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Old 05-03-2010, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
MetroMPG
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Electric sailboat motor: new conversion project (update: project shelved)

On impulse, I started a new project this week:
  • Out with a 30 year old, smelly, smoky, noisy, sometimes unreliable, inboard gas engine!
  • In with a quiet, odorless, underpowered, limited range, homebrew electric system!
The back story:



I've got a sailboat with an inboard, 2-stroke, 15 hp gas engine. For the last 10 years I've had a love/hate relationship with this engine.

My biggest beef with it is actually the stink. Even with proper ventilation and intact plumbing, the slight smell of fuel and exhaust is ever present inside the cabin after it's been running for more than a few minutes. I spend a lot of time on board in the summer, so that sucks to put up with. (Various strategies have been developed to minimize it, but it still sucks.)

Reliability is my secondary beef. It has been an on and off again engine, though most years have been trouble-free.

But not last year - it started leaking (dribbling) cooling water due to some seals going bad. So in preparation for this spring's launch, I pulled the engine a couple of weeks ago, fully intending to tear it apart, replace the necessary gaskets and o-rings and reinstall it.

Changed my mind. Going electric instead.

Here's the wee beastie: it's an OMC "Sail Drive" setup. (I've got a great service manual for it...)



Step 1 is already done: the engine has been pulled.

I completed step 2 this evening: shaped a plastic plug and epoxied it into the lower unit at location (12) - the cooling water intake. No longer need to pump cooling water into the boat. Cooling leak problem solved!

The boat goes in the water, motor-less, this Wednesday or Thursday. The rest of the conversion will take place afloat, at the dock.

I've played around with electric boats before. This is a little more involved than my last "project" ... http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...sion-9015.html

I'll keep you posted.

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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
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Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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