OwnerMatt Elder
LocationWhitby, Ontario Canada map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle2004 pontoon
16 foot pontoon boat with larger diameter pontoons for weight capacity. Used for primary access to weekend cottage on a small lake.
MotorMinnkota AT50 Permanent Magnet DC
trolling motors
DrivetrainTwo 50 pound thrust AT50 MinnKota trolling motors with Kipawa three blade propellers
24 to 36 volt Curtis style golf car controller wired for 24 volts
Batteries2 Crown 27DC36, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
standard marine 115AH deep cycle bats, I plan to move up to four 225AH 6volt golf car bats this summer. (Still to come, 5 years hard slogging is taking a toll on the crowns) 2010 update, still slogging around on the Crowns! They have not let me down yet!
System Voltage24 Volts
Combination of solar and generator charged
Solar charger is four 15 watt panels with two 12 volt charge controllers.
Generator powers two Motomaster 15/30 amp electronic switching chargers
HeaterJust the summer sun. Update, not much of that this summer (2009)
InstrumentationOccasional readings with a multimeter, LED's on the solar charge controllers,
Digital readout on electronic chargers.
Update, LED readouts for voltage and amps. Max draw is 42 amps at full charge of 26 volts!
Top Speed7 MPH (11 KPH)
Approximate, planning a GPS test this summer. More than enough to cruise the lake silently and move people and supplies across to the cottage. Update, GPS runs prove top speed of 7KPH, ideal cruise is at 25 amps 24.5 volts and 5 KPH!
AccelerationVery good! I can pull logs out of the swamp if needed. I have towed boats that have had mechanical trouble home.
RangeUnknown, I have not measured the lake. I can cruise at full throttle for at least an hour with a loaded boat. Update, 5 years of running and have never fully discharged. I run regular sunset cruises with 6 passengers for hours with no trouble!
Watt Hours/Mileunknown
Seating CapacityHave had ten people at once on it very safely, but have benches for eight
Curb Weight0
Conversion TimeInitially a few weeks but still not finished Update, still not entirely finished!
Conversion Cost$3,000 for the pontoon kit, $50.00 each for the motors, $100 for the controller $300 for panels, $180 for batteries, plus misc items about $3,800
Additional FeaturesWhite tarp sun shade, park benches, wood decking, Very nice Kiwpawa three blade propellers that increased range and speed. U-fab boats here in Ontario provided the excellent pontoon base for this project.
This is a great boat that works hard all summer long! I get 70% of my charge from the panels even though they are cheap amorphous ones. It sits all week at a sunny dock and is ready to take us across the lake Friday evenings. We haul building materials, tools, groceries, coolers full of our favorite beverage ;-), and many friends and family in complete silence with no oily trail! The fish love us, and the sound of the water gently flowing around the pontoons as you go is fantastic! We can cruise up to the loons and and it's our voices that actually give us away. We get more comments and questions from neighbors like "Is that thing really solar powered?" YES is the reply, and always an enthusiastic one. After all the more people see that these thing work the better! Update 2009, boat is working perfectly! Getting ready for the better batteries, maybe next year! I'll move the crowns on to cabins power system, it is also solar charged! Happiness is never paying a hydro bill!
2010 update! still going, lots of use this summer so far. Still loven it!

code by jerry