Humber Foton: A Solar Powered Electric Fishing/ Runabout

The Torqeedo electric outboard motor has been on TreeHugger before, but John Rowley of Humber Boats goes a step further: He has taken a classic 70's boat design and modified it to run on a Torqeedo, two batteries and an array of solar panels. If you are a weekend boater you might need never to plug it in.

Now I have always thought that fiberglass boats from the seventies and eighties were among the ugliest things afloat, but John Rowley thinks they have charm, and certainly an electric model does have an attraction. It will run 1.5 hours at full speed on a full charge, and will recharge in about eight hours. If you putter about for fishing at 20 or 30 minutes at a time it might run all day.


The electric outboard motor gets its power from two 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries. The batteries are connected together in series, making one 24 volt battery. The batteries are recharged by two 90 watt Sun Power solar panels which are also connected together in series, making 24 volts. Contrary to popular belief, as long as there is daylight, your panels are charging the batteries, even on cloudy days. Yes, direct sunlight charges the batteries faster but as long as there is light, there is power, free power! The best thing is your panels are always working. This means that even while your Humber Foton is in motion, as long as there is daylight, your batteries are being topped up.

Unlike Monte Gisborne's solar powered pontoon boat, the Loon, here the solar panels are fastened to the deck, so there is not a lot of sunbathing room.

But at C$ 7995 (US$ 6600 right now) it is reasonably priced, given that the motor alone is worth close to three grand. Everything is included except the trailer.

I interview John Rowley of Humber Boats. More at Humber Boats, found at the Green Living Show.

More on the Torqeedo and electric boats:
Testing the Torqeedo Electric Outboard Motor
Torqeedo Electric Outboard Motor
The Loon: Solar-Powered DIY Pontoon Boat
Eco Motor Boat - Is it Possible?
The Loon, Solar-Assisted Boat , To Go On Summer Tour Of New York ...

Tags: Boats | Electricity | Toronto | Transportation

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