Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

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ecat   10 W

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Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by ecat » Jan 30 2016 1:59am

This post is part one of a build log of my electric runabout project. This was a big project, it took about a year to complete. lots of pictures, and the max for a single post on ES is 30, so I will post a part two for the rest.
This boat was built for my sister, I figured she needed a fun runabout that would cost next to nothing to run, and would be environmentally friendly, and would have low maintenance requirements. I also wanted to demonstrate for others that there are other more responsible ways of getting around on a daily basis.

I am hoping that it will have the range and speed to make the 6 nautical mile trip from her water access only home to Deep Cove in North Vancouver in a reasonable amount of time, about 35-45 minutes. It takes about 15-20 minutes by regular speedboat, and costs about $10.00 in gas. Sparky should do it for about $0.15 worth of electricity.
The hulls are from a Hobie 16' sailing catamaran, the motor is a Mercury 9.8 two stroke outboard, with the power head removed, and a Mars 6 HP brush-less permanent magnet electric motor installed in its place.
Batteries are GB 48 volt, 100 amp hour lithium iron phosphate. They weigh about 100 lb. This build would not have been possible with lead acid batteries.
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Basic CAD plan. The console may be moved back, not sure yet. As it sits now the throttle and gear shift cables are not long enough to reach the motor as drawn. An on the water trial will give some answers.
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Here is the well used Hobie Cat put together in the back yard. Looks pretty big here.
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I picked it up at Jericho Sailing Center for $840.00 ready to sail. I then sold the sailing gear , mast and sails for $525.00, so it was cheap. It needed a bit of work, mostly cosmetic. I beefed up the hull bottoms with Kevlar strips, and fared and painted the hulls. This cost more than the boat!
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Here the hulls have fresh epoxy paint, and a temporary deck has been built to do an on the water test for weight distribution and motor placement. The steering console was a great find at the local marine consignment store. It has the throttle and steering cables still attached.
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The Merc with engine removed and Lovejoy coupling installed. I cut the end off of the crankshaft, and it fits onto the splined shaft in the outboard leg.

The pic below shows the Lovejoy L090 coupling on the crankshaft stub, sitting on the outboard drive shaft. I had to have the crankshaft stub machined down slightly to .75", and also had the machinist add a key-way in the crankshaft stub to keep the coupling from spinning on the shaft.
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Here is the outboard side adaptor plate
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The Mars motor, bought off ebay slightly used. 6HP continuous, 15 HP peak
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The motor with adaptor plate and coupler mounted. The motor shaft is 7/8", with a 3/16 keyway, and there is a Lovejoy coupler that fits exactly.
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Here is the complete adaptor made from scrap 0.25 " aluminum plate and 0.5" aluminum bar. No welding necessary, although it could be welded instead of bolted as well.
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The motor on the leg
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From the back you can see the complete Lovejoy coupler.
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first test with temporary controller with leg in a bucket.
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Off to the chuck for testing. Thanks to Mark Jones for lending the Hobie trailer, and Det and Gord for lending a hand.
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Sitting low in the water. These hulls don't have much volume due in part to the vee profile. Better to use longer hulls with a U shaped bottom, maybe 18 to 20 feet.
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Batteries at front is slightly faster (0.2 knots) than at the back, at 5.6 knots. with the stock prop. Power draw is 1300 watts at 2500 RPM, which is max speed for this motor controller. The Sevcon controller will do 3500 RPM or more, and we will need a larger prop to get to 5000 watts
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At stop speed for now - 5.6 knots (10.3 km/h) at 1300 Watts
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The hulls seem low in the water, should be able to knock some weight off. The temporary lumber deck weighs in at about 130 lb, and the lead acid batteries at 180 lb. I figure the final version may come in 90 lb lighter. Turning radius is too large, I have to play with the steering, and maybe add a larger skeg to the motor
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The underside of the new plywood deck. This is 2 sheets of 3/8" marine ply joined in the center with two layers of fiberglass in epoxy on top, epoxy with no fiberglass on the bottom. The strapping is two layers of the same plywood. The deck will be attached to the aluminum structure underneath with stainless screws through the aluminum into the strapping.
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Here is the front view of the aluminum frame that will support the plywood deck. The aluminum was picked up at the local scrap metal dealer.
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The rear frame showing the motor mount, which is adjustable for hight
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The GBS 100 AH cells. These are an improvement over the Thundersky cells in that they were designed to take BMS boards and they have covers that protect the BMS and electrical terminals. The terminals have four small screws each instead of one large screw, which means that they can not rotate and come loose. I had to replace all of these button head screws with regular tall head screws in order to get enough torque on the connections. At first the connections were heating, and there was lots of voltage drop at high current. The motor can pull 100 amps.

