Author Topic: Electric Motor?  (Read 3002 times)

Offline Unclemike

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Electric Motor?
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:10:11 PM »
I'm in the process of buying a Legacy and I'm going to put an electric w/55 lb thrust on the back. ( I've had a couple larger sailboats in the past and I continued to have problems with the gas motors). Any clue what size battery(s) I should get? I'm thinking of a deep cycle 175 amp/hr..
Uncle Mike

Offline skip1930

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 10:05:56 AM »
I can not answer your question

I can only ask 'how Good is good'?

Size and type of battery ... I don't think it's possible to have a 'too big a battery' on board.
Not every trip on electric power can be made from 'close-in' to the dock.

You may find your self becalmed or drifting toward danger requiring several hours under motor/engine power. Then what?
Where is the canoe paddle?

Where I sail it may be a good idea to be able to quickly get out of the way of a 1000 foot oar boat that doesn't see you in the narrow three mile long cut heading into Lake Michigan when leaving the Sturgeon Bay ship cannel from The Bay of Green Bay.  

skip.

As you can see it is tight in the cannel. To the right is the seawall at the Coast Guard Station in Door County as the Masabi Miner just enters from Lake Michigan. Don't even get near the prop wash! To the left is another iron seawall for the next few miles. And no where to hide or pull over. So I ask ... how good is good?


« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 10:27:58 AM by skip1930 »

Offline Unclemike

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 10:58:12 AM »
Thankfully we won't have any HUGE hazards like the one you pictured, (as I did years ago when I bravely sailed my Snark from Southport, NC over to Bald Head Island through the mouth of the Cape Fear!) but I'm thinking we'll probably get one  175 amp/hr deep cycle and see how that holds up with a 15 amp solar charger. There's a battery indicator on the motor to give us a decent indication of how our juice holds up. And, yes there will be a paddle on board (and a long sturdy line for towing if necessary) Thanks much!
Uncle Mike

Offline Mike K

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 10:35:48 PM »
UncleMike,

Congrats on getting you new Legacy!  I love my Legacy, but I really wonder where you're going to put a big battery on the thing?  There's really not much room in the cabin area, and the standard battery compartment all the way forward is rather small and fits between 2 non-movable bulkheads.

Unless you wanted a big battery box right where your feet are by the short 1/2 height transom and under the tiller, I doubt there is clearance for a big battery under the seats.  There's a small diameter (about 6"?) waterproof screw-on hatch on the rear of each seat, but you will not be able to get the battery through it.  I'm kinda doubting you could shove it down the quarterberth under the seats either from inside the cabin?  Also, if you were to have open holes for wires leading to the battery under the seats, you run the risk of sinking the boat if you were to get water that came in over the transom in following seas.  The cockpit itself is self bailing, but the area UNDER the cockpit is not.

Before buying all this stuff, I would recommend waiting until you have the boat, and taking a good look at the real clearances you may have to see if it would fit.  I know it's nice being "green" with electrics, but my 4HP Tohatsu barely used 2 gal of gas for the whole season last year, and I must have used it a total of 25 days.

As for your question on what racing class the Legacy belongs in, I can guess the "slow and cheap" class?  Only kidding--I'm not a racer.  With a 17 foot boat, it's not fast, but 5 knots sure feels fast on a beam reach with the water so close!

Mike.  '13 Legacy "Santosha".

Offline Unclemike

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 08:25:12 AM »
My partner and I crawled on and around the boat yesterday at the marina (that we should have done before-man,  the berth's tighter than a sausage, and sitting on a pot is going to take some contortions and a sheet!). The installation dude pointed out that the battery could nestle comfortably directly under the hatch-where there is a big dead space (probably where one end of a cooler might go, then easily run the wires to the transom where we'll install a marine plug. The motor will also have a plug. Easy on, easy disconnect So, no need for a gas can or a battery at the stern. He's going to put another plug by the top of the hatch for a 15 watt solar panel. We could also plug in other accessories and/or radio. We're going to need a battery anyway for lights and stuff. (Why Compac suggested to put a battery up front with the switch plate and cabin light all the way forward is beyond me, but alas, I'm finding some of their efforts weren't very thought out-like the pointy popcorn=ouch!
I've had a couple larger tubs in the past (San Juan 21, Watkins 23 and a Stury 20 houseboat) and several gas motors-which required constant maintenance (and profanity). Once I took the San Juan waaaaaaaay up the St. Johns River to Hontoon Island (which is an all-day all-motor trip) and the motor died once we got there. No amount of cursing or on the spot repairs would make her start. I had to get towed all the way back, then paddle to the marina across Lake Monroe with my oar, with my girlfriend and her son's wicked stares and folded arms.
Who knows if this is a better fix, since most people have opted for a gasser, but hey-at 65 what have I got to loose? If it doesn't work, we can always put it on Craig's list or use it stir up a HUGE vat of Margaritas! I'll keep you posted over the next few weeks. Thanks!!!
Uncle Mike

