Athens, NY Representatives of Elco Motor Yachts, supplier of “green” propulsion systems considered by many to be the wave of the future for pleasure boating, have been busy during the boating “off-season.” They’ve interacted with enthusiasts and industry insiders at boat shows in Seattle, Miami, Atlantic City and New York City, both with and without the award-winning Hunter 27E that uses Elco’s state-of-the-art electric powerplant as a supplement to sail power.
While the system, rechargeable by either shore power or onboard solar panels and a wind generator, represents the future, Elco is equally proud of its past, illustrated by the “History of Boating” exhibit they have presented at the New York Boat Show and the Atlantic City Boat Show in conjunction with Hall’s Boat company of Lake George, NY. With a heritage dating to the 1893 World’s Columbian exhibit in Chicago, Elco is very proud of the innovative crafts that were the foundation of today’s technology.
The highlight of the “History of Boating” exhibit that got rave reviews in New York City was the WENONA, an electric launch originally built in 1899 that is currently undergoing a complete restoration.
The craft, originally delivered to the F.R. Smith yard in Lake George, was used to demonstrate the qualities of electric boats. Purchased in 1903 by Bishop Stires, owner of a camp at Shelving Rock, the boat has been full circle and is now owned and is currently being restored by the new owner of the Stires property at Shelving Rock. The WENONA, which became a Lake George icon over the years, could run the length of the lake and back, some 68 miles, on a single battery charge running at a speed of six knots.
Along with the launch, the exhibit featured original components including the electric motor that powered it, the ampeter and voltmeter, the hatchet switch and controller assembly and the original propeller and brass wheel, giving New York Boat Show visitors a better understanding of how the narrow-hull beauty slipped through the Lake George waters so effortlessly.
Elco Motor Yachts has built on this heritage for over a century and is proud of having the opportunity to share it with the boating enthusiasts of 2011.