Ollie Owl takes to the water

After some seriously challenging engineering, difficulties sourcing key components, lots of hard work and considerable financial outlay – the conversion of one of our existing diesel narrowboats to fully functioning serial electric hybrid culminated in the successful launch of “Ollie Owl”, on Monday 14th March. 

For Ortomarine, the work completed on Ollie Owl over the past few months has been a test case to look at the viability, challenges, and costs of such a conversion.  This has included re-configuring parts of our control and monitoring system, Ortomate, to make sure it is as intuitive, fail-safe, and simple as possible for the hire boat market – which is a different remit to a private boat.

Ollie Owl is powered by a Victron lithium battery bank (400Ahr), a 12kW brushless motor with 15kW peak, an 8KVA Fisher Panda Generator, plus a 10 panel solar array providing 1.6kW of solar power.

Ollie Owl was met at Droitwich Spa Marina by quite a crowd, as Cafwin Cruises welcomed the newest edition to the fleet.  Fully booked for the forthcoming season, Ollie is proving very popular with those looking to “go green” on their canal boat holiday and experience the benefits of near-silent cruising around the lovely Worcestershire countryside.

We will be publishing more about the conversion, and also updates on how Ollie gets on over the summer – so watch this space!

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