The basic pontoon, like from Mark Twain’s day, definitely lacked the electric pontoon boat supplies of today. Today, you can not only find the latest pontoon furniture, but also all the appliances and lighting accessories that match.
However, if your pontoon is going to get you and your guests anywhere, and get you there in comfort, you will need an electric motor. And for that, you will need to know not only electric motor specifications, but also battery and solar panel specifications.
One of the first specifications to look at is the electric motor’s horsepower specification. The horsepower lets you estimate just how fast and hard your electric motor can pull. And that’s because one horsepower is roughly the power that one wild and free horse can put out in an hour. You can expect about the power of one horse from a one horsepower electric motor.
Next, you have to consider your electric motor’s ampere requirements. Your motor, in order to deliver horsepower, requires that it be supplied amperes. The more amperes you supply, invariably, the faster your pontoon will move.
As with cars, a primary concern about electric motors is their miles per ampere-hour rating. Just like cars have a miles per gallon rating, electric boats have a miles per ampere-hour rating.
Some electric motors are better than others, however as a general rule of thumb you’ll be able to get about 2 miles per ampere-hour from a lightweight electric pontoon, which works out to be about 24 miles per kilowatt-hour.
Besides your boat’s miles per ampere rating, it’s helpful to calculate just how far you can travel on one battery charge. This requires that you know how many ampere-hours that your battery stores when fully charged and your boat’s miles per ampere-hour rating. For a boat with an electronic fuel consumption rate of 2 miles per ampere-hour and a battery tank size of 24 ampere-hours, simply multiplying the two together will get you the distance, 48 miles.
The electronic fuel consumption rating of your pontoon and the ampere-hour of your battery can also be used to help you determine what size solar panels you will need to power your pontoon.
Here, one of the important specifications is the Watt rating of the solar panel. If you have a 1000 Watt solar panel, and it’s a very sunny day, your solar panel has the potential to deliver 1000 watts per hour (1 kilowatt-hour); more than enough to supply all the electronic fuel for a lightweight pontoon.
However, consider the fact that the slower you go, the more solar power you can save over a given distance. And this means, just like regular engines, the slower you go the farther you’ll get.