Zogo, built by French & Webb

Treading Lightly with Zogo

By Grace Ombry

Stephens, Waring & White Yacht Design of Brooklin, Maine, designed Zogo to meet their clients’ concern for treading lightly on their environment. Her owners are longtime summer residents of Stonington, Maine who enjoy low-impact kayaking and rowing around the pristine islands of Merchants Row. They wanted a quiet powerboat with a low carbon footprint to reflect their respect for the waters around Stonington.

The 29′ hybrid launch has graceful, classic proportions and modern aesthetic appeal. The boat was designed around a 75hp integrated diesel/electric propulsion engine from European manufacturer Steyr-Motors. Zogo‘s narrow beam and light displacement allow for this relatively small engine to push her to a maximum speed of about 14 knots. She burns only 1.5 gallons of fuel per hour at a cruising speed of 10.5 knots.

Under electric power, Zogo draws a 48 volt DC current from eight batteries which will take her to a maximum of 7 knots in virtual silence. The cockpit is sheltered by a lightweight carbon fiber canopy which also provides a mounting platform for a sizeable array of solar panels to help recharge the battery bank.

Both WEST SYSTEM and PRO-SET epoxy were used by the fine craftsmen at French & Webb of Belfast, Maine in the boat’s construction. Her cedar strip plank hull was vacuum bagged and sheathed with unidirectional carbon fiber. She will be proudly exhibited at the Maine Boat Builders Show in March 2010.

Zogo may be only the tip of the iceberg in high-efficiency, low-impact powerboating. The technology can be applied to both pleasure boating and commercial watercraft. Stephens, Waring & White plan to continue leading the way in the development and promotion of greener watercraft.


Photo: Billy Black