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post #1 of 19 Old 01-12-2018 Thread Starter
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Re-intro

Been a while since I've spent any time here so thought I would re-introduce myself.

Life long sailor. Sold my sailboat a few years back and promised myself I would look into buying another boat when I retired.

Well, that time has come and since I have more time than money, I bought a project boat: a 50 year old Pearson Triton yawl.

She needs a bunch of TLC but I've got the time and most of the skills to put her right.

The project list is currently 3 pages long and growing...

First major effort is an electric repower. I have a bunch of questions and plan to see if anyone here-abouts wants to chime in with some suggestions.

Home waters are Buzzards Bay Massachusetts.

Planning to cruise solo coastally around New England, and when all is deemed solid, I plan to venture south to Caribbean and North to PEI and area.

That about covers it.

Best.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-12-2018
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Re: Re-intro

Electric Propulsion is not a good idea for a long distance cruising boat. What you might save in engine weight you are going to spend in battery weight and on such a small boat you do not have the area for a decent solar array. A windgen will rarely make an amp or 2 an hour and the average is much less.
EP works great for getting in and out of a marina (best because you can keep your batteries charged from shore power) or to a mooring, but it is not a solution if you need to power for any length of time in difficult or severe conditions. An engine is not a necessity for Caribbean cruising (one year we did over 2000 miles of interisland sailing {no passages}, using the engine less than 20 hours), but there are calms behind every island (lees) that are very hard to work through under sail. Some channel crossings can leave you 6 to 10 miles west of your desired landfall, with little choice but to sit out there in confused and choppy waters without enough wind to get up to the island, if you can't power up. A few calm, overcast days and you might not have the power to get underway to reset your anchor, should a squall blow through, and you drag or have problems with another boat doing so in an anchorage.
Of course, if you've the deep pockets for LI batteries and a method to charge them, you can completely disregard this post.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-12-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Re-intro

Thanks for thoughts. I plan to learn what EP can do while sailing coastally and see if I can make it work.

Planning on spending almost no time at a dock, but will have shore power charging available for those rare situations. Otherwise, we are talking regen+solar+wind for charging.

Planning on having a small portable (and quiet) generator that I can use for situations that warrant. This should be on only rare situations.

I am not planning on crossing oceans but am planning on some offshore passages.

In terms of what is really necessary? Many many have cruised with no aux power at all so that question has already been answered.

I REALLY don't want the noise and hassle of a diesel engine if I can avoid it. Bottom line: my decision is made- I am going EP, or else I will use a sculling oar.. : )

In terms of battery type- Of course would love to go Li,,, but expense will probably dictate AGM.

Again- thanks for feedback.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-12-2018
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Re: Re-intro

Welcome back!

You may want to check out this website: Sailing Uma? HOME This couple has been sailing on “Uma,” a 1972 Pearson 36’ for over two years. Uma is all electric.

and in particular this; Sailing Uma? ELECTRO-BEKE
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-12-2018
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Re: Re-intro

Welcome back.... Interesting project.

I think that Capta took the words right out of my mouth. While there certainly have been successful conversions to Electric Propulsion, it would be extremely difficult to make that work on a boat the size and configuration of a Triton if your goal is long range cruising. As much as I like the idea from an environmental 'small footprint' point of view, I really don't think its practical.

I will say that on the few electric propulsion projects that I have seen the costs published, it would be wildly cheaper to install a new diesel and tanks than to switch to Electric Propulsion. If initial costs are a problem, then you might even be able to buy a rebuilt rather than a new diesel. There are companies like Beta which claim to make drop-ins for the Atomic 4 in terms of the same leg positions and coupling location.

And while it might seem cheaper to run an electric propulsion system, the reality is the difference in cost when you factor in the initial installation, the limited market value of an EP Triton, and the replacement costs for the batteries every 5 or so years, the diesel is probably less expensive as a life cost as well.

