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Old 12-03-2012, 22:46   #16
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Hi Bob, yeah, I bookmarked that link you posted to "cloud" first thing. I spent quite a bit of time there last night just lookin' around. I've got a ton to learn about before I pull the trigger. It looks like there are tons of different motors that to a newbie all look nearly to have the same specs. There must be some stuff I'm missing. I DO get the early decision needs to be made as to brushless or brushed and what voltage to stay with. My newbie-ness says to keep it to 48 volts and a brushed motor. But that may change as I get further along. One thing is for sure, I'm not spending $8,000 for a plug 'n play setup. I've done plenty of charging system installations on boats in the old days, still have my Thomas and Betts industrial strength battery cable crimper...good from anything #6 to 4/0, and still have my gas-tight die crimper for the small stuff. Now, if only I can get my brain around this I'm sure it won't cost as much as "store bought". (I have a life-long friend with a great machine shop too, so I can do my own mounts). Thanks again guys.

Martin
PS - Of course once my diesel gets wind of this it will never skip a beat again...
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Old 13-03-2012, 00:00   #17
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

I have (2) of the original Briggs & Stratton Etek PM brushed motors, one as a spare. The one I'm using is on the same brushes and if you go the brush route, calculate your needs at below 100 amps and they will last 5X longer than running at 150 amps. If you need short burst of power, they will pull 300 amps without a problem. Your crimper is the way to go, but for longevity in a marine setting, I'd solder the crimped terminal. What is the hp of the diesel you might be replacing?
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Old 13-03-2012, 01:13   #18
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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I have (2) of the original Briggs & Stratton Etek PM brushed motors, one as a spare. The one I'm using is on the same brushes and if you go the brush route, calculate your needs at below 100 amps and they will last 5X longer than running at 150 amps. If you need short burst of power, they will pull 300 amps without a problem. Your crimper is the way to go, but for longevity in a marine setting, I'd solder the crimped terminal. What is the hp of the diesel you might be replacing?
The diesel is an old 1980's Yanmar 3GM at about 18-22 HP (with luck). I've got a one inch shaft and a 14x7 two blade prop. The boat is a Gary Hoyt Freedom 32 with 12' beam and displacing 8900 Lbs, and is more like a race boat from the waterline down with deep fin keel, deep semi-balanced spade rudder on a huge 6" diameter fiberglass/Delrin rudder shaft, free-standing CF mast well forward but not as far as a cat boat. It does surprisingly well in light air so I'm thinking she'll be easy to push along under EP.

I'm wondering if it would be better to swing a 3-blade deeper pitched prop to take advantage of the constant torque of the electric motor at lower RPM and get a little more "bite". And also maybe a little more "regen" at hull speeds under sail. Although maybe that is asking for two different things. I can see the two blade spinning faster in regen than the three blade, but the three blade better at using the low RPM torque.

I saw a neat video on the ASMO website that showed their system getting between 2 and 3 amps of charging and it didn't effect hull speed at all---everything was maxed out under ideal conditions with the boat doing about 6 1/2 knots and the charge indicator showing around 3 amps. I get the trick of slooowly bringing the EP up to speed to overcome prop drag, and leaving it there as the boat picks up speed then it's easier for the prop to go into regen mode. This is very cool....even if it is a small gain, and the conditions are favorable, it's better to take every "free amp" you can get I say.

Thanks for the tip on being conservative on the brushed motors running at around 100 amps. 5x longevity on brushes is a vast difference. I was also wondering about cooling and such, but there is plenty of time for those details.

Regarding my T&B crimper; yes, I've always soldered after crimping and also seal the crimps with the Anchor Marine shrink tubing with the glue inside. My heat gun has a neat fitting on the end the curls the heat around and shrinks the tubing evenly all the way around. BTW, the main electrical panel and battery system cables I did on my around the world boat (that I sold to another couple) came back after 7 years/39,000 miles and looked very good (unlike some that were done underway). So just a little bit of extra time while your installing things pays big dividends in the end.

Do you or anyone know of any good DIY books on EP sailboat installations? That would be a big help. Seems like there are books on EV cars, motorcycles, go karts, dragsters...but not much on boat installations. It's a little intimidating with all the variations I'm seeing online, i.e., belt drives, direct drives, 24 volts on up and enough selection of controllers and motors to make my head spin... I feel like I need an "EP for Dummies" book!

