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Old 25-05-2024, 04:35   #196
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

I use it for weekend trips and summer holidays, almost always power.html" target="_blank">shore-IRJDSUNE9932123321222xxeww-power at night, and max 25 nm per day.

Sounds like a good use case for it. Yes, maintenance is much easier. Yes you can stop carrying a lot of spares. Do you regularly have to motor into significant wind and swell? That can easily knock 20-30% off your range in still water (while going with wind swell will increase it by that much).
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Old 25-05-2024, 18:38   #197
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

It's good to see that some replies present real world numbers. Most of these show that there is certainly a case to be made for electric propulsion where it's severe limitations will not affect its intended use.

One thing is for sure, the users of all-electric boats will and must become more skilled in the art of traditional sailing to get to their desti nations.
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Old 26-05-2024, 09:09   #198
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

LFP is getting cheap enough now that electric really is on the edge of becoming viable at least for marina cruisers and daysailors. Drop in batteries are now around $0.25/wh and 0.017 pounds/wh. This puts a 40kWh battery bank at about 700 pounds and cost of $10,000. With the motor/controller itself only being 70 pounds, the combined weight compares favorably to the weight of a 15hp diesel engine and small diesel fuel tank full of fuel.

What can you do with 40kWh? You could motor at 5kts in a 34 foot boat for 10 hours continuous in small chop and light winds. That should be enough range for most any day cruising even if you use the sailboat as a powerboat. You could also motor at 5kts for 4 hours against stronger winds and current.

You could motor at 4kts for 20 hours, 6kts for about 4 hours.

Just a little bit more advancement in batteries and we could see 100kWh banks, which I think would be the point where electric boating could really take off.
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Old 26-05-2024, 13:37   #199
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

Don't forget Josh Slocum:

Sailing Alone Around the World is a sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum in 1900 about his single-handed global circumnavigation aboard the sloop Spray.

It can be done, not that I am saying that diesel engines don't make things a lot safer. But I am optimistic that technological advances can one day make electric competitive, and electric is already viable for use by day-sailors and even charterers.

Voyage has the 480 E in charter and it has the following specs, and IIRC the price was maybe 10-15% more than their non electric 480.

Oceanvolt Sea System ( 2 x 15KW electric motors, sail-drive and controls )


Valence 32KW Lithium Iron Phosphate battery bank (smaller, lighter and more efficient than conventional batteries. Can be charged very quickly and discharged more fully providing greater capacity)


1.6KW Solar panel array mounted on the hard top bimini (provides continuous charge to batteries during daylight hours)


Hyrdo battery generation whilst sailing, up to 2KW (the drive propellers spin and send a charge back to the batteries. This function is selected by the captain at the helm)


Fischer Panda 22KW standby DC generator. T
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Old 26-05-2024, 14:12   #200
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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Originally Posted by KTP View Post
LFP is getting cheap enough now that electric really is on the edge of becoming viable at least for marina cruisers and daysailors. Drop in batteries are now around $0.25/wh and 0.017 pounds/wh. This puts a 40kWh battery bank at about 700 pounds and cost of $10,000. With the motor/controller itself only being 70 pounds, the combined weight compares favorably to the weight of a 15hp diesel engine and small diesel fuel tank full of fuel.

What can you do with 40kWh? You could motor at 5kts in a 34 foot boat for 10 hours continuous in small chop and light winds. That should be enough range for most any day cruising even if you use the sailboat as a powerboat. You could also motor at 5kts for 4 hours against stronger winds and current.

You could motor at 4kts for 20 hours, 6kts for about 4 hours.

Just a little bit more advancement in batteries and we could see 100kWh banks, which I think would be the point where electric boating could really take off.

For a cruising boat that spends most of its life at anchor rather than in a marina, the problem is not energy storage, but energy generation.

If you use 40kw this energy needs to be replaced. Batteries store energy, they do not generate energy. Most cruising yachts already use most, or all, of their generated solar power running their domestic systems. There is typically little left over to devote to propulsion.

Hydrogenation or regeneration holds some promise, but so far the results have not matched the manufacturers’ claims. On a 34 foot monohull the results are likely to be modest at best.

Work out how you will produce 40kw or 100kw of energy before deciding you have this much energy to devote to propulsion.
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Old 26-05-2024, 15:55   #201
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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For a cruising boat that spends most of its life at anchor rather than in a marina, the problem is not energy storage, but energy generation.

If you use 40kw this energy needs to be replaced. Batteries store energy, they do not generate energy. Most cruising yachts already use most, or all, of their generated solar power running their domestic systems. There is typically little left over to devote to propulsion.

Hydrogenation or regeneration holds some promise, but so far the results have not matched the manufacturers’ claims. On a 34 foot monohull the results are likely to be modest at best.

Work out how you will produce 40kw or 100kw of energy before deciding you have this much energy to devote to propulsion.
You missed this part "marina cruisers and daysailors"
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Old 26-05-2024, 16:22   #202
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

If you can plug into shore power every night electric propulsion is a viable option even now.

Personally, like most long distance cruising boats I plug into shore power rarely. The last time for our boat was over two years ago. Our requirements are very different.

