Saturday, June 27, 2009


Well it's time to mount the controller and make the finals connections. This is where the going with the ASMO MARINE THOOSA 9000 really paid off. As it is really a plug and play. Or I should say plug and propel system. But, first mounting the controller. I choose the location that was previously occupied by components of the Fridgoboat refrigeration systems and the antifreeze tank of the Westerbeke Diesel. Here is the before photo:
And below is the after photo with the controller and battery charger installed in the same area:

This location really worked out well. It is located close to the battery bank making for a short cable run. Is easily accessible from a maintenance standpoint and from the cockpit. So that the master switch located on the controller is easy to reach. One detail I should mention in mounting the controller is I used the mounting nut to provide an space of about a quarter inch between the back of the controller and the bulkhead it is mounted to. This was to help the aluminum heat sink of the controller to dissipate the heat more rapidly. Here is a detailed photo of the mounting arrangement on one of the four mounts:
With the controller mounted the only thing left is to plug in the cables. The ASMO MARINE controller comes prewired with the battery and motor cables. It also uses a combination Anderson and LEMO connectors for battery charger, throttle, battery monitor and key switch. These simply plugged into the labeled jacks on the controller as shown below: The only thing left was to mount the throttle. Since time was tight I had to jury rig the throttle which is a pretty industrial affair. It will look better once I make a proper mounting platform for it. But, for now I just ty wrapped it up at the helm where the diesel throttle use to be controlled from. It was ugly but, it worked:
I also made a temporary mount for the battery monitor and key switch and mounted them in the same place where the former diesel motor instrument panel was located. So the entire system is connected the only thing left its to try a test:


And so in June 2008 BIANKA became the world's first electrically propelled Nonsuch 30.



Anonymous said...

Second time I have read your Blog (and I never read blogs!)....nice touch on not creating a 2 mile tall page........

.....won't say I understand everything yet, but getting there!


Capt. Mike said...


Thanks! I tried to take readers through the steps I went through in the conversion process.

Paul said...

Incredible documentary of your work.Not only do you make it look feasible for anyone handy with tools, but you put the entire technology into the "do it today" mindset. Two questions:
How many hours did you have on the Westerbeake diesel.
How much did the full conversion cost.
Talking with several suppliers, I suspect a prop change would also be a significant enhancement due to the electric motor torque at low RPM's.

Capt. Mike said...

Thanks Paul! I think the most difficult part was removing the engine and all the things associated with it. Once that was cleared out of the way the electric install went pretty fast.
My diesel engine had 1900 hours on it when the head gasket failed and cracked one of the cylinder heads. The conversion cost was somewhere around 10-11 thousand. But, the improvement in the sailing experience has been priceless! Yes, I would expect I could optomize the prop a little more. But, it is working well with the original three bladed prop from the diesel days. I am also limited in terms of increasing the diameter in it's present location. So I have no plans to change it at this point.

John Colby said...

Great blog. The one thing I was hoping to discover was usage info. How many hours, at what speed. That kind of thing.

Sure looks a lot simpler.

I am looking at a Columbia 8.7 with a blown motor. Cheap because of the blown motor. I sure don't want to go back to another diesel.

Capt. Mike said...

Thanks John. My system spec was 20 miles at 4 knots. Though I never really tested it since it primarily is a sailboat and don't feel the need to stress the batteries since I can easily electro-sail as long as I want. You might want to look at the results of my recent Harbor Test of the EP system to give you an idea of speed vs watts data:
Also you might want to look at the 40 mile trip I made under electric propulsion one day when there was virtually no wind:
It may help show how one uses electric propulsion in the real world conditions.