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Old 29-03-2015, 11:09   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 51.1
Posts: 579
Conversion of Saildrive to hybrid diesel electric

I have a new boat with a Yanmar 30 and a SailDrive 20. I'm quite disappointed by the maintenance interval and requirement to haul out the boat to change the saildrive oil, and very worried that the aluminum skeg on the saildrive is going to corrode the second my zincs aren't fresh. I just don't see the saildrive as a highly reliable long-term solution to drive shafts, but the industry is going that way.

My brother's Ranger 33 was converted to electric by a previous owner. He's got 4 lead acid batteries driving a 48hp golf-cart motor inboard, and he has a range of about two miles with that system. It easily gets him in and out of the marina and is more than powerful enough, but being pure electric, the range is not useful for anything other than docking.

Has anyone converted a diesel saildrive to an electric hybrid? Specifically I mean removing a saildrive completely, installing a 40kw generator on the diesel engine, and bolting a 40kw motor to the fin keel, with the power cables coming up through the re-sealed saildrive thru-hull.

I know there are a number of companies specializing in full electric conversion, but what I'm looking for is just sail-drive conversion to electric--no esoteric battery packs or anything, I'll run the diesel when I need to power the motor. I don't want to hack my boat up either, so I'm looking for a professionally manufactured total package.

Basically the first time I have any trouble with the saildrive, instead of putting dollars into repairing it I'd like to put dollars into replacing it with an electric drive.
mstrebe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-03-2015, 01:05   #2
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Re: Conversion of Saildrive to hybrid diesel electric

I know a guy who put on one of the pods that bolt to the outside of the hull with just the cable going thru. He removed them as they have same issues keeping a submerged mechanical device permanently underwater.

There are several threads about electric drive conversion if you search the forum. While there is much promise, you will either pay much more and have a complicated system or you live with substantially reduced capability.
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote

diesel, electric, sail, saildrive

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