I've never bought the whole economic argument against green technology. Boats and homes and cars are full of things that have a negative ROI.
What's the ROI on that new Beemer?
Those granite counter-tops?
That new chartplotter
You buy those items because theyake you feel good about your life, then you go back and rationalize:
"That BMW does 0-60 faster than my wife through her allowance"
"Those granite countertops were ESSENTIAL to the hygine of my kitchen. Formica is too pourous"
"My old chartplotter
only had a 14" screen
- this new one is 15"!
, wind recharged electric propulsion does save money
Look: a cruiser spends an average of 80% of thier time at anchor
The most popular destinations and cruising grounds are tropical, right?
The tropics are blessed with consistent moderate winds and strong solar radiation year round, right?
Most sailing in propular cruise
routes is down wind or reaching.
This means a motor is only needed for convieniance and quite arguably, safety
biggest, most complex, and expensive long term maintenace item aboard a modern sailboat is it's engine.
It is also the least reliable - prone to utter, catastrophic failure from any of dozens of causes.
It is dirty, it vibrates, it's noisy, it's smelly, and it's fuel restricts both your range and cruising options.
It requires several big holes to punched in your hull (inboard).
It's a bitch to service
, it's an expensive bitch to replace, and if you spill just a tablespoon of it's fuel or lubricating oil
in US waters, you are required to notify the USCG, boom it off, and hire a hazmat team to clean it up or you risk a $20,000 fine.
Every 100 hours you are supposed to drain and relace the engine oil
, and properly dispose of it (HAZMAT sqaud again) which no one does, because it's such a PITA, making that engine even more unreliable.
It's fuel attracts bacteria and water
both of which will kill it. It funds terrorism and Exxon, and destabilizes world political, economic, and social structures, leading to wars, riots, bombings, and Oprah.
Diesel engines have hundreds of small, fiddley parts, dozens of which, like pistons, rods, pumps, cams, and injectors are in motion.
Moving things wear out.
Electric motors have just one moving part: The rotor. Two if you want to use roller bearings for it.
No oil changes, terroism or Oprah.
It's simple and robust.
It runs on wind, sunlight, and in my case, water (towgen), refueling itself, silently, and for free.
It doesn't vibrate or require through-hulls.
It's nearly silent and doesn't stink, restoring the peace and quiet we seek at sea and at anchor
"But what about range?"
it's a SAIL-boat, right?
Your range, if patient, is infinite. Even becalmed in the ITCZ, just sit there for a few days, and your batteries will recharge - if the wind doesn't get there first.
...and many boats tie-up in marinas
making recharging fast and simple.
The real question is not weather
electric propulsion makes sense:
It's why anyone would have anything else aboard a cruising sailboat.