Intrigued by the possibilities of powering watercraft electrically, Go-Float founder Bart Jones started building hand-fashioned electric boats in early 2001. Over the next few years, Jones built many fiberglass boats powered by numerous configurations of electric motors. In search of the right combination of efficiency, performance and enjoyment, Go-Floats evolved through many iterations.
Early in the developmental process Jones realized that his boats were fun to use at Big Island, a local hot spot on Lake Minnetonka, a popular lake located west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. On most sunny weekends hundreds of boats congregate, rafting up to socialize at Big Island and Jone’s electric boat was the perfect size and power option to flit from boat to boat visiting friends. Thus the name “Go Float” was coined as he would go from boat to boat stopping to visit along the way. The Go-Float’s electric power captured enthusiastic curiosity with its quiet operation, no need to refuel and comfortable ergonomics. That easy operation has become a company hallmark and manufacturing mantra finding attraction with kids, women and other fascinated boaters.
As battery technology evolved so did Go-Float’s focus. Certainly the world wanted planing boats with extended ranges. As the world’s most recognized auto companies contemplated the same challenges, Jones pursued two lines of thinking. The first course aligned itself with cutting edge technologies and Go-Float produced the RX1, a planing boat with top speeds in excess of 20mph and capable of pulling a waterskier. Such performance comes at a high cost, requiring expensive lithium batteries and complex on-board electronics. Today, Go-Float’s dedication to cutting edge performance drives the company’s Vector-Tech concept products featuring Neo Dymium Boron, axial gapped motors powered by 48 volt LiFePO4 battery packs delivering 20mph top speeds in boats capable of carrying two people for an hour
Concurrently, Go-Float developed its Sunlounger line of boats with long-range operation, reliable power systems and extended durability. The company introduced the SL1 in 2010 which quickly became its best seller. Greater production efficiencies and broad market appeal at reasonable prices were realized in the fusion of sealed lead-acid batteries powering 12 volt, permanent magnet DC motors producing a top speed of 4mph for up to 6 hours. Accordingly, Go-Floats could be enjoyed across a full day of boating and then after an overnight charge be ready to go again. Furthering Go-Float’s appeal was the invention of the “BeachBuddy”, a patent pending device permitting protection of the underwater gear, adding the advantage of vertical storage on the boat’s transom as well as an integrated wheel kit for easy boat transport.
In 2012 Go-Float continued its aggressive expansion effort, investing in more new models, tooling and marketing. For the 2013 model year, Go-Float’s product collection consists of four fresh models with retail pricing between $1995 and $4995 and a continuing focus on new technologies. In addition, by early 2013, Go-Float’s new production facility in Fergus Falls, MN will be on line and capable of producing up to 100 units per month