does it make sense to buy a boat without an engine and convert it to electric? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 33 Old 02-24-2010
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If one repowers with a diesel it's good for many years with minimal maintenance. Oil change, filter and impeller annually. Diesel costs are low because you might only run 40 to 60 hours each season if that much. But if you install an electric you will have battery replacement well before you would have a major expense with a diesel. Batteries are a large dollar portion of the electric system especially if you expect much range away from the dock. And batteries have a lifespan whether used a lot or a little. And this ignores any reliability issues with the rest of the system - motor or controller.

Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #32 of 33 Old 02-25-2010
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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Batteries are a large dollar portion of the electric system especially if you expect much range away from the dock. And batteries have a lifespan whether used a lot or a little.
Having got more than 15years out of a battery bank I can agree with this. Few people are going to be able to do that.

Sure there are people reading this that say they got 5 years or 8 years or more out of their battery bank but were they testing it every year? No they got 8 years out of their bank because they were not using it, not testing it, the bank was at less than half capacity for most of its "life".

Start using that bank, treating it the way most people do, and you had better budget replacement every 5 years or so. Many much more often than that.

Have faith that the oceans are going to rise and flood the world, that plague and pestilence brought on by Climate Change is going to punish us for not believing. Please do as they say it is our only hope. :P
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post #33 of 33 Old 02-25-2010
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What is your system voltage and where are you storing the batteries? As Arch said above, sailboats are meant to carry ballast but you can't just put them all down in the bilge. They need to be accessible for maintenance (topping off with water, or at least cleaning and checking the terminal connections) Battery manufacturers aren't exactly designing batteries in special shapes with sailboats in mind. How did you overcome all of that
System voltage is 60VDC for the electric drive, switchable to 12VDC for house loads.

They are actually sitting in the bilge! The original Ericson 35 hull is identical (very interesting story...) to an Alberg 35. Very deep bilge, allows 10 Trojan L16's to fit perfectly. (there is still a deeper part of the bilge for water collection, pumps, etc)

Access is through hatches in the salon floor. I've developed the dexterity required to ck SpG every six months. The batterieas are fitted with Hydrocaps to catalise the H2 back into water, avoiding venting issues. Hold downs are installed to hold everything in place if a knockdown should occur.

The total weight of the system is probably about 500lbs greater than having the A4 and associated tanks, trans, etc., but distribution is actually much better for sailing. She heals over normally to about 15 degrees, but gets much stiffer beyond that.

I have some pix of the setup on my blog (to avoid overloading this thread):

Like I said: This is not for the faint of heart... but someone has to push the envelope!
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