Knot...we know you're a rigger...the problem comes when someone tries to hide what they are and then make comments to enhance their personal business. Not that you have ever done so...but if for any reason you decide to take that stance...then simply post your affiliation in your signature.
Thank for the response Engele...I accept your explanation. You might wanna read and understand those Nigel Calder articles I cited above before you make any re-powering decisions. Check out the coming battery technology as well before you lay in a lead mine.
Firefly Technology - fireflyenergy.com
Yes battery technology is changing very quickly. Also on the horizon (supposedly) is capacitor based storage, though that may just be vaporware.
F1 racing is moving to a hybrid setup that is totally different from what we are used to as well, storing mechanical energy instead of electricity. Not helpful for sailing, but it does show that bright minds are working on the problem.
I expect both battery and fuel cell technology to get a lot cheaper in the next few years. The cost of producing solar energy has gone down significantly in the past few years as companies have moved towards using different materials to produce the cells. Hopefully we as consumers will get the benefit in a price break soon.
Storage is changing daily, but the motor technology is the same as it was fifty years ago, which is exactly why I am not afraid of a project like this.
My storage would be the last thing I would buy, and I would buy it as I experimented rather than trying to calculate my max use.
It's tough to say what a boat will use as far as fuel consumption on a regular boat with different props etc available, much less an exotic system like we are talking about here.
That isn't to say those concerns don't need to be addressed, but I don't really see a standard metric that will work across boat types to calculate what you would need to push it.
My guess is that a light Cat makes a lot of sense for these systems, but that isn't what I own.
I am still leaning in this direction.