Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

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Jaysen
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by Jaysen » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:12 am

I don’t know fallguy... I drive an electric car. 80k miles so far. Zero maintenance on the electric drive train. What’s the maintenance that you’re suggesting I’m missing?

I think you are taking some opinions of others as gospel without considering dissenting opinions or real world data.


Jaysen wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:44 pm
I tried to say something but God thought I was wrong and filled my mouth with saltwater. I kept my pie hole shut after that.

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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by jacquesmm » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:06 am

This is a very special case: the requirements are very low. The boat does not have to go fast, 5 HP is sufficient. There is no need for reserve HP, the water will always be flat and I suppose it's protected from excessive wind. The boat does not have to run very long (one hour). All this means that the energy requirements are very low, much less than what I assumed.
In that case, it may work.

Any requirement for more energy will need much more batteries and panels but this is so modest that I believe it can be a good application.

I don't believe that the technology of electric boats is mature or affordable enough for the type of application most of our builder's plan. It is still in the experimental stages. This is an exception.
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Jaysen
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by Jaysen » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:26 am

jacquesmm wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:06 am
I don't believe that the technology of electric boats is mature or affordable enough for the type of application most of our builder's plan. It is still in the experimental stages. This is an exception.
I agree with you completely. There are a number of all electric, all weather, significant displacement boats out there but they have enormous power banks that would bankrupt anyone with modestly deep pockets. In the next 2-3yr the cost to capacity ratio will start to invert making emotors a viable option. Other than that, the tech just needs to be more widely available for it to be a viable option for the "common boater".

Someone needs to explain what fallguy is talking about. JM's statement is a much different statement than the "more maintenance" statement. I'm seeing nothing in the marine industry or consumer spaces that agree with fallguy. The only place I'm finding support is in industrial spaces that are operating in conditions that make ICE/diesel have much higher than normal maint as well.
Jaysen wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:44 pm
I tried to say something but God thought I was wrong and filled my mouth with saltwater. I kept my pie hole shut after that.

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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by fallguy1000 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:00 am

Jaysen wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:12 am
I don’t know fallguy... I drive an electric car. 80k miles so far. Zero maintenance on the electric drive train. What’s the maintenance that you’re suggesting I’m missing?

I think you are taking some opinions of others as gospel without considering dissenting opinions or real world data.
No.

My wife has a Tesla S. Plug it in each nite and forget it.

Batteries for electric driven boats will cost more than an outboard overtime. More cost is not less maintenance.

Start to add solar panels to the Tesla requirements and the entire game changes; for example. Do you realize the solar needs for a Tesla?

I am merely pointing out the problems with a 'simple' all solar all electric boat.

The panels and batteries will not outlast the outboard.

And this is where 'maintenance' falls in.

The Torqueedo 5 hp system (engine and battery) costs $7000.

Torqueedo suggests a range of 10-20 miles on a full charge, but less for displacement hull.

How is a 20-24' hull not operating at displacement speeds at 5hp?

Then, Torqueedo avoids the depth of discharge discussion. But I am willing to bet they range at 80% dod. This drastically reduces battery life to 2000 cycles from 5000. So, you say, I will only use it down to 50.

So, you adjust. If 80% dod equals 10-20 miles for a light vessel planing; 100% dod is 12.5-25 miles and 50% is 6.25-12.5. Then the displacement issue. Let's say he gets a 2/3rds reduction. He gets a range of 4-8 miles for $7000 before adding costs for solar and controllers.

I am sorry, but you have to really want quiet for that kind of result.

If you erase the solar aspect; the paradigm changes. You go away from the problem of undercharging your boat on a cloudy weekend and having to plug it in anyway. You also skip the problem of adding solar panels every 5-10 years along with the 3000 battery.

Otherwise, you could buy a bunch of batteries for say $200 a piece and run them all together and save maybe 2k and pay with less loading.

