Something in my head was telling me. It makes sense to fit a DC electric drive, to Ocean Strider.
A blockage in the water cooling system of the Bukh, caused a catastrophic engine failure.
- Replace the Bukh engine with new. Cost, almost £13,000 with fitting.
- Replace with re-con engine and trust it was done correctly? Cost approximately £5,000.
- Just buy 2nd hand and hope. The parts are very expensive.
- Change the motor for different. Loads of hassle!!
- Fit electric!!
Our insurance agreed to pay for a used replacement. After accepting their offer, traveling the length and breadth of the UK. I could buy a lot of trouble unless I brought new.
I decided to call the insurance company and ask if they would contribute to an electric drive and they agreed straight away. The decision was made.
I’d been researching Fisher Panda, Lynch and various other marine electric drives.
Fisher Panda made brushless water-cooled motors, which sounded very good but were expensive.
The Lynch motors were air cooled and had brushes. I wanted a very basic drive that I could service when needed. Lynch wone the day.
I removed the old Bukh and stuck it on eBay. It sold almost straight away, which contributed a little and got rid of the lump.
I ordered all the parts: Lynch Marlin Drive, controller, hand control, batteries, coupling, shaft, batterie cable & lugs.
The drive was small and weighed about 18kg. I could lift it with 1 hand, which made it easy to get on board.
I started by making a 316 stainless-steel bracket with adjusters. Which would fit straight onto the original engine beds and accept the new drive. I bolted the bracket to the engine beds and dropped the drive straight on. “It was tiny”.
I made a board to fit the control box and mounted the box.
Fitted the hand control into the cock-pit, on the opposite side from the original controls.
It wasn’t going to be easy, moving 8 big 200amp batteries, to see where they would fit.
A eureka moment. I made some hard board boxes the same size as the batteries and managed to fit all 8 into the lockers around the mast. Perfect for stability and ballast. I made shelves at various levels, as low as possible and fitted the batteries.
I connected 4 batteries to make 24v units, x 2 and then connected the 2 x 24v units together, making 1 48v DC supply. I then connected the drive. I used 70mm sq tinned battery cable for all main connections. Over the top but I didn’t want any problems down the road.
I checked all connections and and the 48v DC output voltage. Then connected the drive to the power.
I couldn’t wait to run the drive, so turned the isolation switches to ON and pushed the hand control forward. Power was instant, I was in business.
I took Ocean Strider around the marina and was impressed with the quiet, clean, low vibration movement. It was well worth the effort.