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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a new project I would like to get some input on.

It's a large old houseboat. 44' steel, 16,000lbs. Currently powered by twin Chrysler 225 V8's.

The motors are such a hassle all of the time that it hardly gets used because there is something wrong with it. The boat is used just for slow cruising (3-5kts) up and down the river. Usually not more than 8 miles normally. So the hp / high speed that the current engines provide are not that important.

To me it seems like the high torque properties of electric motors would be a great feature for a boat like this. Sure it weighs a lot, but size the prop accordingly and you can push a lot at low RPM.
Also battery capacity might not have to be that large due to the normally short distance and low speed that it travels.

Initially I was thinking a pair of heavy duty DC motors no more than 36-72v. There is a generator in the boat too, so there will still be some gas involved. I've heard it's a bad idea to do DC with the possibility of gas vapor near by, so maybe AC is better. Also the possibility of a single motor driving both props, though then most likely I'd lose the option of pivoting (one F one R). As it is a large displacement boat heavy batteries isn't the much of an issue. Probably make a couple of packs so one can be charging via solar / reserve while the other is used.

Any input on size of the motors and type and project in general is appreciated.
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