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Thread: Heather and electric propulsion

  1. #106
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    South Australia and Tasmania
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    16,055

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    6k motor, and you are probably talking $US, on a 16 foot boat? I'd def be looking more at an old golf cart or forklift motor, batteries from the same, shaft drive (I assume the shaft log is already there from the previous diesel) and a Radio Shack control system.

  2. #107
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    388

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Just a quick reminder, Howard said the boat already comes with some electric propulsion components. Until he decides to share what those are (if he even knows at this point) it's all just speculation. Just to give you an ideea about what we are speculating about, Howard mentioned a 3:1 or 4:1 reduction gear. Given that the former diesel was a Faryman that comes standard with the TMC 40, 2.05:1 gearbox, and the motors max rpm is 3600, the planned electric replacement is either a high rpm/V motor or they wanted to fit a bigger prop then the one already there, or both. It's really useless to talk about it without specifics. We can't even say if his installation needs a separate thrust bearing or not because we don't know if his planned gearbox has one or not. Not to mention if the boat has the space and weight allowance for lead acid, or if Howard wants to invest in new LiFePO4, or if he is willing to trade percieved safety for lower price by going with used EV batteries.

    Electric propulsion works, is not to complicated to achieve, but is all about choices. Price depends on this choices.

  3. #108
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    23,563

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

  4. #109
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NZ
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Nice boat, ultimately if HR wants electric then its a case of getting the best system and then living within the limitations. If an ICE was installed then there is a certain limitation of range and conditions that you can operate within, going electric just changes that.

    in terms of a system, budget is the limiting factor but lipo is the way to go for energy density, I am not convinced that a generator is desirable. The need to store petroleum, and the inefficiency of converting that to voltage would not be my first choice. Again that comes down to the parameters of intended use, it is a sailing vessel after all.

    Diesel has some advantages that are worth considering other than propulsion, such as heating both air and water. Plus the possibility of using one fuel for cooking as well as propulsion. I am not familiar with the Pacific Northwest but from my understanding it can be extremely cold and damp, a warm chugging diesel might be nice company! it just depends on what HR wants to do with the the vessel.
    whatever rocks your boat

  5. #110
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,187

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Howard,

    I'm late to this thread, so forgive me if I'm going over old ground.

    I think it would be well worth your while to track down the owners of Ginger, as highlighted in Post #13, and talk to them. I met the owners at the PT Festival in September and chatted with them over the boater's breakfast about their boat. From memory (so don't hold me to the details) the owner acquired a Li-On battery pack from a used electric car and a drive motor from an electric forklift. I think he put together everything else himself. I believe they get about 60-70 nm on a full charge, which for the port to port cruising they do around the Salish Sea, is more than adequate.

    Whether that sort of range is sufficient for what you want to do, only you can tell. Around the Salish Sea, probably. Cruise up and down the full length of the Inside Passage, with the possibility of several windless days back to back and no place to plug in to recharge, probably not.

    In any case, whether you end up with the same system, I am sure you would learn a lot and they seemed more than willing to share their experience.

    I think we'll all learn greatly from whatever you do. Good luck!
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  6. #111
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    lagunitas, ca, usa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    For another example, China is full of electric scooters. They will run about 50 miles maybe with one or two people at around 30 kph. The battery on those is not very big. They carry them inside and charge them every night. If a two or three hp Minkota will push Heather around okay for your needs, then you should be able to go electric.

    You could try that before you made any big decisions ... jury-rig a battery box where the diesel was and stick a trolling motor off the side on a bracket. That'd give you a baseline to work from before you spent a lot of money.

  7. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Hey Everyone
    An interesting topic I have tossed out and the posts are appreciated, hornets nest shakes and all. I am reading and copying everything from the perspective of a sailor (a devoted engineless sailor) with zero electric propulsion experience/knowledge. All of this helps, so thank you all.

    FYI: My time line on Heather looks like this.

    1. Dream and plan for now as she is in Martys shop and I am not. I am in the midwest at SEAS (Wisconsin developing an adaptive boat for challenged folks and pushing the Tinkerbelle sistership project forward). Then onto Tokyo for family and Micronesia for work before returning to SEAS and meeting Heather for the second time in April.

    FYI: Apologies for off topic----The Tinkerbelle project for anyone interested.
    IMG_7434.jpgIMG_7337.jpgIMG_7307.jpg


    2. Fit her onto her new road trailer. I over taxed my small boat budget in acquiring Heather (the opportunity arose and I took it as she would have sold elsewhere in a pair of seconds) and recently found myself staring at a trailer deal beyond compare.

