by Patrick Carone
Elco Motor Yachts is on the cutting edge of electric and hybrid boating. After all, why should cars have all the non-gasoline-fueled fun?
Gearheads the world over love nothing more than talking about Tesla. Yes, the electric car company founded by Elon Musk has revolutionized the way folks think about non-gasoline-powered automobiles. Far from the days of the eco-friendly (yet woefully dorky and underpowered) Prius, Teslas are sleek, sexy, and fast as hell. (Seriously, the Model S moves from 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds, just as quick as the ultimate sports sedan, the BMW M5.) Now, thanks to venerable boat and boat motor manufacturer Elco Motor Yachts, seafaring vessels are getting in on some of the electric fun.
We had the opportunity recently to take a ride in picturesque Lake George in upstate New York in a vintage Elco Cruisette called the Green Machine powered by an electric Elco motor. The Green Machine is a 34′ Elco Cruisette built in 1941 and recently renovated by Elco and Hall’s Boatworks. The original motor, gas tanks, and the majority of the mechanical and electrical components were pulled out and repowered with an Elco EP-7000 inboard electric motor. With its new electric motor, batteries and solar panels, it has a cruising range of about 65 miles at speeds of up to 8.5 knots. Plus, with the addition of its diesel generator, the Green Machine can cruise continuously for 465 miles. Not too shabby!