Question for the electric boater with prior sailing experience.
Do you have an electric boat? Or have actual experience with an electric boat?
Did you use to be into sailing?
Then maybe you can help me out with some advice.
I am in the process of building a 22 foot sailboat. The princess 22 cat ketch sharpie by B&B yacht designs to be exact. I am building this boat as a trailer sailor. I chose this design because it looks like an easy and fast boat to launch and recover, and I like the no hassle cat ketch rig for easy tacking. I have a lot of sailing experience in boats of this size.
I have decided on electric propulsion for this boat.
My most favorite things about sailing are:
The laid back pace.
The excitement of speed and getting the rail down on a brisk day.
The look and feel of the sails set and full.
My least favorite things about sailing are:
Long and involved launch routine from trailer to water, and long recovery.
Flat limp sails on a no wind day.
I have done quite a bit of research on electric propulsion of boats, and the more I read, the more I like the idea. For my type of boating, electric propulsion seams to fit the bill.
So now I am thinking about leaving off the ďsailboatĒ stuff (centerboard trunk, masts, and sails), and making this into an electric launch.
I am thinking that I might spend the majority of my boating being pushed around by electricity rather than the wind.
The way I see it the advantages are:
Quick launch, no raising of masts, and rigging sails and lines. Just slide off the trailer into the water.
Speed comparable to sailing, 3 to 5 knots.
Satisfactory Cruising time that is in line with the majority of my outings (6 hours at 4 knots.)
Quiet and odor free.
Faster build time by eliminating the rigging and the complicated and leak prone centerboard trunk.
Less money spent on masts, sails, and tackle.
Do you miss sailing?
It looks to me like the electric launch has 2 out of the 4 things I like about sailing, and none of the things I donít like. The electric launch doesnít have the excitement of rail down sailing on a brisk day, or the beauty of full set sails. But it also has the hands down advantage of low setup time when launching, and ease of handling. Making short outings (1 to 3 hrs) on the water feasible for the person with limited spare time.
If you were in my shoes, and in the building process, would you carry on and invest the time and expense to complete the boat as a sailboat?
I have estimated the cost of motor, batteries, charger, and E-meter to be comparable to the cost of masts, sails, lines, and tackle.
Is it worth spending the extra money and building time to end up with a boat that possesses the attributes that are unique to a sailboat? Or is an electric launch fun enough?
If I build this as an electric launch, will I be sorry that I didnít go ahead and make a sailboat?