Do Summer Right With GoSun's Elcat Splash: Inflatable and Solar-Powered Fun for the Family

Elcat Splash 10 photos
Photo: GoSun
GoSun Solar PanelsElcat SplashElcat SplashElcat SplashElcat SplashElcat Splash ConstructionElcat SplashElcat SplashElcat Splash
The power of the sun is one of the most abundant sources of energy in our universe. What if there was a way to capture it? Oh, wait, there is - the solar cell - and one team, GoSun, has made a business out of harnessing starlight. This time, we explore their newest solar-powered machine, a party boat dubbed the Elcat Splash.
Ladies and gentlemen, lovers of the outdoors, the new outdoor season is just around the corner, and that means getting ready with the coolest and wildest gear we can find. Well, GoSun, a team whose work we've covered on several occasions, is back with what I can only consider one of the neatest water toys you and your family can get their hands on, especially if we consider that the Elcat Splash is a completely solar-powered fun-machine.

Suppose you're aware of the sort of work that GoSun brings to the outdoor living table. In that case, you know these folks specialize in harnessing the sun's power and using it to bend our world to our will. They craft everything from coolers, backup power systems, cookers, campers, and even boats, all powered by the sun.

This brings us to the Splash, which is actually the updated version of an already-existent electric catamaran from this manufacturer, the standard Elcat. The Splash, on the other hand, takes everything this manufacturer learned from their first model and makes it even better. Let's see what we're in for if we drop $13,950 (€12,900 at current exchange rates) on one of these floating havens.

Elcat Splash
Photo: GoSun
For starters, we're looking at a flotation device that needs to be inflated before it can be accessed and used. To bring the shapes we see to life, PVC, polyester, more PVC, fabrics, and thread spacers are used to bring the Splash framework to life. When fully inflated, this structure can support up to six adults and is nearly 15 ft (4.5 m) long and 8 ft (2.4 m) wide.

But, the most attractive feature of this balloon is that neat little superstructure. This feature is strong enough to support a person lounging around and soaking up some sun, just like the solar panels next to them. Yes, this superstructure is where you'll also be drawing in energy from the sun.

Speaking of the sun, let's see how it's exploited. First off, there's an all-important feature that you'll need to zip around in a Splash: an electric on-board motor. Yes, GoSun includes it in your purchase of the Splash.

Elcat Splash Construction
Photo: GoSun
So, as standard, an Eropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus motor with 1 kW (1.3 hp) of output is enough to have you zipping around the local lake at speeds upwards of 6 knots (7 mph), so it has a rather nice cruising speed. All this is to be controlled from a center console, but, most importantly, how is this motor powered?

Well, as you'd expect from a brushless DC motor, it needs a battery pack, and there's one of those in store, too. A Spirit Battery Plus brings 1,276 Wh of juice to the table, and while the manufacturer doesn't clearly state the runtime on this, people like you and me have reported a runtime of as much as 2.5 hours, and that's pretty good if you ask me. Charge it up, attach it to the motor, and off you go.

As for the sources of energy we have for this beast, there are a couple of ways you can do things. The first is by adding those solar panels on top - the more the merrier - and using a charge controller to recharge the battery pack. But do that after you've found the spot where you'll be casting some lines for the next hour or so.

Elcat Splash
Photo: GoSun
Another option to recharge your battery module is to plug that sucker into a wall socket, and in as little as 3.5 hours, you'll be up and ready to go again. But what you can do is simply grab an extra battery module and another set of panels and leave it to charge while you're out there using the first pack, eliminating the whole idea of any "range anxiety." With 2.5 hours of runtime and a 3.5-hour recharge time, things should work out just fine.

Now, one neat side of the Splash is its ability to even operate while enclosed. With zip-up and flexible window film, you can enclose yourself and your friends in the Splash and even escape a rogue storm. Heck, one of GoSun's ambassadors even uses this thing as a floating camper, spending nights on end on the water. If that doesn't give you a clear idea of what's in store here, I don't know what will.

For the remainder of this introduction to a rather neat and affordable summer machine, take a moment and picture your weekends with this inflatable and completely green machine. See yourself hanging with your friends, enjoying a cold one, diving into the local waters, and eventually, doing it all over again. Sounds like a neat way to spend summer.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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