Converting the Victoria 26 Saildrive – Case History
Account of repowering Coincidence, a 1982 Victoria 26 Elegante (Victoria Yachts, DeBary FL). Coincidence home port is Lake Mendota near Madison WI. New system is a 5kW brushless motor and Sevcon controller paired with a Sillette outdrive. System is powered by a 48v 100Ah AGM battery bank which is regenerative while under sail.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
End of season summary
I say “end of season” but in reality we still have a few more weeks left, at least 5 I’m hoping. We’ve had several outings on Coincidence since the new motor went “online.”
There really isn’t much I would change about this system. The newness and unfamiliarity of the throttle and nature of control has gone. In fact, I find it to be much more responsive and beneficial when docking. I’ve had the boat out on a few days with heavy weather (on our lake: 20mph winds and 2-3ft swells). The electric motor performed as well if not better than its 15 hp ICE predecessor.
The other common reservation with electric systems, battery capacity, was one that I shared going into this. Time and experience with the new system has done much to add to my level of comfort if not completely erase this concern. Granted over time the batteries will hold less and less of a charge but this will be a gradual process. The bank’s lifetime expectancy is around 1000 cycles provided they are well-maintained. Battery abuse has a lot of gray area, but an example would be heavily discharging them then letting them sit for a week.
On one particularly long motor outing I took them down to about 65%.We motored for over 2 hours at 4-5 knots, at a distance of 5 or 6 miles. When motoring in heavy seas, I saw depletion of about 6-8% after heading into wind and waves for about 2 miles.
While I do dread having to put the boat in storage for 6 months, I do look forward to the winterization process (or lack thereof) for the new system. Draining and replacing the outdrive oil is about all that will need to happen.
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