New classic electric cruising boat from Canada

The new classic electric cruising boat from Canada’s Templar Marine – the Picnic 21 – marine extends the company’s line to 4 models, each with multiple options and configurations to suit a variety of uses, from daytime cruiser to overnighter to commercial passenger vessel.

Templar was founded in 2017 and launched its first model, the Cruiser 26, in January of 2019. The Picnic 20 is the first boat from Templar not based on the mold and platform of the Cruise 26 and has been designed to meet a lower price point while still providing plenty of comfort along with all the advantages of electric propulsion.

Lower price point than the larger Templar models

The company was created because founder Mark Fry and his wife Jennifer couldn’t find an electric boat that gave them what they wanted to take family and friends for quiet cruises on picturesque Okanagan Lake in their home town of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Mark is no stranger to boats and water. As a he has logged over 300,000 sea miles as a Captain, has been a member of the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency Qualifications Panel for 19 years and runs  International Yacht Training, a marine training company that has 300 schools in 58 countries.

Talking about the Picnic 20, he says “We wanted to provide a low cost option to get out with the family and enjoy hot summer days on the water. We’re extremely excited to release this environmentally friendly product at a very reasonable price point for families who will be focusing on local staycations and curbing expenses like $150 per day on fuel for gas boats.”

Classic electric cruising boat design dates to 1893

The Picnic 20 is priced at Canadian $49,000 ($US 36,000, € 32,000) and is similar in design to other well known classic cruisers made by companies like Duffy, Budsin, and Elco Motor Yachts, the ‘granddaddy of them all’.

One of our Throwback Thursdays describes how Elco (then the Electric Launch and Navigation Company) won the contract to supply 50 electric boats to carry 30 passengers each around the canals of the 633 acre Chicago World’s Fair site in 1893.

electric cruising boat interior showing seats and canopy

The Templar Picnic is designed to carry up to 10 passengers comfortably and quietly for as long as  8 hours at a cruising speed of 5 knots (9.25kmh, 5.75mph). It is all hand laid fibreglass construction and has wraparound seating, Ultra Deck marine flooring or snap in marine carpet.

To make a daytime or evening cruise even more enjoyable, it can be outfitted with options like a built in refrigerator, table with cupholders and Bluetooth 4 speaker stereo system. There is an option to have the Picnic fully enclosed with a rigid or non-rigid enclose, as well as a bimini top, fibreglass hardtop or solar top.

On the propulsion end of things, the Picnic 20 has a 48V motor powered by 8 x 6 volt lead acid batteries and built in charger system with the option for a Li-ion upgrade.

Like many recently founded electric boat companies, the people at Templar are driven by the desire for a cleaner, greener future. The Picnic 20 is the latest step in a journey that has chalked up some significant milestones.

The intent of the the original ’26’ line of boats has always been to use the hull as the basis for different uses. Shortly after the introduction of the Cruiser 26 recreational model last January  Templar landed a contract to provide 6 commercial versions for a hop-on / hop-off harbour tour company in Victoria, Canada (shades of the Chicago World’s Fair!).

Pandemic may be right time for electric cruising boat

Then in  November they announced that a company developing electric motor optimizers – Exro Technologies – had invested in Templar. Exro has developed a patented system that adjusts energy inputs as the motor is running and has been validated to prove it can boost motor speed by more than 30%.

electric cruising boat on-booard refrigerator and sink

For some companies, launching a new product in the midst of a global pandemic would be risky business indeed. But for Templar’s new electric boat the timing may be good. People around the world are looking at cleaner, bluer city skies and realizing just how much fossil fuel transportation contributes to atmospheric carbon and general pollution.

At the same time, people are wanting to spend more time closer to home, and Canada’s CBC news network reports that boat dealers are setting sales records in Templar’s home province of British Columbia. Silently cruising around a nice lake or sea surrounded by friends and family…while also keeping the atmosphere and waters clean…sounds good to us!

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