DIY Electric Surface Drive

Discussion in 'Surface Drives' started by Irie, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Irie
    Joined: Jul 2016
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    Location: Usa

    Irie Junior Member

    After a successful, yet disappointing outboard electric conversion I decided to pursue a steerable, trimable, sub-surface/surface drive for an ugly 12' aluminum semi-v center console. The boat lives on a small "electric only" lake and the goal was to have a little more fun than trolling motors provide.
    IMG_20161010_231452.jpg
    IMG_20161011_174631926_HDR (2).jpg

    https://youtu.be/chA0UEGbUq4
    Video of the drive

    https://youtu.be/8NE1ak2b1xo
    Hat mounted camera. Current top speed of 20 mph.

    The drive is super simple and since I had no idea how it would work I made as many things adjustable as possible. the motor is coupled to the prop shaft with a set of nova jaws. The motor mount and housing for the coupling and thrust bearing are made from scrap aluminum C-channel I had. The steering connects to the plate on top of the coupling housing. The entire assembly swivels around a large pin which connects the motor assembly to the base plate. The drive trims up to 2° and down to 22°. Trim is provided by a pair of linear actuators (not pictured).
    IMG_20160714_162547863 (2).jpg
    IMG_20160714_175400988 (2).jpg

    The prop shaft is 3/4" galvanized rod inside an aluminum tube with a cutlass bearing in the end. I'm using an old 9.25x10 pin drive prop with some cup that I added. The side fins on the top plate helped improve lower speed turning, though it still could be better. The angled plate provides bow lift at lower speeds. I installed the smart tabs to try and mimic what the Arneson rocker plates do. This lowered my planning speed from 12-13mph down to 6.8mph.


    The motor is a motenergy me1004 10kw continuous, 19 kw peak. Its hooked to an alltrax spm 48-400 controller. At the current top speed of 20mph the motor draws 12kw.
     
  2. srimes
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Oregon

    srimes Senior Member

  3. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    Love to see this sort of innovation and it gives me more incentive to carry on my similar drive with electric motor for convenience.
    My additions are to have a gas driven charging system also to give longer journeys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk2lPg6cpkE
     
  4. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    12kw... tell us about your batteries and how long they last. 6.8 mph doesn't sound like planning speed. Try doing your speed runs in both directions to compensate for error margin.
     
  5. OCB
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: USA

    OCB Junior Member

    Great DIY input

    Thank you posting your SD project! I have asked a few people on on this fourm to share info. Tom Kane and you are the only ones that step up to help :D Very nice that you shared your info on this project. Do you thick a haft round pipe over the prop like the Levi dive mite improve it? How many degrees do you have for turning?

    OCB
     
  6. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    Something like this on a steerable drive helps for safer family boating but would not help performance.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Irie
    Joined: Jul 2016
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    Location: Usa

    Irie Junior Member

    Srimes- thank you

    Tom Kane- That video was what gave me the final inspiration to go through the transom. I had been looking at the information you have made public for sometime. The simplicity was exactly what I was after. I like that the hole in the transom is much smaller with your design, but adding the uv joints would have placed the motor in a less desirable location. I'd love to see your design running in the water. Also many, many thanks for the information you provide on the internet!

    Mydauphin- I will be completely honest and say that I have very limited experiences with real boats. I'm not entirely sure how one defines being on plane, and various web searches haven't really clarified for me. At 6.8 mph the stern wash is separated from the transom and the bow is out of the water. Any slower and the bow settles in and the stern wave catches up. But what I thought and reality may be entirely different. I will retract my statement if that isn't actually being on plane.
    The batteries I'm using are 48 volt modules from a Chevy volt, they are 45ah and I run 2 in parallel. Fresh of the charger they read 50.1 volts and after running the boat at various speeds for 2.5 miles they are usually around 47 volts. I haven't really focused on that much as it gets me out and back with plenty of capacity left. Minimum voltage is 36 volts but I set the controller to shut down if they hit 40 volts. I will put more effort into this area soon.

    OCB- I'm happy to share what I've done but as I said before I am no expert and have very little experience with real boats. I have spent many hours on the web reading anything I could find about surface drives. Tom Kane certainly shares a lot of information and the simplicity of his systems were what I was after. Though in the end I think mine is more like an inboard long tail without the long tail. I had 30° of turning in either direction on the mock up but I think with the rubber boot I fall short, probably 25-28°, I will verify tomorrow. I added the aluminum angle to the sides of the top protection plate trying to stop ventilation before I cupped the prop. It didn't help the ventilation but it did help slower speed turning. A half round pipe may help but I'm not sure. It could also make it more of a tunnel drive. I plan to shift the motor closer to the transom which will get me more degrees of turning. But that's a winter project.

    With the prop I'm using I tend to run the drive deeper 15-20°, id like to try a legit surface prop but I haven't a clue where to start with that. I figure the first place to start is with a shaft that accepts newer props so I'm going to have a splined shaft machined but what's the most common pattern? Anyones insight is appreciated.
     
  8. Irie
    Joined: Jul 2016
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    Location: Usa

    Irie Junior Member

    I ran the drive in surface piercing mode today. Not as fast as sub surface but I think that could change.

    BBBAF0121F57FEAEEC1667BAB186F0B3.jpg


    http://youtu.be/aty4Do_u2N4
    Sub-surface to surface back to sub-surface
     
  9. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    It will be tough getting to this standard with a DIY electric drive but I still want my type of retractable drive for shallows which it is not likely to be catered for by mass manufacturers.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIJ8e56eEwMg
     
  10. OCB
    Joined: Dec 2015
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    Location: USA

    OCB Junior Member

    Surface Drive boot

    Just got my frist part to start my DYI surface drive. I will pivot the drive on the center of the transom for more turning, trim angles. Keep up the great work! The boot is a Series 30 CV joint boot.


    OCB
    [​IMG]
     
  11. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    Just because you checked something..once does not mean you should not check it again.
     
  12. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    There are many sorts of boots and flexible covers and seals in many materials including plastics which are long lasting and easy to adapt for many different types of use.
    Many are better quality than some Marine seals available.

    Google in Images "stainless steel bellows"
     

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  13. Irie
    Joined: Jul 2016
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    Location: Usa

    Irie Junior Member

    Ive been messing around running the drive on the surface. I switched props to a larger 10.5x12. Top speed is up to 23 mph with the drive at the surface.

    http://youtu.be/Gz19oxlTJvQ
    Various speeds and trim angles. Top speed 23 mph.
     
  14. tom kane
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Hamilton.New Zealand.

    tom kane Senior Member

    Electric drive Electric performance you must be happy with that.
    Where to from here.
    And some people say you can not run a S/P capable prop submerged or have a Sub surface and Surface drive in one drive.
     

  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    The question how long was the run before dead batteries.
     
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