Electric Outboards - any experience?

(Previously the YotBlog forums, now archived and combined here)
User avatar
TFATC
Able Seaman
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Aberdeen and Stavanger
Contact:

Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby TFATC » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:39 pm

Firstly, let me start with an apology - yes, I am sorry, I am back! :lol:

Life has been a bit hectic for the last couple of years, 2 changes of job, a relocation of sorts, and a business i am trying to sell all add up to not much time. I am now working out of Norway, but for ConocoPhillips, so I am no longer shore based there, which means my Skagerak Wanderer will have to go on the market, only used it once last year :(

As the East coast of Scotland is such an inhospitable place for sailing, I have returned to power and bought a Shetland Sheltie complete with 75hp Mariner. One of the big advantages of this is it is easily trailed, so intend doing a fair bit of exploring with it, including the west coast, so I will get to drink Nicks Malt stocks again! :twisted:

The boat does not have an aux engine, so I need to get one. I also want to do the canals, so will be buying a 4 or 5hp for that, but storing an outboard on a high speed boat is not ideal. So, the cunning plan. Buy a cheap electric outboard that can be secured in the (small) cabin of the Sheltie for emergency "back to port" situations. I was thinking of the largest separate battery ones (advertised as 55lb thrust) as the boat will have 2 or 3 12v batteries. I can fit the main aux engine when needed for canals etc, and leave it at home other times.

So, does anyone have any experience of these electric outboards? The Sheltie is 17ft long and weighs less than 500kg so on paper it should be fine. Slow I don't mind, as long as it gets me there eventually. All opinions appreciated.

Nick
I am going to retire when I am fat and rich - AND I am half way there!

User avatar
Arghiro
Old Salt
Posts: 918
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:54 pm
Boat Type: Pentland Ketch
Location: Midlands

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby Arghiro » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:09 pm

There is one for sale on the YBW forum, but it is only a 1hp.

User avatar
Silkie
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3485
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:55 pm
Boat Type: Hurley 22
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Contact:

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby Silkie » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:13 am

The OP is presumably stunned into silence by this pearl so I'd just like to say TFT on his behalf.
we can be heroes

User avatar
TFATC
Able Seaman
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Aberdeen and Stavanger
Contact:

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby TFATC » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:50 am

Nah, not stunned, just in bed! Working offshore Norway, start at 0600 which is really 0500 so usually hit my pit about 2200.

Thank you for that, will go and have a look see.
I am going to retire when I am fat and rich - AND I am half way there!

User avatar
Nick
Admiral of the Blue
Posts: 5521
Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 4:11 pm
Boat Type: Albin Vega 27
Location: Oban. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby Nick » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:34 am

.
Ironic that we sailed for 30 days in Norway this year and you only managed one. Still only half way there eh?
- Nick 8)

Image

User avatar
Rowana
Old Salt
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:58 pm
Boat Type: Macwester Rowan 8 meter
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby Rowana » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:21 pm

TFATC wrote:
As the East coast of Scotland is such an inhospitable place for sailing




I object to that remark :!:

We're a very hospitable lot in Peterheid :) :)
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE CRACKED,
FOR THEY ARE THE ONES WHO LET IN THE LIGHT

User avatar
DaveS
Yellow Admiral
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:10 am
Boat Type: Etap 30
Location: Me: Falkirk, Boat: Craobh

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby DaveS » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:52 pm

I have an electric outboard, but it's for a very different application - pushing a wee inflatable - so my experience might not be directly relevant, however...

I bought a smaller one than you're thinking of, a 30 lb thrust Minn Cota (sp?) from Compass of Germany. Their advertising said "use anywhere", but the instruction leaflet that came with it said "use in fresh water only". It does, however, work perfectly well in salt water, but I do have to do a bit of touching up of rust spots on the bracket at the end of each season - maybe the dearer salt water models are better in that regard.

As a rough approximation, the current draw in A equals the thrust delivered in lb, so your proposed motor is likely to draw about 50A flat out, which you could afford to do for about an hour if starting with a fully charged 110 Ah battery and not wanting to take it below 50% charge. Obviously lower speeds take less current giving a longer duration, as does having more battery capacity.

If low speed is really not an issue then for most situations one of these should do the job. Their main use is as trolling motors for the north American fishing market, where they can move quite big boats at low speed. (Consider also a horse drawn barge weighing maybe 50 tons happily gliding along at 2 mph powered at 1 hp max and less on average.)

My main worry would be in a situation of needing to make way against wind or tide. A minimum amount of energy would be required to get to destination, proportional both to distance and strength of wind and / or tide. If this is more than the energy stored in the batteries then that particular journey becomes impossible.
Image

User avatar
TFATC
Able Seaman
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Aberdeen and Stavanger
Contact:

Re: Electric Outboards - any experience?

Postby TFATC » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:43 pm

Thank you Dave, some useful information there.

For what it is worth, I did spend a night in Peterhead when travelling by Contessa 26 from Inverness to Dundee. This was the days before the marina. It was a cold and miserable journey (March) and I was delighted to hit the bunk for a warm and early night.

Sadly, the customs and excise "gentlemen" who visited had different ideas :evil: I still have no idea what they thought we were smuggling from Inverness :lol:

Seriously, I have enjoyed sailing the East Coast by Contessa, Fairey Atalanta, Wharram Marai and various other boats. Trouble is you can only get so far in a weekend, and the choice of destinations severley limited. I have been spoiled sailing around Stavanger area with over 1000 islands within a days sail of my home berth. Going to miss it :(

And Nick, only just over half way, but still hoping :lol:
I am going to retire when I am fat and rich - AND I am half way there!


Return to “Basically Boaty”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests