If you want to put a smile on your face in these less-than-stellar times, take a look at a Duffy, the all-electric boats that have been giving a lot of owners some very good times since 1970.
One way to relax is to take a short cruise with your family or friends on a Duffy at a flat-out 5 mph and watch your blood pressure drop and your cares fade away. With a Duffy, there are no boat issues to distract you – no noise, no fumes, no vibrations. And certainly no fuel costs. Their electric motor has exactly one moving part.
Duffy builds ten models from 16 to 22 feet, and they’re all totally electric. The smaller ones have a single battery pack and can run for about 3.5 hours at about 5 mph, for a range of 17.5 miles. The larger models have a double battery pack that more than doubles the running time and the range.
A standard built-in charger takes 12 hours to charge a single battery pack. It takes twice as long to charge a twin pack.
The batteries have a life of more than 800 cycles, and can go as high as 1,200 cycles. Discharging the batteries 100 percent cuts the number of cycles in half; if you don’t let the batteries discharge more than 50 percent, they will last for many more cycles.
Then, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy. A Duffy is a model of simplicity. They all have the steering console in the stern, and then the boats are filled with dinner tables, padded seats and compartments to stow food and drinks. The larger ones have heads.
Duffys are meant to be used in harbors, bays and rivers. They’re particularly popular in Newport Harbor, California. Many years ago, Eric Schweikardt, the photographer, and I were there for a story and we ran across our friend Betty Cook, then a champion offshore boat racer. She had a Duffy behind her house, and gave Eric and me the keys. “Enjoy,” she said.
Cruising around the harbor, we had a great time. The ride was fun, quiet, and smooth. “After a cruise you’ll feel like you’ve had a massage,” says Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, the head of Duffy Boats. Read more: