Every boat we build at Brooklin Boat Yard is unique—some simple, some complex—each present its own set of challenges. The new Jim Taylor 44 racing/daysailer we started building last fall appears to be a straightforward cold-molded wood/epoxy hull with a carbon fiber sloop rig typical of our more recent high-performance sailboats.
However, look in her bilges for a conventional auxiliary diesel and you’ll have found her defining difference. Instead of a diesel, the 44 will be equipped with an electric auxiliary motor powered from a bank of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO) batteries, which can be charged by a solar panel array integrated into the aft deck or from shore power.
To meet the significant electrical demands of the propulsion motor, we are fitting the boat with a 48-volt DC system. Voltage will be stepped down to 12V for the standard onboard house loads, such as: lights, pumps, and electronics, which will all be controlled with digital switching; forgoing the typical breaker panel and associated wiring. Read on.