Converting Morgan 45 – Case History
July 2014 was the month when the diesel finally died and I decided not to revive it anymore. That is when the decision was finalized to switch over to an electric system.
The old 3 cylinder Volvo Penta MD-17C was removed in small, easy to manage pieces and hauled off to the scrap yard. Then the engine bay was cleaned out and prepared for the new setup. The space that the Volvo occupied became the battery bank and extra storage (always a plus on a live aboard boat). The space that the transmission occupied became the entire engine and drive unit!
The new motor weighs only 130lbs, and the 8 group 31 batteries weigh 536lbs. The total weight comes in around 140lbs less than the old engine and transmission, not counting the weight of diesel needed to push the boat along. Make sure you have davits on your boat so you can lift all this equipment up!
The battery bank that we put in is 210Ah at 48V DC. The motor is a Quiet Torque 20KW motor from Electric Yacht which can push the boat up to hull speed for a short time. If I had opted for a larger battery bank, it could motor for longer times, but I only use the motor to get in and out of marinas, the rest is done by sail. When the wind dies completely, we are still able to move at about 1.5-2kn while drawing minimal power. The display says we would be able to maintain this speed for approximately 20 hours. If we really needed to get somewhere and the wind was nowhere to be found, we could theoretically motor for around 30-40 nm.
I felt that this installation may be a bit of an undertaking to install myself so I opted to have it professionally installed. Bob Blood [(410)212-3336] did a beautiful installation. Not only do I highly recommend him, I’ve hired him again to install the autopilot and I would certainly hire him again! I’ve even recommended him to my father when he needed some work done on his boat. He is an ABYC certified electrician and does beautiful work!
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