I do hope electric propulsion will become viable for long distance cruising boats at some stage but the energy has to come from somewhere.
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Old 26-05-2024, 17:09   #203
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

Somehow, I manage to cruise around the Caribbean and never plug in to shore power and I'm 100% electric. I bought a generator for just-in-case scenarios, and have yet to fire it up even once.

Real-world numbers: 20kwh of batteries, 1600 watts solar, a 41 foot catamaran, 2 x 6kw motors which very rarely get used at full power... but most importantly - we really enjoy sailing, as this is a sailboat.
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Old 26-05-2024, 17:45   #204
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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Somehow, I manage to cruise around the Caribbean and never plug in to shore power and I'm 100% electric. I bought a generator for just-in-case scenarios, and have yet to fire it up even once.

Real-world numbers: 20kwh of batteries, 1600 watts solar, a 41 foot catamaran, 2 x 6kw motors which very rarely get used at full power... but most importantly - we really enjoy sailing, as this is a sailboat.

As a different view. We are currently on day two of a 4-day cruise. We have traveled 70 mi, 100% on diesel, most of it at hull speed of about seven knots. Day three looks promising, but it actually might be unpleasant with stiff upwind sailing. Day four is likely to be another 40 miles of motoring. No shore power even an option the entire trip. With electric propulsion, we would forfeit the over $200 in party fees we paid for this trip -- not to mention the enjoyment of the parties themselves.



In some ways, it sucks to own a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay!
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Old 26-05-2024, 18:01   #205
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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As a different view. We are currently on day two of a 4-day cruise. We have traveled 70 mi, 100% on diesel, most of it at hull speed of about seven knots. Day three looks promising, but it actually might be unpleasant with stiff upwind sailing. Day four is likely to be another 40 miles of motoring. No shore power even an option the entire trip. With electric propulsion, we would forfeit the over $200 in party fees we paid for this trip -- not to mention the enjoyment of the parties themselves.



In some ways, it sucks to own a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay!
I mean at the point you are motoring that much, a powerboat does start to look attractive...and you can go faster.
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Old 26-05-2024, 23:01   #206
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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I mean at the point you are motoring that much, a powerboat does start to look attractive...and you can go faster.
I agree, it’s madness to motor around with a sailboat, masts and rigging dragging speed down.

Our last sail back from the Bahamas to Florida there was a whole flotilla of them passing us under power, one overtaking the other with plumes of diesel smoke while we were still doing 4-5kts under spinnaker. Then at around 8pm we passed them again when they were all at anchor hunkering down for the night, while we sailed on for Florida and never saw them again as the wind picked up later.

When fuel sales are going to be limited, what will they do!?
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Old 27-05-2024, 05:22   #207
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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For a cruising boat that spends most of its life at anchor rather than in a marina, the problem is not energy storage, but energy generation.

If you use 40kw this energy needs to be replaced. Batteries store energy, they do not generate energy. Most cruising yachts already use most, or all, of their generated solar power running their domestic systems. There is typically little left over to devote to propulsion.

Hydrogenation or regeneration holds some promise, but so far the results have not matched the manufacturers’ claims. On a 34 foot monohull the results are likely to be modest at best.

Work out how you will produce 40kw or 100kw of energy before deciding you have this much energy to devote to propulsion.
And as you work out how to put that power back in, realize that even shore power is inadequate. A 30 amp power cord at max power is good for about 3 kW. It would take over 12 hours at max capacity to recharge that 40 kW bank. Those 30 amp cables aren't really good for 30 amps for even an hour straight without getting hot, 12 hours at 30 amps would scare me! I am aware that 50 amp 120 service exists, as well as 50 amp 240, both would up the charge capacity.
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Old 27-05-2024, 06:11   #208
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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And as you work out how to put that power back in, realize that even shore power is inadequate. A 30 amp power cord at max power is good for about 3 kW. It would take over 12 hours at max capacity to recharge that 40 kW bank. Those 30 amp cables aren't really good for 30 amps for even an hour straight without getting hot, 12 hours at 30 amps would scare me! I am aware that 50 amp 120 service exists, as well as 50 amp 240, both would up the charge capacity.
Well one thing is for sailboat to require 40 kWh of energy for propulsion but if you also need to replenish it fast to full again after having drained it completely, you should probably consider a power boat instead
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Old 27-05-2024, 07:00   #209
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Re: Going electric - change my mind

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It's good to see that some replies present real world numbers. Most of these show that there is certainly a case to be made for electric propulsion where it's severe limitations will not affect its intended use.

One thing is for sure, the users of all-electric boats will and must become more skilled in the art of traditional sailing to get to their desti nations.
I converted to electric propulsion in 2008 and have never looked back. My boat lives on a mooring and is never at a dock. Yeah I do sail more which is why I have a sailboat in the first place. But electric propulsion also complements sailing very nicely. For example in light winds I just adjust the motor to turn just enough to eliminate any prop drag. Doing this uses just a few amps and the boat gets a nice bump up in speed and it's almost as quiet as sailing alone. None of the noise, vibration and heat that is generated by firing up the diesel. As the wind picks up the amps go from negative to positive as the boat speed makes the system go into regen and starts charging the battery.

Another nice thing about EP is the ability to upgrade as the technology advances. For example just last year I converted from the original four 8A4D AGM batteries to a single 100 Amp Lithium 107 pound battery. Lightening the boat by almost 400 pounds in the process. Also made maintenance even easier.
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