Thursday, October 14, 2010


I first went back to the Annapolis Boat Show back in 2007. At the time I was looking around for a replacement for the dead Westerbeke 27 diesel on board BIANKA. I was also debating between repowering with a new diesel or going electric. I was leaning toward a new BETA MARINE diesel. But, was hoping to  find out about the going with electric propulsion. Sadly, there was only one electric system at the 2007 show that I found and it was expensive and made for a much larger boat than my 30 foot Nonsuch. But, happily in 2010 I found several booths where they were selling electric propulsion systems:

I spent a good part of the afternoon at the Annapolis Hybrid Marine booth. Who are the new U.S. distributors for the system I have on board which is an ASMO MARINE Thoosa 9000.

They had a very nice display that showed an actual entire system working:

There was a lot of interest from the crowd. I chimed in from time to time extolling the virtues of electric propulsion from my experience of having it on board BIANKA for the past three years. I also got to meet some readers of this blog which was fun too.

And for those who just can't live without the smell of diesel in the morning. BETA MARINE had an interesting Hybrid system that consisted of a Beta Marine diesel engine which had a Lynch electric motor attached.

 You could motor with electric or diesel. It would also regen when under sail. Lastly, you could disconnect the output shaft from the prop and use the engine as a generator by having the engine drive the Lynch electric motor as a generator directly to charge the batteries.

I was glad to see BETA had chosen the same Lynch motor that is used on Thoosa 9000 on BIANKA.

 More expensive of course than a diesel alone. Plus you had the weight of both a diesel engine and batteries on board. Made for those who like the idea of electric propulsion but, don't want to make the leap to a pure electric system. But, for me I have gotten use to the smell of clean on board BIANKA to ever go back to having a diesel on board. My electric propulsion system provides everything I need in terms of propulsion without the mess of having a diesel on board. But, at least there are more choices out there.

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