So the main reason (besides a great deal!) that I wanted a sailboat with a dead motor was because I had researched electric engines and how their owners liked them and I was sold. Our boat was going to have an electric engine.
From what I had heard, putting in a new diesel engine (not sure if new or rebuilt) can cost $10,000-$15,000 and is not a job for a non- mechanic. They have to be craned in and set-up by someone who is knowledgeable and experienced. Anyway, We are not fans of stinky diesel engines and all the headaches and maintenance nuances that come with them. I’ve seen enough youtube videos to realize that I prefer to enjoy our boat and not have to constantly repair and maintain the engine.
We did plenty of research and found that electric engines are very low maintenance, are more powerful than diesels and are much more affordable. They make a great DIY project which also saves you $$$$! Who doesn’t want to save money.
We ended taking the middle ground and purchased a diy electric sailboat kit from Thunderstruck.ev. Instead of a complete set-up from other companies that we found on line. We decided to go with the 10 kilowatt model which is generally equivalent to a 15hp motor, but with more torque.
The 10kw kit with the gear reduction, upgraded throttle control and shipping cost us $3,048 plus an extra $400 for the Exide batteries purchased at Tractor Supply. Also spent $75 for 3 18″ ancor cables from West Marine.
We will probably steer towards AGM batteries in the future (less maintenance), but since I purchased 2 wrong size batteries (group 27s Deep cycle) for the house bank, I decided to get two more of the same to create the 48 volt system needed to power the motor. We can always get AGMs later after these die.
Let the install begin!
Okay not so fast. You thought this was going to go smoothly didn’t you? To be honest I was thinking the same thing. Stacey was about to do the dance of joy but held back because, Well……. she didn’t want to jinx it. I had already almost set the boat on fire. Listen to the wife when she reads the instructions to you. Don’t argue and insist you know better than some instruction manual. Needless to say I have to purchase a new charge controller for the house batteries.
So you can see why I was so happy that this whole engine thing was going so smoothly. Some might say too smoothly. Then it happened, I was stopped in my tracks by two rusted bolts that had no intention of budging. Nope, not happening. No matter how hard I try they are not going to move at all. So what do you do when you have no power for power tools at the moment but a whole hell of a lot of determination? Out came the hand saw. I was going to saw those bolts off damn it. Stacey just stared at me trying her damndest to control an outburst of laughter and asked me how long I thought it was going to take to do it with a handsaw. It could be done. It was just going to take a little bit longer is all, maybe an hour. Have at it was all she said and went back to what she was doing. I was determined that the engine was going in today DAMN IT! Needless to say those 2 rusty bolts had the upper hand for the day. I will come back and be victorious.
To end the day we got to see these guys. You can’t help but smile watching these beautiful creatures.
Until next time,