Massive - "Beau Lake introduces an all-electric wood-topped instant classic runabout"

Massive - "Beau Lake introduces an all-electric wood-topped instant classic runabout"
Load up the Krug and the caviar and go for a spin.

To this day, up on the big Muskoka lakes north of Toronto, Canada, rich people put on their straw boaters and blue blazers, and tool around in very beautiful, very expensive old mahogany runabouts. Lovely to look at, but high maintenance and often those big old engines are polluting the air and water.

Lee Kline and Paul Lavoie probably know these boats from Lake Ontario and Muskoka where they grew up, and now their company, Beau Lake (the people who brought us a $20,000 pedal boat!) have launched the Tahoe and Lugano electric boats. The difference between the two appears to be that the Tahoe (fancy wooden boats were popular there too) has the gorgeous mahogany top, and the Lugano has a sportier, more European vibe.

These self-draining electric boats consist of three primary construction components; the hull, cockpit liner and deck surface, while an ergonomically designed, hand-carved wooden tiller with joystick component steers its course. Luxury details include a hand-carved mahogany tiller and joystick, one-inch thick leather seat covers that snap off for easy storage, removable two-compartment cooler and charcuterie board. Mirror polished stainless-steel castings and hardware enhance the nautical air

Unlike the classic woodies, these boats have low maintenance fiberglass hulls. The mahogany deck is encased in epoxy fibreglass for zero maintenance.

Most importantly, they are powered by Torqeedo 2.0 FP pod drives that pump out 1,120 watts, equivalent to about 6 horsepower, connected to Torqeedo’s Power 24-3500 Lithium-Ion battery pack holding 3,500 Wh sealed in a waterproof box.

Torqeedo battery pack

This is a wonderful hardware package, I have wanted it for my own boat, but it is one reason these boats are so expensive; the motor retails in the US for $4549 and the battery pack, $2900.

Lloyd Alter's boat full of firewood

When I quote the price of $US35,000 for the package, readers will rightly ask, “Why is this on TreeHugger?” Is this not wretched excess, totally ridiculous, paying over 12 times what I paid for my 14′ aluminum boat with a motor that’s twice as powerful, and can carry a face cord of firewood? Whatever happened to the concept of sufficiency?

rear of Tahoe

Well, yes. But it isn’t more expensive than some of the classic woodies with giant fossil-fuelled engines, and it is an all-electric thing of beauty. With a top speed of 6 knots (cruising speed of 3.5) it’s not going to throw a big wake or make the neighbours crazy. It’s a nice harmless toy for rich people who don’t have to haul firewood, and that’s just fine. Come the revolution, they won’t be able to outrun the locals in their tinnies.

Load up the Krug and the caviar and go for a spin.