Join Date: Oct 2006
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I'm currently installing an electric motor in my columbia 29. I just pulled out the Atomic 4, nothing more will happen till after January. I'm part of a beta system for Electric Yacht systems. So basically I will fasten the electric engine through the reduction mounting unit rigt on the exsisting propeller shaft. I will put in a bank of batteries creating a 48vDC system and use wind and regan (3 blade prop turning the engine charging the battery under sail or during tidal flow) to charge the bank.
The electric motor and battery bank will weigh about the same as the A4 and Gas. However no smelly gas and the batteries can stow closer to mid ship, and lower. The engine compartment can be redesigned to accomodate additional storage that wouldn't be possible with a gasser. Also my gas tank was in the transom and now I can put the life jacket and spiniker and storm sails in there and actually have less weight in the transom.
This type of system usually yeilds about 2.5 hours at 5 knots, 4 hours at 4 knots and all day at 3knots. If you use a deisel genset mounted on the cabin or in the engine compartment next to the electric motor, you can run unlimited. This of course is known as a Deisel electric which is used by the big cruise ships and locomotives... it is more energy effieceint than a straight gas or deisel engine, thats why they use it. Also lighter and more versatile.
I will be using straight electric and when I run out of fuel (batery charge) the tidal flow, wind and the sun will recharge me. I hear a lot of people who talk about dramatic emergency situations such as beating off a lea shore and every other thing imaginable... my old gasser has left me stranded a mile out from port with no wind... and I've heard a lot more horror stories from broken impellers and water in the line to make me think pay attention to the nay sayers. Besides I have a sail boat and people have sailed them for centuries without any type of auxilary power at all.