Electric boat motor manufacturer, Elco has joined up with Rock Proof Boats to produce new factory-rigged all-electric outboard models. The companies say the 1760R centr console, the first in Rock Proof’s ePro Series, can top speeds of 25mph (40kmh) with two anglers on board.
Rock Proof Boats was founded in 2001 by Brent Kauffman, an avid tournament fisherman who says he couldn’t find a boat able to take him to the spots that were part of his tournament success – shallow, rocky and non-navigable rivers “where fish haven’t seen a lure for weeks”
“The day that Rock Proof Boats got started is when my father handed me the fishing rod to fight my first small-mouth bass.” says Kaufman. Since he couldn’t find the boat he wanted he decided to build his own and started by modifying other boats.
Elco focus on electric boat motors
Through the trial and error of running them in those shallow waters and carrying over the best modifications from boat to boat, he hit the perfect combination. The company now offers 4 model ranges including jet propelled version and customizable River Rescue Boats.
Elco started when they won the pitch to supply 50 electric boats for the canals of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, better known as the Chicago World’s Fair. When fossil fuels became the choice of energy for boats they switched to making those and grew to become the second largest recreational boat builder in the United States.
You can read a more complete history here, but to skip ahead, the company was sold, bought, sold again and in 2009 began focusing on electric boat motors, introducing their first electric outboards in 2014. They now have a range from 5HP to 50 HP equivalents (3kW to 26.4kW). There is also a similar line of electric inboards.
“Our pursuit has always been to bring electric propulsion mainstream,” said Elco sales director Dean Heinemann. “That requires an experience comparable to fossil fuel boats, but cleaner, easier and with reduced noise and vibration—all benefits a renewable power solution provides. With the new Rock Proof 1760R, that’s exactly what we can offer consumers today.”
Standard and options for all-electric fishing boat
The standard outboard for the Rock Proof 1760R centre console is the largest model, the EP-50RL, but other Elco outboards are also available as a tiller-steered configuration. With Rock Proof’s history in fishing, it is not a surprise that the their first electric model is rigged to maximize speed in electric-lake fishing tournaments. Elco is also title sponsor of the Electric Boating and Fishing Network (EBFN).
With the EP-50Rl and accompanying 23kWh LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries, the new electric 1760R can hit 25mph /40kmh and travel 15 miles/25km at full throttle. The range is around 50 miles at 5 mph and nearly 100 miles at 4 mph (80km at 8kmh and nearly 160km at 6kmh).
The boat, with a length of 17′ (5,2m) and width of 5′ (1.5m) is built in the jonboat style, with a flat bottom, and has been designed for electric propulsion with a dedicated battery storage area aft with access similar to an engine compartment. It has a forward area that can accommodate a trolling motor and batteries along with an 18-gallon live well. It has all the rugged construction Rock Proof Boats is known for – fully welded inside and out with .125-thickness aluminum construction for exceptional durability.
“You can’t go anywhere right now and buy a boat and electric motor on a trailer, hook it up and go out tomorrow and fish all day,” said Kauffman. “With our new 1760R and Elco, we’ve made that happen.”