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Old 01-04-2012, 16:55   #31
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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Originally Posted by Astral Blue View Post
Most ICE generators I've seen are not purely DC. They have DC output but at a fraction of the output of the AC signal. I would LOVE to see a unit that can deliver continuous 100+ amps at 12 volts DC. Other than driving an alternator with an ICE, I haven't seen any viable options in that realm. Any suggestions?
Weight <250 lbs
DC output 5.5 KW so for a 48 volt propulsion/inverter bank > 100 amps charge

DC only, no AC, and many others to choose from.

5.5 KW Polar DC Marine Generator | Propulsion Marine
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:23   #32
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
IMHO, electric proplusion with existing sources of electric power, stored or produced, works great at the micro/small boat level and at the mega/large ship level. It is that middle range where most cruising boats exist that has yet to conquer the "fuel/refuel" storage/use problems anywhere near the economy of ICE propulsion. There is a good market there and no shortage of customers, problem is that practical cost-efficient system packages just don't exist - - yet . . .
Whilst I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head, EP not being for everyone (and presently for a small segment of the marine leisure industry - that is itself only a small segment of the potential EP power market) is (IMO) not a fundamental problem. It either works for you / your boat / your needs, or it don't.

As an EP enthusiast (albeit have yet to bite the bullet), one of the hurdles that I have already overcome (and which others may find insurmountable) is the effect on re-sale value by boat appealing to a smaller market (for both valid and non-valid reasons - they both count $$$ wise).........for me it simply don't matter as I won't ever be selling. and if push comes to shove can always repower with Diesel (engine at 42 years of age means that will happen anyway, and likely sooner rather than later - so a diversion / punt onto EP is not a biggie). Plan will therefore be to retain at least the diesel tanks (x 2) onboard until 110% happy with EP.

Admittedly I would prefer an engine that ran by burning (live) Penguins - but that is just me .
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:45   #33
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

Sorry I havent responded for a while -

We left Bahia Santa Maria for land's End and Cabo San Lucas last Tuesday, and made the 180 mile passage in under 48 hours.

We only used the motor once we rounded the rocks at Land's End, and entered the chaos of Bahia San Lucas, and the even more chaotic marina.

We left Cabo yesterday afternoon after 3 great days there, intending to sail to Puerto Los Cabos 17 miles east, in 5 hours.

But the wind died.

So we did what we always do:

Put the Torqueedo on slow ahead, opened a couple of frosty cold beers, and climbed up on the cabin top with our plush folding West Marine Captain's chair, and soaked up some rays, while "Homer" our Raymarine X-5 tiller pilot steered us towards our destination.

No way we were gonna make a daylight landfall, so we simply abided in that fact, made some pasta alfredo, and dropped the hook outside of the (unfamiliar) harbor in the roadstead of Bahia San Jose, 1/4 mile off the beach.

We have found the electric motor makes us better sailors - we study the weather and tides carefully, watch for currents, and always have 2 anchors ready to deploy.

We also discovered that one of our solar panels had managed to disconnect itself on the trip down - where?

I have no idea - but that put us at less than 250 watts - and the panels were shaded 1/2 the day by the sails because we were headed south east for 900 miles.

and our house bank is fine - 400ah of lifeline AGM, plus another 130ah of backup plus 1500 wh of LIpo torqueedo is still going strong - of course we used our 8 amp charger and shore power at the Cabo Marina to float up everything, too...

But the 700 miles from Ensenada to Cabo, we were solar and wind only - and it took care of EVERYTHING, including our water maker, refrigerator, autopilot, radio, AIS, computers, chartplotter, running lights, cabin lights, ipad, etc, etc, etc.... (the day tank for the watermaker was leaking too coasting us 1/2 of its output - a fact I discovered and remedied in Cabo)

So, like I said -

I thought it was better to do this trip, and then post about cheap, green micro luxury cruising. (we have spent about $700 since entering Mexico a month ago, and we have spent about 1/4 of our time in high end marinas.)

Solar works

Wind works

Electric propulsion works.

Here is the proof:

Nomad Voyages

We will keep updating our blog as time permits.

You can cruise cheap, comfortable, and green on any sized boat if me and my girlfriend can do it on a 20 foot Pacific Seacraft Flicka off the coast of Baja.

We saw two whales jump out of the water yesterday from the sundeck while drinking those ice cold Tecates.

Seriously - jumping whales...



