DORA, a beloved fantail launch at Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, Washington, is now available for charters.
DORA gets her batteries charged by solar panels on the roof of CWB's new Wagner Education Center. The panels produce enough energy meet CWB's needs and provide a net credit from the city's electric power utility.
In the late 1880s, refinements in the steam engine, as well as new technologies such as naptha, gasoline, and electric motors resulted in the creation of a new type of watercraft: the small power boat. Pleasure fantail launches of the late 19th century inspired Oregon Naval Architect Pat Spurlock to design DORA, the electric launch at Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats (CWB). She’s powered by an electric motor and control system produced by Elco, the descendant of the Electric Launch Company of Bayonne, New Jersey, which was founded in 1893 to produce electric launches powered by early dry-cell batteries. As small gas engines became more reliable, interest in electric boats faded, the company changed its name to Elco and switched to producing gas-powered launches and cruisers until the late 1940s. In the 1970s Elco was resurrected to produce electric launches and drive systems.