Originally Posted by smj
I want to hear more from Alberto. What his system entails, how often he motors and what he uses to recharge his batteries. If you use your boat as a day sailor and can tie up to the dock
every night to recharge that's one thing. If you cruise
and live on the hook that's totally different. I'm all for electric
I just don't think the technology or maybe affordable technology is there yet.
Please prove me wrong.
It depends on your sailing, electric is not for everybody. I decided on the conversion because I thought it would be compatible with our sailing, and so far it has worked for us, we are extremely pleased. We are neither blue-water sailors nor long-distance cruisers; we keep the boat at a marina and recharge the batteries using shore power
We are located in the upper Chesapeake Bay
and we sail between April and Thanksgiving, trying to use the boat as much as we can. Normal weekend trips are 20+ miles each way, sometimes longer, and we go on those trips many times each season. Week-long cruises, at least once or twice a season. I’ve sailed around Delmarva with the diesel, and I would do it again with electric.
Unlike ICEs, and as discussed in many threads before, range is limited and higher speeds will deplete the batteries very rapidly. A fouled prop and/or bottom will definitely have a huge negative impact in range.
Our system is 72 Volts, belt driven, with a Mars brushed motor
and Kelly controller (both of which I would recommend without hesitation). The charger
takes care of each of the six batteries individually.
As for how we sail, I think we have always been the last to start the engine
now) when the wind
dies, and the first to stop it when the breeze returns. I must say that it is not a big deal, as people in our area seem to motor quite a lot, even when the conditions are perfect for sailing. Many times we’ve sailed for miles keeping pace with larger sailboats that were motoring.
We have always been very flexible regarding when and where we go, as we didn’t like to spend hours motoring when we had the diesel. In this sense there have been no major changes in our sailing since the conversion. We have had many windless days in the past, and more than once we had to motor for over 10 hours, but it has not happened since going electric. Only once the wind died completely, forcing us to motor the last 16 nM (while making 3.6 knots), to arrive at the marina with the batteries with plenty of charge left. We bought the generator
last June for peace of mind, and as I mentioned in my previous post we have not used it yet.
If in our area currents were strong, or conditions normally rough, or if I would normally be compelled to motoring fast, most likely I would have kept the diesel. As none of those conditions apply to us, electric works perfectly. Even when the wind dies we can still move at 3 knots in silence.
Now, if this experience would place me in the “nut” category, I’d better keep my next project