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Electric Sailboat conversion


August 2015
500W solar array installed!
Windigo has been operating flawlessly all summer and the added 500W solar array has extended the cruising distance. With careful monitoring of the Amp gauge, solar motor sailing is possible without the use of any battery. It is simply amazing how the power from the solar alone can increase sailing speed in light winds. The panels are mounted on a custom, 1" stainless frame. The Structure is attached at  4 points on the deck as well as to the aft hand rail. The result is a stable mounting structure that is light weight and affordable to fabricate. The panels also offer some shade in the. 

 


 

August 14, 2014
We moved the Electric Catalina to its new home at the Oak Bay Marina. The trip to the new dock was about 40 KM with very little wind we managed to motor at about 4 knots and used 78AH from the 200AH pack. The trip took about 6 hours. No need for the range extender! With a clean hull we can motor at 4 knots using only 600-800W of power!  This trip demonstrated the viability of slow cruising with solar alone on sunny days. Very exciting! The 8x 12V, 100AH AGM batteries started to sag to 11V / battery at the end of the trip. The 100AH 48V lithium pack will offer similar range with 400LB less weight! 

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We converted our 30" 1977 Catalina MK1  from a smoky old Atomic 4 to clean, quiet electric 5 years ago. It was early days in this new industry when we started and through some trial and error we quickly learned what works and what doesn't.  "Windigo" Is powered by a  15HP brushless electric drive system and a 6HP Subaru range extender.  It has 8x 100AH batteries for a (200AH @ 48V). The 2 blade prop was also changed to a large 3 blade propeller which was the most significant improvement to the propulsion system. This summer (2014),  8D lithium batteries and solar will be installed. We will also replace the old stuffing box with a dripless version on the next haulout.  Windigo is moored at the North Saanich Marina,  Vancouver island, Canada.

 

48V Subaru Range extender

Charges 50 AMPS 48Volts,  connects directly to the battery pack without extra equipment. Simply plug in the 2-wire Anderson style connector and start the engine. The system is self regulating and will stop charging when the batteries are full. Built with proven and reliable components. Safe, simple and efficient!

Below is the first motor kit we installed. We have now upgraded to the 10KW kit and waterproof throttle. This 5kw motor is now being used as a gennerator for our range extender (shown above)

Below is the 10KW system now installed in Windigo. It performs very well with more power and a better throttle. The Sevcon Gen4 controller is a simple reliable controller and comes pre-programmed with an optional programmer available. We included the throttle in an aluminum box ab added a marine type lever for forward/reverse. When in the centre position (neutral) the system is in re-gen mode and will charge the batteries in good winds while sailing.