Offline InertBert

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2014, 05:32:54 PM »
I have a C16 with electric power.  I got a saltwater motor that is about 100 lbs of thrust if I remember right.  It was about the strongest one on the market before getting into the "electric outboard" class.  I wish it was about %50 more powerful.  In dead calm, I can get about 4.5 kts.  There have been a few times when I've been fighting the wind and the current and only barely had enough grunt to win.  The upside is there have been a bunch of times when I have been sailing out of a channel and got a bit close to a marker, and the "instant on" electric power was very nice to have. 

The top speed of a 55lb motor might be high 3's but a stronger motor will be more efficient at those speeds, i.e. longer range.  I typically run about half throttle, 3.8-3.9 kts, and I've gone 13 miles on a charge.  I use a single, large deep cycle battery and a 15 amp solar panel. 
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Offline Unclemike

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 08:39:50 PM »
Wow-a 100 lb thrust, never heard of that in a 'lectric! We're going to give this a try. We'll definitely be dropping a big battery in the hold. I was out in a Catalina 22 on the Intercoastal waterway today that had a 6 HP gas kicker. It was very reassuring n a strong breeze.
UM
Uncle Mike

Offline InertBert

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2014, 04:09:55 PM »
Maybe its an 80lb.  It was the strongest saltwater motor I could find, one of these days I'll walk out into my backyard and actually look.
Quidquid latine dictum sit altum videtur

Offline cdflan

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2014, 02:05:30 PM »
You might want to check out my article "An Electrified Horizon Cat" on the Horizon page.  It is a bigger installation and I had the chance to install during build which is different from your situation.  The  205AH AGM batteries have worked well although most of my trips have been combination motor/sailing.  Recently did 35NM trip in light winds at 4.5 knots average using less than 50% capacity.  Agree with other responses about the delight is dropping hand to throttle and off you go!

Offline Unclemike

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2014, 11:16:25 PM »
We've had our Legacy out twice now in pretty brisk wind on the Banana River in Melbourne, FL (USA) and the electric motor (55 lbs of thrust) is "marginal". It's got us out from the dock and back in. We're still testing her out to see how the battery holds out on an extended run. More to follow.
Unclemike
Uncle Mike

Offline Craig

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2014, 08:17:12 AM »
Like many above I agree that most electric "trolling" type motors are marginal as auxiliary power, the Torqeedo being the exception. When you need power you need it! Newer OBs, properly fueled and maintained are very reliable and it is nice to have an "instant recharge" in the form of a spare gas can! I love the idea of electric power but for my location it is not really practical which is why we have the diesel in our Horizon Cat. Turn the key.....Voila! Instant power!
Craig, Horizon Cat "Kailani"  Punta Gorda, FL

Offline InertBert

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2014, 10:04:02 AM »
My electric is now completely dead, cause unknown.  What a let down.  Looks like I'm in the market for a small outboard again. 
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Offline moonlight

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 12:08:26 AM »
I'd certainly recommend the electric, even the portables.  I'm looking at repowering a 23 for a fellow later this season, chunking the Westerbeke out and putting a Clean eMarine system in.  Lithium is the way to go on the batteries, but you've got to be able to swing a pretty heavy bat.  They're 3x the cost of a good AGM, but 6x the life.  The real reason is not only life cycle but they can deliver the full load without premature failure (discharge to 0%~20% versus 50% of an AGM), so it's truly a 100Ah (example) battery not a 100Ah battery that only has 50 useable amps.
AND they can recharge as fast as they discharge, near 100% of battery capacity, versus lead acid or AGM limited to about 10~20% of battery capacity (100Ah battery recharges 20A/hr max).
Holler off line with more questions.

Offline BruceW

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 08:52:53 AM »
Cool website for Clean eMarine. That 5000 model looks really cool.

Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline Catawampus

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Re: Electric Motor?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 10:07:47 PM »
Have you considered a Sun Cat? Similar size, weight & convenience.  But, amazingly, much more cabin and storage space. You can sit up below, and you don't have to sleep in a coffin. Older Suncats will appear on the market if you have 6 months of patience, and at prices competitive with the Legacy. Bought my 2002 two years ago with cloth covered cabin cushions and a very reliable Yamaha 4 stroke 4 hp and a bimini & trailer for less than 11 grand. She's a delightful little boat.
Steve
Officer in charge of laundry and morale
Catawampus - 2002 Sun Cat