We are not cruising yet...
But hopefully very soon. Some real numbers on a pretty simple system: a 60VDC electric outboard from Ray Electric rated at 5HP (electric) pushes a 35' Ericson (13000#) at 3kn in a protected calm harbor at 20amps. increasing speed to 4kn increases load to 35-40amps. Hull speed (6.5kn) 'can' be reached (did twice in testing
) at 120amps. Storage system is 10 Trojan L16HC 6VDC 415AH batteries. The batteries are amidships in the bilge adding 1000# to the ballast. These are real world figures. Theoretically, the range is 10 hours to 50% DOD at 3kn: 30 miles. I have never run even close to that far. The longest motor was back from the yard to the slip after having the mast pulled for refit, about 6 miles. I think the batteries didn't even realize they had been used! The beauty of this setup for cruising is the ability to switch the bank to a 12VDC house bank of over 2000AH!
Keeps the beer cold while waiting for the sun to hit the solar panels. (while configured for 60V, two smaller 12V batteries power house and lighting needs) Right now, the panels are two BP 85W through a Blue Sky MPPT controller. Before leaving for a circumnavigation, we will add one more panel and an Aquagen tow-behind generator (4A @ 5kn 24 hours/day while sailing).
For all the naysayers: I understand this setup will not power me off a lee shore, cross the doldrums, outrun a storm, etc. What it will allow is easier in/out of crowded harbors, slips, and anchorages.
This type of drive system is not for the mass public (yet!). But even with todays battery technology it is possible given a few tradeoffs.
The cost: probably about the same as a replacement of the old A4 with a new Universal diesel.
Who'd a thunk a discussion on electric drive could get as contentious as asking what anchor to use??
Cool, just figured out who & where you are; I'm on the gangway next to you, come on over & check it out!