Regarding the rest of the boats electrical; I'll need a DC to DC converter for my ham rig, running lights (soon to be all LED), and refrigeration (also I have a salt water cooling pump for the Adler Barbour), but my sailing instruments are all TackTick and solar charged. I already have a 140 watt solar panels over the stern davits and also have four new never used Arco Electric 50 watt panels I am installing over the Bimini---but realize these won't do to much for a 48 volt system unless I start playing around with series panels. Lots of details to work out I can see... Thanks again for the info.
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Old 13-03-2012, 01:41   #19
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

If your not running an inverter yet, you can go with a 48 volt inverter. I have one picked out that has a cont rating of 4400 watts, and when plugged into the marina will charge at 60 amps. That is the same as charging a 12 volt bank at 240 amps. The boat you mentioned charging at 2~3 amps without degrading speed is a good deal, considering 2~3 amps at a charging voltage of 60 volts is 120~180 watts, pretty good. I'm thinking I might pass on the DC to DC, for two reasons. One, for redundancy, I would prefer energy storage at both the 12 VDC and 48 VDC, and two, an anchor windlass, combined with (2) DC compressors for freezer and fridge, if all have cycled on, added to instrument and radio loads, could approach 2000 watts, or 166 amps at 12 volts. Not many DC to DC are out there in that range. So, a couple of solar panels in parallel for the 12 volt bank, and (4) 17~18 volt panels in series or (2) 35~37 volt panels in series for the propulsion/inverter bank. BTW, a huge advantage to the 48 volt inverter is your typical 1500 watt kitchen appliance that could be on at the same time as a 1250 watt hair dryer at 12 volts is going to pull 230 amps, but at 48 volts the draw is 57.5 amps.

If you haven't picked out a gen-set yet, I'm going with a DC charging gen-set, because with a full sine wave inverter you just don't need the weight of a AC gen-set that needs to run at an rpm determined by frequency regulation. Here is one that would work quite well with a single 48 volt propulsion motor running at 100 amps.....
http://www.propulsionmarine.com/wp-c...r-Brochure.pdf

5.5Kw at less than 250 lbs is sweet. 100 amps charging your 48 volt bank.
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Old 13-03-2012, 02:03   #20
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Out of the hundreds of combinations out there you can try any one of them and always come out on top.
The People movement of experimentation is alive and well,,,here is an example of a site i use a lot. p.s. this is one of hundreds of different examples,,you can always try you-tube as well.
Doesn't matter about what kind of vehicle the system is in, in fact you have more freedom weight wise on a boat. Build your own Electric Car!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wireless1 View Post
Hi Bob, yeah, I bookmarked that link you posted to "cloud" first thing. I spent quite a bit of time there last night just lookin' around. I've got a ton to learn about before I pull the trigger. It looks like there are tons of different motors that to a newbie all look nearly to have the same specs. There must be some stuff I'm missing. I DO get the early decision needs to be made as to brushless or brushed and what voltage to stay with. My newbie-ness says to keep it to 48 volts and a brushed motor. But that may change as I get further along. One thing is for sure, I'm not spending $8,000 for a plug 'n play setup. I've done plenty of charging system installations on boats in the old days, still have my Thomas and Betts industrial strength battery cable crimper...good from anything #6 to 4/0, and still have my gas-tight die crimper for the small stuff. Now, if only I can get my brain around this I'm sure it won't cost as much as "store bought". (I have a life-long friend with a great machine shop too, so I can do my own mounts). Thanks again guys.

Martin
PS - Of course once my diesel gets wind of this it will never skip a beat again...
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Old 13-03-2012, 05:49   #21
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Re: ELECTRIC SAILBOAT . . . on the cheap?

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Cap't Mike!
Firstly, my hat is off to you for an absolutely fantastic and thorough blog on going EP in your Nonsuch 30. I didn't plan to stay up late last night, but couldn't put your blog down as they say---read and re-read. !
The Yahoo EP group is also worth a read - my only problem with it is that I can't get on with Yahoo Group format, which probably does not bode well for any future EP conversion!

Quote:
I've got an old rusty Yanmar 3GM freshwater cooled diesel with who knows how many hours on it. It may be reilable...but it may not.
Am in pretty much the same position with a 42 yo Perkins (4107) diesel - probably not got another 42 years in it, might not have another 42 minutes.....but have lots of other stuff on my plate at the moment , so am presently hoping for somewhere in between!

....if I it went pop then my decision to go EP would be pretty much made for me - but in the meantime I am hesitant to change, which conundrum(?) got me thinking on how the EP message would spread for boats.

