NOTE FROM CAPT. MIKE: IN THE SPRING OF 2008 I BEGAN THE CONVERSION OF MY 30 FOOT SAILBOAT TO ELECTRIC PROPULSION THE 20 "GOING ELECTRIC" POSTS ARE THE CHRONICLE OF THAT PROJECT:
Well the diesel engine that bought both joy and misery to my sailing seasons is finally out of the boat.
I had at first planed to re power with another diesel. But, Westerbeke had no drop in replacement. So I began looking around for other diesels engines too. Finally, I was pretty sure I would go with a Beta Marine diesel. I had heard some good recommendations and I like location of the major items to service were located It would make changing oil filters, and impellers very easy. Unlike the Westerbeke 27 where I had to change the raw water impeller pretty much by feel and hoping I did not drop any screws in the process.
Then one day I was on my boat and heard the whistle of the Port Jefferson to Bridgeport ferry as it left the dock. I recalled a conversation I had with one of the crew a few years ago about what powered the ferry. He said it was diesel electric. It was an "Aha!" moment. So I began to look at the idea of repowering BIANKA with an electric motor.
After much research and mulling it over in my mind and going back and forth on what the implications of going over to electric propulsion. It would require some rethinking and precautions when planning for trips. But, always in the end I reminded myself that BIANKA is a sailboat. So I decided to do it. It may be the best decision or an expensive mistake. So come along with me as I turn BIANKA into an electric powered Nonsuch.
Because I missed out on sailing all last season I did not want to spend to much time tinkering with components. So I decided to go with a Thoosa 9000 system from ASMO Marine. I looked like the best route for me to go and pretty cost competitive with a replacement diesel and much better for the environment and those who will be sailing on board. So after contacting the ASMO Marine rep here in the U.S. I started down the road to spec the correct ASMO system for my Nonsuch and my needs. It took a few months to convince myself that this was the route to go down. There were not any comparable boats to mine that had done this. But, as the fuel prices continued to rise and my less than pleasant experiences with repairing the former diesel I decided to take the plunge and order a Thoosa 9000 electric propulsion system.
When it's a damp drizzly April in my soul there is nothing like the feeling of pulling into your driveway and finding two 45 lb packages that represent the entire new propulsion system for your boat. Well not exactly entire system. As the TV ads say "batteries not included" still I was happy to see those boxes rather than a four hundred pound diesel sitting there.
NEXT GOING ELECTRIC POST