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Old 11-02-2016, 06:48   #1
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Tiki generator/electric real world info

Thought it might be of interest to post correspondence with CF members about a gentleman from Australia named Warren Matthews. He has a Wharram 38 foot cat commissioned. I came upon his youtube video "natural high"....which there are multiple entries, by chance. I have always enjoyed the simple seaworthy designs of Mr Wharram. What sparked my deeper interest about this boat was that Warren Matthews wanted to use electric outdrives, battery banks, solar, and wind to power those drives.

So, it is not easy, at least for find real information on people who use these setups and their real world experiences. So, I took a chance that he would respond to correspondence. The following is what was written and responded to. I understand that many are not interested...but then again, it ain't hurting to listen to someone who is using this setup. My dad was a submariner for the US Navy on diesel/electric boats. He served on the Greyback, Tunny, and others. He laughed at me when I drove up in a new Prius and was marveling at the technology. He said, "Son, that technology has been around before I was even born."

Here is the copy/paste:

Warren, may I have your permission to share your factual information about your boat's electrical/diesel setup? We have so little real information here in USA like what u gave me. I would use exactly what u stated on Cruiser's Forum. People are very interested in this info. Respectfully, Alan.

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 10, 2016, at 2:18 AM, Warren Matthews <> wrote:

Hi Alan,

So sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Unfortunately your email got buried. I have responded to your questions below. In order to power the boat electrically the entire deck would have to be covered in solar panels and you would need a massive battery bank to store the power in.

If you are doing anything more than short coastal outings electric propulsion is only an option if you have a good reliable DC generator to enable you to run it as a diesel electric which has some advantages. I am working on developing a new boat at the moment which is about 60’ and I am proposing running it with electric propulsion but I will have 2 x 12KW DC generators on board as well as about 600 sq ‘ of solar panels.


Your Name: alan smith Your Email: alansmith Subject: electric engines Message: Hi Warren, captured your blog page from youtube video on your fine Tiki38. What caught my interest directly was your use of electric engines. If you've the time I would like to glean from you your experience with them.
1. You have two engines and how many KW are each of them? They are 4KW each
2. Are you able to keep them charged with just solar arrays and wind get? Nope, I have a 48V genset that puts out 100amps at 48 volts.
3. How many solar arrays do you carry and their wattage? The ones that I had were not really effective enough so I don’t use them at all.
4. How many batteries are you now carrying? How many amp hours? The main battery bank is 4 x 31 Trojans. Not sure of the specs off hand. (I am on a plane at the moment and can’t check but you can get the info from the Trojan website OK)
5. When you are becalmed…how long can the batteries hold up to the usage? How many knots do you try
to keep the boat at on a flat sea, no wind, no current...u get the idea…smile It will do about 5 knots but the genset needs to be running. 6. Do you also carry a Honda gas generator for the cloudy days with no wind for backup…just in case? I do have one in case the main genset gives a problem and if it was running at 2kw the boat may run at 1 – 2 knots without draining the batteries.
Sorry for so many questions. But in California it is really hard to find anyone with real world experience with your set up…Respectfully, alan smith
my email address is above…hoping you can respond…

Just sharing information
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