Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Boats, Jet Skis, Kayaks etc., including hovercrafts
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montyp   100 W

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Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by montyp » Mar 09 2015 4:04pm

Build tread for a solar powered Trolling motor to move a 22' sailboat.


I just need to get out of a marina. So total run time is about 20min of use. I get out about once a week.

Build -
40lb trolling motor
20amphr deep cycle battery
50 Watt solar panel

...

Sounds like the MotorGuide trolling motors are slightly higher efficiency vs Minn kota
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/1614929628 ... =82&chn=ps

Random battery:
http://www.amazon.com/VMAX600-Battery-2 ... B00896SUHM

Solar Panel with controller:
http://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Starter-So ... olar+panel

I'll let you all know it goes!
+10K miles, rides through whatever Minnesota weather can dish out.
Software engineers don't have to worry about ESD, we are software engineers because we have no potential.

chvidgov.bc.ca   10 kW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Mar 09 2015 4:22pm

I recently discovered that I could run my Minnekota Endura Maximizer 40 thrust PWM trolling motor off my 48V lithium ebike packs using this 48 to 12V DCDC converter......

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LPH ... _ttl_sol_1

It runs the motor flawlessly at full throttle, with no detectable wierdness (tested full throttle for 10 minutes)...I'm getting about .4 horsepower out of this motor connected to my ebike packs. I'm running a freshwater motor in saltwater with a swapped out zinc anode prop nut.

Might be worth a try if you have some ebike packs lying around. the DCDC is rated at about 30-60V input and puts out 12.5volts/30amps (as rated). I'm guessing just less than 27 amps. I measured 6 amps out of my 48V nominal ebike pack (at 52 volts).

Might be worth a try. I've got circuit breakers on both sides of it - 15 amps on the pack side, and 27tripamps on the motor side.

You can also parallel the DCDC into a nice AGM....

Although it voids the warranty, the freshwater motors are reputed to last for several years if well washed after every use. (It is not a metal shaft). If you're in saltwater all the time you probably want a saltwater version.

montyp   100 W

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by montyp » Mar 11 2015 9:27am

Thanks for the recommendation. I do have a extra pack to use and that looks like a much lower cost solution.

I have 2 concerns about this idea. One is safety the other is environmental. If the pack (Ping 36V LifePO4) became submerged, could it start a fire or leak a caustic chemical? If it did leak a caustic chemical, would this harm the lake I use in some way? I'm ignorant in this area so maybe my concern is unfounded.
+10K miles, rides through whatever Minnesota weather can dish out.
Software engineers don't have to worry about ESD, we are software engineers because we have no potential.

chvidgov.bc.ca   10 kW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Mar 11 2015 10:45am

I don't think the Ping packs would be harmful to the waterbody if they got submerged, but I think it would not be good for the pack itself - saltwater would ruin it definitely. No heavy metals inside that I am aware of, like cadmium. I'd want the packs in a good drybag which would be hard to waterproof. I have a Ping 48V15Ahr pack and it fits perfectly in a Plano waterproof polycarbonate box - the largest one I could find, and I use those boxes to hold the pack out of the elements. You could seal the wire exit with some Lexel, and it would be pretty waterproof.

montyp   100 W

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Location: Minneapolis

Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by montyp » Mar 12 2015 2:23pm

Good point, I could probably just use a Dry Bag with a roll-up opening (like this - http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/produ ... d=12427122). My sailboat has positive buoyancy and that bag with the battery will also float so worse-comes-to-worse the battery bag won't even really get submerged.

Thanks!!!
+10K miles, rides through whatever Minnesota weather can dish out.
Software engineers don't have to worry about ESD, we are software engineers because we have no potential.

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mikebikerad   1 kW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by mikebikerad » May 15 2015 2:13pm

Cool project. Many boats up here run a small panel or a small wind generator. Send me a PM if you want to work a deal on one of these: http://current-drives.myshopify.com/col ... arging-kit

Our latest batch was a camo version, and we are getting another batch in soon, so would be happy to give you a killer deal on one of the camo ones, if you didn't want to use alloy framed panel. Not sure how you are going to mount or use, but thought I would throw it out there in case I can help. We also have the ElectraFin batteries which are 14.6 volts and 29 AH that plug direct to panel. I have some used ones for a bargain.

Betabrainz   1 µW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by Betabrainz » Aug 09 2019 11:45pm

Hi chvidgov.bc.ca

I have a 50 Ahr Lithium Ion battery in a Craftright SafeCase - (Australian Bunnings Hardware brand?) I think it is made for cameras & lenses etc. It should be fairly waterproof & will float with the battery in it.
The question I’m asking is; Will the battery get too hot?

I’m fitting a local brand Watersnake 34lb trolling motor to a Hobie Tandem Island and rigging what the manufacturer claims to be a 200W (I suspect 170W) solar panel to a directional post on the rear deck. Not sure how it will work or if indeed if the panel will handle the wind.

Does anyone have advice w.r.t heating of the battery?

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cpcanoesailor   1 µW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by cpcanoesailor » Nov 24 2020 10:50am

Hi all,

I've been using a 12V 100AH LiFePO4 pack in a dry bag for about 3 years on my 6m Pacific proa (19' single outrigger sailing canoe). I made a small connection panel using two sheets of PE which are bolted together through the bag and sealed with 3M 5200. The panel holds waterproof connectors for solar panel, 50A plug for motor and a 12V accessories plug, and plastic handles to hold while plugging/unplugging. It's been sitting in an open locker under the deck, and has only seen a few splashes of green water, but has sat through two very cold, wet winters in the boat yard. No issues.

I typically run the motor (Haswing Protruar 1.0 with APC 11x6 prop and spinner) at 20-25A, for up to two hours at a time. The bag will get a little warm, but never hot. Even 40A for 5 minutes doesn't heat it up. I used to have a PWM controller in the bag, and it would get hot enough to shut down the BMS, but the Protruar has its own integrated AC controller, so I removed the PWM from the pack.

The pack recharges from a 100W panel using a Genasun MPPT controller. A full recharge takes about two full sunny days in Vancouver.

Estimated range is 20+km.
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goatman   100 MW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by goatman » Nov 26 2020 1:02am

i saw your boat on craigslist and thought it was pretty interesting, im surprised no one took you up your offer with a simple google search and snatched it up for a steal :wink: how does it do in Burrard inlet?

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cpcanoesailor   1 µW

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Re: Solar and trolling motor for sailboat

Post by cpcanoesailor » Dec 04 2020 11:36am

i saw your boat on craigslist and thought it was pretty interesting, im surprised no one took you up your offer with a simple google search and snatched it up for a steal :wink: how does it do in Burrard inlet?
Actually, at least one guy did. We started loading all the pieces (demountable) into his cargo van, but then he started thinking it would be too much for him and his wife to unload/reload later on, so bailed. I think it was for the best. It was a pain organizing access to the boat yard now that the city blocks vehicle traffic in the area. The hull needed some plywood replaced, and I don't have a dry space to fix it, so I scrapped it and sold off the rigs and foils.

It was a very comfortable boat to sail in chop. Once powered up, it would just slice through with little pitching and rolling, and still dry in the cockpit. I avoided winds over 15 knots, except for running off with a scrap of sail. That was fun too. One time I motored out of Shoal Channel by Gibsons into 15+ knots against an ebb in 2m waves. I decided I didn't want to go around the outside of Keats, so I cut the motor and sailed back in with one panel up. No drama at all. Had a nice light air race against some keelboats north of Keats.

Maybe I'll build another proa someday. BTW, The side deck to windward makes an ideal place for a large solar panel.

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