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Electric Conversion
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12/31/2018 at 2:36:02 PM GMT
Posts: 7
Electric Conversion

Considering converting from Yanmar to Elco electric inboard. My trips are usually limited to within a 10-15 miles radius, with motoring mostly used for just slipping in and out of the inner harbor channel (30 min per trip). What's attractive to me is being able to rid myself of the maintenance of an inboard, and eliminating heat, vibration, smell, and sound of the diesel, making for a much more peaceful sailing experience and a more inviting environment in the cabin for guests.

I've done a great deal of research on this and the main obstacle for me is not range anxiety, as is common when contemplating an electric conversion, but rather efficiency of charging while moored, with no access to ground electrical. In particular I'm wondering about aesthetics, effectiveness, and speed of solar and wind as a primary means of re-charging/maintaining charge on a 48V battery array. I'm willing to put a panel or two on the companionway overhead and foredeck, and maybe a small wind generator, but nothing that will take too much away from the aesthetic of the boat. A small gasoline generator can be kept onboard as a back-up (plenty of room in my Horizon 20), but this is not something I wish to use regularly, as this is sort of counter to what I'm trying to achieve.


1/5/2019 at 1:43:00 PM GMT
Posts: 62
As you are aware, need to add as much power as you use, so a fairly large solar array .
I use a 15 watt panel for 12 volt maintenance, but doesn't work well on companionway hatch, except on some tacks, at mooring there is to much shadow from boom and sail at best solar charging angle . A couple of well rated rollable/foldable panels on top of boom may be useful, and move to cabin top when sailing. Tom Neale, Boat US advisor, may be someone to contact. Believe Torqeelo uses a 50 watt for thier small 12 volt outboard, and it takes HOURS for a full charge.

1/5/2019 at 10:29:51 PM GMT
Posts: 7
Thanks for that information. I have not seen a boat with solar on the boom. Would you just be wrapping the panel around the sail and boom? And wouldn’t a great portion of that panel be in the shade by virtue of the sun only being able to hit one side of it at a time? Interesting idea. I guess i would need 4 units for a 48v system (4 12v batteries). How might one contact Tom Neale?

Last edited Saturday, January 5, 2019
1/13/2019 at 7:02:27 PM GMT
Posts: 62
Try logging into Boat US web page and look for advice section.

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