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Electric Main/Aux Power


ricknriver
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The battery is the original (see pic from a sellers website ). 1000Wh, 46 V. The cable is a fancy thing with 8 pins and some electronic communication going on. As I know nothing about that, I rather bought the original.

The solar panel seems only to charge it in full sunlight .

You were asking about my boat. 

She is a Diabolo, a 6m centerboarder. I wrote an extensive description in my post „Reading sailing characteristics....“ (just in case you like to know more about her). The Epropulsions sound is a soft kind of humming, like a comforting „don’t worry, I’m here“

DA7D5B58-9ED9-4B4C-A08B-B35723E6815C.thumb.png.8ed02b77aaf98d19aeb51bf063659543.png

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I have a 22 foot sailboat a BandB EC22. I have been eight years now using only oars or a paddle for auxiliary power.  I am only considering electric. I was pleased to find this thread. I started out looking at trolling motors but have slowly gravitated to the Epropulsion Spirit Plus.

 

I have not had a motor hanging on the transom all these years and I don't think I could get used to it, for aesthetic reasons and because of fowling the mizzen sheet.  I wonder if it would be practical to stow the motor in a locker and only mount on the transom when needed. The Spirit Plus motor is 11kg/24lbs and the battery is 8.8kg/20lbs. In some ways I like the idea of the battery mounted directly to the motor because it avoids the complications of running wiring.

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On 7/17/2020 at 10:33 AM, Joe Anderson said:

I have not had a motor hanging on the transom all these years and I don't think I could get used to it, for aesthetic reasons and because of fowling the mizzen sheet.  I wonder if it would be practical to stow the motor in a locker and only mount on the transom when needed. The Spirit Plus motor is 11kg/24lbs and the battery is 8.8kg/20lbs. In some ways I like the idea of the battery mounted directly to the motor because it avoids the complications of running wiring.

I am waiting for this to be a viable solution, it is getting closer. I am even considering a side mount bracket as the only time I would use it is in no wind. 

 

Great thread, following it with interest.

 

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21 hours ago, Hirilonde said:

I am waiting for this to be a viable solution, it is getting closer. I am even considering a side mount bracket as the only time I would use it is in no wind. 

 

Great thread, following it with interest.

 

What are your criteria for electric propulsion becoming a viable solution?

I don't  have any data but I think electric is at least potentially more reliable..

Spirit plus gives a 1/2 throttle run time of 10 hours

Torqeedo 1103 has 1/2 throttle run time of 6 hours

I am not sure what kind of range to expect. And of course range is highly dependent on boat and weather conditions.

Wommasehen is reporting 6.5 nautical mile range  on a 6m centerboard boat using a Spirit Plus with I presume the 1200wh battery.

Gas outboard lets say $1,200

Spirit Plus                     $2,000

Torqeedo 1103            $2,700

 

I am interested in your idea for a sidemount. mounting on my transom means reaching over the aft deck.

 

I have thought about using this idea from Sukie to make mounting and unmounting while underway easier.post-1397-129497687946.jpg.cc163d821d2e4fb294d75521ae628961.jpg

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As to viable, it must fit in a compartment that already exists on my Lapwing. This may end up being the forward compartment.  Soon to be settled in Florida, then I will have a few more projects that come first.  I am in no hurry, I can still row.

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my motor is "only" the Spirit 1.0 without the "plus". Thats the 1000Wh battery.

Besides in calms, I use it to get in and out of harbour/marina/port/dock - (what are the differences?) and I also see it as a safety-feature as it should get me out of danger if I can't make that by wind power. I've had such situations. That is one reason why I would'nt like to get it out of some compartment before using it, the other reason is the weight and the 3rd the difficulty of finding such a compartment on board of Muckla. So it is the bracket on the transom. The cable to the battery is no major problem so far. There is a hole in an inspection port in the cockpit-wall, through which the plug fits and to further close it off, I carved a groove in an champagne-cork. The cable fits in the groove and the cork fits in the hole. The champange disappeared somewhere.....

