Washington Marriott, Washington,DC April 23 & 24, 2002

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April 16, 2002

Canal Boats launches fourth
Canal Boats. Inc., Ft Lauderdale, Fla., has launched the Michele, a hybrid-electric small ferry utilizing a steerable drive system able to run on batteries or on power from a biodiesel-fueled generator. The 460 volt AC drive system turns a single propeller, which can be steered 360 degrees continuously in either direction.

The Michele is extremely maneuverable, quiet, fuel efficient and comfortable, says Canal Boats.

Michele is climate controlled, with outdoor and convertible indoor seating, and ADA accessible.
The Michele is equipped as follows:


  • 100 horsepower Baldor electric motor (460 VAC 3 phase)

  • Danfoss adjustable frequency drive

  • Marine Engine Control electronic motor controls

  • Summer Equipment SD1 Olympic steerable z-drive

  • Custom manganese bronze propeller (24” X 17” 4-blade)

  • Deka AGM batteries

  • Zivan battery chargers

Safety equipment

  • Cal June PFD’s, adult and child
  • Custom made man overboard recovery ladder
  • Depco fire pump
  • Automatic Halon Fire Control System
  • Man overboard light

Fire extinguishers



  • Ten-ton Cruisair air conditioning system, reverse heat
  • US Seating custom chairs with security system
  • Rear seat bolsters
  • Indirect cabin lighting
  • AM/FM/CD Stereo with 6 speakers and P.A. system

The Michele is the fourth in a series of eight hybrid electric small ferries being built for Broward County Mass Transit through an earmark of the Ferry Boat Discretionary Fund section of TEA 21.  The vessels are leased to Water Taxi, Inc. and employed in Fort Lauderdale, FL. in a scheduled waterbus service.  The remainder of the vessels will be placed in service by July 2002.

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