Next stop:

Los Frailes, an Pulumo Reef - Sea of Cortez. I hear it's one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world....
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:04   #34
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

The jumping whales, that was their way of thanking you for choosing EP. Glad to hear you got around the corner because this weekend boaters were getting smacked by large wave sets all along the California coast and if it holds together should be around the Pacific side of Baja soon. As you know by participating in this thread, I too am pro EP. Have fun and if you have the time, go north up to Muluge, then south again into the entrance of Bahia Conception and anchor and hang out at Santispac, my favorite spot.

I'm sure you took in Love Beach at Land's End while in Cabo.

I wish everyone would film their new spinnaker on its first deployment, your video is priceless.
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Old 13-04-2012, 10:52   #35
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

We are now in La Paz, after a week of cruising and anchoring on the east Cape.

Los Frailes was a bit disappointing - too many off road vehicles and fireworks every night, along with stinky bonfires.

What WAS cool were the jumping Mobula rays - those things are CRAZY - they think they are birds - seriously - flapping thier wings, and sometimes four or five of them jump 4 feet out of the water at the SAME TIME.

That was cool.

The trip to Los Muertes took a LONG time, and in the end we traveled 60 miles to make good on around 40. Foul winds and a wierd foul current kept us at bay off Punta Arena most of the night - but what a beautiful night -

The milkyway way amazing early on, so Saba and me climbed up on the foredeck and enjoyed the show lounging on a pile of soft sailbags in the warm tropical evening air.

Later, on my watch, the moon rose red over a mirror like sea, as the Chartplotter showed .5kts under our nearly silent EP at 100watts.

Around 4 am Saba woke me:

"The wind is coming up!"

...and sure enough, we had 3 to 4 knots of breeze, right on the beam.

Up went the 140 genny, and we were off again at 3 knots....

We arrived at Los Muertos after a day of light and shifty winds, under assemetrical spinnaker most of the way. We arrived at Los Muertos around 4:00pm, set the hook, and dinghied in to the beautiful resturant on the beach, and enjoyed a couple more ice cold beers - Modello's this time.

We wanted to spend a couple of days in this beautiful anchorage, but the forecast and tides dictated we try to make either the anchorage at Isla Cerallvo, or Playa Bonanza at Isla Espiritu Santo, so we rode the flood tide and following winds all day up the notorious Cervallo channel under spinnaker and 140 genoa, wing on wing!

Then, at around dusk, I noticed some VERY dark water to the northwest approaching FAST.

I was just able to change down to our heavy weather jib and double reef the main before the first gusts of the strong Corumel hit us, knocking us on our beam with the steepest, nastiest windwaves I've ever encountered.

Oh well, at least we were going to arrive quickly - averaging 5 knots beating into what built into a dry gale, with 35 knot gusts and wind against current waves battering our little sloop...

We didnt use the motor until midnight, when I deployed it for backup as we felt out way into the lee of Punta Lobos on Ispiritu Santo Island in the dark of night, tacking under headsail only, and using the depth sounder and Ipad, before dropping the 200 yards off the stone beach.

The next day we rode the fair winds and current through the Lorenzo channel, and down past the famous anchorages lining the approach to La Paz to port.

We didn't use the motor until the dogleg into the La Paz Channel, and then I only deployed it as a backup - we laid in one tack to clear the tanker moored at the entry, and were able to lay the red channel markers after that.

In the end, we docked at Marina de La Paz - again, only using the Torqueedo as back up for docking against the wind and tide, and again, we essentially sailed into the dock..

Just like I learned to do as a teenager in those Marblehead sailing dinghies.

Engines are nice - but they come with high costs - the highest of which to us is the laziness and poor seamanship they seem to foster. They also cost the peace and quiet of an engineless passage, and the amazing experiences, good and bad, that accompany a long slow passage.

EP works brilliantly for us - with the trip log standing at 1140 miles from our dismal port of embarkation, Marina Del Rey California.

- and to the poster who said "there are places you cant go with EP" I'd respond:

"There are places on the planet no boat can go at times - so choose your destinations wisely, watch the weather and tides, and be careful in your navigation. Oh, and be prepared for anything at all times"

It's a practice that's worked for us -

So far anyway....
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Old 13-04-2012, 16:31   #36
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

I'm going to start a new thread on EP for what I just discovered today. I wish companies that have designed a better mousetrap would learn how to get it out to the masses. Of all my recent research into EP, the one thing I found in common was over-pricing for the marine market. We aren't all Thurston Howell, III's. I have built many EVs, so through my vendors I am aware of the component prices of motors and controllers, and have witnessed triple mark-ups for a system consisting of parts that I have used and bought, marketed to the maritime users.

