For ten years, the Toolboat has been providing tools and inventory for Above the Waterline, Ltd., a Shipwright service business located in the Santa Barbara harbor.
The Toolboat was converted to electric propulsion in 2007 when she became energy independent thanks to 180 watts of solar panels.
The Toolboat moves at around 3 knots and displaces 4,500 lbs. She is 17 feet long and 6 feet wide and has a cathedral bottom for stability. There are two Minn Kota pod motors, bow and stern, controlled by a wireless device not much larger than a key fob. The Toolboat is the most manoevable vessel in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
It is an amazing sense of freedom that you get when your boat becomes energy independent. You no longer have to plug her in or take her to the fuel dock. Your boat is ready to go at any instant at the touch of a button. That’s what I like about electric propulsion – the convenience and simplicity of operation.