All in all, batteries are really super expensive in boat either as xtra weight or xtra cost at low weights.

It is really hard for me to fathom spending $4500 on a battery for my boat during setup. If I fry one; pretty hard to stomach. And this issue is no different for anyone.

As much as I love the concept of electric boats; battery costs are still really making it tough.

Producing the power for the boat is not a maintenance free concept. And so, when we add solar power plants; the concept is different.

If, on the other hand you want to spend and extra 5000 on an electric motor and battery versus a gas one and you set it up for getting plugged in like a Tesla on off peak power; things would be much better.
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by fallguy1000 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:06 am

Maintenance to me is oversight and money, too.

Watching solar charge rates, managing charging systems, spending 5 grand more for Torqueedo; all a lot of unneeded xtra bs.
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by Fred in Wisc » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:09 am

Thanks for the input, gentlemen. I agree in general electric ain't quite ready for "regular" use yet, but this is an unusual case.

So, I'm leaning towards the EC24, just gonna have to rearrange the dock when I put it in next year to accomodate the length.

Fortunately, charging and battery bank are scalable- so if they' prove to be marginal/inadequate I can just add panels or batteries to the basic infrastructure. I'll try the solar system as specified above, but get 20a charge controllers rather than the standard 10a, that way if I need more charging I can just add more panels. I'll start with the smaller 70-80a-h batteries, and make provisions to have room for an extra one or 2 in case I need more capacity. And finally, I'll watch for a deal on a larger trolling motor for the times that a 50# may be inadequate (windy days- again it ain't likey my wife will use the boat if it's not real nice out).

If I end up with a 24v motor, I might go to a much smaller "get home" second battery bank to minimize the weight since it'll need 4 batteries. Then I can make the backup system solar smaller and the main battery solar bigger (some of the little 100w systems use 4x25w panels so I can swap those around and put 6 on the main battery bank and 2 on the smaller backup- and most of the controllers are switchable for 12v or 24v battery storage) . The good part is having a bigger electric motor only increases power use at higher motor power settings. I'm also planning no console, tiller steer (maybe up front with a "puller" rather than a "pusher" for better maneuvering) and very lightweight seating/railings/roof.

With the maintenance- I don't mind changing out panels or batteries every few years. What I need is something that doesn't give my wife the day to day messing with carrying fuel tanks and cranky outboards (we're in a "reformulated gas" area- I have to drive 90 minutes round trip to get ethanol free gas). If there's any of that, the boat will get a lot less use. And I'll have an unhappy wife 'cuz I spend a few grand and a bunch of hours building a boat she doesn't like.

I think the economics of electric power on this scale make sense- $400-600 for batteries (but free for now- I've got extra near new AGMs in the garage)$300-600 for solar, $100 for misc wiring parts, and $150-300 for a trolling motor (or use the extra one I've got already at first, but it's only a 36 or 40#). I'm not building the marine equivalent of a car- I'm building the equivalent of a little motorcycle or a big scooter. Just like going fishing on my big boat, but driving around with the trolling motor and not using the big outboard. Worst case scenario here is a one mile tow back home to the dock. It ain't gotta be that heavy duty.

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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by fallguy1000 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:27 am

Fred in Wisc wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:09 am
Thanks for the input, gentlemen. I agree in general electric ain't quite ready for "regular" use yet, but this is an unusual case.

So, I'm leaning towards the EC24, just gonna have to rearrange the dock when I put it in next year to accomodate the length.

Fortunately, charging and battery bank are scalable- so if they' prove to be marginal/inadequate I can just add panels or batteries to the basic infrastructure. I'll try the solar system as specified above, but get 20a charge controllers rather than the standard 10a, that way if I need more charging I can just add more panels. I'll start with the smaller 70-80a-h batteries, and make provisions to have room for an extra one or 2 in case I need more capacity. And finally, I'll watch for a deal on a larger trolling motor for the times that a 50# may be inadequate (windy days- again it ain't likey my wife will use the boat if it's not real nice out).

