Connecticut aquarium set to launch electric boat

Posted on


In August, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut will launch the Spirit of the Sound, a $2.7 million boat that will be the only research vessel in the country operating on hybrid electric propulsion.

The vessel will run virtually silent on electric power for the aquarium’s 2-1/2-hour public study cruises on Long Island Sound.

The 65-foot, all-aluminum catamaran will replace the aquarium’s 40-foot, 34-year-old diesel-powered trawler, R/V Oceanic. With more room inside and out, the new research vessel will double the aquarium’s capacity for getting visitors out on the water — from 29 to as many as 60 people per cruise.

R/V Spirit of the Sound will be powered by a unique hybrid-electric propulsion system, which will reduce fuel consumption by an estimated 75 percent. The new boat will have a climate-controlled indoor classroom and an outdoor research space.

“By running on clean, quiet power without emissions, The Maritime Aquarium will be practicing what we teach,” president Jennifer Herring said in a statement. “And, with the larger capacity, we expect to double the number of schoolchildren who can experience our programming out on Long Island Sound.”

Running quietly on electric power will be a benefit to wildlife, to other boaters and to the delivery of educational programs on board, the aquarium said.

Designed by Incat Crowther of Australia, Spirit of the Sound is being built at the Robert E. Derecktor Inc. shipyard in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Her hybrid-electric propulsion system was made by Northern Lights Inc.

To promote the new boat, the aquarium recently received a $30,000 marketing grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development and the Connecticut Office of Tourism. The grant will be matched by an equivalent contribution from the aquarium.

Welcome to TradeOnlyToday’s premium content! To continue reading, please register now, for access to 10 free stories per month. Or subscribe, for unlimited access to all TradeOnlyToday content!

Click here to Register ... it's free!

Basic subscription: Registered members get free access to 10 premium content stories each month!

Not a member yet? Click here to Register!

Already a member? Click here to Login!

Subscribe ... for unlimited access!

Individual subscription: $29 for unlimited site access for one year.

Small Business subscription: $140 for unlimited site access for up to 10 members of a company for one year.

Corporate subscription: $300 for unlimited site access for all members of a company for one year.

You may close this dialog after seconds.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.

Vote Today

What will be the effect of low gas prices on the marine industry?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Search Boats for Sale


Login to Trade Only Today

Lost Password