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Electric outboards from Elco

Elco Motor Yachts has launched a new line of electric outboards with the introduction of 5- and 7-hp equivalent models. A 9.9-hp motor will be available in January. The outboards are designed to meet a growing interest in clean, quiet, fuel-efficient propulsion, says Elco senior sales manager Ted Norris.

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The company anticipates a strong response from boaters on lakes that prohibit combustion engines, and saltwater sailors have taken interest, says Norris. “We just got back from the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, and a number of people are interested in powering their sailboats or dinghies with our engines,” he says. “Some people are just tired of dealing with fuel filters and carb bowls.”

The 5-hp is $2,910, the 7-hp $4,110 and the 9.9-hp $4,804. All three operate on a 48-volt battery bank. “For a small sailboat, people could go with four 12-volt batteries,” says Norris. “For dinghies and other small boats, we’ll be offering a 48-volt lithium battery pack.”

The 5-hp engine weighs 65 pounds, and the 7 comes in at 85. Performance will be comparable to gasoline outboards of the same horsepower, says Norris. Both the 5 and 7 will run about 2.5 hours, depending on the speed and the boat, before recharging is required, which takes about three hours. The engines can be charged using an on-board 110-volt outlet or from shore power.

The company is offering an optional LCD for monitoring power consumption, rotation rate, forward or reverse, voltage and current. Hydraulic tilt is also optional. The outboards are available at dealerships that currently offer Elco products and directly from the company ( Elco also recently debuted a hybrid electric/diesel propulsion system.

December 2014 issue