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  #1  
Old 11-05-2009
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Electric Sail Boat Motor

Does anyone have any info on electric Sail boat motors. Re: which is the best etc. I am looking to put together a system using the Mars brushless motor. Is there a better motor out there. Our boat is a 27ft Catalina. Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2009
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They have some unities installed on catamarans too. Never had one, but reading reviews and comments for some years, they looks like a very competent and serous company:

Solomon Technologies
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Old 11-06-2009
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These guys have a good site:
Hybrid Propulsion

The bottom line is that by the time you are done it will probably cost the 10g plus, that a new diesel will cost.
  1. You will get maybe two hours between charges.
  2. You will have to be at a dock with shore power.
  3. It is louder than you might think because of the gearing.
  4. Long term costs will be higher than diesel as the batteries, a large part of the system cost, will have to be replaced every few years.
  5. I'm not sure of this but I suspect that maintenance or at least attention will be high as the systems are new.
  6. Resale value will likely be low.
The Catalina 27 is a good boat for this experiment, big enough to hold some batteries but an easy to drive hull.
I love the idea and plan on visiting "above the waterline" this winter.
A fully do-it-yourself setup may be cheaper but you will be inventing the engineering as you go.
I am very interested in this so if you want to go further call me or email, my contact info is in my profile page.
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Old 11-07-2009
JCR JCR is offline
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Electric Sailboat Motors

Just some feedback about electric sailboat motors.....

I have some 1st hand knowledge of electric propulsion and maybe can answer questions you may have.

1. Electric boat conversions are not difficult to do.

2. They provide you with many advantages over gas & diesel motors.

3. Electric boat motors are regenerative if they are designed properly; meaning that they will recharge the batteries when you are sailing.

4. Electric boat drives are clean, almost maintenance free and easy to use.

5. Electric boat drives installed in sailboats typically can be charged overnight and maybe much shorter times and the cost can be very low like $1.50 per charge.

JCR
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Old 11-07-2009
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LaNinfa,

Try electricyacht.com as they have experience providing electric propulsion units with your kind of boat.

If you have other questions you can contact me.

JCR
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Old 11-08-2009
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electric Sail Boat Charging

I am looking to put a small generator on board mounted in rear stern area to give additional otions for recharge. Also a wind genreator. Do you have any information on how all of this hooks together. If I want to use the generator for internal power, lights etc. and also charge the batteries, or just use the wind generator for charging as I sail etc. Do I need a different battery bank for lights other than the batteries for the electric motor. It is 3-phase so If I use the 3-phase 48 volt sytem for internal items I will have to get an inverter? Please any info would help. Also I have tried to contact the individuals at electric yacht that designed the catalina 27 system. They had a motor mount system that worked. They had stuck a Sea-Ev sticker on it. Where would I find the mount or do I need to fab' one.
Thanks for your time to reply previously. Hope to hear from you soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCR View Post
Just some feedback about electric sailboat motors.....

I have some 1st hand knowledge of electric propulsion and maybe can answer questions you may have.

1. Electric boat conversions are not difficult to do.

2. They provide you with many advantages over gas & diesel motors.

3. Electric boat motors are regenerative if they are designed properly; meaning that they will recharge the batteries when you are sailing.

4. Electric boat drives are clean, almost maintenance free and easy to use.

5. Electric boat drives installed in sailboats typically can be charged overnight and maybe much shorter times and the cost can be very low like $1.50 per charge.

JCR
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Old 11-09-2009
JCR JCR is offline
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Electric Boat Conversions

LaNinfa,

There are various ways to accomplish what you want to do. You have to choose the approach to provide a safe, reliable, electrical, charging and propulsion system that makes sense for your boat and each boat will be different.

For example assume for a moment you want to power your boat with an electric motor propulsion system and two 48 Volt battery packs. You will need low voltage power (house load) for lights, bilge pump, radio, navigation electronics, horn, etc. You can choose to have separate battery power for the 12 Volt system or run a converter from 48V to 12V for your low house load power. Your choice will depend upon how confident you are in either approach.

