Is Electric Propulsion the right choice to power my boat?

Electric Propulsion is superior in every respect to diesel except range at speed.   To determine if Electric Propulsion is right for your boat, ask yourself how you use your boat.   For the vast majority of sailors, Electric Propulsion is the answer and range is not the issue.

Adding a DC generator provides the range of a diesel, with the functionality of Electric Propulsion.   This is a practical consideration if building a new vessel, but generally challenging if converting a sailboat because of a lack of room for both the Electric Drive and the Generator.

For the minority of sailors who wish to cover long distances into weather or wave conditions a diesel will be more appropriate, yet even some of these sailors are opting for electric propulsion and trading their long distance goals for maintenance free, quiet, luxurious electric propulsion.

Electric Sailors use there boats more often, enjoy their boats more, and don’t have to continually maintain a piece of equipment rooted in the last century.

If you are a daysailor, without a doubt Electric Propulsion enhances the enjoyment of your boat.   If you are a cruiser, Electric Propulsion is right for your boat if you have a way to recharge your batteries at sea.   If your power requirements are modest then solar is a great option.   If you require more power, then a DC generator is necessary.

Hybrid propulsion that replaces both a diesel propulsion motor and an AC generator costs less to run and maintain, and over time is less expensive than a traditional motor with genset.

 

Is Solar Right for my boat?

Per square foot, solar produces more usable, practical energy aboard a boat than a sail does.    A sail can propel your boat.   A solar panel can provide energy to propel your boat, run house systems, recharge batteries, provide refrigeration, navigation, lighting and more.   Solar simply makes sense for any boat, big or small.    Sails only function when the boat is sailing, whereas solar is on all the time, taking care of business.

Some boats can rely on solar for everything.    Our flagship vessel, Kapowai, has been exclusively solar powered for over 6 years.   No shorepower.  No Generator.   No range issue as her batteries have never been depleted.    It is simply one of mankinds most practical innovations ever, and is incredibly useful aboard any boat.   So think no further.   Solar is probably the best addition you can ever make to your boat.

 

What differentiates Electroprop from other systems on the market?

Electroprop specializes in providing a complete plug and play solution that is easier to install, safer, and longer lasting than any other propulsion solution on the market. Electroprop provides more detailed information on the electrical system than any other electric or diesel propulsion vendor.

 

How are the components rated for each Electroprop system?

Electroprop scrutinizes all ratings, then tests and vets each product for quality. Components used with DC electricity should be rated for the maximum charging voltage experienced during operation, and the maximum current used?

 

Why are Electroprop’s rated so conservatively?

For the last 100 years civilization has been glorifying more horsepower. Boat designers  put  larger engines in to accomodate for an inefficient drivetrain, then boat owners get bragging rights for the most horsepower.    However it is not the horsepower of the motor that moves a boat – it is the horsepower multiplied by the drivetrain efficiency that moves a boat. The E-7, for instance makes more propulsive power on 7 horsepower than a 35 h.p. gas motor, and more than many other 10 to 15 h.p electric motors. We want you to go further on a charge, so we build efficiency into every aspect of each Electroprop System.

All Electroprop’s are rated for continuous use. Peak power could be as much as 3 times the continuous rated power. We choose continuous power because that is what is needed, and what is used aboard a boat. There is plenty of peak power for the most demanding sailing conditions in each and every Electroprop. Peak power as a term has no application for electrically powered sailboats.    Find out the continuous rated power of each unit and compare accordingly!

 

When is the first scheduled maintenance for my new Electroprop?  

Each Electroprop is designed to provide 10 years of maintenance free operation.

 

Why do Electroprop Batteries last up to 3 times as long as some other battery systems?

Electroprop uses only pure lead AGM batteries. Each battery has its own dedicated charger with data acquisition or battery balancers with alarm set points. This guarantees that the batteries get what they need and stay in balance throughout their lifetimes.

 

Why do Electroprop’s Batteries maintain higher capacity throughout their lifetime?

Batteries last longer when properly cared for. Each battery is monitored for voltage and temperature and that information is displayed on all our plug in packages. Solar Powered Electroprop’s feature balancers that keep the batteries balanced by shunting around current between the batteries. Our battery systems are designed to last 10 years – in many cases this is two to three times the average lifespan of an AGM battery.

 

How does Electroprop provide the highest level of safety with the DC and AC distribution that is included in each Electroprop Package?

Electroprop adheres to ABYC TE- 30 recommendation for electric boat wiring. Our electrical systems use components typically available in the mining and healthcare industries, where there is no room for error. The big difference is the electrical system is floating and not connected to ground. This allows for simple monitoring of any ground faults, and very simple troubleshooting if there is a ground fault. Boats are sucesseptible to ground faults because of the wet and humid environment that can exists inside a boat.

 

Why does the Electroprop installation look so clean?

Each Electroprop mount is custom designed for your boat for perfect form and finish to enhance the resale value of your boat. There are no bulky frame members, casings and covers. An Electroprop is not much larger than the gearbox of the diesel engine you are replacing so there is lots of room in the compartment which can be used for batteries or electrical distribution. There is no need for covering up belts with a housing or providing access to grease fittings. An Electroprop can be installed and all the space around it can be used for storage which is a big plus on a small sailboat.

 

Why is efficiency so important in an electric drivetrains?

Range is the biggest determinant in deciding to switch to electric. System efficiency determines range. Electroprop drivetrains are optimized for efficiency so you can get up to a 20% longer range than competitive products.

 

How does the Electroprop system achieve such high efficiency and range?

Each component has been optimized for efficiency. In an electric drivetrain, efficiency is the product of all individual component efficiency’s multiplied together. Each component is a link in the efficiency chain and each component matters. Electroprop understands this and optimizes, includes and recommends components for maximum efficiency and consequent range. Take for example the flexible coupling included with each Electroprop.  This flexible coupling allows you to achieve alignment to within 4,000ths of an inch. If you don’t have a means to achieve accurate alignment then each time the shaft rotates it binds, costing valuable efficiency. The other big area for efficiency gains is in the propeller. By using larger, high pitched propellers that turn slower you achieve less slip which results in higher efficiency.   We recommend dripless shaft seals which ride on a film of water for almost perfect efficiency compared with packing glands which tighten around a shaft and if impr0perly adjusted can be very detrimental to efficiency.  Each Electroprop is gear driven for higher efficiency. Gearboxes put almost no lateral loads on the motor shaft or the propeller shaft and only have two seals for minimal seal losses. Steel on steel is known for very high efficiency in power transmission.

 

Are Electroprop’s maintenance free?

The Electroprop has been designed and purpose built to deliver 10 years of maintenance free operation. There are no bearings to grease or belts to change. Once you have installed your Electroprop you can operate your boat worry free for years. The first scheduled maintenance is in 10 years.

 

What is the warranty period for an Electroprop motor?

We cover the Electroprop system for four years under normal use.

 

Is it easy to install an Electroprop in a safe and professional manner?

Electroprop customers are given access to Electroprop’s database of Electric Boat Design and installation techniques to make your installation safe, reliable and professional.

 

Who can help me install my new Electroprop?

Any ABYC marine electrical technician is capable of installing an Electroprop should you require assistance, though most Electroprops have been installed by our customers with the help of our extensive installation manual.