By VICTORIA GUAY
A canopied power boat on display in front of the Ship Store at Fay’s Boat Yard in Gilford has sparked a lot of
interest — it doesn’t run on gasoline, but rather electricity.
Michal Bodnar, general manager at Fay’s, said they have been displaying the 18-foot fiberglass vessel for a
dealer based in Vermont.
Bodnar said Tim McShane, owner of Vermont Electric Boatworks in Alburg, Vt., approached the Boat Yard to see if
they would be interested in displaying the boat for a few weeks.
McShane brought the boat, manufactured by Duffy Electric Boat Company in Newport Beach, Calif., to the area for
the Lakeside Living Expo at Gunstock Mountain Resort and for the Winnipesaukee Antique & Classic Boat Show in
Meredith, events held last month.
“This was more of an experiment to see what kind of traffic, what kind of interest the boat would generate,”
Bodnar said. “This is totally new to us. It is very unique.”
Bodnar said traffic has been good, with lots of people stopping to look at the boat, which is an 18 “Snug
Harbor” model, and ask questions.
“People are looking, but I’d say this model is more suited for a smaller lake, like Winnisquam,” Bodnar said.
“But it could be used on a large lake; these boats are very stable.”
He added that he’s given McShane a few leads on possible buyers.
Electric boats do not go very fast, with a maximum speed of 7 to 8 mph, but they do not produce emissions and
are allowed on lakes that restrict gasoline engine powered boats.
At full speed, Bodnar said the boat can run for three-and-a-half hours on one fully charged battery, double that
if a buyer requests the addition of a second battery.
McShane has been the exclusive Duffy Electric Boat Company dealer in northern New England and New York state for
three years, but this has been his first foray into New Hampshire.
Currently, there are no electric boat dealers in New Hampshire.
A few boat dealers offer electric trolling motors for use as an accessory on small fishing boats, such as Jim’s
Marine Sales in Newport and Dover Marine in Dover.
Frank Merrill, one of the owners of Dover Marine, said an electric trolling motor of four to five horsepower
would be good for a small pram or utility boat.
Duffy electric boats have a 10-horsepower engine.
McShane said he has had moderate success selling electric boats in Vermont and New York and has sold nine in
total over the last three years, including to a buyer in New Hampshire who operates his boat on Squam Lake.
“It’s been growing slowly,” McShane said.
McShane said while electric boats, particularly those manufactured by Duffy, have been on the West Coast for
more than 30 years, they are a relatively new phenomenon in the Lakes Region.
Duffy models range in size from 14 to 22 feet and cost from $20,000 to $50,000, comparable or only slightly more
expensive than gasoline-powered boats of the same size, McShane said.
McShane said in addition to the environmental benefit of producing no carbon emissions, the boats are quiet.
The boats can be recharged by plugging the battery into any regular house current outlet (110 AC). It takes
about 10 hours to charge an empty battery.
The cost of electricity for charging the boat is about $2, McShane said.
McShane said all the electric boats are custom built by Duffy, and a variety of colors and cabin layouts are
“It’s essentially a lake boat, but the kind of boat you don’t go places in so much as go out on the water and
hang out,” McShane said of the Snug Harbor on display in Gilford, adding that one wouldn’t want to take an electric
boat across the length or width of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Also according to their website, Duffy is the official boat maker for the Walt Disney Corporation, and their
electric boats are also used by corporate venues around the world, including at Marriott Hotels and the Nature
Conservancy in Naples, Fla. The California Fish and Game Department also uses the vessels for exploration of