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VELICA under sail

As promised its time for an update on the Alerion 33 Electric boat that I reported on earlier this year. After a summer aboard VELICA, Vincent reports that he is still glad he went all electric! BUT, as partially reported recently by my friend Ben Ellison over at his PANBO site (www.panbo.com) the summer has not gone without some issues, or as I like to think of these things, life at the bleeding edge.

Ben reported about some of the issues related to the NMEA 2000 interface and the odessy that Vincent has gone through just trying to get a battery monitoring function on screen at the helm of his boat.

My interests, having fully expected some software glitches as part of the learning curve with this boat have more to do with the power management side of things and the ability to truly go “all electric”. Well, after a summer on the water here’s the report.

As it stands right now battery management and monitoring are still a work in progress. Mastervolt is reportedly working on a software solution for this, and its probably going to take a bit of time to perfect this.

Vincent states that his range is less than expected and he has ordered another pair of Mastervolt Lithium batteries to effectively double his range. There are apparently some issues with the regenerative capability of the propeller / motor controller which may also be software related and a contributing factor here.

So there are no negatives here. Remember this is a totally new design concept and Vincent is without question at the bleeding edge of sailboat propulsion technology with this system. We are all learning about these systems and all I can say is its great to have folks like Vincent out there willing to work it all out. I have faith in Mastervolt’s ability to solve any glitches with this system.  In Vincent’s his own words:

“I enjoy the system and the boat greatly, and I’m glad I did it.” I’ll keep you all updated on this as things evolve. Stay tuned.

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