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post #31 of 49 Old 02-05-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Oh, I love the idea of going electric. There are some great advantages, to be sure. Weight is one thing (although not a big difference between my small 3.5 hp), and I would love to have quieter engine. For me, it really comes down to range and charging. Cost is also a factor.

I’m on the boat full-time for about 1/2 the year. When we’re on the boat we’re mostly away from a dock. Solar and wind maintains my battery bank 95% of the time. But I just don’t think I could add in a couple of 24 volt (can’t find the Ah rating) lithium batteries and still avoid using dino-juice (gas or diesel generator) as much.

Cost is also significantly higher, especially one you start adding extra batteries at $460 a pop. To have any chance of making it work for me I’d probably want at least 3 batteries, maybe four. Now the price is up to over $3k — that’s a pretty steep premium to pay.

Like I say, I love the idea of going electric. I were only taking short trips, and could easily charge off the domestic AC grid (so not full time on board), then I’d go back to electric. But I just don’t think it’s a viable option for most full-time cruisers.
Totally understand. True the cost is higher but, your not dealing with messy and/or explosive fluids. Clogged carborators, broken pull cords or the chance of smashing the wife in the face with the pull cord when starting. Speaking of the wife it's much easier for her too. She just needs to to turn the key and she's off. I get by with one battery pack which does about six round trips to the dock. Though it's easy enough to disconnect the battery and bring it on board to charge with a 300 watt 12 volt inverter too.
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post #32 of 49 Old 02-05-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

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Only once, after that she said "Call the shore boat you cheap SOB".
Ouch!

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post #33 of 49 Old 02-07-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

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Originally Posted by greg.rosine View Post
We have a small inflatable dinghy. We have only used it a couple of times to go to shore. This summer we will be at anchor a great deal and would like to get a small outboard just to get back and forth to shore. I am hesitant to have gasoline on board, but there is a price premium for an electric. How do you safely store gasoline on board? Gas or electric?


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I use Torqeedo 1003 for 9ft Zodiac inflatable.
I like it very much, very handy, lighter than 2.5HP gas engine and no need have a tank. Battery drains more than I expected but it depends on how fast you go.
Usually I use about 30 to 40% moving around marina. I am thinking add solar panel.( factory one is expensive but found compatible after market panel on ebay.)
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post #34 of 49 Old 02-07-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

We had a 55lb thrust electric motor that would be OK in calm water with no wind but if you had to get anywhere or had a headwind it wouldn't do the job. Also the lead acid battery weighs as much as a small outboard.

We got a 6 HP Tohatsu 4 stroke. Same weight as the battery and with an external tank there is no issue with fuel spilling if you store it below. The external tank is just like a small jerry can and can be kept up top. There is no weight difference between 4,5, or 6HP 58 lbs....a large deep cell battery is 59 lbs. The weight of outboards goes up when they are two cylinder i.e. 9HP and up.

No comparison if you have to get somewhere.
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post #35 of 49 Old 02-07-2019
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To be practical, and as much as I love electric power and hate gas, as you’re planning on mooring, I’d go with a small 2.5-4Hp gas. Charging from your boat’s inverter/battery will be slow and may limit you when you really need your dinghy.
Safety is a legitimate concern. Keep no more than a gallon on board, this can probably cover you for the entire season - away from the cockpit in a well ventilated area. If necessary, add a flammable/no smoking sign where you store it.


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Originally Posted by greg.rosine View Post
We have a small inflatable dinghy. We have only used it a couple of times to go to shore. This summer we will be at anchor a great deal and would like to get a small outboard just to get back and forth to shore. I am hesitant to have gasoline on board, but there is a price premium for an electric. How do you safely store gasoline on board? Gas or electric?


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post #36 of 49 Old 02-08-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

I have a trolling motor which is not used... and only good for calm and short runs. Of course it's light. Charging the small AGM batt is a PITA. We typically anchor out and away in the quietest spot and had to walk the dogs so the options were land the dink on a shore, or some dock... rarely... or go in to a proper floating dock.... there the pooches could jump from the tubes to the dock. We need range, reliability and power to go through chop and wind.

