Wednesday, March 16, 2016


American Canal Boat, MOG (Marine Off Grid)

There comes a time when events, technology and necessity conspire to redefine words, so as to pass forward, a new definition of a word or set of words.

The MOG Canal Boat is a compromise between the 
European canal boat and the hearty Chesapeake 
Bay Skipjack. With twin electric motors, she is 
highly maneuverable in deep or shallow waters.

An old Chesapeake Bay Skipjack gets a lift for a new life.

The case here, being the branching of the words 'canal boat' to include a craft that satisfies requirements beyond those typically accepted by our European maritime brethren.

An example of a 7 foot beam UK narrow boat and at the other end of the spectrum a 32 foot Linsson Dutch canal boat.

An extremely flat bottom of a 50 foot long 7 
foot beam UK narrowboat. In protected shallow 
canals this is a fine canal boat but lacks the high 
maneuverability of the twin screw power boat. 
With no keel or skegs it is a bit tricky to handle. 

The Linssen line of canal boats from 29 to just 
over 50 feet have a single robust keel but will 
heel onto her side without a quayside on which 
to lean. The draft is about three feet and far too 
deep for the estuaries of the USA.

An editor of a UK magazine had quite properly reflected about MOG Canal Boat name. However his comments were in the UK context of a more protected canal environment found in Great Britain and in the European continent. He commented to me  "…..although I should point out that we tend to focus (articles) on boats with dual coastal/river ability rather than more canal focused craft such as this (MOG)." Evidently the difference in our boat's application was not made clear enough, otherwise they might consider an article.

Our response was to present a different bent, that there is quite a difference in what most folks here in the USA consider a canal, such as the Erie Canal, Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal, Illinois & Michigan Canal and the Panama Canal etc. All of these canals are monstrous compared to the quaint, bucolic, flower lined canals of Europe and the UK. One of the greatest plans we have, is to someday bring the MOG Canal Boat to the UK. What a simply gorgeous country in which to float the boat! 

A 360 foot long 'tow' in the Chesapeake & Delaware 
Canal. Not shown is the nearly 1000 foot wide expanse 
of water connecting the two river created bays through 
a 16 mile wide strip of land.

The MOG Canal Boat is built for the USA interpretation of canals, ones that have 300 foot barges that emerge into 100 and 200 mile long bays and lakes, teaming with freighters, destroyers and the occasional aircraft carrier. Calm waters as well as near shore inlets and some decent wave action are daily fare for the MOG Totally Electric Powered Solar boat. It is not a trawler, granted but it is patterned after a most seaworthy shallow draft Chesapeake Bay skipjack hull.

Looking at a Totally Electric Powered Solar boat 
peacefully resting on the shore for a picnic.

Near costal waters and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) of the eastern United States of America are the targeted waters of the MOG. Over 6000 miles just on the Great Loop alone.

The addition of the words ‘canal boat’ here in the USA most often has the connotation of maritime operations in ‘the ditch’, slang for the various waters of the Intracoastal Waterway.

Nearly all of the ICW is part of the Great Loop and other than the harbor dredged channels, most of it is incredibly primitive, vast expanses and unpopulated savannas and forests, very different from Europe.

One can easily get lost in the myriad twists and turns of the coast and ICW estuaries, a reason the boat is so designed, lending it sustainability. In effect, if you can fish, hunt, forage for wild rice and berries, find oysters and clams, you have arrived at a whole higher level of exploring in comfort with the MOG Canal Boat.

The Great Loop includes short journeys into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Also included in the Great Loop are the huge and sometimes very dangerous fresh water Great Lakes of Huron, Erie, Ontario, Michigan and Superior. Rivers such as the Tennessee, Delaware and the over 1000 mile long Mississippi are subject to flooding and swift flows. Also, at the entry to New York City is the infamous Hell’s Gate area as the tide meets the Hudson River, the name is well chosen.

The Chesapeake Bay, Pasquotank, Neuse, and Pamlico sound, along with shifting inlets, are known to be quite treacherous for a flat bottom barge or a typical steel narrow boat or canal boat.

The MOG Canal Boat has a far greater range of targeted operation than any boater might imagine whether sailing, trawler, kayak, barge, runabout or house boat oriented.

The USA has very few miles of protected canal compared to the long protected distances one may travel in the UK and continental Europe. In fact, on the Mississippi River there are many wilderness stretches from 50 to over 300 miles without a proper marina. The ICW of the USA still has a component of wilderness difficult for folks from other civilized countries to immediately grasp.

The MOG Canal Boat is meant for the above described rough and tumble environmental trekking with an 18 inch draft that allows horizontal grounding everyday if desired. The captain and crew need never seek out a fuel pump or dockside electric pedestal to refuel/recharge, the sun takes care of all the power needs. The Totally Electric Powered Solar boat is more closely related to a live aboard aquatic Hummer.

Truly no range anxiety here as with gasoline, diesel or dockside charging. Range of the Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS) boat is truly unlimited and certainly less fickle than winds to blow a sail boat.

The boat that has been and remains decades ahead of its adoption, certainly adds a new definition to a new class of canal boat. MOG Canal Boat has no peer.

1 comment:

  1. This brought back for me my dreams of owning my own yacht. i really enjoyed this post buddy. Thanks for posting it online on your blog. Much regards.