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It occurred to me yesterday that some of you may have thought about my last post talking about the Alerion 33 electric and the issues with monitoring and range as a bit negative. Well that’s not really true at all and I really mean it. We all have to understand that this is a totally new concept and some growing pains are to be expected.

Well yesterday I heard from the boat’s owner Vincent again and not only did he send me a short but cool video of the boat motoring along in a no wind situation (its so quiet its a silent movie!) he also sent along some really telling data that kind of summarizes this summer’s worth of electric propulsion. First the movie:

Its hard to believe but the boat is actually motoring. No stinking diesel clattering along here!

Now for the data…….

Here is a summary of use of the system so far:

  • A total of 756 nm sailed and motored (probably 75% sail; 25% motor) since the spring
  • A total of 2900 Ah consumed from the batteries
  • Average discharge was 54.3 Ah
  • Only 17 full charge cycles used (at this rate, I could put 89000 nm on the odometer before the batteries are used up (2000 cycles)!!)
So, aside from a few software development issues, which by the way Mastervolt has informed us is now a priority item on their to do list, and Vincent’s realization that he needs a bigger fuel tank (more battery capacity) this project is shaping up rather nicely.
By the way, and not to be forgotten, one of the questions that comes up to the naysayers of this whole concept is the energy that it takes to recharge the batteries and how green is all of that? Vincent has the answer to that one covered as far as I’m concerned…
“For anyone with a sport boat, club racer, or who primarily does daysail/weekending, this is the way to go for sure. It is such a pleasant way to keep sailing more pure, both aesthetically and environmentally.
 In BC (British Columbia, Vincent’s home waters) the environmental argument is that much stronger, since 70% of our electrical power is already renewably generated, and a full charge of the 8.6 kWh MasterVolt batteries costs about 65 CENTS Canadian!

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