More build pics on the way, stay tuned...

Installing the batteries. These are the 16 GB 100AH 3.3 V Lithium cells. Nominal voltage is 52.8 V for the pack, with a capacity of 5280 watt hours. So in theory I can draw 500 watts for 10 hours, or 5000 watts for an hour. They come in groups of four strapped together. Total weight is about 98 lb. If I used the lead acid car batteries that were used in initial testing there would be 12 batteries at a total of 550 lb to equal this energy storage. 6 of the 16 BMS circuit boards are mounted in this shot. They keep the cells in balance, and to warn of under or over voltage. I keep the yet to be mounted boards in a plastic bag so as to avoid a short circuit.
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The batteries are held in place by a groove in the oak frame, which is epoxied to the deck. The groove interfaces with the aluminum extrusion on the ends of the batteries. The oak piece across the top keeps the batteries pressed into the grove at the front and back, and holds the middle down. The cables going through the deck are steering, motor control, and shifter.
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I bought the batteries in an "application kit" which includes a video display that shows volts, amps, approximate capacity, and individual cell voltages. The kit also comes with the BMS boards. as well as the black box computer that monitors the system and generates the video for the display, and a 15 amp charger.
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The BMS board fits between the + and - terminals of each cell, they are connected in series, and then to a central computer in a small black box. The green LED indicates power, the red LED indicates balancing is underway.
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Mercenstein. The cowling on the near side houses a 48 volt muffin fan. It is always on at a slow speed while the power is on, and kicks up to full speed when the motor gets more than warm.
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Inside the cowl. It is a very tight fit, I had to grind off a few bits to make it fit.
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The completed motor
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Sevcon Gen 4 controller. The wiring on top is for the fan speed control and a relay that adapts the control logic of the Mercury shifter to work the Sevcon controller. The outboard leg has a geared reverse, so the motor always runs in the forward direction.
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For more build photos and final results, see part the part two post.
2007 Catrike Expedition, dual Grin Through axle hubs, Dual PhaseRunners, 72V V 20 AH samsung 25R CA3
Edgerunner W Nuvinci hub, Patterson overdrive, Stokemonkey mid-drive. Expedition 19.8 AH Sony V3
Bike hauling trailer with two NC M3007RC hub motors on 20" wheels, two Grin 25A cont, CA3, Prius Plug-in 52V 17 AH
I am an official Grin Tech and Expedition Battery dealer on Salt Spring Island, BC Canada.
***Now the official Canadian wholesale distributor for Juiced Bikes***
http://juicedriders.ca/

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ecat   10 W

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Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion PT 2

Post by ecat » Jan 30 2016 3:56pm

So at this point the motor is finished and running, and the batteries are in place on the new deck. Now for the console installation, wiring up lighting and charging, throttle, and shifter, then adapting a larger propeller and skeg.
BTW, getting the Sevcon Gen 4 controller running properly requires a programmer, and the knowledge to set up parameters for the motor. I bought the controller from Thunderstruck, and I really recommend getting a kit from them with the motor, controller and wiring harness. They make sure everything is working properly, and unless you are an expert, that will save you tons of grief.

