Old School Classics – Our Future Helps Our Classic Future.

, ,

You will get a charge out of this story

Today we travel to Austria to find some young guns saving the planet from everything looking like a Toyota Prius. I love these guys and what they are doing to change the perception of electric power. We all know in some sort of way, This is the long term future of motorized travel. But with some very ingenious design, Old School Classics is keeping timeless design alive.

No gas smell from that leaky fuel cock

If in anyway you are thinking of doing this sort of thing, Europe is where I would go. They are further along with adapting electric power than we are. And if you have never been to Austria where they are located.

Near Munich, and Salzburg.

Be prepared for just about the most beautiful place on the planet. Picture the most beautiful electric train set you ever dreamed of. Thats it.

Let’s all go!

And thats the other driving force behind building electric. To protect the planet from fossil fuels. I imagine a time, when lakes around the USA will have laws not allowing gas engines. Yup. Try and use an old outboard on Lake Tahoe.

Electric power

It’s normal to reject the idea. Thats how our brains work. You are either an early adapter, or part of of the bell curve.

We are right now just at the shift from Early Adopter to Early majority. Thats what Tesla is all about. Making electric power normal. Helping influence an infrastructure of charging stations and service centers. Companies like Old School Classics are a true sign of the Early Majority shift. Having fun with it all and pushing our brains to the future.

Their red shoes are really batteries.

Yes I know this is all a bit much, considering we are a small community who enjoy looking backwards. In a good way. Preserving history and the lifestyle that surround it. Thats cool. And it’s also cool to play with it. My hats off to Old School Classics. It’s nice to know you are pushing us all.  CLICK HERE AND BE TRANSPORTED TO THE CLASSIC FUTURE. 


37 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    They seem to know what they are doing, but this forever “laggard” will never buy it. Electric power is for toasters, not speedboats!

  2. jd
    jd says:

    Neat stuff. Nice videos of the boat but I think they missed one caveat with all the music in the videos. I imagine the boats would be almost silent which would make for an interesting ride. Not that I don’t enjoy the gorgeous rumble of a copper exhausted 283. My father owned an electracraft baycruiser, which I must say was kinda cool because it was silent and gave a totally different boating experience.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    I understand the “laggard” reference as at this stage of my life, I would not be interested in converting to electric propulsion. I appreciate the use of modern technology having been in new technology my entire career but there is a difference between leading edge and bleeding edge. Sometimes waiting until the new tech is proven and the bugs chased out (think of almost constant software revisions to our modern world to fix bugs) and adopting at the “early majority” stage of the curve can make a smoother transition.

    Great article and I wish them much success.

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    It’s not a leap to call us Laggard Boaters. HA. But it is cool, and there are lakes around that only allow electric power. DONT SWIM IN THOSE BTW. With fuel prices what they are in Europe this makes sense. As to the sound. Just put a huge speaker in there and a vroom sound machine. You can pick your engine sound.

  5. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    “Laggard”??? Careful, I resemble that remark!
    Currently, I’m doing 3 to 5 Zoom, Go-To, Mega and Team meetings a day, so much so that I’m about ready to start abusing small barnyard animals. If this is the “new” economy, well, I’m glad I’m getting close to my sell-by date……….humans are social animals by nature, so we need to be with each other.
    That said, electric is cool, but as others have noted, the deep sound of large cubic inches will forever be imbedded in our psyche. And that’s OK too.
    Electric has torque like no other, immediate response and it’s “clean”. The tree-huggers and bark-eaters just forget that in order to generate power to charge, you need a nuke, coal or nat gas plant, a sunny day or some wind. Three of the five aren’t normally affected by weather. Usually………..
    Now quick, go for a boat ride in whatever you’ve got!!!

    • Briant
      Briant says:

      I just nearly choked on my spoonful of breakfast cedar bark chips. Clearly many of you East-coasters have never been west of the Mississippi. Uh us nasty tree huggers out here in the West have hydroelectric power, which flows 24/7, literally. Bonneville? Grande Coulee? Hoover? Do these names ring any bells? Beuhler? Beuhler? We supplement that with wind and solar. The wind in the Columbia River Gorge blows near 24/7 as well. Ya may want to get all of your ducks in order prior to being a smartass.

