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Old 16-03-2012, 10:41   #61
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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Originally Posted by Nadejda View Post
Bob,

The switch and pot are only used to control the inverter drive so no real current needs to be carried by either to perform their function. I have installed dozen of these drives on machine tools and they work great.

Peter
Sounds good Peter. I was thinking maybe you weren't well versed, sorry. The older golf carts used 3 to 4 stage switching of different resistance coils for speed control before the solid state controllers were available. When I was a kid, hot rodding these carts, I simply replaced the (6) 6 volt batteries with (6) 12 volt batteries. Twice the hp and speed, but if you stayed at a speed that included the open air resistors for any length of time, they would burn out because they had to dissipate twice the wattage. Also starting out was a bit jerky because the lowest speed resistor was now passing 2X the wattage as before, but hey, I was 12 years old and liked the tire screech.
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Old 22-03-2012, 17:57   #62
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

I just saw a couple people from Annapolis Hybrid Marine at the boat show today in Texas. I told them I was interested in seeing everything in person and how it connects. They asked me how I heard about it and I just said "Bianka Blog" and they just said, oh of course.

It was nice to see their motor display setup. It runs so quiet. If/when I get a boat and the inboard dies, I would consider EP as a replacement.

Thanks Mike for having the blog. You have more info than I've seen elsewhere. Always a great read and re-read. I'm going to go take another look at the info they have on Saturday. Good stuff over there.
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Old 22-03-2012, 18:03   #63
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Or you could just do the "MadMax" and buy an old electric Golfcart or even an old electric fork lift and transplant the Frankenguts out of it,,,the fun is in the experiment..
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:39   #64
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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I just saw a couple people from Annapolis Hybrid Marine at the boat show today in Texas. I told them I was interested in seeing everything in person and how it connects. They asked me how I heard about it and I just said "Bianka Blog" and they just said, oh of course.

It was nice to see their motor display setup. It runs so quiet. If/when I get a boat and the inboard dies, I would consider EP as a replacement.

Thanks Mike for having the blog. You have more info than I've seen elsewhere. Always a great read and re-read. I'm going to go take another look at the info they have on Saturday. Good stuff over there.
Thanks Dan. I am glad some of my posts help people who thinking about the possibilities of converting to EP. When I did it in 2008 there was no one I knew who had done it. I went to the Annapolis Boat Show in 2007 and there was only one high end $$$ system for sale. Way out of my league. Now there are more choices available for boats in the 20 to 40 foot range. I'm glad I made the leap. It certainly has made my sailing experiences better and kept the boat much cleaner.
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Old 23-03-2012, 06:54   #65
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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I've been following this thread with interest. Part of the reason we are drawn to sailboats is the ability to harness "free" power and the silence it provides over running the engine. EP could provide a laudable means to this end. A question comes to mind for those with experience in this field. Mention has been made of the electric galley and total elimination of flammable gases and fluids on board. Here on the coast of BC we need to heat our boats for a large percentage of the year. How will a battery based system handle heating needs? Unless there is a system I'm unaware of, electric heating is resistive and would be a big power draw. I guess there's always wood heat but if you're offshore in cooler latitudes you'll be towing a woodshed.
I have a Honda 2000 eu generator on board for charging my electric propulsion and house bank batteries at anchor and also for extended motor sailing. Besides the exhaust port it has a seperate fan that blows waste heat from the inverter out the back. Quite a bit of heat that can come in useful:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: A SNOWBOUND SAILOR: HELP ME HONDA!
I have often thought I could rig up a cover to the back of louvered waste heat output of the generator. Then connect this cover to a hose it could provide heat for the helmsman on a cold passage or even cabin heat. A sort of a poor man's on board cogeneration plant. The important thing is to make sure no exhaust gases get mixed in with the fan produced waste heat. Easy enough to do as the exhaust output is a seperate output. I would also make sure to use a CO2 monitor too of course.
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Old 23-03-2012, 09:24   #66
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Capt Mike,

Sounds like typical "sailor frugal" to me. Back in the day, if we burned a pint of fuel to put 1.5Kw/hr into the battery bank, we got a hot shower out of the deal.

