Olson 40 For Single Handed Blue Water Sailing

Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,326
316
Seattle, WA
I just checked and your 5kwh battery weighs about 130lbs, so that's pretty compelling as a diesel replacement story.  It seems like a 10kwh battery, motor, and charger will come in a bit over a replacement for a Yanmar 3GM and give a practical 30nm range on a boat like mine or yours (much longer if you drop the speed).

I'd love to know how the boat motorsails with a small (500w) boost from the motor in light air (say 3-5 knots of wind).  The motor boost could help you point higher or just get better speed when in light airs.

 
I'd love to know how the boat motorsails with a small (500w) boost from the motor in light air (say 3-5 knots of wind).  The motor boost could help you point higher or just get better speed when in light airs.
From a local that I talked to with an electric motor THIS was apparently their favorite thing.

Going 3 knots in 3 knots of wind... or 5kts in 3kts of wind... all without hearing a single thing. i.e. Giving you the impression of "simply sailing" without hearing an annoying motor.

Would be amazing for cruisers as we can install 500w of solar easily and therefore our minimum speed should NEVER drop less than, for example, 3kts (during a sunny day of course).

~him

 

Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,326
316
Seattle, WA
That's also the thing that could make it okay with deliveries.  A couple of times a year we need to go 60nm in one day, which at 5 knots would require 20kwh of batteries (about 500lbs and $20k, so both out of our weight and dollar budgets).  Being able to motor sail at reasonable speeds would make the prospects a lot more exciting.

95% of the time we're motoring for about 5 minutes to a start line, and electric would be ideal.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,863
3,042
That's also the thing that could make it okay with deliveries.  A couple of times a year we need to go 60nm in one day, which at 5 knots would require 20kwh of batteries (about 500lbs and $20k, so both out of our weight and dollar budgets).  Being able to motor sail at reasonable speeds would make the prospects a lot more exciting.

95% of the time we're motoring for about 5 minutes to a start line, and electric would be ideal.
AKA getting from Shilshole to the San Juans every summer when there's 5kts of breeze?

 

Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,326
316
Seattle, WA
AKA getting from Shilshole to the San Juans every summer when there's 5kts of breeze?
No, cruising is actually easier.  Since we have a toddler we do short days and are okay having a vacation where we take 2 or 3 days to get to the San Juans.  I'm not even sure that we'll go up there at all this summer, our longest cruise might just be to Poulsbo.

It is racing in November for Round the County when I need to get up to Anacortes in one day. 

Realistically our motor is now working great after some love last fall (just before RTC), so I'm not really in the market for a repower.  If the motor does eventually need replacement I don't want to put a diesel in there, so I'm paying attention to other ULDBs doing electric conversions.

alex

 
I'm 100% going to do some sort of hybrid conversion for my next boat next year.

Like y'all I go out of Shilshole and to the start line 90% of the time. The other 5% I need the engine just do anchor (since my windlass will drain the batteries in 2 seconds). 

Both of these could be easily solved with a small 2kwh battery bank and an inline electric motor between the tranny and prop. 

Plus then yes, you could easily make it to the San Juans in 5kts in one day... Or appreciate the whale watching without a giant motor running (or scaring said whales). 

~him

 

Mulligan

Member
170
57
San Pedro
You, I assume?!

26CDA7CE-FC74-481E-A99D-751BF0354034.jpeg

 
A

Amati

Guest
My wife bought me an Olson 40 last year as a 60th birthday present. The intent is to cruise, not race, the boat. We are doing a complete refit at Finco Fabrication in Santa Ana. Drop by and see the progress.

I think of the boat as a 30 foot cruiser that sails much, much quicker and is actually fun to sail, unlike medium and heavy displacement boats. Long term with two, four or six for a weekend or week.

Having gone off cruising “forever” several times, I think its quite easy to take 200 lbs of personal gear, and very little more than is already aboard for legal racing on a Wednesday night.

I strongly reject the notion that tons of equipment is needed, nor even required, to be safe, have fun, and cross oceans. This is based on actually doing so, multiple times, for my entire life.

Plenty of people do very long voyages and/or liveaboard 30 footers quite happily. In fact, people sailing smaller, cheaper, and simpler boats probably have more fun than those with air conditioning and a 17 foot whaler on davits. In my own experience, which includes tens of thousands of miles cruising on everything from camping style vessels to true gold platers, the smaller, simpler, lighter, faster boats were much more enjoyable than those with multiple showers, home entertainment systems, and ski boats on deck.
+1

Most here know that we had Amati designed around this ^^^^^ concept.  20 years, and We still dig her.

But a light fast 40’ boat can be a handful, so think about how to depower easily & and that is not as easy as you might think.  There’s nothing like blasting through a moorage at 12k because you didn’t take the main down.

I’d say more, but the ferry is landing!

