Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tesla Sailing - A Review of our Electric Engine

We lost our 35 year old diesel engine about 3 years ago (we have owned our Newport 30 for over 16 years).  We decided to replace it with an electric engine.  We purchased a kit from Electric Yachts of Socal and installed it ourselves over a few weekends.  In our first set up, we had all 8 AGM batteries set up in a daisy chain.  There was too much resistance and the batteries only lasted about a year.  They should last 4-5 years or more.  We replaced them last year at this time.  We also changed our set up to 2 four battery sets and put a battery selector between them.  Since then we have had no issues and the batteries are strong.  We sail the SF Bay so windless days are few and far between.  We don't use our engine that much because it is usually blowing 15-30 knots.  This arrangement might not be a good idea if you are on the Chesapeake where winds can be very light for days!  Our range is about 12 miles at 4 knots when motoring.  We usually use the engine for less than a mile on a normal day.  In and out of the harbor and to a lunch spot for instance.  As we sail at hull speed, we also recharge the batts with our spinning propeller.  How cool is that?  It is also very quiet when motoring with no diesel smells.  We are super happy with this setup!  Cost was about $9k and we pay about $11 per month in electricity to recharge our house bank and engine bank.  If you are interested in converting, hit me up with any questions.  In certain areas with lots of wind, this is a great way to go!
Is that a pristine engine room or what?

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