March / April 2022

Electric Experiences

Small voyages toward a new world
Electric Experiences

The 25-minute round-trip from dock to mooring at full throttle reduces the charge in Grayson’s battery by about half. However, at a more modest cruising speed, 68 percent of the battery’s capacity remains after the same trip. Determining a practical and economical speed is a key aspect of electric propulsion. Recharging takes about two hours.

Seven years ago, with no particular “green agenda” in mind, I found myself entering a sailing season like none before. Somewhat to my own surprise, I had parted ways with a much-loved 5-hp Johnson outboard. Its replacement was a Torqeedo Travel 1003 rated at 3 hp. At about the same time, I ordered a new Pisces daysailer from Classic Boat Shop in Bernard, Maine. When the time came to choose between diesel or electric inboard power or an outboard, I chose the electric inboard.

Just like that, I had become an “all-electric” sailor. As I looked ahead to the upcoming season, however, the thought occurred to me, usually late at night: “what have you done?” While a variety of articles continues to be published about electric propulsion, and while manufacturers’ websites extoll electric power’s virtues, none of that conveys the real-time experience of actually buying into and living with an evolving technology that, at present, remains well out of the mainstream.

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