Electric sailboats have a lot of sense, and are becoming more and more popular. It’s a fantastic sensation to sail, without the sound of a motor, and for many of us, turning the diesel engine on is to be avoided as much as possible. Moreover, even when the engine is only used for a little time, we strongly feel the pollution.
Precisely because for a sailboat the engine is not used that much, having electric propulsion and battery storage is very reasonable. It can be charged at the normal port outlet, regenerating while sailing, or with a small wind generator and solar panels. Compared to the need of refueling at a port gas-station, the convenience is increased greatly, and also the cost to the owner.
Maintenance of an electric motor is simpler because of less moving parts, the size of the motor is reduced, and the battery can be placed as ballast, incorporated in the hull. Sailboats already have batteries and often the motors have to run just to charge them. By increasing the size of the batteries and having renewable charging (solar/wind), this is automatically taken care of.
Besides, the performance is increased, having more torque at lower rpm, and electric motors are more efficient that the internal combustion counterparts.
Finally, regarding the noise, see this video comparing the diesel engines to electric. Together with the smoke/pollution, this is the most dramatic difference.
In summary, it will amaze me if in 5 or ten years all 95% of all new sailboats are electric. And I hope to sail on one of those soon.
If Energythaca were an island, sailing there would be on a sailboat. That was the image on my first post on the blog.
I guess it is an appropriate post arriving from vacations…