Electric Drives - SailNet Community
View Poll Results: What distance do you motor usually?
Less then 10 miles 48 77.42%
11 -20 4 6.45%
21- 40 5 8.06%
40 + 5 8.06%
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post #1 of 62 Old 11-11-2008 Thread Starter
BrandyIsland
 
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Electric Drives

I am about to install a SolidNav electric drive system in my Moody 34. I am simply too exasperated with fooling with diesel engines. I am on my second diesel since I have owned her and the Perkins 4108 has been very unreliable. It has never had a serious problem, but the small troubles have ruined many a weekend and resulted in the boat sitting in port most of the season. I have now spoken with a very happy SolidNav system owner who answered my questions about range and reliability, so here we go folks. I will be posting info on the installation and the performance...
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post #2 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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I'm looking forward to hearing your experiences in installing and using an electric engine.

Jim
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post #3 of 62 Old 11-11-2008 Thread Starter
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I will be happy to share my experience with you.. are you considering doing the same yourself?
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post #4 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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I'm not seriously considering it, but it's something that I'm interested in and I've been doing a lot of reading about the pros and cons.

The idea of a quiet electric motor, the simplicity and the "free ride" sound great. But from what I've read it can be limiting. If you find yourself with no wind and ten hours of motoring ahead of you then you may be out of luck. That said this is an area that's developing so fast that anything I think I know may be outdated.

I'm also curious how reliable they are in the long run as well as all the other system components in a marine environment?

I wish you the best if you're definitely doing it, and am looking forward to hearing how you make out.

Jim

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The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
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post #5 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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I'd be interested in hearing more about what they recommended you need for your boat in terms of battery bank, and what kind of run times and speeds they say you can get, and what you get in the real world.

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post #6 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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An electric drive and batteries would leave lot's of room for an onboard

generator to give you range and and also power refrigeration etc.Diesel

engines are a lot more efficient when run at a constant speed as in a diesel

genset.Should improve fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear as you

wouldn't need to start the engine for short trips.

Phil
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post #7 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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Not necessarily. The battery bank needs to be dramatically upscaled for an electric drive, and often the weight savings is negligible.
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Originally Posted by philsboat View Post
An electric drive and batteries would leave lot's of room for an onboard

generator to give you range and and also power refrigeration etc.Diesel

engines are a lot more efficient when run at a constant speed as in a diesel

genset.Should improve fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear as you

wouldn't need to start the engine for short trips.

Phil

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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post #8 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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according to solidnav.com, battery requirement is a 48 volt bank (not included). They recommend the Explorer for boats up to 33 feet in length, or about 12 K displacement.
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They tested the Explorer on an Islander 28, and the range, at 6 knots, was 10 nm... or less than two hours. if you don't mind dropping your speed in half, you can increase your range to 40 nm, or about 13.5 hours of run time.
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post #10 of 62 Old 11-11-2008
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40 nm in 13.5 hours with a clean bottom, no wind, wave etc to slow you down, and you have to hope you don't need to go 42nm or you are out of luck.

My last 40nm (approx) trip took me 6.5 hours, averaging 6kts; in that 6.5 hours I burned 4.8 gallons of diesel at 4 bucks a gallon (call it 20 bucks, in 2007).

I can replace that with a $16k installation of electric drive, pay the same 20 bucks for electricity to recharge the batteries (overnight if I get big enough dual bank chargers) - and replace the batteries every five years (another $3-4k dollars), and have half the actual horsepower equivalent?

I'd say sign me up for that seriously sweet deal but decided to learn how to maintain a diesel instead.
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