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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sailboat e-power



I'm finally getting some work done on our sailboat. The replacement charge controller for the solar electric has been installed and is working well.

The old gas outboard has been replaced with a 55 lb thrust electric outboard. The price was right and we don't much of a motor. Last summer I sailed several times a week. The gas outboard was fired up about 4 or 5 times all summer. The longest run with it was about 4 miles. A big electric trolling motor should be able to handle that just fine. After all, the boat is only 19 feet long.

There are some big heavy duty cables running from the battery back to a heavy duty trolling motor plug. I'd actually used the plug to feed power from a gas outboard's alternator to the battery. That worked fairly well.

Unfortunately it's not working all that well now. The battery voltage read 12. 86 volts. At the plug, voltage was 11.05 volts. That's a huge power loss somewhere down the line. Cleaning up the contacts on the plug itself made no difference. The plan is to unbolt the plug from the boat and check the connections. Salt water exposure may have gotten into the splice. The plan is to totally switch out the plug with a new replacement -and this time to do a more saltwater worthy splice.

My idea is to do extensive testing of the trolling motor on the small lake I live on. If I'm satisfied with the performance I'm going to completely refit the boat for electric running. My lovely wife cleaned up the gas tank locker so that we could move the batteries there. I'm thinking of adding 2 or 3 more heavy duty trolling motor batteries to the system. Then build an arch on the stern of the boat for mounting more solar panels.

The arch could be incorporated into a tent/bug net system covering the cockpit. That would give a lot more living space while at anchor.

I guess my lovely wife is also thinking sailing. She went shopping with my daughter today. One of the things she bought was new dockline. While it's been nice to be back home, we do miss living on our little sailboat.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. It's nice that you and the missus are in sync. My wife and I are polar opposites on most things! lol

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    Replies
    1. . . . and somehow you make it work. Good for you guys!

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  2. I hear ya Bear, we really miss our boat too !

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how you stand it, being so close to the water.

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  3. I think your idea of trying out everything at home before traveling is an outstanding idea. Surprises on the water can NOT be fun!

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    Replies
    1. There are always surprises, but most of them can be prevented with a little preparation.

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  4. When your woman purchases a new dock line she may be trying to tell you something...

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