Colorado River Discovery Going Green
by Ted Lund
In an effort to help preserve the natural wonder and majesty — as well as the environment — that eco-adventurers experience when rafting the Grand Canyon, one of the region’s major rafting tour operators is going green. In doing so, they’ve turned to Torqeedo, the world leader in electric propulsion systems for commercial and recreational applications.
Several years ago, Page, Arizona-based Colorado River Discovery, decided to develop a green tourism strategy. Initially, the plan began by outfitting rafts with more efficient and eco-friendly four-stroke outboard engines.
But more recently, CRD has taken a more aggressive approach and plans to take the plan a giant step further by introducing a raft powered entirely by electricity — thanks to the groundbreaking technology from segment leader Torqeedo.
The tour company worked with a number of different groups, including local universities and engineers, to get to the point that they are seatrialing their 37-foot river raft in hopes of launching service in 2016.
“The launch of this raft was the culmination of eight years of research and development initiated and funded by us,” says Colorado River Discovery general manager Korey Seyler. “Testing went very well; it far exceeded our expectations.”
Seyler’s outfitting company, which offers Grand Canyon and Colorado River rafting tours.
“They’re going to be making sure that the raft won’t sink or capsize,” says Seyler. “We have no doubts that the raft will pass.”
The 37-foot rafts used by CRD can carry 22 passengers and are powered by a Torqeedo Deep Blue 40 electric outboard. It’s powered by three large lithium-ion battery packs, weighing 350 pounds each. The engine also requires a tower CPU that runs the system, providing feedback from the batteries, which are embedded into the frame of the raft, as low and centered as possible. The tower CPU is sealed inside the raft’s custom-built helm.
“Green is good,” says Seyler, “but ultimately it needs to be a good business decision and needs to answer questions regarding sustainability environmentally, economically, and durability.”
The tour company believes the bet will pay off in the long run. Each season, CRD spends approximately $325,000 in fuel costs alone.
“That’s nearly two rafts right there,” says Seyler.
Colorado River Discovery offers the most fantastic one-day rafting tours anywhere on the mighty Colorado River. They provide tours near Glen Canyon Dam, half-day raft trips as well as full-day river rafting tours on motor rafts that are perfect for the entire family (kids ages 4 and up). They even offer full-day rowing trips for those looking for a more relaxed adventure to experience the Colorado River at a slower pace. For more information, please visit www.raftthecanyon.com.
To learn more about Torqeedo’s innovative line of green boating power solutions, visit www.torqeedo.com
Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com