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Green Gizmo II

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Man with a Mission (How to Make a Boat Greener and Energy Efficient), by Ben Ellison (continued)


Green Gizmo II

What kind of boat is that?

Gizmo is Duffy 37 hull No. 1 custom finished by Covey Island Boatworks in 2000. The extended cabin top is a good home for the solar panels, the capacious antenna mast helps with the electronics testing mission, and the design’s ability to cruise well at various displacement and semi-displacement speeds has made two Maine-to-Carolinas round trips reasonably fuel efficient and comfortable.

I love Gizmo, but every once in a while I fall into a daydream about what the next boat could be, and it has a lot to do with the pluses of energy efficiency. The technology may not be quite there yet but I picture a handsome Down East express with an electric propulsion motor and lithium battery bank able to slow cruise for hours in near silence, with a big solar array on top. But she’s also equipped with a high amperage, highly soundproof generator that’s able to quickly top the battery bank regardless of luxurious appliances and also able to get the electric motor to push the lightly built boat to full planning speed. 

I might carve a few doughnuts around my pretentious sailor friends while shouting out pithy George Carlin quotes, and then I’d be on my merry and green-enough way.

Greener Pastures:

These companies can help make your boat more energy efficient.

Solar panel systems: Kyocera, kyocerasolar; Blue Sky Energy,; eMarine Systems,

Remote battery monitoring: Siren Marine,

Sun awning: Sunbrella, Aurora Sails & Canvas,

Lighting: Alpenglow Lights,; Dr. LED,; Edson,; Imtra,; Lumitec,; Marinebeam,

Fuel flow sensors: Maretron,

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