Our 8 hp 4 stroke motor is heavy and uses a separate tank which remains inside the RIB's forward locker/seat. Underway we hoist the motor with using a demountable lifting crane and the motor lives on a bracket on the pushpit. This is an easy one person operation... even easier with two.

We don't smoke or allow it on board and the only open flames are from the cooker. Fire risk with the gas is very very low. I keep a spare gallon jug of gas in the anchor locker or in the RIB bow locker. No mixing 2 stroke oil so gas tank is only opened when refueling at dockside.

This works best for us. I considered propane but the engine wouldn't start at West Marine so I nixed the sale. OB is regularly serviced and I look for non ethanol gas which is hard to find, but apparently much better.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #37 of 49 Old 02-08-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

Slight thread drift but it has been mentioned before. Getting splashed when going slow. A key factor is the tube size.

I have a 9 ft Aruba with 17 inch diameter tubes. Some 9 ft dinghies have 15 inch tubes. That extra 2 inches makes a big difference to how dry the ride is.

Like Mark I have an 18 hp on mine. Riding on the plane is much drier.

Mind you there comes a time when the chop is such you are airborne too often and your guest starts looking concerned. Time to revert to displacement mode and hand out the dollar plastic ponchos.
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post #38 of 49 Old 02-08-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

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We had a 55lb thrust electric motor that would be OK in calm water with no wind but if you had to get anywhere or had a headwind it wouldn't do the job.
This hasn’t been my experience.

I power my Catalina 22 with a 74lb thrust trolling motor, and it goes into a headwind just fine. Minn Kota sizes their props for low-end thrust, not high end speed, so there’s plenty of power to drive into wind. I’ve motored my 2500 pound boat into 20+ knot winds without any issue.

Of course my top speed is about 4 knots, so on the rare occasion that I have to motor any distance it takes for bloody ever.

I have a 50 watt solar panel and a Genasun MPPT controller.

Catalina 22
on a starboard tack
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post #39 of 49 Old 02-10-2019
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Re: Gas or electric?

I plan on removing the Atomic 4 in my Cal 30 and replacing it with a 10kW brushless motor. Brand new, it'll cost me about $2,800, and I can replace my fuel tank with a second fresh water tank. It also gets rid of fumes, filth, vibrations, and noise from a fossil-fuel engine. Finally, it frees me from worrying about having to find fuel in remote places, and the costs that come with maintenance and fuel.

Of course that means I'll need to have an integrated system of wind/solar/shaft regen to make sure I have sufficient juice, but that doesn't bother me one bit! Solar panels are cheap, I can make a wind generator out of an alternator and some replacement store-bought wind generator blades, and the motor has a shaft regen built-in.

I'll buy a Torqeedo motor for my dinghy as well, tyvm.

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post #40 of 49 Old 02-10-2019
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Kudos for the smartest thing a sailor can do on power propulsion!! I guess you calculated your power/motoring patterns and needs. But for sure, this is the true future!!
In your case, removing the Atomic death trap from your boat is even smarter. A gas inboard is the most irresponsible thing a sailor can do. You may want to use the gas tank space for extra batteries bank... are you going to consider lithium?

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Originally Posted by HumanErrer View Post
I plan on removing the Atomic 4 in my Cal 30 and replacing it with a 10kW brushless motor. Brand new, it'll cost me about $2,800, and I can replace my fuel tank with a second fresh water tank. It also gets rid of fumes, filth, vibrations, and noise from a fossil-fuel engine. Finally, it frees me from worrying about having to find fuel in remote places, and the costs that come with maintenance and fuel.

Of course that means I'll need to have an integrated system of wind/solar/shaft regen to make sure I have sufficient juice, but that doesn't bother me one bit! Solar panels are cheap, I can make a wind generator out of an alternator and some replacement store-bought wind generator blades, and the motor has a shaft regen built-in.

I'll buy a Torqeedo motor for my dinghy as well, tyvm.

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