2008 Note: this page was last seriously updated around 2004, when I bought two semi-custom (long shaft) motors from the company that at that time used the domain name outboardelectric . org. While I am quite happy with the motors, that domain name no longer appears to lead to the same company. I have not yet gotten rid of the diesel, since I don't use the boat enough, any more, to have really built up the confidence I would need to do so.

Link back to my sailboat page.

I'm thinking of replacing my 28-HP Volvo Penta diesel with a low-maintenance, clean, where possible solar-powered electric motor. This is a long-term project, for now I'm just looking around trying to determine feasibility and price.

I've found a few links of interest.

Some of my desiderata:
  1. Replacement for my current engine, a 28-HP Volvo 2003 diesel.
  2. Quiet.
  3. Efficient. I'm willing to consider replacing my prop if that would help.
  4. Long-range. This is usually a tradeoff between price and weight versus range.
  5. No maintenance. This means no transmission (if possible), no oil to change (if possible). I'm willing to replace batteries every few years.
  6. 12V system. This would make it easier for me to use off-the-shelf stuff, including solar panels to recharge the batteries.
  7. Experience. All else being equal, I prefer someone who has done a similar installation before.
  8. Location. All else being equal, I prefer someone based in Hawaii or with a permanent presence in Hawaii.
Some of the things that don't seem terribly important right now:
  1. Space. I do have a large engine room.
  2. Weight. My boat weighs 15 tons already, even another ton might not make that big a difference.
  3. Price. While price is always a consideration, I'm not necessarily shopping for the lowest possible price, especially if the higher-priced alternative is notably better.
  4. Time. I'm not planning on doing this work until 2003.