Alternate Motorboat Project Develops Motors to Crank up Nature’s Volume for an Enhanced Experience on Grand Canyon River Tours

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To create a cleaner and quieter Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association and Hatch River Expeditions are working on a quiet boat motor.

arizona river runners

The Alternate Motorboat Project will help keep the Grand Canyon virtually unaffected by Arizona river runners.

"Sixteen commercial rafting companies in Grand Canyon National Park have been quietly investing in the development of a quiet electric outboard motor." said Steve Hatch.

A new project led by Hatch River Expeditions focuses on the development of new boat engines and the outfitters’ continued effort to keep Grand Canyon clean, safe and virtually unaffected by Arizona river runners.

The Alternate Motorboat Project is a program developed by the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association (GCROA). The trial run of this new technology launched on April 4, 2014 at Lees Ferry, to create and test “cleaner and quieter” motors for those taking part in Colorado River rafting. Hatch River Expeditions President Steve Hatch heads up the exciting new program and weighs in with great enthusiasm for what is being accomplished:

“Sixteen commercial rafting companies in Grand Canyon National Park have been quietly investing in the development of a quiet electric outboard motor”

The newer, quieter motors will be the latest innovation on Hatch River Expeditions’ already top-of-the-line rafts that provide a safe, stable platform for thrill seekers as they adventure along the white waters of the Colorado River. Hatch River Expeditions’ rafts, which are constructed of military spec neoprene rubber and are highly customized to safely seat a maximum of 16 guests, already operate with amazingly quiet motors located in an insulated motor well. These new, virtually silent electric motors will only enhance the experience of the adventurers taking Grand Canyon River Tours, putting them more in connection with the nature that can be viewed and experienced all around them.

Both Hatch River Expeditions and GCROA believe that rafters will feel more in touch with nature and disconnected from the outside world once the virtually silent motors are in place. The team plans to take amazing motor technology to an even greater level.

GCROA as an association aims to “reserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values...for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” All outfitters continue to strive to lessen the impact of any adventure on the environment, and will always be seeking newer and more effective technology so families in years to come will be able to have the same experience as those of today, and years before.

Thousands of Arizona natives and visitors travel through the Grand Canyon each and every year. “The Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association’s goal in this project is to reduce noise and help the environment,” Steve Hatch commented. “We are excited about what the future holds for this new technology.”

About Hatch River Expeditions: Hatch River Expeditions was the first whitewater rafting company in North America, founded in 1929. For more information on the Alternate Motorboat Project or to plan your next Grand Canyon river tour adventure, visit:

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Pamela Ravenwood
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