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Thread: Electric repowering?

  1. #1
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    Electric repowering?

    Don't see any recent discussion on converting to electric power. Researching converting my E30-1. Not even seeing much new discussion on line?

  2. #2
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...976-Ericson-27

    Pajo Gazibera: en route around the world with electric

    http://www.sailingcinderella.com/sai...iy-manta-drive

    There may be a reason there is limited discussion of this option.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
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  3. #3
    Sustaining Partner gadangit's Avatar
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    My guess is that most conversions are so completely custom that most discussions are more like picture sideshows about what they did. And once you get it all sorted out there isn't much left to talk about.
    There are many ways to skin this cat now, many more than were available just a few years ago.

    What has your research revealed so far?
    Chris and Lisa
    1972 Hull #53 Ericson 39 "SolAire"
    San Leon, TX

  4. #4
    Principal Partner Mark F's Avatar
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    Hi Sway,

    I have been asked to update my blog that Christian referenced above... one of these days I will. There does seem to be a small trend of switching to electric propulsion. Here are some YouTube Vloggers that are out there cruising or installing EP, its a mixed bag of good and maybe good approaches;

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...gYfkeRKYkI6xpi

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp8p3bKr_rc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_lCM9elcmA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVKFW2uz8_U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRgMBO-U3SE
    Lotus Flower
    1976 E27
    Electric Inboard
    Santa Cruz CA

  5. #5
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    We repowered our E27 three years ago using a system we bought from ElectricYacht. We have been extremely happy with the results, although she will soon be on the market. With our retirement plans changing, we decided we need a little bit of a bigger boat, and have recently purchased a larger Ericson (E32-3). She has a diesel. However, both my wife and I agree that we are REALLY going to miss the electric motor. There are many benefits and little downside (think range when there is a need to motor for a while with much speed). For everyday sailing electric is great. When we were concerned about range, we could supplement with our Honda 2000 "suitcase" generator.

    Feel free to pm me and we can make arrangements to discuss it all via telephone if you would like. I am sorry to say I don't have a lot of pictures of the installation process.

    Bob Greene
    Bob G
    1985 E32-3 #650
    Universal M25
    Celerity
    Sailing on Lake Erie

  6. #6
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    When they have a battery the weight and size of my fuel tank (at a reasonable price) that allows me to motor for 300 NM, and can be recharged in 30 minutes, then I might consider electric power.
    Leslie Newman
    E-380 #15 "Osprey"

  7. #7
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Agree.

    I see zero appeal for larger boats. Any long cruise, which they were built for, requires much motoring. BaJa ha ha? Figure 100 hours. Cross the doldrums in any hemisphere? Hundreds of hours. Maine to Annapolis in deep summer? I have motored most of the way. Bermuda to Virgin Gorda? We motored four days straight, day an night, across a glassy sea.

    An E38 with the stock 55-gallon fuel tank and a 4-cylinder Universal burns a little more than half a gallon an hour for a range of more than 500 miles non-stop. Every 5-gallon deck jug adds 50 miles more, and I' saw a 40-footer leave Hawaii for Seattle with ten jugs on deck.

    A diesel in action not only propels the boat but tops off the batteries and runs full refrigeration, obviating the need for the expensive solar panels everybody thinks they want.

    Not knocking electric. We have three Priuses. Each makes me makes me loathe the current Audi Q5 for its unnecessary complication, ridiculously busy six- speed auto transmission, noticeable turbo lag, clumsy engine shut-off at idle, and 91 octane gas @4.50 a gallon here for an actual (PATHETIC) mpg of 23. Ancient technology.

    But I wouldn't give up the 5432 diesel for anything except a new diesel.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 09-27-2018 at 01:06 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    Agree.

    Not knocking electric. We have three Priuses. Each makes me makes me loathe the current Audi Q5 for its unnecessary complication, ridiculously busy six- speed auto transmission, noticeable turbo lag, clumsy engine shut-off at idle, and 91 octane gas @4.50 a gallon here for an actual (PATHETIC) mpg of 23. Ancient technology.

