Electric drive owners need some advice - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-15-2009
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The most common old shoe that required way to many repairs

Replaced with a modern Electronic Variable Speed Drive that you can even get WET with it having a STROKE

1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Northport NY

If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Last edited by tommays; 02-15-2009 at 02:01 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-15-2009 Thread Starter
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I wasnt refering to that kit is piticular it only goes up to 48v and I think that voltage would draw way to many amps. My goal for the instal is 144v something that kit is unable to reach. I have also talked with people that have had bad reactions, and I also understand that from furthur talking, that these are people who are almost dissapointed that they cant water ski behind the electric. i have even been on one that performed very similar to what a small outboard would do only without the noise, this is what got me to thinking. I just wasnt intrested enough in the concept at the time to investigate furthur when I had the chance.

let me be clear the thunderstruck system is too small as advertised, I believe. this is the actual motor that I am thinking about using here Cloud Electric Again like I said the thunderstruck setup cant handle 144 volts.

i used to have a 5 hp outboard on a 30 foot columbia i know it dont take a lot of HP to move a boat, it worked well enough. At 5 hp you are burning 3750 watts and at 144v its in the 26 ahr range. There isnt ANYBODY that runs a diesel at wide open all the time, to try and say you will be running a electric setup in this manner is unfair and misguiding. It is true at 5 hp when I was going in and out of the harbor I ran it at wide open but it proved that 5 hp was about all I needed. Granted I wasnt going to try to plow my way out aginst a strong headwind into rough seas with just 5 hp, but then I dont know many people that do with any engine or motor in bad conditions. Most sailors wait for a little better conditions to get underway. The 17 hp gives me extra in reserve to feel comfortable. I have been sailing since I was 6 and have never spent a long time under power at any one time, just not my style. I would rather dink up a river or somewhere else if it is called for. I do want some reserve power for when it is called for, and feel it is a requirement.

I have no desire to motor across the atlantic. I do have a desire to have the juice available to use that a electric could create, and am strating to feel that a electric inboard and a transom mounted outboard is the way to go.

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post #13 of 13 Old 02-18-2009
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Sounds like a worthy goal. I've been researching it also. If you don't have "Electric Propulsion for Boats" by Mathys you will be amazed at how much info he put together.

Did you every hear the one about how to identify the Pioneers. They are the people with the arrows in their back. There as so many, many things that can go wrong so a design will not work well. And then there are the things that work but will cost a lot more:
1. The motor you identified does not mention if it will run continuous at 100+ volts and put out the HP you need. Some folks have picked the motor and promptly burned them out as they may run at low volts for a long time but burn out in minutes at high volts
2. Saildog and Cam are the experts on battery, volts, amps etc conversions etc. but I'm pretty sure the battery holds a finite amount of power and converting to higher voltage makes it possible to use smaller cables but you only have so much power in a given battery and going to a dangerous voltage will not accomplish much.
3. I'm thinking that that Catalina 27 size boat might be near the max size as a Catalina 30 size boat will take a lot more HP to push.
4. One trick is to pick a flat day with no current and tow the target boat with powerboat and put a strain gage in the line to see how many lbs it takes. That would be ideal circumstances. Try it in a sea way and see the numbers shoot up.
5. You will need a new prop to get any reasonable efficiency.
6. Add up the: Motor, clutch (maybe), reduction gear, batteries, charger, regulator's, monitor, cables, and boat modifications to get your cost.
7. If you any expectations of selling the boat figure on a sale price that includes no motor.
8. Figure on significant limitations on distance and if you get caught in a squall and want to power off some rocks make sure you have full batteries and the squall is over in maybe 30 minutes.
9. Calculate the life of each part compared to a diesel.
10. And of course anything you buy this year will be considered quaint and a 'good effort' just five years from now.

Despite all of the above if I could get a Catalina 27 size boat and do 4 knots for 10 hours at 50% and full power for an hour before having to plug into shore power and get it installed for $5,000 and figure it would give me 10 years service and not take up all my stowage space I would consider it. It would be way cool as my wife is allergic to diesel. Unfortunately I suspect it will cost a bit more than that for now. The realistic problem is that you have to commit to this process as a life-style as you will be tinkering with it for hours on end, it will not go smoothly as you are a pioneer and their is precious little to go on.

Last edited by davidpm; 02-18-2009 at 11:37 PM.
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