New all-electric boat for Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust

Published: Thursday, 06 May 2021

A NEW community boat was craned into the canal at Milton Keynes yesterday.

The all-electric community boat, Electra, was craned into the Grand Union Canal, just south of Milton Keynes, having travelled almost 50 miles by low loader from Colecraft Ltd, the Warwickshire boatyard where she was built, arriving at the Willowbridge Marina where careful preparations had been made to lift the 16 tons craft into the water.

NewMiltonKeynesBoatPublic trips and charter

Commissioned by the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust, Electra will be based at Campbell Wharf where trust volunteers will run public trips and private charter cruises along the Grand Union Canal, giving residents and visitors a different view of Milton Keynes.

James Clifton from the B&MK Waterway Trust told he was delighted to see the delicate operation successfully completed, adding:

“Now that Electra is safely afloat, we can commence ‘sea trials’, so the crew can get used to handling her followed by cruises for ‘friends and family’, before she begins fare-paying cruises in July.”

ElectraDriveFirst all-electric boat

Owner of Colecraft Engineering Ltd, Gary Cole, explained:

“Although we have built over 30 trip boats since 2010, including two for Longleat Safari Park and twelve for the London Olympic Games, this is our very first all-electric boat.

“The demand for electrically propelled boats is definitely growing. With the government’s commitment to ensuring all inland waterway vessels meet zero emissions by 2050, this is definitely the right way forward.”

Now that the boat has been delivered, the Trust is recruiting more volunteers, both onboard and ashore. The website has further details: Electra.

The above image shows the Electra drive motor providing propulsion. Fully electric powered boats is way forward of greatly reducing carbon emission and being environmentally friendly.