Some people would recommend that a separate battery for the 12 Volt house load is a good idea because if there is ever a problem with the 48 Volt electric propulsion system you still have 12 Volt power for the radio, bilge pump, horn, lights etc.

Other people would say that a well designed and properly wired 48 Volt electric propulsion motor with large battery packs and a converter is as safe as it gets and your battery packs will supply both 48 Volt power to the propulsion motors and the converter will supply the 12 Volts for the house load.

There are some issues you need to consider that are important when you convert your boat to run on electric propulsion. The 48 Volt Battery pack wires that go from the battery packs to motor and motor controller should be kept as short as possible, be of the correct wire grade and size and keep the heavy voltage wires separate from the light voltage wires. Also, make sure you have a properly wired & grounded sytem.

I suggest using 2 battery packs connecting the battery cables thru main fuses to a battery switch (1/2/all) and then run the battery cables to the motor controller keeping these heavy voltage cables together on the left or right side of the boat. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the electrical noise in your low voltage house current. Electrical noise can effect radio reception, navigation instruments, etc. You might want to run the low voltage house load wires on the steering console side of the boat and run the Battery cable wires on the opposite side to keep them apart. Typically, if the motor controller is mounted vertical or horizontal bow to stern so the low voltage motor signal control wires can attach to one side of the controller while the battery cables can be mounted to the opposite side of the controller. This is one way to keep the 48 voltage wires apart from the 12 volt house load wires.

You can choose many different ways to recharge the main battery packs and/or house batteries with the wind, sun, generators, etc. Are you running the generator to recharge the battery packs or are you running the generator to power the electric motors while running the boat? The different answers to these questions may require different switching electronics and controls.

I believe that a separate 12 Volt house load battery or batteries with a small wind turbine and/or solar cells for recharging is a good idea. If you want redundancy for the house load power include a converter to get 12 Volts from the 48 Volt battery packs. As far as charging the 48 volt battery packs I believe that solar cells or wind turbines would take a long time and the technology may not quite be there.

Inherently, electric boat propulsion is simple and straight forward.

I hope this has been helpful.

JCR

Last edited by JCR; 11-09-2009 at 09:31 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-21-2009
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Hi LaNinfa,

I've got an Ericson 27 with a SolidNav Explorer. I think the Electric Sailboat frame/mount/reduction/shaft/motor is an early Explorer unit. Electric Sailboat isn't a company any more as far as I know.

There has been some good information here. I agree with the two separate 48volt bank comments, it gives you some redundancy. On my boat there are two separate house batteries but as said you can get an inverter to do the same thing. I charge off of shorepower.

I've had the electric inboard installed on my boat since may of '08 and have had no real problems. A friend wanted to see the motor the other day and I realized I hadn't had the "engine" cover off in quite a while, not much to do to it once it's installed!

The longest I've motored is a little over 7 hours at 4 knots and did not use all available power from just one of the banks. For my use I couldn't be happier, good luck with your install.
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Old 11-21-2009
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I was looking into an electric for my boat awhile ago. I don't have a lot of faith in my current diesel but I tabled the plans as I don't have a place to put the batteries or a generator to keep a smaller bank charged up to what I wanted to be able to motor. This is what I was looking at: 5 KW Inboard Oddysey makes some rack mounted batteries in a form that would have been workable for me but the cost was too much. So I am sticking with the diesel until it dies.

There is a guy here in the marina with a pretty big Gulfstar and he put a forklift motor in it and it is working ok. He needs to get a new prop as he found out the motor does have a prefered direction it wants to rotate and he has to put the engine in reverse to go forward. he said it does back up quite well though.

You may have issues charging a 48v bank with wind or solar though. 12v seems to be the predominant output of the units so you would need a clever charge controller that may not exist to step up the voltage to charge level or run panels in a group of 4 to get the voltage up. I did not get very far into it before deciding it would not work as well as I had hoped.
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Old 11-25-2009
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For me battery installation was the hardest part of repowering with electric. I ended up with 4 group 27's under the starboard settee and 4 group 31's under the port side settee on my Ericson 27. This placement gives me battery weight low and centered. Being the first time, there was a lot of head scratching trying to figure out where to put the batteries and charger. The next one would go pretty quickly :-).
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