My take is that EP on mainstream mass production boats is a long way off, if it ever happens - I see EP becoming an option primarily when someone needs (or wants?) to re-power and that hinges largely on cost, both on the hardware and the cost / ease of installation (odds on that it is an older engine that goes pop, because it is attached to an older boat - which the owner has bought instead of a new boat for reasons that do include a lower cost, even if not exclusively that).

I am thinking that the EP advantage (over diesel) could be primarily on the latter points - lower installation cost and being DIYable.

One of the things I have gone around in circles with is that I of course want the best, but I also want the cheapest (and don't want to over commit ($$ wise) until I am sure I can live with EP). I am mulling over the practicalities (for myself - and others?) of dividing the installation into 3 stages:-

Stage 1 (basic)

Purpose: to give the vessel steerage way, and a very limited range - primarily for docking.

Using existing batteries or with minimal additions.

- Motor
- Controller / Battery Monitor
- Existing Batteries - possibly supplemented by anything s/h that hands could be laid on, even if not intended as a long term position.

Stage 2 (intermediate)

Purpose: to give the vessel an extended range.

Whether from a simple onboard Generator or additional Batteries - or both.

- Additional Batteries
- Generator

Stage 3 (complete)

Purpose: to add independent EP generation capacity.

In addition to a Generator, Solar and Wind (and prop?)

- Solar Panels
- Wind Turbine

The idea being that Stage 1 should be as basic as possible (whilst still being capable of later upgrading) and could be done relatively cheaply, quickly, easily (DIY) - ideally "off the shelf" with plug and play connections (VHS / DVD style)........with a view to later upgrading to Stage 2 / 3 as and when required / budget allows.

I may of course be day dreaming - but that easier than doing!
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Old 13-03-2012, 06:57   #22
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Re: ELECTRIC SAILBOAT . . . on the cheap?

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Stage 3 (complete)

Purpose: to add independent EP generation capacity.

In addition to a Generator, Solar and Wind (and prop?)

- Solar Panels
- Wind Turbine

The idea being that Stage 1 should be as basic as possible (whilst still being capable of later upgrading) and could be done relatively cheaply, quickly, easily (DIY) - ideally "off the shelf" with plug and play connections (VHS / DVD style)........with a view to later upgrading to Stage 2 / 3 as and when required / budget allows.

I may of course be day dreaming - but that easier than doing!
There are many things I know....and electricity is not one of them. I can 'get around' but some of the language used in this post could very well be latin for all I know.

So my question to all of you that do have a grasp on the subject..... has anyone ever tried water turbines in combination with wind and solar? There would be very little drag if mounted in the right places of the hull. Seems to me with a combination of the three would allow for at least two of the systems to provide charging power at all times...even on the hook. I know this pushes into the realm of 'perpetual motion', but in theory doesn't it work?
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Old 13-03-2012, 07:04   #23
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Re: ELECTRIC SAILBOAT . . . on the cheap?

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Cap't Mike!
Firstly, my hat is off to you for an absolutely fantastic and thorough blog on going EP in your Nonsuch 30. I didn't plan to stay up late last night, but couldn't put your blog down as they say---read and re-read. That combined with reading just about everything Deckofficer "Bob" has written on EP has me seriously thinking of re-powering my Freedom 32. It's an oddball boat anyway! So why not keep that going! Ha! I've got an old rusty Yanmar 3GM freshwater cooled diesel with who knows how many hours on it. It may be reilable...but it may not. All this being said I've looked into the ASMO Thoosa 7000 as my Freedom only displaces about 8,900 Lbs. What I couldn't believe was the PRICE! NGC is selling that system for nearly $8,000????? I'm trying to figure out how it is possible to charge that much for a motor, controller, throttle, and mounting brackets. Stunned is the word. Looks like if I go EP it will be with a DIY setup but I'll have to get educated on this stuff---I don't consider myself a dummy, but this is a field I have never looked into seriously before. Anyway, thanks for the wake-up call guys! Now my wheels are turning!

Wireless:

Thanks for the kind words on the blog. I put that together to help others who may want to go the EP path. When I did my install in 2008 there were not any boats that I knew that had done the conversion. So it was a leap of faith that turned out to be the right decision. My diesel was reliable until one day at 1900 hours it wasn't. Sure I had few maintenace issues over the years, clogged filters, corroded exhaust elbow (in the middle of cruise), antifreeze leak etc... But, then one day the head gasket broke and leaked fluid onto a cylinder head and cracked it that was all she wrote! Just glad it happened at the end of the season. Fellow I sold the engine to spent $3,500 in parts to rebuild it and did all the work himself. So in the long run going electric to me looked like a cheaper and more reliable alternative than a rebuild or repower.
FYI NGC is no longer in business the new distributors for Thoosa systems in the U.S. are Clean e Marine aka Annapolis Hybrid Marine. Yeah, you will pay more for a plug and play system like my Thoosa 9000 but, you will just have to add the batteries crimp on a few lugs and turn it on. Still turned out cheaper than a diesel repower for me. You can do it yourself too and save some $$$ but, I'm not sure how much after you add all the incidentals cables, terminals, fuses, controller, wiring, lugs, connectors, heatsink, enclosures etc... I agree staying in the 48 volt range especially if you are going to DIY. There are a lot more products available off the shelf that you can add on to you EP system as you move forward. Things like solar panels and 48 volt solar controllers, 48 volt wind turbines, power supplies and chargers... Nice thing about EP you can expand on or change it very easily. I've added a 48 volt wind turbine and 48 volt solar panels and am making fuel (energy) even when I'm at anchor. I still get a kick out of that!
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Old 13-03-2012, 08:30   #24
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Re: ELECTRIC SAILBOAT . . . on the cheap?

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There are many things I know....and electricity is not one of them. I can 'get around' but some of the language used in this post could very well be latin for all I know.

So my question to all of you that do have a grasp on the subject..... has anyone ever tried water turbines in combination with wind and solar? There would be very little drag if mounted in the right places of the hull. Seems to me with a combination of the three would allow for at least two of the systems to provide charging power at all times...even on the hook. I know this pushes into the realm of 'perpetual motion', but in theory doesn't it work?
Well, it's all good IMO! My Thoosa 9000 electric propulsion system can charge my battery bank once I hit around six knots. It can add up over several hours. I also have a wind turbine and solar panels so even under sail:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: HAPPY AT THE HELM!
or at anchor/mooring I'm adding energy to the battery bank. I would not say it's exactly perpetual motion sailing for me but, finding an anchorage with a fuel dock is less of an issue these days. But, with solar and wind it is fueling at a slower pace. If you need to refuel faster rate, well a gallon of gas is hard to beat. That's why I also have a Honda 2000 generator on board. I can also use to propel the boat along at 3 knots without touching the battery bank using just 900 watts. I prefer not to use it whenever I can. Usually it's only used after I drop anchor to charge up the EP battery bank as it best to charge AGM's and other lead acid batteries ASAP after discharge. The rest of the time it sits idle. Solar and wind keep things topped up and I also tap into the bank to run things like my laptop without worry because I know the solar and wind can easily make up for any drain. In the end with EP you have a lot of options as to how you want to operate depending on your sailing/operating needs.
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Old 13-03-2012, 08:35   #25
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

The benefits are obvious,,you already use and need electrical power for reasons other than Motive power,the torque values are unbeatable and doing without all the smelly messy stuff which comes with an internal combustion engine is a real winner.
Upgrading is a cinch, and remembering that some of the worlds largest machines are moving under Electric power.

One warning though,,,,,such voltages found in typical EP's can kill you stone dead if they are not insulated properly.
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Old 13-03-2012, 10:53   #26
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

My apology to the OP. But can one of you 'mech heads' point me in the right direction for a book that will show me some 'beginners' info on 12V? As you all have me really interested in this topic, I looked at the library for a book......but there was nothing to be found. So I will purchase...but I would like something that will teach a noob but would prefer it not be for 'idiots' or 'dummies' as I am neither!
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Old 13-03-2012, 11:32   #27
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Capt. Mike,

You and I should have a meet and greet. We speak the same language and I could learn from you who have already done it for the boat. Most all of my background is land based electric transportation and off grid homes.

Since I've narrowed my boat search to catamarans < 10,000 lb and outboard 9.9's, I've been keeping an eye on what is being offered in the electric outboard market.

Torqeedo ~ the best engineered, lightest, and by far the most efficient available.
Drawbacks, the company so far is anal about not offering regen, and cost. I could live with the cost, but want regen. Since two are required (it is for a cat) I would like to have one with the prop mounted backwards for increased reverse thrust for setting the hook, and also better regen capabilities. I can live with the reduced ahead propulsion efficiency because other than for maneuvering, I would only use one motor. When sailing and needing to charge the propulsion/house bank, I would only lower the outboard with the reverse pitched prop.

Parsuns ~ They make a 4 and 5 hp outboard using a conventional power head/lower drive and reduction gear. They also now have a 10 hp that just uses (2) of the Mars motors in the power head. They are over $1200 cheaper than Torqeedo, and since they use off the shelf controllers and motors that I have used, regen is no problem. Drawbacks are much heavier, not nearly as efficent, made in China, and for an electric, noisy.