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Jeff


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post #6 of 19 Old 01-12-2018
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Re: Re-intro

I'd also recommend the Yahoo Electric Boat Forum & Electric Seas.
There's many pros/cons to electric propulsion but having an ICE is also a real PIA at times.
There are many people out there that are cruising with EP & it works for them.
Cost wise, you will not save any money when compared to a diesel re-power however if you're handy you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

I installed a 10KW 48 volt motor from Thunderstruck last year. I purchased the "kit" with the controller, throttle & Clearview Display, it set me back $2,700.00. The final tally to install my system run approximately $6,500.00 but included a browning helical gear drive, ss drop pan, motor mounts, lasdrop shaft seal, prop shaft, 14X10 3 bladed wheel, a 48 volt 4 bank battery charger, 1 bank 12 volt battery charger, 2-Duracell GC6 batteries for the house, & 4-Trojan T1275 batteries for the propulsion bank. This year I will be adding a little solar & a Honda 2000 generator to the mix which in the end would have been the cost of a Beta 14. It's not for everybody but having a mechanical & defacto engineering background, it's a pretty cool science experiment.

When I made the switch to a sailboat from the power boat/sport fishing scene I decided to be patient, bag the schedule & always run with the tide so you get a free bus ride.
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-12-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Re-intro

Funny. I am addicted to this series of Vlogs.

I've been watching about 10 episodes a day for about a week. Dan and Kika are a great source of encouragement.

And these two show that major sailing adventures can be had with electric power.
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-12-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Re-intro

I don't know how you can say it is impractical to do this when, the couple doing the "Sailing Uma" series proves that it can. They are doing it right now.

What am I missing?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the sentiments,,, it's just that there are people right now, today, doing what you say can't practically be done...

Are you saying a 28 footer is too small for this gear? Or that there isn't enough room for the recharging capability I need?
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Re: Re-intro

I believe that they spent <$3K on the whole setup. Dan has recently modified the setup to a direct drive arrangement that allows for regeneration when they are under sail. Also, they have been using flooded-lead-acid batteries since they went electric.


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post #10 of 19 Old 01-12-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Re-intro

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfits View Post
I'd also recommend the Yahoo Electric Boat Forum & Electric Seas.
There's many pros/cons to electric propulsion but having an ICE is also a real PIA at times.
There are many people out there that are cruising with EP & it works for them.
Cost wise, you will not save any money when compared to a diesel re-power however if you're handy you can get a lot of bang for your buck.

I installed a 10KW 48 volt motor from Thunderstruck last year. I purchased the "kit" with the controller, throttle & Clearview Display, it set me back $2,700.00. The final tally to install my system run approximately $6,500.00 but included a browning helical gear drive, ss drop pan, motor mounts, lasdrop shaft seal, prop shaft, 14X10 3 bladed wheel, a 48 volt 4 bank battery charger, 1 bank 12 volt battery charger, 2-Duracell GC6 batteries for the house, & 4-Trojan T1275 batteries for the propulsion bank. This year I will be adding a little solar & a Honda 2000 generator to the mix which in the end would have been the cost of a Beta 14. It's not for everybody but having a mechanical & defacto engineering background, it's a pretty cool science experiment.

When I made the switch to a sailboat from the power boat/sport fishing scene I decided to be patient, bag the schedule & always run with the tide so you get a free bus ride.
Like you, I'm an engineer (EE) so not scared of any of the technical stuff.

I have a bit of a head start on things because my brother in-law (who is in the business) is getting me a fairly ridiculous deal on the controller and motor (like, maybe free?). Add a few other parts for a few hundred bucks and all that is left is the battery bank.

Would love to go for 400 aH of lithium batteries but not willing to spend the $ right now. I plan to got with 250 aH or so of AGM batteries for now. Eventually I may add a Lithium bank to the mix.

I'd also like to add a Maxprop but have you looked at the price of those puppies? Yikes. Guess I'll stick with the stock prop for now.

I figure, batteries aside, I can do this for under $500.

And I will be free of the noise, pollution, maintenance time and cost, fuel cost, and smell of a putt putt.

I am loving the thought of it !
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