Electric outboard drive for small cruisers

  • 18 Mar 2020 17:27
    Reply # 8840155 on 8809939

    Interesting, Oscar! You're going for the Haswing Protruar 5.0 too? Is your source for the solar panel and controller the same as mine?

  • 18 Mar 2020 14:35
    Reply # 8839726 on 8809969
    Anonymous wrote:

    Sounds almost excactly like the plan I’ve had in mind in case some kind of surpirise funding would suddenly appear. The Haswing has changed the situation a lot more appealing.

    Haha yes, in fact I had decided on pretty much this exact setup a couple of days before this post. I'm very glad to see David having arrived at the same conclusions. I will be building the battery myself out of individual cells though and might up the capacity to 200 Ah but other than that the setup looks more or less identical.

    Darren, great idea regarding the boost charge controller, it would enable me to use the 12V wind generator that I already have.

  • 15 Mar 2020 09:21
    Reply # 8828391 on 8809939

    OK, you've convinced me. Since I'm going the heavy electrical engineering route for propulsion, I may as well get tooled up properly for the initial installation and any subsequent changes. So I've ordered a 10ton hydraulic crimper. This will cope with the full range from 4 - 6mm2 solar panel cables to 35mm2 motor cables.

  • 15 Mar 2020 07:30
    Reply # 8828321 on 8828283
    Anonymous wrote:
    Darren wrote:

    The oceanvolt looks marvellous, although the price must be shocking.  I was going to go considerably lower tech.  My take on hydro or wind is that they both don't produce much power at low velocity, so you might as well just optimise them for higher velocity.  Low tech hydro would be a towed version similar to a Hamilton Ferris or Ampair.  For coastal cruising it would seem like something like a WattandSea might be more useful in that it would be easier to kick up and put down. 

    I'm not so sure about the Oceanvolt: it only starts charging at 4 knots - useless for a smaller boat.  I remember seeing the Hamilton Ferris on a boat in 1983 when we had an Ampair. I recognised it straight away when I followed the link, although I've never seen one since.  Out of curiosity, I have asked for more info.  We could hardly believe the owner of the one that we saw, when he told us about its output: as I recall, it was 3 or 4 times that of the Ampair and started putting out a noticeable charge at 3 knots.  Of course, in those days, we weren't quite so greedy and were more than happy to have something that would give us 2 or 3 amps.  WattandSea are also irritatingly reluctant to offer some figures on their site.  I suppose they would respond to an email, but somehow I think this is another charger that is aimed towards bigger boats that anyway motor when the speed falls below 4 knots.

    I have had experience with a Ham Ferris water charger on one of my earlier off shore cruising yachts which was a Searunner trimaran. From memory the unit put out a very high rate of charge when used on a passage, so much that the inline blocking diode got too hot to touch. There was a problem though with the speed of the trimaran which was usually in the 6 to 9 knot range and so the towed propeller would skim pacross the surface of the water and tangle the tow line so I eventually stopped using the charger. But I think on a slower boat the charger would work well and still put out a useful amperage in the 4 to 6 knot speed range.

    I am still a fan of solar panels and a smaller multiblade wind generator  such as the English Rutland units as a charging system for a cruising yacht. The key though to any charging system is minimising power requirements. LED lighting, electric refrigeration with a well insulated box, and minimising other electronic toys. I have been pleasantly surprised how well my 120 watts of solar panels with an MPPT solar controller more than meets our electricity needs on our current yacht which includes refrigeration  pressure water pump, LED lighting, and charging of phones, iPads, bluetooth speaker, and running a simple chart plotter.

  • 15 Mar 2020 06:09
    Reply # 8828283 on 8824275
    Darren wrote:

    The oceanvolt looks marvellous, although the price must be shocking.  I was going to go considerably lower tech.  My take on hydro or wind is that they both don't produce much power at low velocity, so you might as well just optimise them for higher velocity.  Low tech hydro would be a towed version similar to a Hamilton Ferris or Ampair.  For coastal cruising it would seem like something like a WattandSea might be more useful in that it would be easier to kick up and put down. 

    I'm not so sure about the Oceanvolt: it only starts charging at 4 knots - useless for a smaller boat.  I remember seeing the Hamilton Ferris on a boat in 1983 when we had an Ampair. I recognised it straight away when I followed the link, although I've never seen one since.  Out of curiosity, I have asked for more info.  We could hardly believe the owner of the one that we saw, when he told us about its output: as I recall, it was 3 or 4 times that of the Ampair and started putting out a noticeable charge at 3 knots.  Of course, in those days, we weren't quite so greedy and were more than happy to have something that would give us 2 or 3 amps.  WattandSea are also irritatingly reluctant to offer some figures on their site.  I suppose they would respond to an email, but somehow I think this is another charger that is aimed towards bigger boats that anyway motor when the speed falls below 4 knots.

