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Old 11-07-2011, 17:03   #1
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Electric Propulsion

Hello Sailors, i am installing an electric propulsion system on my Aries 32 sailboat, " Kealoha ". Is there some one using these systems ???.
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Old 11-07-2011, 17:54   #2
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Aren't you the guy trying to sail around the world?? Electric proplusion might work for getting in and out of a harbor going daysailing. For long distance cruising it's just too unreliable and has way too short legs.
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Old 11-07-2011, 17:58   #3
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Electric propulsion on my Dufour 34 since last year. We love it.
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Old 11-07-2011, 18:01   #4
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Engines are relatively useless when sailing around the world. So maybe it's a less bad idea. Seems to me diesel engines offer cheap and reliable power. A good friend here is electric-only. Cruises the seas. He thinks it's a poor choice, overall, since one must then carry a generator and fuel, which with the electric system are far less efficient.
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Old 11-07-2011, 18:37   #5
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Thanks to every one; Alberto i will like to know more about the configuration of your system. I have a Thossa 7000 ht 48 v electric motor.
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:03   #6
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Quote:
Originally Posted by KEALOHA View Post
Thanks to every one; Alberto i will like to know more about the configuration of your system. I have a Thossa 7000 ht 48 v electric motor.
For an excellent write-up on the installation of the Thoosa 9000 system, look-up S/V BIANKA's Log Blog site:

THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: Going electric: Part 1: The why and how
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:21   #7
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Aren't you the guy trying to sail around the world?? Electric proplusion might work for getting in and out of a harbor going daysailing. For long distance cruising it's just too unreliable and has way too short legs.
Didn't the Green Motion catamaran equipped with electric propulsion sail from Cape Town to Amsterdam last year? Would that be considered "long distance cruising", or just "daysailing"?
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Old 11-07-2011, 20:23   #8
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Re: Electric Propulsion

I was thinking of cannibalizing an old golf cart
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:06   #9
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
... A good friend here is electric-only. Cruises the seas. He thinks it's a poor choice, overall,...
Still waiting to see some details on the "friend's" electric propulsion set-up...
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:10   #10
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Re: Electric Propulsion

We've been electric for getting on to six years now on our CAL 34...
You can color us very happy campers!
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:15   #11
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Still waiting to see some details on the "friend's" electric propulsion set-up...
Yes...you asked about that...and then I asked him...but we was drinking at the time...I can't remember...he can "speed" around the anchorage...or go an hour really slowly. Then it's generator time. For hours and hours. He needs a bilge full of batteries for anything better. It's interesting. But not practical like generic marine diesel. A 100 liter tank of diesel probably equals the energy content of 50 tons of batteries, who knows?
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Old 11-07-2011, 21:35   #12
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Originally Posted by KEALOHA View Post
Hello Sailors, i am installing an electric propulsion system on my Aries 32 sailboat, " Kealoha ". Is there some one using these systems ???.
Someone has already posted a link to my blog about the conversion of my 30 foot sailboat to electric propulsion. I'm in my fourth year with electric propulsion and very happy I dumped the diesel and so is my wallet as maintenance costs have dropped to just about 0. I still cruise the same places I did before only a lot quieter and cleaner above and below decks. I would recommend it to anyone who has a "sailboat". I bought a turnkey ASMO Marine Thoosa 9000 system and it was a pretty painless install. You can do it cheaper if you like to tinker and are more mechanically inclined. I liked the idea of a turnkey system that had all the components and engineering work already done for me.
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Old 12-07-2011, 15:21   #13
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Originally Posted by KEALOHA View Post
Thanks to every one; Alberto i will like to know more about the configuration of your system. I have a Thossa 7000 ht 48 v electric motor.
I started evaluating electric over ten years ago when in need to repower my previous sailboat. At the time nobody had solid information on range, reliability, etc. I was not convinced by Solomon's Technologies at the time. ASMO Marine was just starting up, I exchanged a great deal of information with its owner and I was really impressed by him and his products (which got better over time), but nobody would anticipate (even guess) expected range. In the meantime we decided to sell the boat and I installed a new diesel to make it more attractive (it worked, sold in two days).

