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I have been trying to get a price on the Bellmann (Mastervolt) electric engines in the USA, as we will be there in mid january, and we could buy two and bring them back to Australia.  We are "sailing" from New York to Sydney on the Queen Mary.  The price in OZ is ridiculous, about double the manufacturers price in Holland.  If anyone could help by finding a price in the USA for the 10KW model (fixed & steerable) we would really appreciate it.  The QM calls in at Fort Lauderdale where we could pick up the motors.  Cunard is quite happy for us to ship them back to Oz in our cabin!!!!
Best regards,
John & Kat

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Hi John and Kat,
I will look around for the price for you but I have heard from many folks who were sorry they ever got involved with electric motors. Here we are on Peace and today we were just saying how very pleased we are with the two 20 horse Yamaha outboards we have. Easy breezy and reliable. We do 8 knots in a calm, the boat manouvers well even in wind against tide, they are quiet, the electric tilt is lovely, they moderately priced, and easily installed. They are reasonable to work on and can be removed and taken for more advanced work if needed. We were just saying how easy this trip down the US east coast is this year and we think it is because the boat is getting so civilized and well equipped and the new engines are a big part of that.
While we hope you will not get electric engines, I will get you that price. UGH! Ann and Nev
Hi A & N
i finally managed to ring Mastervolt in Florida and they gave me a price for the motors. I hear your advice re electric motors but we believe they are the transport of the future (Kat believes long distance future but future all the same). There are also reports out there of people who love their electric motors but no decision has been set in stone - we are still exploring options. thanks for your input and the offer to track down the price. Now if you wanted to pick them up and bring them to australia on Peace IV, hence saving us import duty we'll offer you a glass of red wine (or 10) when you get here. J&K
I don't know anything about Mastervolt and their quality. Here is an exchange about RE-E Power pods.
I just am not sure about how far the technology has come. I prefer they test it on someone else. Please keep everyone informed as to your experiences.
I bought diesel outboards.
Thanks for that Chuck, Some friends of mine in Brisbane have had bad experiences with RE-power & Kevin's motors. Bellmann (Mastervolt) are made in Holland, apparently of a high standard, and they have sold over a 1000 units world wide. They are in current use on small ferries and water taxis around the world. Because of their cost however (US$25,000 for two), I am keeping my options open re petrol (which I intensely dislike in the marine environment), but i may have to go that way if nothing better arrives in the next 8 months.
At that price point, there may be many more options. Avoiding petrol may be impossible. Will these be diesel -electric? You must need a huge battery bank or a genset (back to fossil fuels and more cost). I looked at a lot of options and there are always trade offs. I chose proven technology for half your cost for used equipment.
Here is something I was considering:

There are no answers, only questions.
I would only need 2 Lithium batteries (48v/180ah) - 32kg each, plus 6 solar panels (800 watts) and 2 D400 wind generators. No genset or petrol needed. It is purely the cost that is holding me back at the moment.
So.... in USD, that's $25K for the motors and another $5K plus for the other stuff. Plus the lethal voltages.
There's always another rainbow.
2 batteries that size would run 2x10kW motors for about 10 minutes and your solar/wind setup would take days to recharge.

one 48v/180ah lithium battery currently sells for US$14,000 and weighs about 90-100 kg

You're dreaming

John& Kat Wilkie said:
I would only need 2 Lithium batteries (48v/180ah) - 32kg each, plus 6 solar panels (800 watts) and 2 D400 wind generators. No genset or petrol needed. It is purely the cost that is holding me back at the moment.
Thankfully I can ignore comments like this. Not only are your facts totally wrong, your response is rude & ignorant, unlike others who encourage new ideas and are pleasant to chat with and enjoy sharing ideas. We all have different ideas on what works for us. Maybe you missed it, but dreaming is where this sailing thing all started for most of us. Without dreams, we are lost.
simple math says two 10 kw motors draw 20,000 watts for an hour at full speed. two batteries 48v 180 AH=14680 watts so you can get about i hour. Probably less. my 180 watt panel will deliver about5-6 amps an hr for about 8 hrs. so say you get 24 amps an hr for 8 hrs that's 198 amps at 12 volts so about 50 amp at 48v which is 2400 watts so you can run your motors for about an hr and 20 minutes from your solar panels on a sunny day. That's maybe ten miles? Probably less. your batteries will power all of your other electrical needs as well. Of course you may star off with full batteries and the sun may shine all day and this will double your range and leave you with no battery reserve. And you say you will have wind mills as well so this will contribute but if you need to motor on a windless overcast day or even at night you will not have much range. All of this at a very high cost both in initial outlay and ongoing maintenance. Sure you could double your battery bank and have a larger range. This will no work well when you use canals a rivers and must motor for extended distances. So if you only use the motors once a week for an hr you will be fine with this set-up. Same capability with two 9.9s you will use two gallons of fuel and the whole deal will cost you about $10,000. The electric set-up will cost considerably more and will have IMO higher long term maintenance costs. I am a long time Mother Earth News reader and lived in a house bus in the 80's that had solar and wind electrical but still an IC motor to move. I was a solar installer for ten years and have installed hundreds of water and pool and space heating systems. My first race boat was called Solar Profit because I was always preaching to my friends about solar and solar bought the boat. I am a solar fan. But the reality is that there are situations where it is appropriate and some where it's not. But you are free to make the choices that you wish and I for one hope you will share your experience with us if you go electric.
John & Kat,

Having been in the marine electrical business for years, installed electric drive systems (including hybrids), a solar/wind off-grid and boat technician, and having been a Mastervolt Distributor, I can honestly say that your plans (as presented) are beyond reality.

Besides ultimate costs, everyone always forgets to account for electrical loss when charging and discharging. Putting your faith in the brochure figures will always lead to heartache. All brochure (manufacturer) figures are given for very specific circumstances which one may achieve for a few hours a couple of times per year. The transfer of power always comes with losses that usually require more charging capacity that one expects, and much larger power reserve banks than one would expect. Add to this the aspect overall weight of of a system in a lightweight catamaran, and your potential problems can escalate.

From real world experience, you can expect a minimum of 20% lower performance than you expect, and 30% higher cost by the time the kinks are worked out. I spent the better part of 2009 trying to work a diesel electric hybrid for a Tiki 38, and was completely unable to find a viable solution that either did not cost more than the boat or was lightweight, or had sufficient run time, and I am experienced at it with lots of industry contacts.

I am not saying not to go for your electric dreams (I have them too), but to triple check your boating requirements as well as your numbers.


Where would we be if we didn't have this website? Having experienced people drag us kicking and screaming back to reality is a blessing. We are all dreamers and need to balance our dreams with practicality, much as we hate it!

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