Value of electric propulsion for sailboats: Freedom of design
Electric propulsion allows for much greater freedom in boat design. If the design’s form function is weight reduction, an electric propulsion system can be much lighter and fulfil all the propulsion needs. Electric propulsion allows for many more systems to be supported by less weight and tech space. It also enables the required components to exist in much smaller spaces, allowing for more liveable space and greater capability on smaller vessels.
The new design and use paradigms when considering electric offer the largest value when designing whole boats around the new paradigms. The same hull and displacement can carry more systems by standardizing power sources. This allows a vessel to have a large enough power reserve and the ability to regenerate through a variety of ways: hybrid, solar, wind, hydrogeneration, or any combination of these sources.
This allows very capable vessels to be either smaller or faster. In both cases the cost of ownership is highly reduced. Smaller vessels with owner-operators can be overall more capable, much easier to use docking, sailing and while at anchor. Faster vessels can weigh less while prioritizing speed over range and other luxuries but still have much more capacity to the users. Vessels that go largely unused by operators now will be more appealing as electric due to ease of use, reduced stress through breakdown and ultimately the reward of being able to sail well enough to be energy self-sufficient.
Sailing and using the propulsion systems is not only more pleasant, but now the act of sailing is in fact rewarded. Sailing to save RC, motor-sailing, and regeneration are all direct results of the owner’s sailing prowess. By sailing better and sailing more, a vessel can go from range-anxious to fully self-sufficient with the generator standing by if needed on hybrids.
Sailing is one of the great leisure activities and electric auxiliary propulsion brings forward a new era. Vessels can now be emission free after production with incredibly long product half-lives and highly reduced cost of ownership.
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If you enjoyed this whitepaper please look forward to these topics, where we hope to get much more in depth on some of the subjects we’ve just touched on here.
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Cruising with a Hybrid Electric
Docking and Handling