Join Date: Mar 2008
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It looks like they have a good product, nothing new, which is good.
They are using 48volts which is also good. Almost every boat has room for 4- 12volt batteries.
I will consider this system closely as I would like an elect drive for various reasons.
As already mentioned to get any range at all you will need a generator. There are applications where you wouldn't need a diesel gen. These include: Day sailing where motoring out of the harbour only takes a few minutes, offshore sailing where harbours are days away, and for sailors who can adapt to not always having an engine or having to conserve the use of motoring.
The reason electric drives have not taken off is not technical. They always have been a very viable alternative, even superior in many cases but they have a major problem.
All the patents needed for electric propulsion have run out. Electric drive systems are so much cheaper that no major company is going to make billions. Even if they "caught on" and started to sell some company in India or China could undercut the market, heck people can just build them in their garage.
And many do. thousands of people have used electric drive systems. General Motors says they cannot make an electric drive car for less than hundreds of thousands of dollars each but thousands of people have converted cars for less than $20G.
Most of the negative views and opinions about electric drives are a result of the established industries advertising against a competitor. Objectively electric drive systems are better in most applications and this is true for sailboats which already have a need for large battery installations.
It is even better for motorsailors because the generator, battery, motor system gives much better fuel economy and the ability to use power other than that derived from diesel.
The only down side is the high up front cost. People wont insulate their homes to save money later so it is with removing a perfectly good diesel engine and replacing it with a more expensive motor-gen-battery system.
EDIT: They do have these systems available on about 3 weeks notice, which isn't long to wait considering it is a complete engineered package (sans batteries of course).
Last edited by Architeuthis; 04-26-2008 at 06:13 PM.