E-Pod Range

10/19/12

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Is the E-Pod range enough?

As much as I would like to just take the diesel and drive leg out and switch to the electric motors, I have some reservations about the range of the e-pods. It will definitely get me in and out of the marina which is all I need most days.  If there is good wind, I should also be able to regen or recharge while sailing.  Given the run time with the  lighter battery banks I have selected which are composed of 4 Odyssey PC2250 batteries, it will be limited to between 1-10 hours based on my speed (see chart for estimated speeds and power draw- (update: the epods actually take half the power indicated on the chart to reach the speed), so it would be less than prudent to install the new system without having a backup to move the boat when I need to go further.  In practice the e-pods are typically always used in motor-sailor mode (except when anchoring or docking) which greatly extends their range while improving the boats sailing capabilities in lighter winds (see epods in use section for more on this.) This type of use makes it even more difficult to compare to the traditional motor on and sails down type use most diesels are used for; the difference primarily is due to the diesels inability to operate quietly makes getting there quickly a priority so you don't have to listen to the diesel for longer than necessary.

The backup power alternative options are greatly simplified since the E-Pods will be used for low speed maneuvering. Considering the options the most appealing solution is a outboard mounted on a bracket where the drive leg was.  This spot is already strong enough to mount the engine and Garelick has a 4 stroke motor mount mount (model 71091) that will do the trick. You can see from the picture that the center section where the leg is really low to the water making it possible to have an outboard low enough to work effectively on the motor mount.

Honda has a new Power Thrust 15 hp model that offers lower gear ratio and bigger prop giving it 15% more thrust.  Also they have overcome the reverse cavitation problem by diverting the exhaust from through the prop to above it providing a 60% improvement in thrust in reverse.   My previous experiences (I have had 3) with Honda outboards have shown the engine to be exceptionally robust, easily maintained and quiet in operation.  This new model also offers power tilt, trim and electric start making the engine a real pleasure to deal with.  Update: I was considering using this engine on the dingy (a larger dingy) as well when at anchor but it is so heavy (136 pounds) and hard to manage that I gave up on this idea.  I will be adding the remote option (the parts were not available at the time of the install but is now completed: See Completion Pictures gallery)   The remote option allows it to be tilted clear of the water without raising the bracket, allowing the entire operation of tilting down and starting the motor to be easily done from the helm rather than hanging over the stern.  It is a great pleasure in comparison to the drive leg which was always a bit of a challenge to lower down by turning a valve on the hydraulic pump; gently motoring forward to get it to lock down.  The concern was always that you would damage the leg which would be only partially down due to the water moving past as you sailed. Stopping the boat to allow the leg to be down more fully was not always an option.

 

Home | E-Pods and Docking | Less Noise & Vibration | Less Maintenance | Perfect Solution | Redundancy | Keep the Diesel? | Outdrive Leg? | E-Pod Range | E-Pod Weight | e-Pods Installation | e-Pods in Use | Epods Removed

This site was last updated 04/02/08