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post #29 of Old 11-08-2011
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Originally Posted by LakeSuperiorGeezer View Post
My wife points out that 50 volts and above can be lethal, especially considering the conductivity of seawater. Most installations are above 50 volts so have to be careful around this equipment.
As the old saying goes "volts thrill, amps kill". Any of the batteries we have in our house and start banks can deliver more than enough amperage to kill us if we are not careful. I have personally had around 20,000 volts go through me from one hand to the other. It was from a lawn mower spark plug and the amperage is negligible. Volts alone are not the enemy.

The big limiting factor with electric is power storage. It is really hard to obtain a similar energy density with batteries, using current technology, that fossil fuels have. The motors are more than capable and the drive systems (both the electrical and mechanical components) are extremely efficient.

You have to figure out how much range at what speed you need for the type of sailing you do and the boat you have. Then you have to decide if there is a battery or hybrid solution that will work for you. There isn't much more to worry about as the motor and drive technology has been around for a long time and is more than up to the task. Even for larger boats.

For me when I was on the Chesapeake I just could not find a reasonable solution for power storage for my type of sailing. Mostly for the reasons already stated about having a schedule and needing to get home. However, I am now on a small inland lake. The longest I will have to motor is 20 miles to go from one end to the other and return. That will be just under 4 hrs at hull speed. Most likely it will only be 10 miles to get back home. Now EP is looking like a great idea for my situation.
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