    But I wouldn't give up the 5432 diesel for anything except a new diesel.
    Wow, funny you mention the Audi Q5. I had a horrible nightmare experience with one. Wife owned a Q5. 2015 model. I do all my own maintenance. Have rebuilt all types of engines. So thinking it would be a normal job, I changed the transmission fluid in her Q5. $500 in parts (Almost $300 for gasket/filter, rest of the money was trans fluid). Then I changed the filter and fluid and after the transmission reported it could not find reverse. After much monkeying with the shifter, reving and such the transmission finally re-learned what it needed to do and seemed fine. I cleared the codes and sold the vehicle. Never again would I own an Audi (VW) vehicle. The computer systems lock out the owner. And parts prices are insanely priced. Engine $10K. Transmission about the same.
    Leslie Newman
    E-380 #15 "Osprey"

  9. #9
    Principal Partner Mark F's Avatar
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    I try not to comment on the EP/ICE for sailboat auxiliary propulsion debate. It usually doesn't end up being productive. I'm telling myself out load right now, "put the iPad away!". We'll see if I post this :-).

    So, for ME there are real pluses to not having a diesel. No diesel smell, I've been on too many boats that smell of fuel as soon as I step below decks. No diesel smell, most every time I've thrown up on a sailboat has been while motoring downwind with diesel fumes pouring over the transom. No diesel smell on my hands from working the diesel. Yea, I don't like the smell of diesel :-). My friends with diesel engines seem to spend varying amounts of time on maintenance. Motoring on diesel power (on most boats) for hours on end is my idea of hell.

    The range issue with EP is a real concern if you travel long distances and sail to a schedule. That said, there are ways to alleviate that concern. James Lamben of Propulsion Marine in Santa Barbara has a solar setup that he claims to sail at 3 knots in calm seas with solar only https://youtu.be/BgH5EW7Zngo On my EP setup while sailing at 7 knots I can produce 2+ amps at 52 volts by regenerating through the prop. Not a lot but it adds up over time.

    What I like about EP is the low maintenance, no smell while motoring or sitting at anchor, no vibration while motoring, hardly any noise while motoring, the motor is always "on" ready if you need it, high torque maneuverability...

    I get the adamancy of diesel on a sailboat, some of my best friends have diesel auxilaries but for me I can't imagine owning a boat without EP.

    This is a group I feel comfortable making these comments, we are a group of respectful posters, many sailing places on the web are not.
    Last edited by Mark F; 09-27-2018 at 06:18 PM.
    Lotus Flower
    1976 E27
    Electric Inboard
    Santa Cruz CA

  10. #10
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Motoring on diesel power (on most boats) for hours on end is my idea of hell.

    The simple solution is to have all teeth capped or removed entirely. To sleep, I like to bite on a spare impeller.

    Earplugs are useful too, since you can't listen to the stereo anyhow.

    We are free to exchange opinions here. I learn more from that than echo chamber agreement. Nowhere else could I get away with challenging the very idea of dodgers and biminis, which I think ruin the whole experience. Did I just say that out loud?



    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
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  11. #11
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    I too resolved to stay out of this thread. But just this morning there were news stories about zinc-air batteries that promise the performance of lithium-ion at the cost of lead-acid. Basically, the whole argument is a moving target.

    I am totally the kind of guy who would leap into a quixotic DIY conversion. But as long as the old atomic 4 keeps purring along, I really see no need. (However, it COULD use the PCV conversion kit. *cough* )

    In some cruising guide, I read the proposition that a “cruising boat” should be able to motor for a minimum of 200 miles. This could be an interesting number to debate but perhaps not in this thread. It fits in well with my extreme use cases of living 200 miles up a big river and needing to catch weather windows between west coast ports. Also the approach to Columbia River dams can involve motoring for an hour or more against currents moving at or near hull speed. IIRC, the author based that number on distances between west coast ports from Panama to Alaska, and the potential need to get to a hurricane hole from points in the Sea of Cortez without favorable winds.

    For a day-sailing boat, in typical coastal areas, if the old power plant is ailing, why on earth not go electric?
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  12. #12
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    To each his own of course.
    If a boat smells of diesel then the owner is doing very poor maintenance for sure. I wouldn't sail with them.
    The manufacturers put a premium on their electric machines even though it shouldn't cost so much.
    Friend of mine that drives a Prius paid $500 when his headlights quit. Some circuit board. Gas savings took a hit.
    I want something that I can refuel quick and keep going.
    Leslie Newman
    E-380 #15 "Osprey"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    .

