First of all, we must highlight the desire to turn sailing into a fully sustainable and environmentally friendly activity. My boat is a J/120 built in 1998. Both for its high build quality and timeless high-performance design, it is worth carefully preserving and upgrading.
Last year when it had a serious problem with the diesel engine, I decided to take the plunge and replace it with an electric motor. I use the motor mainly to get in and out of the port, which is why I decided on a 100% electric solution. The prospect of being able to get rid of the bad odours that diesel fuel carries on board overcame the (still) high cost of the batteries needed to achieve decent autonomy.
The electric propulsion system offered by Oceanvolt is easy to change as it takes advantage of the old Volvo engine/saildrive installation without having to make major modifications to the hull. All the necessary components occupy a fraction of the space of a fuel engine and we managed to reduce the net weight of the boat by about 400kg, as well as being able to distribute the weight more favourably and centrally.
The result meets my expectations: less environmental pollution, absence of bad odours, “silence” from the moment you leave the harbour, better management of motor manoeuvres in port (“docking the boat is a joy”) and reduced maintenance of the propulsion system are some of the advantages to highlight.
To increase motor autonomy and further reduce the carbon footprint, this year’s project is the installation of high-performance solar panels. I am also sure that the imminent development of more efficient batteries will remedy this problem in the medium term.
In short, it is necessary to be more aware of the use of available energy – but honestly, I do not see it as a disadvantage, but rather something that we must all learn… – Owner of the J/Boats J120 on Valencia Mar
Technology used in the electric J/Boats J120 sailboat:
- Boatbuilder: J/Boats
- Length overall: 12.19 m
- Boat beam: 3.66 m
- Displacement: 6305 kg
- Electric motor system: Oceanvolt SD10 saildrive motor
- Electric motor system nominal power: 10kW
- Electric motor system voltage: 48 V
- Propulsion battery bank: 14,4kWh lithium batteries