If I end up with a 24v motor, I might go to a much smaller "get home" second battery bank to minimize the weight since it'll need 4 batteries. Then I can make the backup system solar smaller and the main battery solar bigger (some of the little 100w systems use 4x25w panels so I can swap those around and put 6 on the main battery bank and 2 on the smaller backup- and most of the controllers are switchable for 12v or 24v battery storage) . The good part is having a bigger electric motor only increases power use at higher motor power settings. I'm also planning no console, tiller steer (maybe up front with a "puller" rather than a "pusher" for better maneuvering) and very lightweight seating/railings/roof.

With the maintenance- I don't mind changing out panels or batteries every few years. What I need is something that doesn't give my wife the day to day messing with carrying fuel tanks and cranky outboards (we're in a "reformulated gas" area- I have to drive 90 minutes round trip to get ethanol free gas). If there's any of that, the boat will get a lot less use. And I'll have an unhappy wife 'cuz I spend a few grand and a bunch of hours building a boat she doesn't like.

I think the economics of electric power on this scale make sense- $400-600 for batteries (but free for now- I've got extra near new AGMs in the garage)$300-600 for solar, $100 for misc wiring parts, and $150-300 for a trolling motor (or use the extra one I've got already at first, but it's only a 36 or 40#). I'm not building the marine equivalent of a car- I'm building the equivalent of a little motorcycle or a big scooter. Just like going fishing on my big boat, but driving around with the trolling motor and not using the big outboard. Worst case scenario here is a one mile tow back home to the dock. It ain't gotta be that heavy duty.
Consider the 36v trolling motors.

I have a feeling you'll be quite saddened by range and thrust both of the smaller.

I have found that transom mounted electrics lack the ability to maintain the helm in a bit of breeze. This is because the props are too small. The only way to deal with ime is bow mount. So consider a bow mount if using lower thrusts; even the 36v, 112#.

Your Mrs might prefer the bow mount because you see the way the motor is pointed and that is your bearing; no guesses.
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by jacquesmm » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:35 am

A pair of trolling motors is a good idea.

Don't overlook the max. battery discharge rate. Lead-acid batteries will let you go down to 50% max. and that cycle can be repeated less than 1,000 times.
I have Trojan AGM in my camper and they are excellent when coupled with a good charger/regulator but I don't let them fall below 11V.
In the big boat, I have lead acid and those last about 3 years.
Trojan or Surette (best batteries) cost more than twice what a normal deep cycle cost.
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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by Matt Gent » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:36 am

I have a small pontoon, 16x8 and it’s great for that usage. I have a 30 but for putt putt you could have a 6hp self contained 4 stroke

If you want to build something small I’d build a barge rather than a pontoon. Garvey / Jon boat style. Efficiency doesn’t matter so much on a small lake, and you get tons of capacity.

But bang for buck I’d shop for a beater pontoon that needs a rebuild. Mine was literally free. There are some pics in a post here.

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Re: Smaller pontoon boat- EC24 or PC20 but shorter?

Post by Dougster » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:47 am

Sounds like a really fun project to me, and I hope you build it. I agree with the bow mount trolling motor---makes for easy maneuvering. It also allows for the option of adding a little gas kicker on the stern if later desired. I know I harp on it a bit, but so far I'm loving the 5 horse Tohatsu propane outboard SK14. Gets 5 hours on a little 11 lb propane tank when run hard. Go all day at idle. No smelly gas, no Stabil/alcohol free worries. But a quite electric boat for easy 2 hour cruise sounds very nice. My 12v Minn Kota with spotlock runs plenty long on a standard 50 ah battery (battery weighs 50lbs). Lithium ion is coming down, to around $500 for 50ah now Still too high but getting there. I'd go for it at $300, given the weight (<20lbs for 50ah). 'Course a PC 20 is no SK14 and the 24v or 35v may be more reasonable.

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