I built an extension to the steering console that will take a passenger, an well as housing the batteries, charger, and storage for life jackets and tools.
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I got some super high density foam, and marine grade vinyl upholstery, and my sister sewed up some new seats.
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The dashboard and controls. I picked up an original Cycle Analyst to get an amp hour count. This boat works just like a standard gas powered outboard. I did this because that is what the new owners are used to, so they can hop right on and go.
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Power monitor console showing main screen. Led at left shows motor controller status, top switch for changing display mode on screen, bottom switch is spare for now.
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Seats open showing fuse panels and charger
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The side of the console showing the charging port at middle top, and a viewing window below where you can see the status lights on the charger
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12 volt and 48 volt fuse panels and common negative buss. Not shown are the 20A 12V converter and throttle box. The BMS requires 12 volts for the display and computer.
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Other side showing high current fuse (Bussmann), and current shunt, auxiliary systems fuse, buzzer relay (Low batt and fault warning from BMS), and BMS computer
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Charger with Shore power on left, DC output and fresh air intake on right. The boat will be outdoors year around in rainy Vancouver, so I figured that bringing in fresh, warm air for a few hours with every charge would help the electrical parts in the console stay dry. There is an exit vent on the front of the console.
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Charger shore power inlet. Note the small metal probe to the right of the ground lug. When the charger door is opened this triggers the12V DC converter to start, activating the BMS system. The BMS must be active while charging to cut off the charger when any battery cell reaches 3.7V.
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Marking the original skeg for cutting.
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The first in water test showed that the original prop was not large enough. I needed to get the motor working to its maximum power with the 2:1 reduction gearing in the leg. Also the steering left a lot to be desired, with a large turning radius, and ineffective steering in reverse. The solution was to replace the original 8" prop with a Torqueedo 12" high efficiency plastic prop, and weld on a much larger skeg to protect the prop, and help with steering.
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Skeg cut, ready for welding.
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New larger skeg ready to weld on. Later I would cut the back out to fit the new prop.
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I had to cut off the anti-cavitation plate to make the new prop fit. I also faired the area where the prop and gear pod meet with fiberglass and epoxy.
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Filling the test pool.
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2000 watts turns the water foamy, all systems go.
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And a little push... She weighs in at 640 pounds.
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At the dock, Deep Cove Marina. Won't be stopping at the gas bar.
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The trip up the my sisters place went well, I think the speed surprised my brother in law, who was somewhat skeptical of the whole project, he is won over now. We did run into an issue with splashing around the motor, and I put in a deflector on the underside of the deck, as well as a cloth shield that covers most of the cut out where the outboard sits, this has solved the problem.
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Made the 6 mile trip to buntzen bay at 7.5 Knots boat speed, used about 1500 watt hours, about $0.15 for electricity.
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Performance is as hoped. A surprise on the data below is the strong knee in the graph that corresponds with the hull speed. I figured that the catamaran would not have this effect. Having said that, it is very doable to exceed the hull speed. We usually cruise at 2400-2700 watts, about 7-8 knots.
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We built a floating dock that hinges down, and the boat can be winched up to sit out of the water. She sits there for about 4 months through the winter, it's just too cold and rainy to go out on an open boat.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1fjDUzTOFQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC345sPeCRk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAMCF331ayA

So the first lesson here is not to use a Hobie 16 as a power boat, it has asymmetrical hulls with a deep vee shape. It works fine, but a longer hull with a U shaped symmetrical hull would be more efficient. It would also have more buoyancy, allowing maybe 4 passengers or a cargo to be carried. I have actually bought an 18 foot cat, and the plan is to transfer the whole deck over to the new hulls this summer. We hope to get a knot or two of extra speed at the same power level...
2007 Catrike Expedition, dual Grin Through axle hubs, Dual PhaseRunners, 72V V 20 AH samsung 25R CA3
Edgerunner W Nuvinci hub, Patterson overdrive, Stokemonkey mid-drive. Expedition 19.8 AH Sony V3
Bike hauling trailer with two NC M3007RC hub motors on 20" wheels, two Grin 25A cont, CA3, Prius Plug-in 52V 17 AH
I am an official Grin Tech and Expedition Battery dealer on Salt Spring Island, BC Canada.
***Now the official Canadian wholesale distributor for Juiced Bikes***
http://juicedriders.ca/

raybotx1   1 µW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by raybotx1 » Feb 01 2016 12:18am

