Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Electric Boat in Canberra

Cygnet Electric Boat in CanberraFor a relaxed trip on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra you can take the "E.L. Cygnet". EL standards for "Electric Launch". This is a battery powered tour boat.

The small boat is an early 20th century design and originally had a one cylinder steam engine. But that took a lot of maintenance and was changed to batteries and an electric motor. I photographed the boat at
Commonwealth Place in the parliamentary triangle. The boat also makes eco tours where it can silently glide near the waterbirds.

The electric motor might seem very modern, but before internal combustion engines became reliable, electric powered cars and boats were a viable option for short trips. The new motor and battery technology being developed for electric and hybrid cars, is also making electric boats a realistic option, particularly for tourist boats.

The equipment for the Cygnet is from The Australian Electric Boat Co, on Sydney Harbour. They offer complete electric canoes and boats for one to sixteen people and an electric outboard motor for quick conversion of boats.

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