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Bay of Biscay, my electric drive learning curve and our track.

A lot of catching up. My phone has been lost, my fault. Most images are gone.

Second half of the Bay of Biscay, 150 miles from land & heavy seas.

Both feeling ill and somewhat down in the dumps. No VHF radio contact, no sat phone, drive had tripped and the out-hall snapped, looking very bleak. We need to get off this downer and get positive, the Bay of Biscay was just another sail.

I knew the sail was 1st priority, 2nd was the drive, communication was a non-starter. I used a reef sheet for the out-hall, which wasn’t perfect but worked all the same. I disconnected the DC-DC converter, which I suspected had tripped the drive. We were back in business and moving forward, a huge relief.

After roughly 350 continuous sailing miles. We arrived at Ares, on a very misty but sunny afternoon, 27.08.2021. A very welcome sight.

Weather forecast after Ares: For the foreseeable future the wind forecast was either on our nose, or non-existent. My head still in the rushing game, I questioned my decision to go electric.

I needed expert advice about the capabilities of the full drive system, as I couldn’t see an acceptable safe way forward, without using the generator.

There is very little extended cruising information, related to electric drives.

I called the owner of Lynch Electric Motors. He had no experience of long-distance cruising and could offer almost no advice.

However, information offered by the battery monitor, plus experience gained on this journey. I suddenly had a clear vision, how to plan our future sailing with confidence! The Victron battery monitor has all the information. I just couldn’t see it.

For the first time, I’m assured as can be, we are as safe now with electric as we would be with diesel; with all the benefits of an electric drive.

Information available: Victron BMV700: Percentage of charge available/Volts in battery/AMP hours used/Amps being used/Watts being used/Hours left in the batteries at the current rate of use.

Everything needed.

Below is a calculation, very relevant to sailing with electric motor. Also related to diesel!!

200amp’s available before re-charge.

The distance of next trip? Say 21 miles.

Distance motoring, from marina stay, before sailing? Say, 2 nautical miles @ 4kts, 0.5hours. Using 30amp’s per hour = Approx. 15amp’s.

Sail 15 miles. 0amp’s used when sailing.

After sail to the next marina, 4 nautical miles of motoring @ 4kts. Say 1 hour @ 30amp’s = 30amp’s used.

Total amps used 45amp’s. Total amps left before charge threshold =155amps.

77.5% of battery capacity before charge is needed.

You can charge your batteries. When sailing, marina or at anchor. Land line hook up, self-generation from the prop, solar panels, wind generators. Solar and wind generation can be used when sailing. Its like filling your tank for nothing!!!

The battery monitor has all the information you need, for your sailing journey.

My rule. Sail only if you have a fair wind. If not, don’t go, unless you have to! Breaking these rules has and does take the enjoyment from sailing for me!  

To be continued ASAP. Detail and images, to be added to the following!!

Malpica, a small fishing harbour. We anchored, no facilitys.

A stunning Anchorage in Corme. A town with a helpful tourist information centre and much more.

Camarinas Marina, very basic but not expensive. We enjoyed the town and beach.

Portosin, in the Rea de Muros Y Noia. A very good marina and town, with a fantastic hardware store.

Puetro del Son, a small anchorage. Also, in the Rea De Muros Y Noia. A wonderful town and relaxing beach.

Piedras Negras, on the Peninsula de O Grove. A stunning holiday town. Well worth a visit.

Baiona: a marina with fantastic facilities and lots to see. The swell does get a little bad though.  

Povoa de Varzim: Our first Portuguese marina. Very helpful staff. Easy to enter, cheap and handy, a good stop-over.

The sail from Baiona to Varzim was by far our best. The sun was shining all the way, with 25kts Northerly, a strong fair wind.

Motor sailed,Varzim to Leixeos, a very well-run marina in a commercial harbour.

22.092021. Sailed from Leixeos to Nazare, good strong North-Easterly wind all the way.

Published by oceanstrider2

An old boy with a plan to see the world.

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