I like those Honda inverter generators, with the rpm no longer set for frequency regulation, the amount of noise and rpm is now load dependent.
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Old 16-04-2015, 20:59   #67
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

I know this is an old thread but I am interested in going the EP route. Wondering if those of you that made the change to EP if you're still happy, what would you do differently? How is the equipment holding up?
Any suggestions for info out there? I'm finding more companies carrying EP but still not much in the way of DIY books.
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Old 16-04-2015, 22:40   #68
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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I know this is an old thread but I am interested in going the EP route. Wondering if those of you that made the change to EP if you're still happy, what would you do differently? How is the equipment holding up?
Any suggestions for info out there? I'm finding more companies carrying EP but still not much in the way of DIY books.
The EP route is one of compromise. That being said, we love our electric drive. Growley Monster performed his own electric re power, and has a thread covering the process here. You might also try the electric seas forum.
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Old 20-04-2015, 06:21   #69
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

Seventh season with electric propulsion and we still love it. With group 31 AGM batteries (72V system) our 34' sailboat has real limitations in terms of range; supplementing with a portable generator when far from our destination and no wind means hours of very slow progress, but we knew this would be the case. Other than that, little to none maintenance, no noise, no vibration, no fumes, no winterization, almost silent moving, instant power, and the possibility of sailing during those few nice days during the winter (Upper Chesapeake Bay) makes us very happy with our system. And very proud of our design and construction, it has never failed.

Our batteries are still good, but we’ll consider LIFEPO4 when in need of replacing them. The only thing I’d possibly do differently if having to re-design the system: 48V and direct drive instead of 72V and reduction gear. And I'm sure the new 3-blade propeller (to be installed in the next haul out) will improve an already great system.
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Old 22-04-2015, 05:30   #70
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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Seventh season with electric propulsion and we still love it. With group 31 AGM batteries (72V system) our 34' sailboat has real limitations in terms of range;
What are the limitations? I am considering putting EP on a Bristol 35. How far can you go? Do you have solar to recharge- if so does it keep it fairly charged or do you need to use the generator alot?

[/QUOTE]The only thing Iíd possibly do differently if having to re-design the system: 48V and direct drive instead of 72V and reduction gear.[/QUOTE]What would the benefit be?
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Old 27-04-2015, 08:18   #71
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

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What are the limitations? I am considering putting EP on a Bristol 35. How far can you go? Do you have solar to recharge- if so does it keep it fairly charged or do you need to use the generator alot?

Range depends on many factors, the most relevant are speed, bank capacity, and hull condition. My batteries are rated 105 Ah, leaving about 60 Ah for propulsion. With a clean hull and no wind/current I could make close to 3.7/3.8 knots with around 15 Amps, about 16 nautical miles. Consumption increases exponentially with speed and battery capacity decreases with load (Puekert effect). Using the 2,000 W generator I power the 72V battery charger that gives about 10 A and translates into 2.5 knots (slooooow moving). The solar panels I'd need to recharge the 6 batteries wouldn't fit in the boat. Fully charging from 40%-50% could take 8-9 hours with shore power/generator. I use the generator when far from my destination in those typical Chesapeake Bay summer days with no wind, and I've already spent many, many hours barely moving a couple of times. LIFEPO4 batteries should make a huge difference, but they require a quite large initial investment. Limited range is to me the only drawback.
The only thing Iíd possibly do differently if having to re-design the system: 48V and direct drive instead of 72V and reduction gear.[/QUOTE]What would the benefit be?[/QUOTE]

The benefit of direct drive is eliminating the reduction gear and all the friction it creates. My system provides amazing torque with the original inefficient two-blade prop, which I'll soon replace with an over-square three-blade that I expect will move the boat at the same speed with a fraction of the RPMs.

Hope this helps.

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Old 20-05-2015, 10:11   #72
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Re: Electric Sailboat . . . On The Cheap ?

We installed our EP in August. It has been a wonderful addition. We spent $9k and installed ourselves. We are in sf so plenty of wind. Just need it to get in and out of the harbor. We do not have a gen or solar. We just plug her in at night and she is back to full charge in a few hours. We are mostly day sailors and a few over nights. We love our new power plant!

Our supplier was electric yachts of SoCal.


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