 
A

Amati

Guest
Its not 100% done yet, but the electric motor is working very well.

Its not done yet simply because I am no longer a young man, and there is only so much I can do each weekend. I went back to work for a bit -- offer too good to refuse -- and being in an office every day really consumes my energy. Making robots for space exploration is a lot of fun, but space is very hard: witness the failures and successes in space just this week.

Nothing at all has been difficult, expensive, time consuming. Today, I am tying down the batteries better, and finishing a few wire clamps, then its all done.

The surprising aspect was the remaining noise: the sound of the propeller spinning; the sound of the shaft turning in the shaft log. The motor itself is perhaps half as loud as the cooling fan in my laptop. Essentially silent. Turning the key causes a relay to be enabled, so there is a quiet click. Pushing the single control lever forward or back first causes a couple of clunks as the folding blades open, and then one hears the sound of the blades turning in the water and the sound of the shaft turning in the shaft log.

How loud is your propellor and shaft log? Its a weird question that I have never known before.

Getting in and out of the slip in the marina is fundamentally better: the motor does not stall ever, and I can control it perfectly smoothly from barely turning to 2000 rpms, instantly, reliably, repeatably. Exactly the right amount of thrust at any instant.

At 3.5 knots, which is a decent speed for cruising through the narrow parts of the marina, the motor consumes 330 watts.

2KW gets me going 5 knots. 5KW gets me going 6.2 knots, which is the same speed that the Yanmar 3GM30F achieved.

Smooth water, light air. If there was wind, we would of course be going faster with less power draw -- it is a sailboat!

One problem: the prop is poorly balanced. It is the original elliptical tip Martec from 1983, which is somewhat warn, with slightly sloppy blades. The lack of prop balance causes vibration at 1800+ rpms, which is over 5 knots. I basically do not exceed 4.5KW draw due to the prop vibration.
Try a FlexoFold- went from a Martec, and that was almost like going from internal combustion to electric-  for an example, when we put a Torqueedo outboard on the L7, the first time we came into the slip, it took 4 tries, merely because when I put the motor into reverse, the boat stopped immediately and went into reverse, which meant we were going backwards with 3 feet of the bows into the slip.  :p

And this is completely apart from the efficiency of the Flexofold (the composite folding 2 blade) on Amati- we now do the same speed @ 500 rpm less (2000 rpm instead of 2500 rpm @ 5knots, for example) which means really really really quiet, and that’s with a freakin’ diesel!  With the torque of an electric?

Less noise is less stress, which means less tiring.  A nice smaller biochemical spiral!

 
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robertwcass

New member
16
8
San Diego
Just an update: I ended up buying a 1986 C&C 35 MK-III in Honolulu last May and single handed her back to San Diego. Took 31 days. Encountered to good blows in the 35-45 knott range with the first one lasting 3 days. While it was a challenging trip it was amazing at the same time. I love the boat and am getting her ready for extended cruising in 2022. Since I've been back I took her down to Islas San Benitos for some spearfishing and also out to San Clemente Island. I still look at every Olson 40 that comes on the market but I'm sticking with my current boat. While she is small she is sturdy and sails beautifully. I'm a happy sailor at this point.

Thanks to everyone who advised on the O 40.

 

Snatch Block

Member
59
8
Canada
Olson 40 looks likes an awsome machine.

Alot of boat for single handed, you'd need to be stong and fit but it'd be an amazing feeling once you got everything "dialed in".

Don't listen to the detractors and buy the boat!

 
From a local that I talked to with an electric motor THIS was apparently their favorite thing.

Going 3 knots in 3 knots of wind... or 5kts in 3kts of wind... all without hearing a single thing. i.e. Giving you the impression of "simply sailing" without hearing an annoying motor.

Would be amazing for cruisers as we can install 500w of solar easily and therefore our minimum speed should NEVER drop less than, for example, 3kts (during a sunny day of course).

~him
Yes! This works amazingly well. Months after you posted this, we tried this approach, and now its a go-to strategy. Specific example:

We were coming back from Catalina, but as the sunset, the wind went lighter and lighter, as it generally does around here. We were coming back after 5 days on batteries, no charging (still just depend upon shore power), so I did not have much stored power remaining. So we kept sailing until it really glassed off. We were near the Pt Fermin buoy, sailing pretty poor angles still using the jib and main. I turned the motor on, and set the throttle for about 400 watts. We sped up from 3 knots to 6 knots, and we could head nearly dead downwind! Wow! We continued motor sailing in the zephyrs, and we could really point the bow nearly anywhere, sails trimmed for close hauled, jib trimmed like a TP52, and the apparent wind would provide surprising speed with almost no electric power consumption.

Seemed almost magical.

Since there is almost always some little bit of breeze, the actual powering range should really be considered motor sailing range, and that range is substantially greater than under pure power.