      • Mahogany mafia
        Mahogany mafia says:

        The hoover dam produces enough power to supply about half of las vegas a relatively small city in a year and good job locating a place where the wind blows almost all the time. California has had rolling blackouts all summer due to your tree hugging friends agendas also the power rates are outrageous and the power continues to get shut off when the wind is blowing so i hope your electric duffy is working well for you btw no one ever said isn’t that a cool duffy

        • briant
          briant says:

          Sweet Mary. Do some basic homework. Your statement is just flat wrong. Population of Las Vegas is 644,644 (2018 last count) and the Hoover Dam produces electricity for 1.3 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California each year. Shutting off the power during fierce windstorms is done in an attempt to lessen the chances of downed power lines starting additional wildfires, ie 2019 Cal fire season, not because the hydrodam cannot produce enough electricity and not because of my so called tree hugging friend’s agendas. And since we are throwing around derogatory terms, your erroneous statements make you come across as a hillbilly, or worse, a boomer.

  6. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    But the sounds, smell, and feel of a classic boat or car are some of the most enjoyable aspects of use… the sputtering of a downdraft carb and the smell of unburnt fuel, the sheen of oil on the water.. (oops,…..redact that!) the feeling in your gut as the boat fires up and rumbles away from the dock at idle…. Yes there will be a day our non-green machines will be restricted, but thankfully it wont be in my lifetime…. (I hope)…. remember the Cash for Clunkers campaign?….. How many cool old cars were crushed ?… still grinds my gears,… If I want to enjoy quiet boating, I can do so in an old wooden sailboat… Laggard?, you betcha! I just saw a “drop in” engine conversion for a Chevy V-8 small block, Crazy HP and torque, too much so for many of the other drive train components,….only $30k …plus batteries…. gonna my on my Google Glasses.. wait! they are back… for the new early adopters….

  7. Charlie Berry
    Charlie Berry says:

    V8 power and rear wheel drive, or whatever the nautical equivalent. The heck with the rest of it.

  8. Bill
    Bill says:

    kinda like when they replaced the big piston driven airplane engines in the unlimited hydros with turbine engines, when the roar was gone they lost their appeal with me.

  9. Dan Ward
    Dan Ward says:

    The electricity used to charge the batteries comes from either coal or hydrocarbon power plants. What’s the point?

    • briant
      briant says:

      What is it with you guys? You’ve never heard of a hydroelectric dam??? Hoover? Bonneville? etc etc etc. Bonneville alone powers five (5) states and they sell power to others. So you’re statement is dead in the water. Hydroelectric dams are all over the planet. Please do some homework.

  10. Jeffrey Martinson
    Jeffrey Martinson says:

    One great anticipation of travelling to quote-unquote 3rd world countries is always the smells and sounds. I’m immediately teleported back to my youth by the smells of oil and unburnt gas, the sounds of exhausts and the general din of noisy, inefficient chunks of metal hurtling down the road. Just like how it was here when I was a kid, and I love it.

    Totally irrational – and I’m glad to come back to where it’s quiet, clean and safe – but a selfish, guilty pleasure nonetheless.

  11. William Loomis
    William Loomis says:

    The problem is with our current electrical grid if everyone wanted to plug in we would look like glorious California. Better look at capacity issues and if there’s a fire good luck. What their selling is not here anytime soon , what’s next electric airplanes or cruse ships? Water in the bilge might shock you! I’ll stick with my climate changing V-8 Century, music to my ears!

    • Jerome
      Jerome says:

      Greg. Never thought of you as a laggard (what ever that is) are you starting a new club? Count me in & Emily with her old fashion Ford V8 power.

  12. Garry
    Garry says:

    Yep the electrons are flowing even in an Otter airplane that is type certified this year.
    Here in US Elco beat Europe, plenty of electrified cars for years and trains have used electric motors early too.
    Too bad all those holes are cool to be filled up with kerplopit kerplopita fumes.

    JOHN NOVACK says:

    Briant – I’m surprised to see anyone defending hydroelectric power these days, much less suggesting or implying that harnessing water (and wind in the Columbia Gorge) is relatively free. Not unlike coal and oil, hydro was built at a tremendous cost to the environment.
    Fewer than 3% of the nation’s dams generate electric power (NYT 10-13-20).

  14. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    The biggest issue with electric motors in boats is run-time. If you want to run at hull speed -on a plane- you have about a half hour, then you better be somewhere you can plug in. Then there is the weight of the batteries – weight is the enemy of efficiency on the water. Energy is not free and the mining to obtain the minerals that make up the battery, the manufacturing of the same and the power source to charge them – it all adds up. Then there is disposal/recycling when they are depleted… For as many hours as we actually use our boats the pollution factor is not measurable. Incidentally, my understanding of the banning of two-strokes on Tahoe had nothing to do with pollution – initially it was to get rid of jet-skis, the noise and irresponsible operation. The environmental case came later and (of course) has expanded all over the place.

    That said, there is a place and a future for all of this wonderful innovation and the products being imagined and produced.

