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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Replacing IC engine with electric motor

Anyone who thinks that we're not creating a footprint or some type of pollution is very naive. Fiberglass manufacturing, teak forestry, antifouling paint, the metals, the oils. The list goes on. All we can do is try to limit the effect we have. The last time I heard, heavy metals can be recycled (provided you don't sink, lol) and burned diesel cannot.
Even if we all removed our engines and batteries, we still use something. I think my biggest concern is how do we dispose of all the boat hulls when they finally can no longer be used?
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Replacing IC engine with electric motor

I was thinking about electric power also... Or a hybrid..
Has anyone used Lithium Iron batteries? They are cheaper then LiPo, have no memory, last a lot longer then lead and are environmentally cleaner?
I was musing about attaching a 10hp electric motor to the drive shaft via toothed belt.. with tensioner and engagement feature... I could use the electric motor to regenerate power while sailing.. The problem is that I would have to come up with a sizable battery bank for the electric motor, to have any kind of range.
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Old 10-09-2012
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Re: Replacing IC engine with electric motor

The numbers just don't work. The problem with electric power is that it takes roughly 100 time the weight in batteries as diesel fuel for the same amount of power. So assuming you currently use a gallon an hour, figure you need 650lbs of batteries to replace that one gallon.

If all you want to do is motor in and out of a harbor, then electric power will work. Otherwise there just isn't enough energy density in the best batteries to come anywhere close to fossile fuels. If you want to be green, run bio-diesel instead.
Greg Rubin
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Old 10-11-2012
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Re: Replacing IC engine with electric motor

Diesel engines on sailboats are maintenance nightmares. That, to me, is the primary motivation for an electric auxiliary. They are much easier to maintain. Let me count the ways a diesel can destroy your sailing life- dirty fuel; old fuel; dirty fuel tanks; oil and fuel filter changes every 100 hours; mixing elbow corrosion; loss of prime in a fuel line; air locks in the cooling system; fuel and water pump failures; winterizing; - need I say more? After decades of dealing with the iron monster I have decided that living with the limitations of an electric drive will make sailing far more enjoyable.
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