can rest assured that the motor is going to get you where you need to be.
That reliability includes fantastic power and efficiency. My EP-7 is a 48-volt system, and on my 16’ boat it has outperformed many 60-volt systems that are on larger, more efficient hulls. During a recent tournament, I went head-to-head against a competitor with very powerful twin 60 volt motors. Incredibly, my single 48 volt EP-7 gave me the ability to easily outrun the more powerfully equipped boat.
Would you recommend the technology to your fellow fishermen?
Absolutely, and I’d especially recommend Elco a hundred times over. Anybody can make a motor in their garage or write a warranty on a product, but nobody has been doing this for 100 years like Elco has. That gives me the reassurance that I’m getting the best technology.
As I’ve worked more with Elco, I’ve become more impressed with how the company operates. They’ve helped me build a boat that’s faster than 90 percent of my competition for only a fraction of the price, and they’re committed to advancing the technology as a whole. For example, they’re currently working to develop new lithium batteries as an alternative to the traditional lead-acid batteries that most electric boats use. I’ve tested some of the lithium batteries, and I love how they run. They’re much lighter, which ultimately will help you get to your favorite fishing spot faster.
All in all, an Elco motor is what a competitive angler needs. My motor gives me a competitive edge on tournament day – it provides better speed to give me more time to fish, I can beat everyone else to the best spots and I have plenty of power to get through the whole day.
I enjoy sharing good ideas with fellow fishermen, and going with Elco is a great idea.
For more information about Elco electric motors or to schedule a demo, please visit: https://www.elcomotoryachts.com/contact-us.shtml