    We are free to exchange opinions here. I learn more from that than echo chamber agreement. Nowhere else could I get away with challenging the very idea of dodgers and biminis, which I think ruin the whole experience. Did I just say that out loud?

    Not to steal a thread, but I keep this opinion in mind every time a guest ducks under the dodger to reduce windchill by 15 kts to next to nothing instead of bulking up on another microfiber layer. Or I have duck under the dodger to keep from getting soaked from a spray across the deck.

    I'm not against sailing on boats without the comfort convenience of a dodger. Having one doesn't reduce the experience of standing at the helm, or (sufficiently warmed) moving back to windward to sit on the rail. But I digress....

    What were we talking about? Oh yeah, repowering... Hmmm...

    Brain Fagan in one of his many cruising guides about sailing in sailing in Southern California had three small pieces of advice. One was to cast off the lines, another was have a good running and well maintained motor to assist with anchoring in busy anchorages (no specific opinion on motor type). I forget what the third was and will have to revisit one of his books such as A Cruising Guide to California Channel Islands or The Cruising Guide to Central, Southern California to sort it out. Don't forget to drop the anchor? Um, no, that's not it. Use scope? Meh. Minty fresh but hardly a cruising top three.

    Don't let means outweigh goals? Just do it? Reef early and often? Don't spit into the wind? Not...

    Exchange opinions in open forums without digressing too much? Nope, that's not it either. Nuts. It'll come to me in a bit, perhaps in the next thread.

    Cheers,

    Max
    September Sun
    ERY35240D686

  14. #14
    Sustaining Partner gadangit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
    I try not to comment on the EP/ICE for sailboat auxiliary propulsion debate. It usually doesn't end up being productive. I'm telling myself out load right now, "put the iPad away!". We'll see if I post this :-).

    So, for ME there are real pluses to not having a diesel. No diesel smell, I've been on too many boats that smell of fuel as soon as I step below decks. No diesel smell, most every time I've thrown up on a sailboat has been while motoring downwind with diesel fumes pouring over the transom. No diesel smell on my hands from working the diesel. Yea, I don't like the smell of diesel :-). My friends with diesel engines seem to spend varying amounts of time on maintenance. Motoring on diesel power (on most boats) for hours on end is my idea of hell.

    The range issue with EP is a real concern if you travel long distances and sail to a schedule. That said, there are ways to alleviate that concern. James Lamben of Propulsion Marine in Santa Barbara has a solar setup that he claims to sail at 3 knots in calm seas with solar only https://youtu.be/BgH5EW7Zngo On my EP setup while sailing at 7 knots I can produce 2+ amps at 52 volts by regenerating through the prop. Not a lot but it adds up over time.

    What I like about EP is the low maintenance, no smell while motoring or sitting at anchor, no vibration while motoring, hardly any noise while motoring, the motor is always "on" ready if you need it, high torque maneuverability...

    I get the adamancy of diesel on a sailboat, some of my best friends have diesel auxilaries but for me I can't imagine owning a boat without EP.

    This is a group I feel comfortable making these comments, we are a group of respectful posters, many sailing places on the web are not.
    Well done Mark. Try having this conversation in person in the middle of oil country.
    Chris and Lisa
    1972 Hull #53 Ericson 39 "SolAire"
    San Leon, TX

  15. #15
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    The minuses outweigh the pluses here in the Pacific North West. The long crossings and fast tides demand long range and fast refueling. One must time one's trips with the tides or you go nowhere fast. I would hate to run out of power on a calm day in the middle of the Straights of Georgia or the Straights of Juan De Fuca. You could go somewhere that you don't want to. The inability to cruise at the higher speeds is also a liability up here. At 6 1/2 knots, you can punch through a developing rapid where at 5 knots, you might not be able to make it.

    I would love to switch to quiet vibration free propulsion system but I can't live with a 20 mile range and hours to recharge. Also, cruising at 3 knots to stretch the battery charge is not an option when the tides are faster than that so I will continue to watch the developments with interest. Also, at the moment, the pricing of the electric stuff is out of line with the costs of producing it. Perhaps the pricing will be lowered as volume increases although gouging is common with boating suppliers.
    Bob Morrison
    1987 E-34 Hull #15
    "Terra Nova"

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