I have not collected any data yet for motor sailing. It will need to be something like a full set of polars.

Here is the data for test runs I did recently: no sails hoisted, light wind abeam, smooth water, essentially no current, average of two directions, measurements taken after GPS speed stabilized:

4.6 kW at 2164 rpms = 6.15 knots for 6 nautical mile range.

4 kW at 2044 rpms = 5.85 knots for 7 nm range

3 kW at 1900 rpms = 5.45 knots for 8 nm range

2.5 kW at 1800 rpms = 5.05 knots for 9 nm range

2 kW at 1650 rpms = 4.75 knots for 11 nm range

1.5 kW at 1500 rpms = 4.25 knots for 13 nm range

1 kW at 1240 rpms = 3.7 knots for 17 nm range

750 W at 1130 rpms = 3.3 knots for 20 nm range

500 W at 950 rpms = 2.5 knots for 23 nm range

 
A

Amati

Guest
Yes! This works amazingly well. Months after you posted this, we tried this approach, and now its a go-to strategy. Specific example:

We were coming back from Catalina, but as the sunset, the wind went lighter and lighter, as it generally does around here. We were coming back after 5 days on batteries, no charging (still just depend upon shore power), so I did not have much stored power remaining. So we kept sailing until it really glassed off. We were near the Pt Fermin buoy, sailing pretty poor angles still using the jib and main. I turned the motor on, and set the throttle for about 400 watts. We sped up from 3 knots to 6 knots, and we could head nearly dead downwind! Wow! We continued motor sailing in the zephyrs, and we could really point the bow nearly anywhere, sails trimmed for close hauled, jib trimmed like a TP52, and the apparent wind would provide surprising speed with almost no electric power consumption.

Seemed almost magical.

Since there is almost always some little bit of breeze, the actual powering range should really be considered motor sailing range, and that range is substantially greater than under pure power.

I have not collected any data yet for motor sailing. It will need to be something like a full set of polars.

Here is the data for test runs I did recently: no sails hoisted, light wind abeam, smooth water, essentially no current, average of two directions, measurements taken after GPS speed stabilized:

4.6 kW at 2164 rpms = 6.15 knots for 6 nautical mile range.

4 kW at 2044 rpms = 5.85 knots for 7 nm range

3 kW at 1900 rpms = 5.45 knots for 8 nm range

2.5 kW at 1800 rpms = 5.05 knots for 9 nm range

2 kW at 1650 rpms = 4.75 knots for 11 nm range

1.5 kW at 1500 rpms = 4.25 knots for 13 nm range

1 kW at 1240 rpms = 3.7 knots for 17 nm range

750 W at 1130 rpms = 3.3 knots for 20 nm range

500 W at 950 rpms = 2.5 knots for 23 nm range
How’s living with electric propulsion system now, after ~ 6 months or so? Done any cruising?  

(We’re going to do a refit this Winter, COVID willing, and electric is tickling my limbic system, especially with a remote for docking, less weight, no grey haze, and more storage…)
 

 
How’s living with electric propulsion system now, after ~ 6 months or so? Done any cruising?  

(We’re going to do a refit this Winter, COVID willing, and electric is tickling my limbic system, especially with a remote for docking, less weight, no grey haze, and more storage…)
 
I think any sailboat that actually sails well, like your or mine should definitely be electric. I love it!

We are doing our second phase of the refit. Later this calendar year, I am going to add solar -- its the next thing on the list.

 
A

Amati

Guest
Carcrash, It looks like a refit this summer, and we’ve decided to take the plunge into electric (my previous missive to the contrary  :rolleyes: ).  I’ve been happy with the Torqeedo outboard we have for the L7, have you posted anywhere your decision tree viz why you went with Electric Yacht?  Did you consider Torqeedo?   (I should warn you that my knowledge of electronics is even less than my knowledge of diesel motors, except for wondering why the piezoelectric bridge pickup on my electric cello is wondering all over the place when I play French bowing style (long down bow, short up bow, repeat) in early Baroque music- have I invented a new space drive?  ;) )

Anybody else out there have any opinions on the different electrical systems out there, I’d be glad to see them.

 

Kenny Dumas

Super Anarchist
1,221
464
PDX
End range anxiety:
Skipjacks use pusher tugs. Maybe use a RIB for those long deliveries to the islands on windless summer days. A large RIB would be great for fishing and exploring as well. Convert your diesel tank to gas and add a pump to fuel the RIB. 

Cool book:

1B1E863F-9978-4AFD-AA88-012A26437E7F.jpeg

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,714
5,669
Canada
Carcrash's data - Resistance curve plotted 

A 27 HP diesel = 20 kW. Less 5% gear loss in gearbox = 19 kW

Maybe 8.4 knots at full power with a properly designed prop using a diesel. In flat water no wind etc.

