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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Electric/Hybrid > Repowering with an electric engine?
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Thread: Repowering with an electric engine? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-24-2014 10:43 PM
mbianka
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMerc View Post
Good to know your needs and then accommodate them best you can...I am kicking around an electric re powering system, but for now will hold tight, not sure I want to dump that much effort into this vessel at this time. Sounds like you have a well designed system, perfect for day sailing and short cruises...about where I am at also.
Ben:
Your doing the right thing. I thought long and hard before I decided to convert to electric propulsion back in 2007. I had a lot of "what if" scenarios go through my mind and happily I have found that EP is able to do what needs to be done. That said I discourage people from taking out a perfectly running diesel to put in electric propulsion. Wait until it dies and then see what's around. For me it was a great step forward even though it was somewhat of a leap of faith back in 2007 as there were no boats in the 30 foot range that I could compare notes with. But, since then I have never once wished I still had the old diesel on board.
09-23-2014 05:45 PM
BenMerc
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Good to know your needs and then accommodate them best you can...I am kicking around an electric re powering system, but for now will hold tight, not sure I want to dump that much effort into this vessel at this time. Sounds like you have a well designed system, perfect for day sailing and short cruises...about where I am at also.
09-23-2014 04:20 PM
GufShoz
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Hey everyone,
I think the best question was posted by Christian: why?
My reasoning was purely subjective.
My diesel needed to be replaced, so I started looking at the options. Several years ago I received a mailing from a company looking for investors to develop an electric propulsion system for recreational boaters. I can't remember the company and I believe it went out of business, but I was intrigued by the concept. There were some good reasons for me to go electric:
It's green(er).
I could be a pioneer. (I know that's really egotistical, but honest.)
My wife hates the smell of diesel fuel. (That's the BIG number one.)
I hated changing the oil and filters and smelling of diesel fuel.
Our style of sailing...leave the dock and the sails go up, then day sails, weekends and the occasional week.
Our sailing grounds...minimal tidal changes so not much current to fight.
When we did the conversion I used four AGM 4D batteries placed in a manner to balance the weight. I had approximately 80lbs net weight gain. Don't ask me the numbers about regeneration from the propeller. I make no apologies for being a "fair weather" sailor, so I usually have plenty of wind to return to the dock with 100% charge.
I do use a Honda 2000 generator to recharge the house batteries or if I have to motor in the ICW against a headwind for more than 10 miles. I can motor at 3.5kn with no net loss to the propulsion batteries and charge the house batteries with the Honda.
The main downside for me is charging the house batteries to keep my amp-hungry refrigerator running. I going to install a 48 to 12v transformer to utilize the left-over amps generated from the propeller. My propulsion batteries are normally back after about 30 to 60 min. of sailing above 3.5 kn.
Electric works for my wife and I. Is it the best choice for everyone? Absolutely not. If I sailed in areas with big tidal ranges with lots of current or had the possibility of being becalmed in open seas, I wouldn't consider battery powered electric propulsion. IMHO.
PS: boat is a 1995 Hunter 29.5.
06-22-2014 12:00 PM
christian.hess
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

please do!
06-21-2014 02:42 PM
w1651
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Sorry I haven't been around guys I have been working on the bracket and drive system of my boat. I will post pics and get real time info to you as time allows though.
06-21-2014 02:40 PM
w1651
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Mitiempo Great pics and a good reason and argument for electric.

Alex let me ask you a question. If I am reading this thread correctly what your saying is I coudn't sail the passes and islands of the northwest on a schedule. So why make one? You need to see them from the luxury of a RV anyway.

Have you ever seen how big the eyes of a luxury boat owner get when you sail past them into a marina? I have and they are the biggest whiners on the planet. I didn't have a engine on my boat.I did but it was locked up so I through a anchor overboard with a fender attached to it and I practiced sailing up to it from all directions. Once I learned how to sail I came and went from the marina under sail. That's when all the trouble started. So now I will put a electric drive on my boat and let them complain about that instead.
It seems they always have negative feed back about everything anyway.
06-21-2014 02:27 PM
w1651
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

I looked at EAS and Elco in fact I talked with their representative online one day at length. The fact of the matter is this system won't work for everyone. Some just don't like the idea off something new until they see it in use and on the market for some time. Some just want old tech for the sake of old tech. Me I want to go to mars someday and eat mri's on the way. I want to sail over the ocean blue without worry of being power poor. I am setting my boat up accordingly. The most power needy thing I have on board is a depth finder. My nav lights are LED's and only use a amp an hour.
I want total self sufficiency. Little to no power perks like radar, satelite phones, internet,anything that says raymarine or Garmen on it. I want a very low power consumption boat. 8 12 volt batteries to run me in and out of a marina or port and 2 salon batteries. A wind generator and 2 24 volt solar panels to charge all batteries with two seperate mppt controllers. I will also carry (just in case) a 89 dollar harbor freight generator that holds one gallon at a time so all I will have on board is 2 gallons one for back up.
06-21-2014 12:07 PM
BenMerc
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Here is where the industry is at...not certain re-fits can duplicate, but I think if interested in electric repower, this gives someone an idea of the latest technologies...



Hunter H-36 "Hybrid" powered by Elco Ľ Elco Motor Yachts
05-25-2014 02:37 PM
christian.hess
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

jajaja good stuff
05-25-2014 06:54 AM
lillia28
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

There has been a lot of valuable information on here. I looked into this a few years back, and quick and dirty, if you don't want to give up "range" you need a generator roughly the same size, HP wise, as the engine you are replacing. The entire system is larger, heavier, more expensive and more complicated than the engine you are replacing. I think you also need to look at the pollution free aspect of electric. If you recharge with shore power, you are not pollution free, as in the US a lot of power generation is coal fired, and while scrubbed, it is not clean. I know that lead acid batteries have a good recycle rate over their life cycle, bu I am not sure about Lithium batteries, in the various combinations. I do not know what the "pollution" footprint of manufacturing or discarding a solar panel is, but I suspect there is one. In short the least polluting answer is likely a diesel with a catalytic converter and enough green plants on board to reconvert the CO2 back to O2. No I do not have statistics, just a gut feeling that there is no free lunch in pollution control either. My town still has a "recycle" trash pickup, but the "recycling" is added to the regular trash stream, as it is cheaper. So we actually have twice as many pickups and therefore trash trucks running, so the net effect is that "recycling" adds more pollution than not "recycling". Yes this is a very cynical policy, but it keeps taxes low, and the mayor re elected and most folks in town feel good about their "re cycling".
This has become longer than I'd like, but for me the real "green" solution is fighting for pollution controls on all IC engines, and creating green space. I am well aware that IC engines of various sizes and uses are NOT the largest source of pollution compared to factories and utilities, but that is a fight for another day.
Since it is memorial day, go visit a WWII submarine museum and thank those pig boat sailors for their service. You'll also realize that the engine and battery spaces were much larger than the crew quarters. Time for a new thread on small nuclear power plants for sailboats?
Lou
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