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Torqeedo motors, powers electric canoes for ecotourism

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The canoes are powered by Torqeedo super-silent electric motors and batteries.
The canoes are powered by Torqeedo super-silent electric motors and batteries.

When taking a photography eco-tour on a motorised canoe through the pristine waterways of Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park, you can hear the sound of the wind whistling through the pines, birds chirping, beavers chomping, moose grunting and the occasional splash of a trout.

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What you won't hear is the sound of a motor. 

That's because the canoes are powered by Torqeedo super-silent electric motors and batteries. Stuart Lorne Letovsky, founder and head guide of Algonquin Adventure Tours, explains: "For many years we used gasoline outboards on our private wildlife photography tours, but the noise, air and water pollution they produce, as limited as it was, did not jive with the 'leave no trace' principle we strive to pursue. So we did our homework and studied the electric motors on the market. About two years ago, we selected the Torqeedo Travel 1103 C with a built-in swappable lithium battery, which we discovered was a game-changer in terms of the noise level."

The travel 1103 C motor runs at just 42 db, about the same sound level as inside a library, and is the quietest motor in its class, according to torqeedo.

"When we start off on a tour, clients almost always marvel at how quiet it is," said Letovsky. "As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Algonquin Adventure Tours in 2021, we strive to offer only the finest quality everything on our guided educational tours," Letovsky said. "Our food, canoes, gear and guides are the best in our industry. The Torqeedo motors are the perfect evolution for our innovative three-hour VIP motorised photography tours and fishing tours. They are particularly popular for our volunteer Canoe4Cancer program that provides free tours to patients undergoing treatment. They also allow guests with physical disabilities to enjoy easy mobility into these spectacular wilderness areas. With the Torqeedo motors, clients can relax from paddling and have their hands free for photography."

Letovsky said the built-in lithium battery can cruise about three hours on a charge, and if necessary, the battery can easily be swapped out for a fully charged battery in just a few seconds. The batteries are recharged at the base at the end of the tour.

The Travel 1103 C has an internal computer with built-in GPS, giving a readout of the battery power level and range. It even has a USB port, so you can plug in and recharge your mobile phone from the battery when underway.

Letovsky also likes the light weight of the Travel motor, 11.3 kg (less than 25 lbs) without the battery, making it easy to carry and mount on the canoe. The removable, high-capacity battery weighs just 6 kg (13 lbs).

"We couldn't be more pleased with the electric motors as well as the outstanding support we received from the Torqeedo team," he said. "They make Algonquin Adventure Tours a more eco-friendly company, and they make it easier for me to do my job."

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