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post #1 of 5 Old 01-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Electric J24

I'm here in Santa Barbara and just finished my first day with ASA 101 on a J24.
It is powered with a 85lb thrust electric trolling motor (either Motor Guide or Minn Kota) with a smart charger and two standard size gell batteries.

He claims he gets 3 hours at full throttle going from 100% to 0%.

I'm going to ask him tomorrow how long the batteries last abusing them like that. This is a big outfit. sbsail.com so I suspect he has tried a lot of different things.

Just thought the electric crowd would be interested in a real world example of usage.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-12-2010
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Interesting topic -- update us as you find out details! Good gels can take more abuse than flooded batts: some up to 3000 cycles from full to 80% DoD (which is what qualifies as "Empty.") As long as you keep charging rates and voltages under control, they are amazingly resilient. AGMs exhibit similar deep-cycling performance, and they are a bit less touchy about recharging (tho still touchier than flooded). Dry cells accept and discharge amps faster than wet cells, but they don't like being overheated (esp. gels).

The batteries in this case aren't showing their best at a 3-hr discharge rate. But yeah, a digitally-controlled trolling motor can run two or three times as long as the older 5fwd/2rev models. I'm a wee bit unhappy with our MotorGuide VariMax 45 lb thruster, though. They dunk the circuit board in urethane to marinize it, but it overheats very quickly in hot weather (80F), cutting power to 25% to prevent overcurrent -- or stopping altogether. Naturally, this happens right when we're trying to pick up a dock or mooring in a crosswind. I have to pour lake water over the thing for ten minutes to get it working again. According to Motorguide, this isn't a defect -- it's a design feature.

Also, the hp equivalents of trollers are hard to figure precisely. (Especially given the rating nonsense on all sides.) Our 45lb thrust motor w/ 3-blade prop is probably a short 1hp. We top out at 3 knots and can't make way in a stiff headwind. How did the J24 go with the 85 lb thrust? We like the quietness, we like not having gasoline aboard, and our boat suffers from weight on the transom, so the troller is a nice choice for lake sailing. But they're marginal in the giddyup department. We'll be adding oarlocks this Spring.

Buccaneer18, Grainnia
SJ21, Diarmuid
Albin Ballad 30, Fionn

Last edited by bobmcgov; 01-12-2010 at 05:50 PM.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-12-2010
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Its REAL easy to move a J24 but most of my time has been on a mooring making the recharging diffcult

And if your doing J24 OD racing the gas outboard is required

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-13-2010
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My Santana525 came with a 45 lb thrust trolling motor and I replaced the battery with 2 new deep cycle wet cells. I could get 3+ hrs on full power, but only made 2 1/2 to 3 knots..... Replaced it with a Johnson 3.3 hp, 28lb engine, lighter than one of the batteries and can run over 1/2 hr WOT on 1 quart of fuel @ 5.3 knots.. If only used for getting in-out of the slip the trolling motor would be fine, for long runs up the lake to overnight during spells of light and variable, the gas engine is the best.

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-24-2010 Thread Starter
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I talked to the owner and he claims a normal replacement cycle for his batteries, something like 3 to 5 years. He also claims he dosnn't run them flat dead, but I saw otherwise. So maybe the batteries are a little more resilient than we imagine.
This is a high-pressure commercial teaching environment. The owner is responsible for maybe 100 boats. He takes care of them but dosn't baby them, thats for sure.

The j24 moved pretty good maybe 3 knots in calm water, not hull speed.
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