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New York solar-boat builder starts production

The Tamarack Lake Electric Boat Co. officially began the assembly of its 10-passenger, solar-assisted electric pontoon boat known as the Loon.

The company, which moved from Ontario, Canada, to Rome, N.Y., a little more than a year ago, received about $300,000 in business incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, according to the Greater Binghamton (N.Y.) Business Journal.

Tamarack spent the last year working on several prototypes and setting up networks with suppliers before beginning the assembly of the boats now at its headquarters on the Erie Canal. The company occupies 3,000 square feet of space in a former warehouse and hopes to expand to as much as 10,000 square feet.

“Now that we’ve got our production up and running, we look forward to continuing to grow and play a role helping to grow New York’s clean-tech economy,” Tamarack president Montgomery Gisborne said in a statement.

Tamarack’s Loon has a 50-mile range and a cruising speed of 8 mph, typical for this type of boat. The boat’s batteries are charged by a photovoltaic array on the roof of the pontoon vessel.

The company employs four people and has plans to expand to seven by the end of this year and 13 by the end of 2013.

Tamarack’s move to Rome is part of a citywide revitalization that has seen more than $10 million in public and private funds invested in more than a dozen projects.

Tamarack is located at Rod Mill, which has seen $1.3 million in state funding to convert the old mill into modern industrial space. Tamarack Boat is also working with the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. and the New York State Canals to explore possible partnerships.

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