Solar-Powered Kayak

Paddling lakes, bays and rivers by kayak is a rewarding experience, but it can also be quite tiring. That's why Klepper offers paddlers the benefit of a solar-powered electric drive in its E-Kayak kit. The paddler can kick back and let the small motor take over the forward-floating load. The design adds a little modern-day technology and convenience to Klepper's classic folding kayak.

In 1905, a German architecture student named Alfred Heurich built a folding wooden-frame kayak he named Dolphin. While kayaking had been around for thousands of years prior to the Dolphin, Heurich is credited with launching kayaking as a sport. Two years later, Johann Klepper secured the patent from Heurich and went on to introduce the folding kayak to mass production and marketing. Klepper's eponymous brand has been selling folding kayaks ever since, playing a major role in popularizing the sport of kayaking along the way.

While it has a history like no other kayak manufacturer, Klepper doesn't rest solely on its reputation and past benchmark products, continuing to innovate and redefine the sport. At this year's Boot Düsseldorf boat show, we found evidence in both the modular Backyak backpack-kayak-catamaran-snow sled and the E-Kayak.

The E-Kayak is designed to let sore paddling muscle rest by replacing those muscles with motor power. The kit includes a high-efficiency electric motor with carbon propeller, an 18 Ah 12 V sealed lead acid battery and a cockpit-mounted digital control unit hardwired to the motor by a 7.5-foot (2.3-m) cable. The motor is integrated into the foot-operated rudder, which allows the kayaker to quickly and easily lower it in and lift it out of the water from inside the cockpit. The rudder also replaces the paddle in steering the boat while using the motor.

The E-Kayak is a nice idea, but as with any type of electric vehicle, a battery-powered motor only runs for so long. That's why Klepper also offers both rigid and folding solar panels that mount atop the deck and deliver enough battery power for up to an entire day on the water. An integrated controller prevents system overload, and the kit includes charging ports for keeping cell phones, GPS units, outdoor lights and other battery-powered gadgets topped off.

Klepper estimates that an E-Kayak can travel up to 32 miles (52 km) when operated in slow, battery-saving mode (2.5 mph/4 km/h) with eight hours of sunlight. Alternatively, it can travel at speeds up to 5 mph (8 km/h) in top speed mode, slicing total range down to about 9.3 miles (15 km).

Source: gizmag.comAdded: 3 March 2015

Tags: transport