Nanni has an electric
drive that goes between the engine
and the sail drive (or shaft) that enables the use of electric
power for relatively short stints and eliminates the need for a generator
, as the electric drive generates more than my present 10kWh generator
. The drives are sometimes referred to as "pancake" drives. I'm hoping to get some feedback about pancake drives from anyone with direct knowledge and/or from those on this forum who haven't used this type of drive on their boat
, but understand the pros and cons of these systems more generally.
As I mentioned in another recent thread, I've been looking for a way to supplement my sail propulsion
when heading to a windward destination
and the present plan is to take my electric 6kWh outboard
off my dinghy
and put it on a bracket on one of my chubby cat's transoms, a very inexpensive solution that enables me to (hopefully) take advantage of the solar
power I'm generating (20-22 kWh per average sunny day) and my battery
bank (38kWh), while also avoiding the negatives of running one of my diesels (noise, small amounts of exhaust
making its way in the cockpit
, needing to go to a marina to fuel
up on dubious quality fuel). FYI, I'm also getting better sails
, which should go a long way to improving my boat's ability make its way to windward.
These pancake drive systems are fairly expensive (roughly $45,000 for two 15kWh drives, installed) and I seriously doubt that my boat's value will increase nearly that amount, so those issues are definitely on the con side of the balance sheet. That said, my generator has a huge number of hours (former charter
boat) and is more of a headache than it's worth. Replacing it would be costly, so, unless I'm prepared to do without, that cost would offset the cost of the pancake drives. And, I'm not willing to do without a generator despite my solar
production and battery
bank capacity for reasons not worth getting into here.
Subtracting the cost of a new 10kWh generator and the install from the price
of installing the pancake drives makes them a bit more reasonable from the standpoint of cost. I'm thinking that the difference in cost will be offset somewhat by the increase in the value of the boat
having those pancake drives, which, as I mentioned, give me two generators and thus the added benefit of redundancy. Although I have no plan to sell my boat in the foreseeable future, I always think about "what if I have to sell my boat tomorrow?" I'm also guessing that the interest in so-called "all electric" boats (they aren't) will continue to increase in the next few years, at least that's what the number of people who search for "electric boats" on YouTube would suggest.
So, if anyone has some feedback from experience with these drives (reliability? is it even possible to find someone to fix these and, if so, what's entailed? etc) or, for the many people on this forum with general knowledge about electric drive systems, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thanks in advance.