Switch to electric


We've made the decision to switch from the Atomic 4 gasoline engine that dates from when the boat was originally built in 1974 to an electric motor. We've ordered the biggest electric motor Electric Yachts has. Bill and Scott who run the company have been very helpful as we learn more about this conversion. We plan to buy the batteries for the electric motor locally. We are looking into the details now of how to pull the old gasoline engine and assorted fuel systems out of the boat. Likely we will get some help with this at Island Marina.

I've found some some useful background information on electrical systems and requirements at various web sites. Most recently I've been reading the summarized version of electrical code for boats New Boat Builders - link to code document is here. Interestingly much of the code deals with protection required of the electrical system when you have a gasoline engine. Essentially this is not an issue with our decision to switch to electric motor. Just found a pretty good shareware summary of electrical system requirements - here. Ahhh, just found a direct link to the Canadian Marine Electrical safety page here.

As a part of the conversion I've put a couple solar panels off my roof down at the boat that will eventually be mounted on the bimini as a means of solar charging the batteries. Looks like we should be able to mount four 40 watt panels, for a total of 160 watts of solar charging capability. Interestingly the electric motor will also charge the batteries when we are sailing as the propellor is turned by the friction in the water turning the motor into a generator.