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20 hours ago, Wommasehn said:

and I also see it as a safety-feature as it should get me out of danger if I can't make that by wind power. I've had such situations. That is one reason why I would'nt like to get it out of some compartment before using it, the other reason is the weight and the 3rd the difficulty of finding such a compartment on board of Muckla. 

The only time I can see an auxiliary being a safety item is over night at anchor. If the wind is so strong that sailing isn't an option an auxiliary isn't strong enough to do anything worth while.  As my Lapwing is a daysailer, it is a convenience item. And as a Lapwing is way too pretty, leaving an outboard mounted is a travesty.

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On 7/5/2020 at 8:45 AM, Wommasehn said:

 

I nowhere found an note about the prop's pitch. Can anybody tell me, how I might measure it from the prop - just for curiosity.

 

 

28 × 14.7 cm / 11 × 5.8 inches
  Is the listed diameter and pitch for the Spirit 1.0 it is the same for the Plus. The pitch is listed under specifications in the owners manual. The pitch is the distance the propeller would traverse during one revolution if the propeller was moving through an unyielding substance if that makes any sense. I suspect it could be easily calculated by someone with the necessary math skills. In this case it is 14.7 cm. That is obviously related to the angle of the prop blades but I don't know how or what the proper formula would be.

In your test you  could run 4.5 knots for 90 minutes. What throttle setting was that. Do you know what your speed and range would be at 1/2 throttle?

Edited by Joe Anderson
Unclear wording
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15 hours ago, Hirilonde said:

The only time I can see an auxiliary being a safety item is over night at anchor. If the wind is so strong that sailing isn't an option an auxiliary isn't strong enough to do anything worth while.  As my Lapwing is a daysailer, it is a convenience item. And as a Lapwing is way too pretty, leaving an outboard mounted is a travesty.

In the main I agree with you it can be dangerous to depend on an auxiliary to get you out of trouble. The belief that you have an auxiliary to rescue could lull a boater into getting into a situation from which the auxiliary can not save you, either because it lacks sufficient power or it malfunctions. I  think sailing without a motor has helped me become a better sailor. I am OK with having the motor stored away.

However I can remember sailing off Martha's Vineyard in an area  with strong currents and heavy ferry traffic and the wind died out. I think a motor would have been a big help then. I felt pretty helpless trying to time my drift and plot the ferry courses while pulling at the oars.

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2 hours ago, Joe Anderson said:

However I can remember sailing off Martha's Vineyard in an area  with strong currents and heavy ferry traffic and the wind died out. I think a motor would have been a big help then. I felt pretty helpless trying to time my drift and plot the ferry courses while pulling at the oars.

 

I take it you figured things out.  Did you have a copy of Eldritch, particularly the current charts?  I know the area well, having cruised it several times in my Renegade. The Elizabeth Islands and Fisher's Island sound have some pretty significant tidal currents. Timing is essential.  How did you escape?

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The following is an excerpt from my blog for that trip.
 
The tidal range around the Martha's Vineyard and southern Cape Cod is a fairly modest 3 to 4 feet. Yet the currents in and around the islands are strong. And sometimes the direction of those currents have not made sense to me. But now I think I am beginning to understand. The currents of Nantucket Sound are driven not only by the rising and falling of the tides in the area, they are driven primarily by changes in the ocean level in the Gulf of Maine and the Mid Atlantic Bight. Cape Cod divides these two areas that have dramatically different tidal ranges and times.
 
I found this neat Giff put together by someone at the University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology.
 
tide1a%2BCurrents%2BNantucket.gif
 
 
 
The arrows indicate direction and strength of the tidal current flow. At the same time water is flowing into the eastern end of Nantucket Sound water is flowing out between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The only explanation can be that water is sloshing back and forth around Cape Cod between the Gulf of Maine and the Mid Atlantic Bight. This makes navigating the area in a sailboat look like a nightmare. The Giff though is playing a six hour tide cycle in just a couple of seconds so it is not as bad as it looks. Still sailing between the islands can take a few hours and in that time the currents can reverse. You can start a crossing with the current in your favor but the tides are apt to turn before you reach your destination
 
