hybrid electric poered shaft-drive pontoon

Discussion in 'Hybrid' started by fredsnotdead, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. fredsnotdead
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: illinois

    fredsnotdead Junior Member

    I'm new to the forum and am in the design/probability phase of figuring out the specifics on an electric powered, shaft driven, pontoon boat. I have an old hydro dragster(with a v-drive) and was milling around the idea of using the shaft, prop, and rudder on a 20' pontoon build. The hydro needs extensive repairs and running around on the river burning 8-10 gallons of gas p/hr at the prices we have had isn't favorable. The fumes suck in the high heat and the Barney Fifes' harass me too much, but I'm into a slower mode of travel that doesn't spill my beer too.
    If the heat wave ever lets up I'll get the exact shaft length and other particulars for layout and/or design. Any and all suggestions would be apprecioated to help me make better decisions.
     
  2. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum and glad to hear your health is fine.:cool:

    If you're putting around on a lake and don't mind short ranges and hauling around a lot of weight in batteries,go for it I'd say.
    But since you're on a river-I'm sure you know that running out of juice is not a desirable state of affairs.

    May be not what you want to hear,but a modern 4-5 hp 4 stroke outboard is very quiet,almost no smell, and sips fuel...and can buy used for a few hundred $.
     
  3. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Do a search for electric boats, and hybrid boats here.

    The short answer is if you want to go far (more than a mile) or fast (more than 4kn) electric doesn't work. You can't put enough batteries on the boat to store enough power to do much with direct drive electric.
     
  4. fredsnotdead
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: illinois

    fredsnotdead Junior Member

    I have access to golf cart batteries and motors, and could probably scrounge up a worn out outboard to put a motor on too. The river is closeby, and trailering a pontoon is a real pain, and with an outlet to charge the batteries coupled with a solar trickle-charger during the week, it might be workable.
    The river has bridges(clearance especially without a drop-down canopy) and a roller-dam so the distance traveled will be minimal. Going with the current would cut down on power usage but it would increase against the same current on the return trip. We usually just go to a wide part of the river( 1-2 miles total) and drop anchor and relax/grill/drink beer. With the ethanol in gas now(I'm in corn country also) the outboards don't run well on the blends here.
    I thought that it would be unique, and it's definitely do-able, maybe not with a shaft and the cleaver prop that I have. Wood pontoons with a partial center pontoon for strut suupport for the shaft, and the rudder mounted on the transom of that center pontoon. I worry about the drag from that center pontoon and maybe could fabricate a bracket for the strut and rudder???
     
  5. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Fred,

    If all you do is go 4 miles it might work assuming nothing goes wrong, but you wouldnt have a lot of weight allowance to bring a friend, or a cooler of beer.

    The math works like this... One pound of gass has about the same energy as 50lbs of batteries. A gallon of gass weighs about 6 lbs. so for every gallon of gas you would normally take assuming the same hp engine you need 300lbs of batteries. To do a trip like you are suggesting I wouldn't leave the dock with less than about 5 gallons of fuel, so that works out to be... 1,500lbs of batteries. Plus the controller and engine you have to add roughly 1,700lbs to the dry weight of the boat. On a 20' pontoon boat, that might actually require you to remove some of the structure to get within design weight.

    Even if you took the batteries and scrapped the lead, you could go buy a new small ethanol rated four stroke, and a few gallons of gas.


    This has been covered on the forum a lot. But in reality electric boats just don't work. The energy density of batteries just isn't close to high enough when compared to gas/diesel. And it typically costs a lot more to go to electric.
     
  6. fredsnotdead
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: illinois

    fredsnotdead Junior Member

    I got an email from somebody that bought one of our early rental pontoons and he tried to mount an electric motor on a 10 hp outboard and ended up putting on a Ray elctric outboard and loves it. He said that he's only been towed once in the beginning because he didn't want to discharge his batteries too low but is able to run arouund to suit his needs fishing albeit real slow. I found a couple of used ones that I'm waiting for a reply from and the one that's the best deal is under $1000.
    Here's the specs on the system: 48 volt/long-shaft air(fan) cooled perm magnent brushless DC motor, 195 lbs of thrust, 2.6 to 1 gear reduction, 12 1/2" X 10" two blade prop, and comes with a 48 volt Lester charger with dash mounted controller and wiring.
    According to the Ray website, the 48V system has an overall propulsion eff. including the prop, is 45.7%, but I think that they spec AGM batteries though, and the total system weight is at 633 lbs(motor, controller, batteries and cable). Hopefully they're really close with that number because the lead gof cart batteries weigh right at 65 lbs each for a total of 520 lbs.
    I have a friend that sells new and used golf carts that can supply the batteries and the total system is about half of the weight that I anticipated. We have a damaged pontoon that we're taking out of the rental line-up and I'm justing waitng on the final check from the insurance. The motor, helm and live wells are already off of it so I'll use that for a conversion instead of reinventing the wheel. The boat has a weight capacity of 1700 lbs as per the manufacturuers specs. which we leave me 1067 lbs for people and equipment/junk. When I bring it home I'll run it across the weighscale when I got off of the interstate so that I know the starting weight.
     
  7. WestVanHan
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    Location: Vancouver

    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Sounds interesting,and like I said before,if it works for you go for it.

    BTW I sure hope you can get a deal on the motor...I googled it and they are $3800 new :eek:

    Looked up the specs...you'd be at 80 amps for 2 hours@ 48V for that 195 thrust...
     
  8. fredsnotdead
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: illinois

    fredsnotdead Junior Member

    I got the motor today and ran it by a friend's store to weigh it and it comes to 78 pounds, it's a late 80s electric motor but runs well. The batteries weighed right at 63 pounds(X 8 = 504 total) for a total weight of 582 pounds for the motor and batteries and I'm using longer cables that I haven't picked up yet due to battery location(s). I picked up 8 new reclining seats last week in Indiana also. The battery boxes and other stuff has been made and is being upholstered and may be done late today or tomorrow. Part of the rails are being painted and may be ready to be picked up tomorrow too.

    I plan on installing everything and wrapping up most if not all the details on Sunday and was going to post some pics here but I don't know how to post them. Most times that I've tried to post or send pictures before the pictures or size? was too big. Any advice?
     

  9. GTS225
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Location: Waterloo, Iowa

    GTS225 Junior Member

    Fred....set yourself up a free account at photobucket.com. You can then upload your pics to it, and put the link(s) in any post you put here. In that way, you (or anybody else), won't excessively increase the bandwidth on this board, and the pics are easily accessed.

    Roger
     
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