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The major problem with electric conversions is the range. Make no mistake about it, there is no technology we have or is even in the pipeline that will make electric vessels capable of storing more than a few percent of the usable power available in fossil fuels.

The useful energy density of batteries just isn't anywhere close to that of fossil fuels. To get the same range under power, for every pound of diesel fuel you remove you need to add back fifty pounds of batteries. This very quickly hits a practical limit of just 1-2 gallons of diesel fuel.
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This is exactly what stopped us in the end. When I asked questions I got quite a few snide comments along the lines of "but it's a sailboat!" Our reality right now is that we have to be at work on Monday morning. Having a limited range where we sail would mean we couldn't sail up the many tributaries of the bay and wander too far from our marina and risk getting "stuck" on Sunday morning when there was no air. We just can't decide on the fly to wait two days to be able to sail out. The manufactures backed what Stumble said about the ability to recharge enough to do a potential 6-8 hour motor. It won't happen with the solar or wind technology that's available. And it didn't make sense to us to use up the limited room left with a diesel generator. Plus it kind of canceled out the reason for going electric in the first place. Might as well just get a diesel engine. So we did.

That said, I understand that electric motors are more popular on the west coast.
 

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I completely understand your point. Also, at the time you were looking, the technology was less robust than it is today. Your only option at the time would have been lead-acid batteries, which are finicky, have crappy capacity and are very heavy. Lithium batteries are much more robust and the prices have dropped by about half in the past couple of years, which changes the equation quite a bit. ...
This was two years ago. We would have used Lithium batteries.
 

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Two years ago lithium batteries were around $800-$1000 per kWh.

Today, they can be had for ~$300 per kWh if you know where to find them.

I expect them to drop below $100 per kWh in the next 3-5 years, making them as cheap as lead-acid.
Agreed. But the cost wasn't an issue. It was only the range. We were willing to pay if it worked out. I was responding to your statement that we were doing this pre-Lithium.
 

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Well, I'm no expert, but that strikes me as a rather 'optimistic' outlook, to say the least…

:)
You are right. It certainly is something to consider. And we did. But we decided to risk it. In our case, John wanted the electric motor more than he was concerned about selling the boat. Probably there will be someone out there who wants one, he or she just may take longer to locate. If Canuck is OK with waiting for that person, why not go for it?
 
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