Welcome to the discussion Simon. I have one of your PDQ32 cats. I love the boat but from the start I was never wild about the outboards.
I hope to switch to a hybrid solution subject to testing results that I should obtain before my boat comes out of the water
this year. I am working with a friend who has a company specializing in high efficiency motors and controls. We plan to hang a prototype drive off the back of the boat to determine power / performance numbers under various conditions before making the final committment.
I must confess that the fuel consumption
issue is not one of my considerations. Maintaining performance under sail is important to me and as my boat has limited load capacity I am concerned about adding weight. I do not plan on a very large battery
bank and will use a light diesel DC generator
to provide power for extended motoring.
What I do hope to achieve:
- the ability to leave the marina and hoist the sails
without starting an engine.
- the ability to use a slight electric
boost to motor
sail quietly on the many light air days we have in this part of the world
- quieter motoring on the wind
less days - the genset will be in a sound isolated compartment - note also my target motoring speed is about 6 knots which is where I motor
with the outboards as this seems to be the most efficient motoring speed for my boat - if you are looking for high speed motoring electrics are not the best option.
-having a good power source available for the possible future adds - electric windlass
- electric winch
for main - etc - the outboards just don't provide much juice
- keeping the admiral happy with power to run microwave
- minimizing engine run time - I have found that when on vacation
in the BVIs we have far more engine run time charging
batteries at anchor
than we do while underway - have one engine with it's primary function as a charger
seems to make more sense
I also have an eye on future developments in the batteries and solar
. I believe that if a system is workable today it will only get better in the future when batteries will be lighter and have higher capacity. If solar panel technology gains lead to higher efficiency panels
the genset usage will continue to drop and the opportunities for extended " electro sailing" will increase.
If you have not checked out the Outremar side by side comparison of their Hybrid VS standard drives it is an interesting read http://www.catamaran-outremer.com/IM...UTREMER_US.pdf