Glide on the water guilt-free

Solar-powered Loon pontoon boat from Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company


OK, so it goes a maximum speed of just 6 knots. But if you're looking to relax and fish close to the coast, why not? With high fuel prices, the solar-powered Loon may be just the thing you need to replace the speed boat you were forced to sell.

Loon solar panels
Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company

Glide along quietly in this 20-foot pontoon-style boat with a solar-paneled roof from Ontario-based Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Company. The 3-horse-power electric motor on the Loon is roughly equivalent to a 10hp gas motor. The boat has a total of 48 volts of battery power (eight 6-volt lead acid batteries) that, when strictly solar-powered, has a daily range of up to 30 miles.

While solar-powered boats are nothing new, the Loon battery pack can alternatively be recharged by plugging into a 115-volt plug for 6 hours, or a 220-volt plug for 4 hours, so there is no problem getting to your favorite fishing spot before dawn after a series of overcast days. The roomy-looking boat seats up to eight people comfortably and is environmentally friendly, since you are not releasing hydrocarbons into the water as you ride.

Plus, the fish won't hear you coming.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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