  15. briant
    briant says:

    With all due respect, I am not defending hydropower. There are no perfect solutions and all forms of electricity generation have pluses and minuses. With Bonneville for example, it destroyed the Native American fishing culture and most of the salmon runs, while producing electricity and greatly eliminating deaths due to flooding. There are over 3500 hydro dam projects in process, and hopefully they will do the bits that are good and try to eliminate or lessen the negative impacts. I merely was pointing out to the two gentlemen that not all power comes from just nuke, coal or nat gas plants because that is all they can see from their porch.

  16. Texx
    Texx says:

    I just upgraded my 525HP 502 Chevrolet to a more efficient Holley Sniper fuel injection system. Does that mean I am no longer a certified “Laggard”?

    p.s. electric cars suck.

  17. Doug
    Doug says:

    Isn’t there a lot of talk on here about getting young people involved? Seems like this is a pretty novel approach to establishing the love of classic boat lines and mahogany among a new set….The principal problem with a Duffy is that it looks like a Duffy…these are resto-mods for a different sort of priorities…different strokes, no harm no foul…certainly doesn’t merit some of the vitriol above…

  18. CenturyMike
    CenturyMike says:

    There is/was a company in Oregon called Edison that recently (2007 and up) made some beautiful mahogany electric boats. They were fast and sleek but they captured the beauty of the classic barrel back. The video’s are still on youtube and they are amazing.
    Alas, I tried to look the company up and can’t find them.

  19. Texx
    Texx says:

    For any of you classic boaters who may be interested in picking up a modern electric boat, you can check out the Correct Craft Super Air Nautique GS22 wake boat for a mere $292,711.00 USD. For that you get 2-3 hour run time, 10-12 hour recharge time @240 Volts, 50 Amp electric service at the dock required (2-gauge copper wire service).
    Here’s a link: https://nautique.com/models/super-air-nautique-gs22e/overview

  20. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    it was hot in the past, hot now to the complainers that were raised under an air conditioner and it will be hot in the future. only thing i want electric on my boats are lights, fossil fuels forever.

  21. Berni from OLD SCHOOL CLASSICS
    Berni from OLD SCHOOL CLASSICS says:

    Wow, nice to see an article about me and my company on WoodyBoater. Thanks for having me – I am a big fan of your site! Nice discussion you have going on here …

    Actually I always was a petrol head too! Have been screwing around with old motorcycles, VW campers, vintage Vespas since I was a boy. Carburators lying on my workbench was daily business. And gasoline in my mouth was not a rarity. Mechanics know what I am talking about …

    But gas driven boats are simply forbidden on most lakes in Austria and southern Germany, that´s why I went for the electric motor for vintage boats allmost ten years ago.
    I was looking for a solution to give those old boats a second live on our beautiful lakes, without pollution and noise. There is lots of wildlife and drinking water so this was perfekt. I always liked wooden boats, my grandmother had an old latin sailboat wich I was riding as a kid.

    I am a big fan of vintage Chris-Craft boats since my year abroad on lake Erie in 1996. Later in 2015 I imptorted a CC U18 Deluxe Utility from 1948 from Vermont. Thanks to Michael from Snake Mountain Boatworks, who did a great restauration and made the transport to Europe possible. This boat got a 70 kW AC electric motor implanted wich runs great – even 25 knots. Most adoption is handmade and without digital shit and ugly extra gauges with original control levers etc. The new technique is completely hidden under the hood and the boat structure was not modified at all. I tried to implement the motor to look like a factory build. Same place, weight and power as the original motor … that´s my simple rule wich works out very well. The original Model K is a nice deko in my shop.

    First I missed the idling sound of the big motor … but actually I also liked the quiet sound of the water on slow speed – when planing there is not much difference, as the wind and water make a lot of noise too. A great thing is the torque and the fine controlling of the electric motor. Very smooth. So there are pros and cons.

    After 8 years of experience I have converted several boats and
    I must say these electric motors are strong and run really great and reliable without any problems and special maintenaince. The boat itself needs more care than the motor and the batteries.

    Lately we converted a Riva Ariston from 1958 wich runs 30 knots and much smoother than with the original CC MCL motor. We can do 60 km of range wich is more then enough for our lakes here. I bought the boat iwthout engine and completely in parts. It was an odyssey to restore this thing.

    A big problem has always been the high price of the batteries. But now we can buy good second hand Tesla Batteries wich are great and a little cheaper. So there is something going on in the scene of builders and restorers.

    Let´s see what the future will bring!
    Ride to live – live to ride!

    Greetings from Salzburg / Austria

Comments are closed.