Going Green - Electric power

Posted on Sun, 21 Jan, 2024

A big step towards going green as we start testing replacing petrol with electric powered engines in our coaching boats.

This week the weather has finally eased and the river has come off red flags to enable us to test out our set-up using products from Torqeedo, Golden Arrow Marine, and Peli Products.

Besides the key objective of removing CO2 from our operations, being a positive environmental role model to our +1,500 participants a year, and helping lead the charge in the transition to electric.

There are also some other useful benefits, which I’m sure rowing coaches will notice right away.

  1. The lack of engine noise, the motor is almost silent leaving just the noise of the water, bliss! We look forward to being along side a crew and not having to shout or use a megaphone.
  2. Planing of the hull and potentially less wash at low speed. As the engine has less weight than a conventional petrol and the batteries are located towards the bow the launch is in much better balance to plane at low speeds. Offering better visibility over the bow and hopefully less wash at coaching speeds. Although we need to test and quantify this.
  3. Less maintenance. With fewer moving parts there is potential for longer operating time between services. Given the volume of activities we run our engines take a beating and anything that reduces the time they are out of action will be a bonus for us.

However, there is still some work needed to get this all working efficiently.
We are still optimising our set-up in the boat so launch drivers can just plug and go, we need to train people in how to use it, and understand running times and charging. But the big one is for us to upgrade our pontoon infrastructure to enable charging close to the boats, this will avoid the need to move around heavy batteries and could be a useful life line for any electric boat to plug and charge if they find themselves low on power.

Watch this space and thank you for the support, hard work and clever thinking from Alastair Horn, Allan Munro-Faure, Richard Burnett and Amanda Wood.

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