What do you call a group of electric boaters?

A circuit? A spark? Whatever, we arrived back at Braunston where last week we had the pleasure of seeing Ian and Joy take ownership of Tenacity, their brand new electric boat, built by Wharf house here in Braunston. At the same time, Ampère was in the yard having work done. We first saw Ampère, Barbara and Malcom’s electric boat at Crick 3 years ago. They were very encouraging while Eric was contemplating our system.

Ian and Joy decided we should drink the champagne rather than smash the bottle against the side of Tenacity so we all gathered aboard Ampère for the evening, sharing, amongst other things, the secrets of our battery life and prop speeds. (Photos to follow once the camera owner has sobered up enough to forward them to me….)

Its been good to have the companionship of other electric boaters. Eric and Ian have spent many an hour chatting about configuration as our boats were in build at roughly the same time.
Both Braidbar and Wharf House have other electric boats in build or planned. Lawrence’s boat, Elizabeth Ann, is a hybrid combining a diesel beta marine 43 engine and an electric motor. It seems more and more people are realising the advantages of electric boats. And whilst we’ll openly accept its not the best way for everyone. It did give us a buzz seeing 3 pioneers together.

Although we have seen Elizabeth Ann livery, as she hasn’t been released onto the network yet this is her being craned into the water in the spring.

This weekend we met another electric hybrid boater also at Braunston. Paul and his wife, who have created the Waterway Route Maps.

We’ve been looking into this system having first seen them at Crick but having the opportunity to chat with Paul in a less busy environment helped us iron out the download confusion we had. We bought the the full package showing the whole canal network and our first impressions are extremely favourable, having a GPS highlighter showing our exact position whilst cruising proved very useful as we almost missed the winding hole hidden behind the trees. I can see my paper notes of our overnight moorings will soon be redundant. I haven added the maps to my tablet yet but as soon as I do, I’ll be able to add screen shots of where we’ve been. Paul has a very good website showing his map system. Waterwayroutes.co.uk

Paul had his boat built 11 years ago and is friends with Charlie, whose boat Felonious Mongoose was Braidbar’s first adventure into the electric hybrid boating world.

Malcom is involved with the Electric Boat association which he will promoting at Crick next year. I don’t know just how many electric narrowboats there are but I do know they will all be unique.