  • 15 Mar 2020 05:11
    Reply # 8828218 on 8827672
    Anonymous wrote:

    £82.29 for a crimping tool?! Phew! There are, indeed, more affordable ones to be found on eBay.

    But I already have a hydraulic press, for sail grommets. I might try a bit of DIY tool-making. It seems to be very simple to rig up something like this, using a V block and a pointed pin.

    I should of said I linked to that tool just because it looks to be the exact one I have, which cost about $50Cdn (£30) on sale at a local tool store.  Prices on Amazon seem to cover a wild range.  Most of the hydraulic crimpers on Amazon come with metric dies which don't match the imperial fittings we use here in Canada or the US, otherwise I think I'd like one of those hydraulic crimpers.

    I used to solder exclusively, but now crimp almost all the time.  I think crimps are better (faster, joint is mechanically fastened, easier to work in cramped quarters, you don't have a stress riser at the transition of rigid solder to flexible wire).  The only part that is harder with crimping is paying for the tool upfront.  However, there are a lot of tools that are sufficiently inexpensive now that they quickly pay for themselves.

    Crimps work best if you use matched crimps and tools.  This isn't the least expensive way to go.  However, if you can match the mechanical strength in this table, then you should also have an excellent electrical connection.  This article describes the details better than I can.  I don't follow his guidelines exactly, but I do test my tools and crimps to make sure I'm making reliable low-resistance connections.  I have a ratchet crimper and the dimple crimper described above for larger terminals.  I use both with inexpensive uninsulated terminals that I cover with glue-lined heatshrink.  I've checked the results from both tools and they are able to pass the mil-spec rating in the table mentioned above.

    Some time ago I came across some stats about boat fires/explosions.  Electrical fires were far more common in causing loss of the boat than propane explosions.  I suspect many folks worry about or don't have propane aboard, yet don't give a lot of attention to their electrical connections.


  • 14 Mar 2020 22:07
    Reply # 8827825 on 8809939
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I have soldered a few fittings of that size before we went over to using crimping tools. The thing with soldering is that it takes more skills than the crimping tool. Basically, the trick is to first quickly prime the tip of the wire with solder tin (using a torch), and then do the same to the inside of the terminal. Then the wire is fed into the (hot) terminal and finally some more tin through the hole in the terminal is added. It is essential to work fast, or the tin will creep up along the wire without getting good tin saturation inside the terminal.
    Therefore, one has to make a number of trials first to learn it before one moves to the real wires. The correct heat setting of the torch is critical.

    Arne


  • 14 Mar 2020 20:30
    Reply # 8827672 on 8809939

    £82.29 for a crimping tool?! Phew! There are, indeed, more affordable ones to be found on eBay.

    But I already have a hydraulic press, for sail grommets. I might try a bit of DIY tool-making. It seems to be very simple to rig up something like this, using a V block and a pointed pin.

    Last modified: 14 Mar 2020 20:54 | Anonymous member
  • 14 Mar 2020 19:37
    Reply # 8827588 on 8809939

    I'm probably teaching you to suck eggs, but just in case....  or maybe I'll learn something or someone else might find the discussion interesting.

    I'm not sure what the European standard is, but ABYC recommends a mechanical connection, especially for high current connections.  You can solder as well if you like, but they recommend against solder alone.  The reason is that you can get the connector hot enough in use to melt the solder and then have wires the come loose and short.  Loose ring terminals or a dodgy copy of a genuine connector are two potential sources of heat creating this kind of failure.

    100A is enough current to lead to an interesting situation, especially since it is also part of your backup propulsion system.  Around here many places that will sell you wire will also do crimp for you at little or no cost.  I've used a dimple crimper for large wires for some time, the larger connections all test well mechanically (e.g. 400lb tensile for 4 gauge wire) and I've tested the smaller gauge wires for voltage drop and they also test well above spec.  I don't have a means of electrically testing the larger gauge wires, but mechanical strength is a reasonable proxy (the rafters of my garage groaned when I tested the 00 samples :-).  Given that you live in an area that sensibly uses metric cable and lugs, there are probably many more affordable options for crimpers.

  • 13 Mar 2020 21:02
    Reply # 8826033 on 8809939

    I don't crimp large fittings like this, I solder them, so I think that butt splices, encased in heat shrink, won't be bad for conductivity and strength.

    I find that the supplied connectors are not genuine Anderson, but 120Amp copies branded "Jigo" (an Indian company), so it's not just a matter of buying one connector, I'd have to buy a pair and change the one on the motor as well. I'll stick with the butt splice.

    Last modified: 14 Mar 2020 13:59 | Anonymous member
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