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 !