Wow you should be teaching this stuff. Very high quality craftsmanship and a great demonstation of what electrics can do. The picture of cruising in the salt, quietly and respectfully, and enjoyably...awesome. 10 stars

Eexplorer   1 µW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by Eexplorer » Feb 02 2016 9:12am

Awesome project! Please keep us updated!

blisspacket   100 W

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by blisspacket » Feb 06 2016 6:03pm

Excellent, inspirational! You put in as much time posting, probably, as you did building! Wonderful attention to detail on both counts. Thank you!!!

up0   10 mW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by up0 » Feb 11 2016 12:06pm

Wow! Great write-up!
Thanks for letting us participate and learn from your findings!

Just a thought for your new project: Wouldn't it be more efficient to use a direct-drive,
placing the motor e.g. under the seat and with a long shaft directly into the water?
Like the longtail boats in asia

This would avoid the losses from the 90 degree power-redirection.
I have used a 1000W motor on my 2 person folding boat and it gets up to 12Km/h (with a non-matching prop from a 5HP outboard)
With your large deck construction it should be easy to mount and hold the shaft in 2 points.
Steering would be via the standard rudder of the catamaran, which should make it very agile.

Another idea that other, larger Cats use: Use 2 motors - one in each hull as direct drive.
But here the issue is of course how to get the shaft watertight where it goes through the hull.
Maybe someone already had a clever idea for that.

Just pondering some alternatives...
Anyway: nice seeing your project(s) progress!
Keep us in the loop with major news, we enjoy reading it!

Ulli

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ecat   10 W

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by ecat » Feb 15 2016 2:53pm

Thanks for the kind words. Out of the long tail and motor on each hull option, I think I would chose the two motors. Main reason in this case is maneuvering into the tight marina slip. The two motors would mean that you could spin the boat on a dime, that would be great. I started the project with a goal of keeping the budget low, hence the old outboard and used motor. Of course I totally underestimated the final cost. Two motors means two controllers so probably more expensive. I think that an off the shelf solution could be found for through hull shaft fittings, but the props would have to go under the hulls, not behind them, so there is a risk of prop damage. The outboard kicks up in the event of a grounding.
2007 Catrike Expedition, dual Grin Through axle hubs, Dual PhaseRunners, 72V V 20 AH samsung 25R CA3
Edgerunner W Nuvinci hub, Patterson overdrive, Stokemonkey mid-drive. Expedition 19.8 AH Sony V3
Bike hauling trailer with two NC M3007RC hub motors on 20" wheels, two Grin 25A cont, CA3, Prius Plug-in 52V 17 AH
I am an official Grin Tech and Expedition Battery dealer on Salt Spring Island, BC Canada.
***Now the official Canadian wholesale distributor for Juiced Bikes***
http://juicedriders.ca/

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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by oatnet » Feb 16 2016 12:00am

Very cool project,thanks for sharing it! :D

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blisspacket   100 W

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by blisspacket » Feb 19 2016 9:30am

Torqeedo outboards are pricey, but effective. The first three or four finishers in the Wye Island Electric boat marathon (25 miles!) for the past two years have been with Torqeedos. Here's the opener; check the Dec edition PropTalk for standings.
http://www.proptalk.com/electric-boat-2015/
I was very impressed that a catamaran, relatively heavy from RI, came in 3 or 4 overall and first in class in 2015. 18 feet, powered by two Torqeedo Cruise 4.0's, piloted by Skip Barker. And I was impressed by the stability of the craft in the moderate chop. A lot of engineering has gone into the submerged brushless AC motor, the gear reduction, the prop, the electronics. Strong pricetags, and stronger motors.