    Heather has a barely useful yard trailer so.............I purchased one of the London Olympic Elliot 6 meter trailers, virtually new with perhaps less than 50 miles on it. I am tasked with helping to sell eight of these 3600 pound rated trailers for SEAS and if anyone wants a strong, virtually new trailer, $800 each, let me know. They are tough, in top shape with removable racks. The trailers are in Sheboygan WI stored indoors. SEAS purchased the Olympic Elliot 6 meter fleet and recently sold it to the Perth Australia Yacht Club without the trailers.
    Attachment 27047Attachment 27049

    3. Move Heather in April from her current inside storage to another near PT.

    4. Spend about three weeks focused on a complete refresh (new paint scheme and varnish) plus a thorough assessment of rigging and systems. I also plan a small rudder modification and a minor strengthening to the interior of her bilge keel attachment points as suggested by Tim Nolan.

    5. I will also meet her electric propulsion system, electric propulsion advisor and assess what to do. By then I should have a better fix on electric propulsion but doubt I will install anything right away. Depending on time and a place to keep her in the water I may launch and do some sailing in engineless configuration. She points like a race boat so sailing in and out of marinas and slips is fine by me as long as the marinas don't mind. I have done so for years and with a respectful heads up via radio to the harbor master and a respect for others plus a pinch of timing I have never had an issue. I also anchor out as needed.

    I look forward to more information here and again Thank you to all.

  8. #113
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Scottsville, Virginia
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Much hinges on expectations. If you want to motor long distances, or go fast, you also need to refuel quickly and easily with an engine as primary power. The infrastructure to serve that is already in place. That's one set of expectations.

    If you plan to go slow (relatively), sail most of the time, and only use a motor as auxiliary power, a big diesel engine is costly overkill, and a lot of expensive overhead in terms of weight and maintenance headaches. In this situation a small outboard makes sense. You can leverage the existing refueling infrastructure, maintenance network, and manufacturing scale to make it relatively cheap. Heather has that big prop and an inboard drive shaft. You'd need to rip all that out, and there are some advantages to doing so, but doesn't sound like Howard is interested in that. Instead, looking for a different way to drive it.

    If you only need low speed auxiliary power occasionally and for short distances, electric power starts to make some sense. You already have a DC electrical system on board, so already need a way to store power and recharge it. You just need bigger batteries, and should expect to use it infrequently, because it takes a long time to "refuel". You can recharge overnight with shore power at marinas if staying near shore. For more remote trips you need some sort of on board generator – wind, solar, or gas, or a combination – and again, expect to trickle charge between infrequent uses to keep it topped off. But if you're expectations are in line with what's practical, it's certainly doable.

    The technology advancing so fast that's what's practical keeps changing. Safe assumptions ten years ago aren't so safe now. The basic physics are the same, for sure, but what is both possible and economically feasible has changed.

    I started playing with the new electric motor and battery options recently. As mentioned, in other parts of the world electric is not considered so impractical – their expectations are in line with what's possible. Electric bicycle/scooter technology and manufacturing is advancing really fast to serve those markets.

    I just finished adding a motor about the size of a grapefruit to a recumbent trike. The 52volt Li-Ion battery that powers it is half the size of a loaf of bread. Has a crazy amount of torque, and uses the gears of the bike as a transmission. The built-in freewheel function lets you use power to climb hills and cruise at high speed, but use gravity downhill and coast with no power cost.

    It's "pedal assist" which on a sailboat equates to "power assist". On the first real test I ran it on throttle alone. It would easily go over 30 miles at 35mph without pedaling. Topped out at 40mph on flat ground. With pedaling you could go further, or if you just went slower. Get two batteries and you double that range. Charges fully in a couple of hours. The motors and batteries for use on bikes are already waterproof.



    With the slow speed needed to turn a cruising sailboat prop, for occasional use, efficient electric power is becoming more viable.
    Last edited by EyeInHand; 11-25-2018 at 12:47 PM.

  9. #114
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    23,563

    Default Re: Heather and electric propulsion

    Brief discussion of Heather during 'Hooked 0n Wooden Boats' podcast, episode #201: http://hookedonwoodenboats.com/howb-...ther-and-more/
    If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, eventually they would find me attractive.

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