Hello Scott and Mike,
I thought that I should sit down, now that the rush of the launch has settled, and give you some details of the performance of the motor.
From the launch site to where we raised the sails was a 3 hour motor to the ocean, in very favorable conditions. We held the RPM at 1000 – 1200 and the monitor read between 1.7 and 2.2 KW at 3.9 to 4.2 knots. At that speed, the monitor indicated that we had 3.8 hours. Once we stopped the motor and raised the sails, we had a 6 hour sail across the strait, followed by another 1 hour motor to the anchorage. Without using the generator, the monitor indicated that we still had 67% charge remaining, so we recharged the batteries, using the generator, which took about 3 hours.
The second was dead calm so we had to motor the entire distance. Again, we set the throttle at about 1200 rpm, which gave us about 4.4 knots and a projected run-time of 3.8 hours.
The motor had absolutely no difficulty moving the boat and we lost only about .8 of a knot compared to the old diesel. The generator was far less obtrusive…
The entire trip on the second day involved an 8-hour motor! By the time we arrived at our destination, the monitor indicated a 70% charge remaining.
So, in my opinion, the motor performed flawlessly. When we arrived at our moorage, the electric motor maneuvered the boat effortlessly into its slip.
When we plugged into the 30 amp shore power, the monitor indicated that the batteries were charging at 56 volts and within an hour indicated a 100% charge. However, the Xantrex charger indicated that the charger was still charging at 100% and the LED’s that show the charge rate never moved as they are supposed to as the batteries near their full capacity. Previously (when I recharged the batteries after the first day), the LED’s indicated that the charger was at 5% (in float mode at that point) in about 3 hours; this time the LED’s stayed lit and indicated a 100% charge rate at the 3 hour point. Worried that I might be damaging the batteries, I stopped the chargers. The monitor did indicate that the batteries were at 100% at 51 volts with the charger off. Any thoughts?
Finally, if you were to ask if I believe that I made the right decision installing an electric motor at the beginning of the trip, I would have said that I’m worried about the size of the motor for a boat this heavy. If you were to ask me now, after this test run, my response would be, “Hell yeah!” Granted, it’ll never have the range of a diesel; but if I have to motor anywhere, regardless of the power plant, for 8 hours, I’d much rather stay moored and go for a paddle, or a hike, or a run. I think you get my point…this is a sailboat and I’d rather not go anywhere if the winds aren’t right.