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Posts Tagged ‘electric’

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If you’ve been scared to make the move to electric propulsion, the time is now, and we thank our friends at Stephens Waring Design for making repowering with a Torqeedo look so easy.  Here’s how they did it for Azulita – go to their site to find out more and sign up for their industry-leading newsletter.

Thanks to the folks at Torqeedo, getting rid of that silly old internal combustion engine has never been easier.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.54.26 AMBack in 2014, one of our favorite smaller designs, The Signature Series 24, got a loving prototype build up at the Northwestern School of Boatbuilding, in Port Hadlock, Washington. Christened Azulita at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, that year, this little Spirit of Tradition honey has since made her way to the mid-west. These days she charms her current owners daysailing on Lake Michigan.

(Go ahead, waste the morning and check this video of her footing around in, at most 5 knots of breeze. We look at this clip all time. And dream. She’s really is the perfect little boat.)

Like a lot of small boats, Azulita bumbled through the grim auxiliary power issue with the usual stupid-ugly, side-mounted, small-horsepower electric “sheer killers,” oh sorry … motor.

So late last year, we were thrilled to from Auzilita’s owner: Praise the heavens, he he wanted to retro-fit in a new, way-slick propulsion system. A Torqeedo ‘Cruise’ fixed pod and dump the side-mounted Cuisinart from hell that had become too painful for the owners to handle. And if you have not checked out these small, all-in-one electric power systems, by all means do.  For $5,000 — or about the same cost as a combined outboard, control system, and fuel tanks — you get a motor, a battery control system, a throttle, a battery, cable, parts and clear enough instructions so any competent yard can install the system in less than a day.

In fact, we think the Torqeedo is so simple, you could probably install the thing yourself.  So in that DIY/SOT, we’re including some of our working drawings to help you get started.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.54.49 AMHere’s some notes.

The Motor Is On the Outside: The big news with the Torqeedo, and some other similar pods, is the motor is not in the boat.  It’s right down there near the prop encased in its aluminum lower strut, in the water. Think about how cool that is: The motor needs no cooling system. It’s in the cold water!  There is no drive shaft. Instead, installation is all about mounting the prop/motor housing, smart placement, drilling some holes in the right places, designing a proper mounting structure and then running the control wires to the battery and throttle.  That’s pretty much it.

The Battery is No Big Thing.  Torqeedo intelligently uses so-called lithium iron phosphate batteries to drive its system.  Those are the smart ones that don’t explode, unlike what’s in your smart phone or the 787 Dreamliner.  Just locate this battery for best trim results in the boat securely.  And you are all set.  The install is very hard to mess up with the Torqeedo system.

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.55.00 AMYou’re drilling a hole, not installing a drive shaft.  Since you are just running control wires, and not a vibrating turning drive shaft, the through-hull is merely a single vertical hole drilled into and through the boat, sided by two smaller holes for thru-bolting the entire pod/strut in place.  The drilled holes need proper protection and to be well structured, secure, sealed, and stable. We included the drawing to show you how simple it really is.  Anybody can do it.

Read the Instructions. Honestly, the only way we can see screwing this up is succumbing to Male Answer Syndrome, and trying to drop this unit without going through the manuals. Don’t be a dope.  Instead, click here and download the actually pretty well-written instruction set that’s both in English and German. You will find these Bedienungsanleitung worth reading even if you’re planning to hire the work.

Obviously, we would happy to hear from you about your propulsion needs. We have several sophisticated cross-platform projects crossing our desks as we speak. But that’s not the point here today. We think Torqeedo is a great idea. And it deserves our support: We’re happy to forward you our drawings, as long as you understand you are using them at your own risk, and you will likely benefit from designers, like us, to help with particulars regarding your  your boat. You will find we can save you a ton of time. If you want to do it yourself, great. Just email us and we will gladly assist in helping you sort the best solution forward.

In sum, if you’re thinking of re-powering away from internal combustion engines, by all means, start with this power pod.  It’s easy, perfect for any small sailboat, and oh boy does it work.

Gute Arbeit, TORQEEDO!

January 17th, 2017 by admin

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Bill at Passageweather points out an incredibly rare front page error (ha!):

Hey guys, you state that Conrad’s boat has “The first all-electric propulsion in the Vendee Globe”.  That is not true, as Javier “Bubi” Sanso raced his IMOCA 60 “Acciona” in the last Vendee Globe with a 100% Eco-Powered system, including an electric motor and batteries charged by a system of solar, wind and hydro-generators.  I’m not trying to take anything away from Conrad, but credit where credit is due, and the first was Bubi Sanso back in 2012.

Bill is 100% correct, and we remember calling the boat “100% Tug-Powered” after his dismasting, rescue and salvage in the last race. Conrad only has 16,000 miles or so to go to become the first ever to finish a Vendee Globe without fossil fuels.

Here’s Conrad’s latest missive from the Southern Ocean, and please be sure to like Conrad to get his best-in-race updates.

afca8d_22bb97c0bfa345f28e837a491a7fd723mv2The world has changed back to grey although conditions are still pleasant. Notice that I’m talking in general terms here because my instruments are still uncooperative so I have no notion of wind angle or speed other than my experience of years at sea. However it’s not the air that bothers me at the moment, it’s water. The hard stuff. The sea is really cold (again, no data sorry) and even short exposure to it during a sail change leaves my hands so cold and weak that I can’t even rip open a soup packet!
Also, falling off the train that Stephane and Nandor are still on has forced me to dive south, close to the Kerguelen Islands and  close to an iceberg detected by satellites four days ago. As I write this I have just crossed over the waypoint for the observed 30 meter iceberg as I figured the best way to avoid a moving target is to sail exactly over the point where it was last seen!

In addition to my work on the boat, planning the navigation, trimming etc  I now turn my binoculars to the horizon at regular intervals looking for hard water. I saw an iceberg in my first race around the world in 2012 near Cape Horn and it was impressive and scary for all that it represented… a near invisible, undetectable by radar, solid dangerous lump! I have good visibility and only one target to miss so I’m not too concerned about this Vendee cocktail being served on ice, although an encounter would leave me both shaken and stirred!


December 13th, 2016 by admin