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Posted 7/12/2002

An Electric Boating Philosophy for our Time

Hanging with the crowd

Getting bleary eyed checking for markers at 30 miles per hour? Tired of being jostled by wakes, but afraid to get off the channel? Ever wonder if there's anything wrong with all that smooth water over there and maybe you'll just leave the crowd and find out?

Generally it's not a good idea to leave the channel if you are trying to make time as boaters have learned the hard way. However, getting off the main drag and exploring unchartered waters offers the adventure and peace on the water many boaters seek. Ray electric outboards can enhance your ability to explore and give you more peace of mind when you are off channel, the result of one of its amazing capabilities.

Oly Started It, We Electrified It

You know, Oly Evinrude's invention is even better than we realize, for now the modern electric version, the Ray electric outboard, permits some amazing capabilities that can make your boating easier and more enjoyable. You will use your boat more.

Cocktail Boats on the Big Ditch

First off, you need to know that electric boats are not limited to "electric only lakes", short outings and the "cocktail circuit". At Ray Electric Outboards we have built two modern efficient electric outboard powered boats that maintain 6 MPH for 12 hours, The Explorer and The Electrocat. You may recognize 6 MPH as typical sail boat speed and 12 hours as all the boating you'll want to do in a day. Why, you can cruise the Intracoastals. All that with quiet, fumeless, inexpensive easy operation. These boats are suitable for "general waters" including large lakes, rivers, and limited offshore. Similar and even improved boats will soon be available from us and other manufacturers. So much for general capabilities, let's explore those amazing capabilities beginning with:

You Don't Need a Lift for Salt Water

Why? Because, although barnacles will attach to a propeller, rudder, and shaft in 6 to 8 months, good bottom paint will protect your hull for two years. Paint will not adhere well to moving metal parts. Once barnacles are on your prop it will vibrate and you'll have to do something. If your boat is inboard, perhaps a lift is the best solution, but if your boat is outboard powered by a motor that will tilt completely out of the water, as the Ray does, you need protect only the hull with good bottom paint. Of course if you are on freshwater you don't have to worry about sea growth.

So your boat is sitting there ready to go at the flip of a switch. You can go on short outings with ease, unwind in the evening with cocktails as the sun paints the sky like the electric only lakers, even though you are on, say, a salt water canal. You can also fish all day or cruise from D.C. to Cape Coral, FL. With an electric boat designed for and used on general waters, you get the best of both worlds.

Extended Cruising with "Fuel" Included in Your Dockage Fee
Amazing Capability #2

Ever heard about recharging stations for electric cars? For widespread use of electric cars the U.S. would need an extensive charging grid, which for the most part is non-existent. But, boaters already have an extensive existing grid, provided by marinas. The electrical outlets at marinas are more than adequate for charging the propulsion batteries of electric boats. Are we lucky!

With a range of 70 miles or more, you can reach the next marina on most of our popular waterways. If your destination is closer you can go a bit faster. Although it takes overnight to recharge you have overnight to recharge. The boat will be ready to go when you are. Larger, say 40 foot boats, will be able to cruise at 9 MPH with a 108 mile range. Electric cruising is a lot of fun and relaxing. At 6 MPH you can sightsee, smell the lilies, and listen to the view (and to each other), easily check the markers and not worry too much if you miss one. You arrive at your destination rested and relaxed.

Kicking Up Some Interest in the Ray Electric Outboard Hit the Bottom and Keep Going
Amazing Capability #3

Oly's idea was a machine you could easily attach to a boat to propel it without oars. He not only achieved this goal, but another that gave the outboard an advantage over inboard engines. His machine was pivoted near the top of the transom so that the whole machine would "kick up" if the underwater parts hit the bottom while underway, minimizing damage to the propeller and other parts.

Although minimizing damage due to forward motion was achieved, this was not quite enough; there was often damage due to the spinning propeller. To prevent spinning propeller damage some sort of torque limiter between the shaft and propeller was employed, the simplest being a shear pin. Today rubber hubs inside propellers cushion the blow to propeller and internal drive parts and some are designed to let the propeller slip (torque limiter). Despite cushioning and slipping rubber hubs, it's not unusual for the propeller to need repair or replacement if it strikes firm bottom at high speed.

But, check this: the Ray electric outboard can hit the bottom repeatedly, kick up, return and keep going at full speed without bending or breaking the propeller or damaging any internal parts. It's had this capability for years and we have always guaranteed the propeller (now for two years) not to bend or break under normal usage, hitting the bottom or other obstructions being normal. How did we succeed where others have failed? We made the prop strong out of the best aluminum alloy available. The prop is large and turns at a relative slow speed and we are dealing with a low powered outboard. A trip release mechanism allows the outboard to kick up and resets when gravity returns it to running position. So, the Ray will "kick up" without damage and keep going if the propeller hits the bottom. Amazing! This not only means more carefree boating and less repair expense, but it removes worry about the most often occurring type of damage due to shallow water, damage to the propeller and underwater parts.

Do You Have to Hang With the Crowd?

We can't advise you to get out of the channels even if you do have a shallow draft Ray powered boat, the decision and safety is up to you. We would like to remind you to be careful, when you are in unmarked waters, use charts, depth finders and navigation aides appropriately.

However, if you are among those who like to get away from the crowd, explore and enjoy peace on the water you will be delighted with a Ray electric outboard powered boat designed for general waters.

Stay Charged,

Mort & Aly Ray