Charging into the future

Alex Coolman

NEWPORT BEACH -- The riverboat Angela Louise will be making her maiden

voyage through Newport Harbor this evening as an electrically powered

vessel.

The boat is the first of its class to be approved for electric power,

said Capt. Joseph Warren. The boat's power was switched to create a

boating experience that is quieter for passengers and less harmful to the

marine environment.

The boat still has diesel engines available for use, Warren said, but

they have been "relegated to a minute or two of use during each trip."

The change means a significant reduction in the pollution created by the

Angela Louise's trips across the water.

"The cleanest of diesel engines has a great deal of fuel blow-by," Warren

said, referring to the waste left in a boat's wake. He added that many of

the constituent chemicals of diesel fuel are considered carcinogens.

An electric engine, however, produces no pollution, Warren said, and it

doesn't' produce much noise either.

"It's a wonderful experience," Warren said of the electric boating

experience. "You hear nothing. You feel no vibration. You just move."

Warren speculated that conversions to electric power will become

increasingly common in the years to come as water loversseek solutions to

environmental problems caused by fuel-burning engines.

"The marine environment can only tolerate so much fossil fuel before it

starts to explode," Warren said.

The inaugural cruise, which runs from 6 to 7 p.m., will give invited

guests, including a few officials from Southern California Edison, a

chance to check out the cleaner, quieter boating sensation.

For more information, call (949) 723-1403.

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