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ecat   10 W

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by ecat » Feb 28 2016 1:35am

Yup if I had the budget, two torqueedos would be the choice. (And a solar Bimini) :D
2007 Catrike Expedition, dual Grin Through axle hubs, Dual PhaseRunners, 72V V 20 AH samsung 25R CA3
Edgerunner W Nuvinci hub, Patterson overdrive, Stokemonkey mid-drive. Expedition 19.8 AH Sony V3
Bike hauling trailer with two NC M3007RC hub motors on 20" wheels, two Grin 25A cont, CA3, Prius Plug-in 52V 17 AH
I am an official Grin Tech and Expedition Battery dealer on Salt Spring Island, BC Canada.
***Now the official Canadian wholesale distributor for Juiced Bikes***
http://juicedriders.ca/

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LockH   100 GW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by LockH » Feb 28 2016 10:27am

Hi ecat. Nice project! Long time cat sailor here... First w/an old 18-footer "Phoenix" class built in Ottawa, "graduated" to a 20-foot (what was at that time an Olympic class) Tornado. Couple of thoughts/items on your To Do List maybe?

First up... thinking "solar" here as (free) wind energy... and giving your sis a good spank... ermmm... that didn't come out right... one of these:
Image

In other words, rigging some shorter mast with a small square "spanker" sail as an "assist" when winds do cooperative for some trips?

Other thought was to extend hull bows and transoms to add some bouyancy versus whole new hulls? (Where whole new hulls could admittedly be more "U"-shaped/hydrodynamic than the Hobie. Guessing Hobie was thinking of a hull better suited for beaching on shore.) Alternatively, going trimaran by adding a central sponson hull forward maybe...

Anyway... Just my sneaky way of bookmarking your thread. Vic BC-born Guy living in the armpit of Canada (on the not-so-great lakes in Ontario).

Cheers, and fair winds and following seas.
L
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

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(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

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heynow9991   10 mW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by heynow9991 » Apr 01 2016 3:18pm

HI

Nice job

I have done something very similar with a 5 hp outboard and and astro 3220. I feel I need to fit a torqueedo prop as well. I think the one you chose would be good for me as well as my motor can put out around 4000watts. My question is how did you get the torqeedo propeller to fit on the outboard? My 5 hp has 9 splines on the shaft. Would I have to make an adapter?

Thanks

Peter

John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by John in CR » Apr 02 2016 9:28am

Nice job with the chart of speed, power, and run times. It clearly demonstrates rapidly increasing power requirements as you exceed hull speed of a displacement vessel. Yes a better form than a beach cat will help increase speed a bit along with efficiency below hull speed, but you really need to go far longer for a substantial benefit.

My dream is to build a 10-15 meter electric hybrid cat for charter fishing use. I absolutely need a minimum of 10m at the waterline, because it needs great efficiency at up to 7 knots, the max trolling speed used. The hybrid part will be dual wingsail rigs as helper power and/or backup that can also be used as shade when down. A small generator in each hull will see use for high power runs out and back in, so a relatively small battery pack can be used to keep weight down.

Once the system has the kinks worked out, the final stage of development would be detachable underwater wings for smooth high speed runs out and back in from the fishing grounds, which are 20-25 miles out from port.

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ecat   10 W

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Re: Catamaran run-about, outboard conversion

Post by ecat » Apr 26 2016 8:32pm

heynow9991 wrote:HI

Nice job

I have done something very similar with a 5 hp outboard and and astro 3220. I feel I need to fit a torqueedo prop as well. I think the one you chose would be good for me as well as my motor can put out around 4000watts. My question is how did you get the torqeedo propeller to fit on the outboard? My 5 hp has 9 splines on the shaft. Would I have to make an adapter?

Thanks

Peter

Hi Peter, as far as I can remember, I took the bottom shaft of the outboard and the prop to a machinist, and he reamed out the prop, and put a pin through the assembly to keep the prop from rotating on the shaft.
2007 Catrike Expedition, dual Grin Through axle hubs, Dual PhaseRunners, 72V V 20 AH samsung 25R CA3
Edgerunner W Nuvinci hub, Patterson overdrive, Stokemonkey mid-drive. Expedition 19.8 AH Sony V3
Bike hauling trailer with two NC M3007RC hub motors on 20" wheels, two Grin 25A cont, CA3, Prius Plug-in 52V 17 AH
I am an official Grin Tech and Expedition Battery dealer on Salt Spring Island, BC Canada.
***Now the official Canadian wholesale distributor for Juiced Bikes***
http://juicedriders.ca/

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