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MetalCraft builds hybrid boat for Annapolis harbormaster

Canada's MetalCraft Marine said Patrol Boat-I, its first electric-powered patrol boat, was designed and built for the harbormaster at Annapolis, Md.

The boat uses a Steyr hybrid diesel/electric engine that permits either electric power or, for higher speeds, diesel power. The propulsion is a Hamilton 274 waterjet.

The jet can propel the boat in electric patrol mode at 4.5 knots as it approaches and checks boats in the harbor. To get to other areas of the expansive harbor, the diesel propels the boat to 30 knots and recharges the batteries.

MetalCraft designed the 48-volt battery pack, with a high-output solar-assist panel array, around batteries that were commercial off-the-shelf 31 series high-amp-hour batteries. This will allow Annapolis to easily change out the batteries as they age.

The total value of the eight batteries is $2,600, and the estimated fuel savings is $550 a month, the company said.

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