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Solar-powered Pumpout Boats

Solar-powered Pumpout Boats

Thanks to designs from lead systems instructor Kevin Ritz, and his students at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding (NWSWB) in Port Hadlock, Washington, new zero-emissions pumpout boats are making their way onto the state’s waters.

Pilots Marina introduced solar-powered pumpout boat in Connecticut in 2018. Pedrick Yacht Designs, of Newport, Rhode Island designed a boat with solar panels and twin Torqeedo electric motors that produce 40 horsepower. It also had a 400-gallon tank. Aaron Barnett, a program specialist with Washington Sea Grant, was intrigued by the designs and brought them west.

Barnett was boosted by the funding provided under the Clean Vessel Act to design and construct a zero emission pumpout boat. Together, Ritz’s students and Ritz constructed Clean Bay The boat is equipped with an Edson 120 single-diaphragm pumps and a 500 gallon holding tank. Four Torqeedo Lithium Batteries and two Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panels of 300 watts each provide the power.

After the design became widely known, the NWSWB was commissioned to design an existing pumpout module in Port Townsend. Ritz’s students were able to deliver once again.

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