AquaWatt~ Wish I knew more, they offer two models, a 48 volt, 13 Kw, and a 80 volt 23 Kw. Both are overkill for my needs, heavy, and expensive.
aquawatt green power electric outboard motors

I have time to wait for the dust to settle on the outboard market and hopefully a price drop in li-Ion batteries.

What might be easier for me is to change my idea of the PDQ 36 or Seawind 1000XL, that uses outboards, and instead find a light (<12,000 lb) cat that has inboard diesels and repower it as you did for Bianka.
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Old 13-03-2012, 11:33   #28
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Great thread! I have done a lot of research on the concept of going electric (in existing boat or car) or 'something else' to get my 'green fix'. The truth is that switching from diesel to electric comes to what is basically an emotional decision. The logic isn't there to support the switch unless your 'boat' is a commercial ferry.
You simply can't amortize the cost of switching out over any reasonable period of time. (by amortize I mean find a financial 'payday' at the end of the rainbow...)
But us being sailors, we often justify our actions to do what we want to do. I did a VW to electric conversion 20 years ago that only cost me 3 times the value of the VW - and it only went 50 miles on a charge - then 12 hours to recharge.
This sounds like an attack on your project but it's not. I think your approach and execution were / are GREAT. Having the cojones to do this magnitude (in terms of $$ / time / cutting up your boat) of a project6 is commendable ( or my commander would probably use the term 'insane') .

I'd like to offer a second option and third option - Deckofficer - if you google 'yanmar hybrid' you can look at a compromise concept. Yanmar now sells an 'insert' which goes between your diesel and the shaft that gives you the best of both worlds. Electric when you got the volts, diesel when you need it. A genset in the bargain. This is probably the real wave of the future.

Toyota prius / highlander hybrids use a similar system, as do most hybrid bus systems in the USA. Honda uses something different.

Whether the price for the yanmar is workable (or amortizable) aside, you have other options as well.

If you want to keep your investment )(and work) to a minimum, look at keeping your current engine and drive-train. Shop around for a high output electric outboard and a couple of big gel cells and more solar panels or windgen. The Tor###do outboard gives good speed at much lower price than the yanmar, the capability to use the iron genny when things get exciting, and a 'carbon offset' for your conscience.

I really like mbianka's blog and the conversion process was wonderfully chronicled as well.
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Old 13-03-2012, 11:50   #29
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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Great thread! I have done a lot of research on the concept of going electric (in existing boat or car) or 'something else' to get my 'green fix'. The truth is that switching from diesel to electric comes to what is basically an emotional decision. The logic isn't there to support the switch unless your 'boat' is a commercial ferry.
You simply can't amortize the cost of switching out over any reasonable period of time. (by amortize I mean find a financial 'payday' at the end of the rainbow...)
But us being sailors, we often justify our actions to do what we want to do. I did a VW to electric conversion 20 years ago that only cost me 3 times the value of the VW - and it only went 50 miles on a charge - then 12 hours to recharge.
This sounds like an attack on your project but it's not. I think your approach and execution were / are GREAT
Don't worry, we know it isn't an attack, and coming from the same background as you, I know exactly what you are saying. I'm impressed you got 50 mile range from your VW conversion and lead acids. Cruising though, a payday can be found. Energy stored that was collected by solar panels is something we can do that you couldn't on your land based ride. Energy stored by regen being driven by our sails is another. Combine this with converting the galley and dinghy to electric, and you lose the hassle of gasoline and propane on board. Thanks to China entering the solar market, we can now purchase solar at a cost of $1.13 per watt instead of the $5 per watt I paid 20 years ago. That dinghy arch is going to be built in such a way as to support the weight and windage of 200 lbs worth of panels, producing 1,100 watts. An array such as that will handle an electric galley and dinghy. Life will be so nice only needing some diesel fuel every now and then for the DC diesel gen-set that would allow constant motoring when needed.

Bluetriguy,

Thanks for the heads up on Yanmar. I checked it out, they are using a Lemco electric motor, which as you know, has a great reputation and is 2X more expensive per Kw output as motors you and I have used. It will, when being spun by the Yanmar, produce 5 Kw to charge with, which is sweet.
http://www.yanmarmarine.co.uk/news.php?id=12
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Old 13-03-2012, 11:55   #30
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Just a thought - please consider the effects of lightening on your installation - this site is a simple language but very accurate assessment of the issue : Protecting your boat from lightning.
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