Rock Proof Boats, known for tough-skinned fishing and rescue boats, partnered with electric-outboard pioneer Elco to bring planing speeds to electric-powered skiffs. Their aim is to replicate boating experiences typical from fossil fuel while also incorporating electric propulsion’s benefits.
To that end, the electric ePro 1760R gets two anglers atop fish quickly at 25.1 mph without compromising fishability. Propulsion batteries are hidden just aft of the 18-gallon livewell beneath the stern casting platform. The trolling motor’s batteries, and optional added-propulsion batteries, live in a cavernous space beneath the bow casting platform. Factory options include Power-Poles, a jack plate, locking or open rod and tackle storage, and a custom aluminum trailer—all the accoutrements of gas-powered bass boats.
While electric outboards aren’t silent, the 81 decibels I recorded at full throttle is about half as loud as the 90 decibels typical from a gas outboard at similar speed. (Decibels are logarithmic, not linear.) Elco’s motor proved stunningly quiet and vibrationless when creeping up to fishing holes, particularly with Livorsi controls facilitating speeds while running slower than 100 rpm. We also skipped the gas pump, plugging into a roadside EV charging station, and monitoring charge via smartphone from our restaurant table as 7 kW went back into batteries during our meal.
The Rock Proof ePro 1760R is quick by electric-powered standards, but only suited to short runs. Our test boat’s 20 kWh batteries, installed to maximize speed for electric-only bass tournaments in small lakes, netted 13.5 miles at 25.1 mph with two anglers aboard. Lightening the boat by one 200-pound passenger increased that to 14.2 miles at 26.6 mph. Assuming optional 30 kWh batteries add 169 pounds and impact speed by a similar 1.5 mph, two anglers should travel more than 19 miles at 23.6 mph with those larger batteries, which is well beyond many inland and inshore boaters’ needs. The boat can also accommodate larger 40 kWh batteries.
Read Next: Electric Boats and Avoiding Range Anxiety
How We Tested
- Engine: Elco EP-50 (equivalent to 40 to 50 hp gas outboard)
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/9 7/8” diameter x 12″ pitch 3-blade aluminum
- Gear Ratio: 2.08:1 Fuel Load: 20.18 kWh (usable) Water on Board: NA Crew Weight: 400 lb. Trolling motor and batteries: 75 lb.
- Elco’s 3.3 kW charger uses standard SAEJ 1772 connectors or common residential or marina electrical receptacles. An optional second charger doubles charging speed.
- Elco’s Dash iOS or Android app displays boatspeed, battery level as a percentage of remaining runtime and miles, and more.
- Our test boat’s iPad Mini snapped into place on the dash. This worked well, but would benefit from better waterproof mounting and charging to fully replace a hard-wired motor display.
Larger lakes or longer runs still favor gas. Rock Proof offers this boat capable of 35 mph with a 115 hp jet outboard for $48,000. A Rotax 300 hp jet inboard tops 50 mph for $53,000.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$62,550 (with test power and tested batteries)|
|Draft:||10.5″ (engine up); 20.5″ (engine down)|
|Displacement:||770 lb. (no motor); 1,350 lb. (with Elco EP-50 outboard and 20 kWh batteries); tested with additional 75 pounds for trolling motor and batteries|
|Transom Deadrise:||6 degrees|
|Battery Capacity:||20 kWh (usable; standard); 30 kWh or 40 kWh (optional)|
|Max Horsepower:||115 (outboard)|
|Available Power:||Elco EP-20 or EP-30|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Rock Proof Boats – Marysville, Pennsylvania; rockproofboats.com
Elco Motor Yachts – Lake George, New York; elcomotoryachts.com