After 10 years enduring a Volvo MD2B in our "new" boat, last year we decided to repower with electric. The electric boats group at Yahoo was a fantastic source of information. I devoted a long time to research all the options. In the end I decided to design and build my own system (some pictures in the member's galleries). Several reasons for this, among them the fact that what you buy as a "system" is only a part of the whole installation, you need to select the batteries and charger, their location, controls, meters, etc.

The system as designed provides lots of flexibility in case I have to make changes based on real performance. For instance, changing gear ratio is easy, as well as system voltage, etc. Fortunately, none of this was necessary, the system worked flawlessly since day one. After over a year we never regretted the conversion, we would never consider installing a diesel again on this boat...

As for the system: brushed MARS (ETEK RS) motor, Kelly controller (great product, it allows all sorts of programming by the user, and excellent customer support, they revised my design over and over), 72V system (AGM batteries), synchronous gears (2.4:1 ratio), QuickCharge charger (it charges each battery independently, with several available charge profiles), heavy duty solenoid, etc. I adapted the original throttle control and built a new instrument panel. The engine room houses everything except the battery charger, and also serves as a new, large storage compartment given the smaller size of the system (more storage where the fuel tank was located). My calculation is that the whole system weights 150 lbs less than the diesel. Total cost was less that $4,200 (including some spares and miscellaneous items like a DC to DC converter for eventual house use, which I have yet to install).

What we love:

  • Instant power.
  • Quiet. Unbelievably quiet at low speed, a little humming at higher speeds.
  • No diesel fumes/smell/smoke. No vibration.
  • No maintenance (at some point, some years down the road, I'll have to replace brushes I guess). No more oil/filter changes, no more winterization, no more clogged fuel filters, no more bleeding lines, no more servicing injectors...
  • Zero operating cost (we charge the batteries at the marina). No more stops at fuel docks.
  • So far, completely reliable
  • And... the looks of other people when we enter anchorages. We literally "glide" by, the boat is moving in complete silence and people already at anchor can listen to our music, eventually our conversation (as we can listen to theirs), and they stare at us because something is odd about this picture. It is so imprinted that they don't realize what is missing: engine noise! We love their stares
Finally, range. We kept the old two blade propeller. It was inefficient with the diesel and should have been worse with electric, as three blades are recommended, but it has worked fine (to add insult to injury, the bottom has not been painted for a long, long time, which has a clear impact on performance). Last year we motored 13 nm at 3.6 knots in calm conditions and when arriving at the marina still had plenty of battery left. We motored 4 miles at 4.2-4.6 knots against 18 knot winds for over an hour and again, plenty of battery left when arriving. Consumption when day sailing (leaving/entering the marina, eventually anchoring) is minimal, and the batteries recharge immediately. Charging time when fully depleted (to about 40%) is between 8 and 10 hours. I guess that with a clean bottom and prop and low speed (around 2.5 knots) in calm conditions we could get easily over 20-25 nm (I'll confirm this soon, after hauling out for painting).

For the future: a portable generator for peace of mind while cruising for several days. I guess we will use it to recharge the house bank more than anything else.

We loved our boat. Now even more.

Alberto
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Old 13-07-2011, 12:06   #14
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Re: Electric Propulsion

Thanks Alberto for the information.
My plan is to install four 240w,24v solar panels in series-parallel to produce 480w,48v
connected to eight 100amp,12v AGM batteries also in series-parallel to produce 200amps,48v; So draining the batteries 50%, I can use 100amps.
I am changing the 3 blade 16" propeller for a 4 blade 18", to produce more amps when we are sailing and to move faster under power at less rpms ( less amps ).
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Old 13-07-2011, 14:59   #15
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Re: Electric Propulsion

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Originally Posted by KEALOHA View Post
Thanks Alberto for the information.
My plan is to install four 240w,24v solar panels in series-parallel to produce 480w,48v
connected to eight 100amp,12v AGM batteries also in series-parallel to produce 200amps,48v; So draining the batteries 50%, I can use 100amps.
I am changing the 3 blade 16" propeller for a 4 blade 18", to produce more amps when we are sailing and to move faster under power at less rpms ( less amps ).
Let me know how it goes, and just PM me if I can help with any information.
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