MOG (BEST) Boat Electric Solar Total

A Boat Driven and Powered Totally by Solar Energy

by George McNeir

Subject Operations, Support, Training
Status Finished
Results Working Prototype
Owner Type Inventors

The MOG Canal Boat, (BEST) a Boat Electric Solar Total has been running on the eastern coast of the salt waters of the United States of America for nearly 25 years. The prototype is now well equipped to navigate coastal waters and shallow estuaries only within reach of much smaller kayaks.

The boat is intended to bring technology, electricity, medical assistance and humanitarian aid to areas that are far off the main maritime highways. Areas that are difficult to reach with boats bearing tons of supplies or teams of personnel that are hindered by lack of support in fuel and sanitary needs are now accessible by the solar electric powered shallow draft boat.

The boat’s Totally Solar Electric Drive and Power system provides all the power for the boat to stay in remote areas for extended periods, providing water, waste treatment, in deep or very shallow water and occupant protection far beyond that of any other type of marine craft.

The 40 foot long by 11 foot beam craft is light weight at only 12000 pounds making it easily deliverable by a wide variety of transport modes. With an air draft of 8 feet it can pass under low bridges while an alternative design will permit much lower air draft if required.

Fuel and maintenance falls into a category unheard of in marine architecture. Costs of operation are slashed to small fractions of a similar sized ICE powered boat. The modules, motors, size and weight of replacement parts can be sent by overnight delivery. With additional auxiliary engines the speed performance can be exceptionally fast with a variable planing hull-form addition.

The prototype is complete and needs further refinement to become a marketable product. Those with interest in such an endeavor from academia as well as enterprise are invited to make this project a part of their maritime investment.

Who is behind the project?


As a youth George McNeir, the son of a General Electric senior designer, was a most willing apprentice to his father’s boat designing and building. George and his father built three wooden boats together. One of the boats, a fourteen foot runabout was altered to young George’s design for a higher horsepower motor and modified foredeck. The resulting boat was very light, strong and in 1958 had no problems at over 45 miles per hour.

George is now a retired industrial designer residing in the state of North Carolina in the USA. After US Army military service and Philadelphia Museum College of Art and Design, George was deeply involved in computer systems at Sperry Univac, Applicon CAD systems, an interactive graphics consulting group Graphicam and with Prime Computer of Natick, Massachusetts as Regional Systems Engineer. All together, this comprised over 30 years of CAD, CAE, and CAM applications and guidance.

Between 1987 and the laying of the keel in 1989, a tremendous amount of visualizations were made and evaluated. The result was a stubby thirty foot boat with a flat bow at both ends. Of course one end was the bow and the other end the stern. The roof was very simply, flat. However, if one looked at the roof closely, the roof camber became apparent to the observer as did the fine detail of the roof edges, overhang and closed, rolled, edge treatment.

The boat, by virtue of its fine arrangements, became a yacht by the writtings of many magazines in science and yacht circles. It was not viewed by the writers as a luxury yacht but instead, a most innovative departure and a most positive yachting retreat on the water.

After over ten years on the salt waters of the mid Atlantic area and a seasoned veteran of more than five hurricanes at anchor, the thirty foot yacht was retired (in excellent condition) and reworked into a forty foot yacht. All the power systems have been upgraded to the latest art of 2014. Special motors are used that weigh one seventh the original propulsion motors, with efficiency increased from 80% to 97%. There are no through hulls below the water line. New windows now open all around the deckhouse (with screens too). Products used aboard have been carefully modified and custom created for the MOG to improve performance and dependability.

The MOG yacht and power system is different now in the overall look and inner workings.  The MOG now exceeds the original criteria which originally dictated her existance. Someday such a yacht may be sold to private individuals, commercial businesses, and to government agencies requiring a marine transport with a silent, renewable energy source.

The future success of the MOG Canal Boat can be attributed to the following:

1.   Affordability of solar power as the premier alternative to non-renewable fossil based fuels.

2.   Clean and silent motive power source for leisurely paced boating, allowing close observation of nature.

3.   Excellent cost of operation predictions because of the non volatility of the Sun’s energy as a power source.

4.   Power costs are a portion of the initial purchase price.

5.   Long lasting solar panels can have their active life amortized over the twenty year warranty period yielding a fuel cost payback compared  to ever increasing fossil fuel prices.

6.   Simple maintenance with electric motors as opposed to gas/diesel engines having many more parts, higher rpm, heat, noise, vibration, fuel/oil filters and periodic tune ups.

7.   Greater safety without the amount of highly flamable fuel. Fossil fuel is reduced to cooking or auxiliary power generation. Primary electric power is from the sun.

8.   More speed reductions are being enacted for inland waters and water ways, due to destructive wakes and propeller harm. Such low speeds stress petroleum base engines.

9.   Electric motors permit more precise methods of control, allowing the integration of marine oriented computer applications and global positioning ssystem navigation.

10. The MOG Canal Boat can maneuver in only 20 inches of water. This permits close scrutiny of shallow’s marine life, as well as nonintrusive study of coastal flora and fauna.

11. The power of solar modules will increase as the price per watt falls because the technology is increasingly employed.

The above listed are some of the benefits of the MOG Canal Boat. Such a solar powered yacht, 40′ long and 11′ wide, can accommodate up to four adults on extended cruises without need for refueling stops, a mobile health clinic on a trailer or in the water at a disaster site or a border/security enforcement unit with long term loitering capability.

The MOG Canal Boat is fueled by powerful photovoltaic (solar) modules atop the roof of the cabin. Electricity from  the modules (or panels) is wired to a battery storage area under the floor and sole of the yacht. The batteries store electric energy for periods of motive power in severely overcast or evening conditions. Electric motors turn propellers that power the boat in a conventional inboard or outboard marine drive system. The electric motors are inherently balanced and create no discernable noise or vibration. Stored power is also used for air conditioning, refrigeration, computers and lighting.

Currently, help is requested in refining a rework of the propulsion system (electric outboards) into a more efficient shaft and propeller system. The new propellers are to be LOW speed, LOW RPM, Surface Piercing Propellers (SPP) that allow an inboard type motor mounting while allowing the draft of 18 inches (.45 meter) to be retained. Those with knowledge of the SPP or interest in the SPP (propeller design and/or CFD, computational fluid dynamics) will be of great help.

A 6000 mile trip called the Great Loop is planned for the 2016-2017 time frame.


If you have any questions about this project, you can send the project owner a message from here.


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