A Nova Scotia man is using the power of the sun to putter around Fraser's Lake in what he's calling the boat of the future.
Dan Baker's "poor man's pontoon" cost him just $2,900 to build. He's dubbed it the Firefly.
Under the water, pontoons and two electric trolling motors softly hum. They are powered by a solar panel situated on the boat's roof.
"That's generating electricity that goes down and charges batteries mounted underneath this console that in turn provides energy to drive the electric motors," he explained.
"We don't move very fast," said Baker. "The speed is a close approximate to a leisurely canoe ride."
His project is dwarfed by $16-million MS Turanor — the world's largest solar-powered boat — that's currently docked in Halifax. Baker said he figures the MS Turanor might be bigger, but both boats are based on the same idea.
"That boat and this boat represent the future," he said.
This isn't Baker's first invention. Earlier this year, he snagged an invention award for the electric Snowpig — a golf cart turned into an electric snow blower.
After working on the Firefly, Baker bought a boat without an outboard motor. He is now tinkering with converting a Yamaha motor into an electric one. Baker plans to install four solar panels on that boat, giving him more speed than a canoe ride.