Until today, as I was chasing one Internet link to another and came across this company,
Advanced Marine electric Propulsion

Owner and employee owned, just north of SF, I think you will agree the marine grade quality surpasses other offerings, but the kicker is $3500 for a complete system, less batteries of course.

Now, if these good folks could only figure out how to have a visible presence on the Internet, it wouldn't take dumb luck in finding out what they have to offer.




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Old 13-04-2012, 18:16   #37
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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Old 21-04-2012, 09:22   #38
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Hello, my Perkins m60 has seized and I have to repower. A 53 hp yanmar has been suggested. What size motor and generator will be a replacement for a 47' ketch? Thanks, ross
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Old 21-04-2012, 11:51   #39
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Hello, my Perkins m60 has seized and I have to repower. A 53 hp yanmar has been suggested. What size motor and generator will be a replacement for a 47' ketch? Thanks, ross
You should join the electricboats Yahoo! Group for this discussion. You'll find answers beyond the "CF: electric and you die". If not, google up Propulsion Marine and give James a call. He'll give you an honest assessment of whether EP is feasible for you. I have one of his kits in our current boat, and the ability to go electric in the future is one of our considerations as we look to upgrade.

You'll find that you're going to need some form of diesel electric hybrid at that size, so you may want to consider whether it would be better for your needs to just get another diesel. I like my EP system for lots of reasons, but I figure I just about broke even on what a straight diesel repower would have cost, and spent way more than a rebuild.

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Old 21-04-2012, 17:51   #40
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

+1 for JRM - electric propulsion in this thread is on the OP's 20 foot Pacific SeaCraft Flicka. Almost two and a half times smaller than your boat.

The modifications and installation on your size boat, especially a ketch, should equal or exceed the cost of staying with a new diesel.

However, if you are up to your eye brows in extra money you might take a look at a "Hybrid" system such as Electric, Hybrid and Diesel Marine Propulsion
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Old 21-04-2012, 22:33   #41
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

This is the "cake and eat it too" solution.




5000 watt DC generator for charging batteries, can be re-gen or run the diesel. Silent drive up to range of batteries, then switch to diesel.
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Old 22-04-2012, 00:15   #42
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

Quite a few EP links are being posted here
Integration of systems

If you find something new, please post the link to the above, thanks.
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Old 22-04-2012, 11:55   #43
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
+1 for JRM - electric propulsion in this thread is on the OP's 20 foot Pacific SeaCraft Flicka. Almost two and a half times smaller than your boat.

The modifications and installation on your size boat, especially a ketch, should equal or exceed the cost of staying with a new diesel.

However, if you are up to your eye brows in extra money you might take a look at a "Hybrid" system such as Electric, Hybrid and Diesel Marine Propulsion
Hi Osirissail,

Could you point me to the system you found that is equal or even reasonably exceeds the cost of a diesel repower. I would love to go electric in my 42' cutter but, except for the DIY system or possibly the new source from Advanced Marine that Deckofficer found (which I have not yet checked out) all the systems I priced were at least double to almost quadruple the cost of a new diesel AND transmission. To be fair I am adding in the cost of a diesel gennie to supply power to extend the range beyond battery life but still.

Thanks
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Old 22-04-2012, 19:53   #44
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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Hi Osirissail,

Could you point me to the system you found that is equal or even reasonably exceeds the cost of a diesel repower. . . .
The finger that points to such a system points back at yourself. When you use stock motors, controllers, etc. and design and construct/install the system yourself you eliminate up to half or more of the cost of purchasing a "box system" that some tech installs.

As with most all if not all systems on cruising boats, D-I-Y is the key to economical cruising. Your labor and brain power to find, adapt and engineer stock or standard systems into your application. On some boat system installations the parts cost about $200 but I bill $800 for labor. If you D-I-Y that $800 is never spent.
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Old 22-04-2012, 21:10   #45
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Re: Electric Propulsion Update

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The finger that points to such a system points back at yourself. When you use stock motors, controllers, etc. and design and construct/install the system yourself you eliminate up to half or more of the cost of purchasing a "box system" that some tech installs.
Repair and install pretty much everything on the boat myself. If I do go electric looks like I will be assembling stock parts and doing the same there. Just would be a lot easier if I didn't have to reinvent this particular wheel and was hoping that there was a system out there that I could buy the parts to install.

I would be willing to bet that none of the motors used in any of the "marine" EP systems is custom designed and built just for that system. Almost certainly they are buying a stock motor which apparently is being marked up as much as 500% to 1000%, less the cost of a couple hundred or so in SS brackets and such. I know businesses have to make a profit but trying to make a months salary on one motor is a bit much.
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