Skipjacks use pusher tugs.
As a loophole to get around the rules for powered commercial vessels. Don't use them in much of a seaway however.

27 image.png

 
Carcrash, It looks like a refit this summer, and we’ve decided to take the plunge into electric (my previous missive to the contrary  :rolleyes: ).  I’ve been happy with the Torqeedo outboard we have for the L7, have you posted anywhere your decision tree viz why you went with Electric Yacht?  Did you consider Torqeedo?   (I should warn you that my knowledge of electronics is even less than my knowledge of diesel motors, except for wondering why the piezoelectric bridge pickup on my electric cello is wondering all over the place when I play French bowing style (long down bow, short up bow, repeat) in early Baroque music- have I invented a new space drive?  ;) )

Anybody else out there have any opinions on the different electrical systems out there, I’d be glad to see them.
I think an electric outboard would be nicer than dragging the shaft, strut, and (folding) prop around all the time. However, Torqueedo does not use LiFePO4 but BMW i3 batteries that are cobalt based and therefore far, far too dangerous for me to use aboard. If there was an electric outboard with a large diameter, slow turning prop (efficient at displacement speeds) that could use any arbitrary battery, then I'd probably go for it. I have an ElectricYacht 10KW air cooled motor (connected to the existing shaft) that I derate with software (settings in the EY controller) to 5KW to limit current draw from the 5KWh battery bank to 1C. Super easy to connect to the shaft.

Problems that you should not repeat:

1) Keep your old fashioned shaft log, or you need to go all the way and install BOTH a dripless shaft seal AND an AquaDrive (a CV joint and thrust bearing inboard of the shaft log).

2) Series 12v LiFePO4 to get 48v does not work reliably, unless the BMS from each 12v communicates well with all the other batteries in series, and such communicating BMS are not available in widely available batteries. So get 48v batteries, and put them in parallel.

3) Use separate charger, and inverter. Do NOT use a combined charger-inverter.

 
A

Amati

Guest
I think an electric outboard would be nicer than dragging the shaft, strut, and (folding) prop around all the time. However, Torqueedo does not use LiFePO4 but BMW i3 batteries that are cobalt based and therefore far, far too dangerous for me to use aboard. If there was an electric outboard with a large diameter, slow turning prop (efficient at displacement speeds) that could use any arbitrary battery, then I'd probably go for it. I have an ElectricYacht 10KW air cooled motor (connected to the existing shaft) that I derate with software (settings in the EY controller) to 5KW to limit current draw from the 5KWh battery bank to 1C. Super easy to connect to the shaft.

Problems that you should not repeat:

1) Keep your old fashioned shaft log, or you need to go all the way and install BOTH a dripless shaft seal AND an AquaDrive (a CV joint and thrust bearing inboard of the shaft log).

2) Series 12v LiFePO4 to get 48v does not work reliably, unless the BMS from each 12v communicates well with all the other batteries in series, and such communicating BMS are not available in widely available batteries. So get 48v batteries, and put them in parallel.

3) Use separate charger, and inverter. Do NOT use a combined charger-inverter.
I’m going to use the Torqeedo 48- 5000 (the 2 battery system ) only for the cruise 12.0 pod sail drive with a folding flex o fold 2 blade prop ( I have one now, and it’s really efficient on the Yanmar sail drive as well as having composite blades), which looks to be a discretely designed system using LMO -NMC batteries, The charger looks to be separate from the inverter which would seem to address your concern there (but I will make sure), and separately use 2 3500 batteries as the house bank- each has their own discrete controller, apparently separate charger etc, they are Li NMC (which you do have concerns with?), and will be used only for 24 volt winches & electric toilet, 12 volt radio, depth sounder, navigation lights, 12 volt car charger outlet for the seldom used tiller auto pilot (although we’d like to do the interior lights with individual flashlight batteries)- not much else to run on it.  it looks like the charger is separate from the inverter (again, I’ll ask & make sure), same as the the 48-5000 system.  The folks I have talked are happy with the 2 discrete systems, and keeping them separate.  I understand using an outboard, but no.  We’re working with Eric Jensen, who currently is doing an electric motorboat, and Raven Electric, who is doing electric hybrid conversions, so we’ll see where they recommend putting them, and what kind of installations. The motor and sail drive have their own tub under the cockpit floor, and are separate from the cabin, so they will have plenty of cool, ventilated room- we have no accommodations aft of the cabin, just lazarettes.  We’ve kept the lead acetate batteries that we’ll be getting rid of in their own cubicles under food storage lockers under the galley, but not directly on the hull, so if we put the 3500s there they’ll be out of site, but we won’t be sitting or sleeping on them.

Are there any specific BMS system specifications I should be looking for?  I can post what Torqeedo has, if that would help.

How would anyone rate the danger of specific Li batteries compared to say, pyrotechnical flares?  
 

 
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