The following information is in regards to our initial set up. It has been almost 3 years since we wrote this. Many upgrades and improvements have been made since then. All can bee seen on our Youtube Channel. Updated wiring diagrams, specs and photos will be coming soon. In the meantime, much of the below information is still accurate and I’m sure you will find it useful. And the answer to our most asked question is YES, we still love our electric motor!
An electric motor . . .
is NOT for everyone.
"We have yet to use our motor for more than 30 minutes at a time."
Lets first take a look back in time when “production” boats became popular in the late 60s early 70s, the intent was to make an inexpensive boat the average family could afford and handle with limited sailing experience and knowledge. As a result, one of their requirements was the ability to move the boat in difficult situations. This is where the "auxiliary engine" was coined. But, for many, it has become the primary means of maneuvering their boat. Yes, there are places in the world you can’t sail, like the Panama Canal. But, there are often alternatives where you CAN sail.
As of today, November 2016, we have sailed over 3000 miles up the east coast of the United States and through the Bahamas to Haiti. We have yet to use our motor for more than 30 minutes at a time. The majority of use comes when we drop the mainsail and back down on our anchor to set it. Most of our sailing has been off shore. But, we have also sailed on the ICW and recently sailed 25 miles up the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, NC. We have sailed under many bridges, some on set schedules, others open on demand. In all cases, we sailed under. We have found that, having a solid plan and the patience to wait for the right weather and tide is the key.
After all, we own a sailboat. They are inherently slow. We are not in a rush. We love the idea of being self sufficient. But, for those who sail with schedules, are short on time, lack the patience to sit out a wind hole, feel the need to power their boat to hull speed, enjoy maintaining a diesel engine or are just set in their ways, then an electric motor probably isn’t the right choice.
Want to learn even MORE...?
Of course we would love for you to stick around and read this page all the way to the bottom, but, we have tucked in many distractions (i.e. links) along the way. Don't feel bad if you digress, we know you'll be back.
If you want to just jump feet first into all things "electric sailboat" Electric Seas is a good place to start. It's a great resources community and features several other electric sailboat stories for you to enjoy.
Another potentially great resources...
Although this book is currently on our Amazon wish list, we have not read it yet. But, it is the only one we could find on the subject and, for only $15, it looks promising. If you read it before we do, let us know what you think!