I did not use the Eldridge tide tables but I did consult my GPS which has current speed and direction for various stations in the area. Perhaps my attempted crossings were too long. I found it very difficult to time the currents for an entire passage. I thought it would be an advantage to have the current in my favor, but a strong current with little wind leave you very little control. Also if you want the current to be slack or in a certain direction when you reach a particular headland you have to be able to estimate your time of arrival. It is all part of the challenge that make sailing interesting. Perhaps I should have planned my route further off from Vineyard Haven to avoid the concentration of ferry traffic. There was a power boat fishing in the path of the ferry. The ferry laid on his horn and the power boat roared away. The ferry ended up passing in front of me 50 yards or so. I remember thinking that if I had been a few minutes earlier it would have been more interesting than I would like.
 
 
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  • 2 weeks later...

@ Joe: interestingly the prop's pitch is not in the paper manual I got with the motor but in the Www-version.

Meanwhile, I tried the speed at half throttle , that's 500 W. The GPS showed just 4 kts, the battery was about 65% charged and the display showed a range of about 1h15. So my estimate of 90 minutes at 4.5 kts with fully charged battery was maybe too low or certainly a very conservative guess.

In 4 or 5 hours of charging with the solar panel, the charge level was raised some 10%. In other words: charging the empty battery by solar panel would take several days of sunshine but if its about refilling the electricity used for a few minutes of motoring, the thing is completely adequate. I am still not sure if it is advisable to leave it on for weeks while I am away from the boat. Where I keep her during most of the season, there is no shore power available. But this is a small lake and there is no need for motoring long.

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Hi, Thank you for the data on your motor and battery use. Your results are similar to other portable electric auxiliary motors on small boats I've read about   Joe's comments on wind and current use are very valuable, and cautionary,  if venturing offshore or even in windy/high current inshore adventures. The small solar panel (~12"x12") on the roof of my motor home automatically trickle charges my 12v house batteries 24/7 and apparently the charging current goes through a controller within the motor home's electrical system. My readings indicate a solar charge controller is required.  Will check around and see what kind of controller advisable for  charging a 1 Kw (100 ah?) as I'm planning a similar set up for my sailboat (55# thrust trolling motor & 100 ah LIPO battery) when it sits on a  small riverside lift where there is no electricity.  Maybe someone here will know. 

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Wommasehn,

 

The Epropulsion website lists the Spirit runtime at full throttle as 75 minutes. 1/2 throttle runtime is listed as 10 hours using the 1276wh battery. Something doesn't add up. They must be using a lot less than 500 watts at 1/2 throttle?   Completely depleting the battery, 1276 divided by 10 hours = 127.6 watts at 1/2 throttle. Does the motor tell you how many watts you are using at a particular throttle setting?

 

I would like to store the motor in a locker with a 22cm opening. The motor width is listed as 27.5 cm. Could you let me know what the width is with the battery removed?

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To start with your last question: no, I can't. I'm away on vacancies without the boat. When I go sailing the next time, I hope, I'll remember to bring something to measure the motor.....

Yes, the motor indiates the watts deployed, for my last post, I have defined 572 00 W as halft throttle. My battery is the smaller one with 1000 Wh - and 1 hour runtime at full throttle when fully charged. Anyhow, 10 hrs. 1 at /2 thr. really seems a bit too much .

It does not tell me the speed but the remaining run time at a given throttle setting. And the voltage and a rough percentege of battery charge.

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Thank you so much for your reports on range. Part of me would like to believe the manufacturer but their claims are so wildly different from your results that they can not be true. It is invaluable to share realistic information. Do enjoy your vacation, but how can you vacation without a boat?

 

When you have the opportunity I would appreciate your measuring the width sans battery.

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Meanwhile, it occured to me that 1/2 throttle might mean different things: I understood it as half power, that's the 500 W. If someone means "half speed", that's  with Muckla 2.5 kts or something like 200 W only. Counting like this, you will get a lot more range....

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  • 3 months later...

Hi, Interest growing on electric propulsion.  FYI There are some new discussions on the B and B Forum in recent days (Nov 2020) and pending applications for 10-12' small craft. As these plans hit the water hopefully we'll gather more data on different (and maybe new) brands/models, configurations, speeds and ranges.  Be Safe, R

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