New batteries for electric motor and hull maintenance for Alice Gale

It’s been three years of utilization of the 48V 220 ah battery bank for Alice Gale. We have only had the opportunity to motor sail about a dozen times in that period and two of the eight 6v batteries have failed. Part of an ongoing problem with the AGM 6V solution running in series to make the 48V power is having a good charging system. My installation included two twin 12V Genius chargers. These have worked flawlessly on other 12V batteries I own in keeping a 24/7 charge while maintaining maximum battery life. Unfortunately I have found that the Genius charger simply can’t charge two high capacity 6V batteries in series. I have only been able to plug the 12v charger in for a 48 to 72 hour period before a ‘failsafe’ shut off occurs to ‘prevent’ battery damage. This hasn’t worked well as I then allowed the batteries to self discharge to a low damaging state from disuse.

To correct this battery issue I have substituted the eight 6V 220Ah AGM batteries for four 100ah wet cell 12v batteries. These will be maintained in good condition by the Genius charger. (I will have to inspect water levels of the batteries periodically. I will likely give you an update a year or two from now on how successful this turns out.) While I have cut my running time in half, the 100ah capacity give me about 4 hours of operating time at my current cruising speed before battery depletion falls below 50%. This is more then adequate for my intended usage and I can comfortable replace batteries every few years at a reasonable cost. If I was to redesign the system from scratch I may be tempted to update to a LiPo2 system with a correspondingly correct charger and monitoring system, but my usage of Alice Gale is so limited that I believe this would be a money sink hole and wouldn’t add value.

Changing out the batteries have also lowered my gross boat weight by 250 lbs so it again is floating a bit higher in the water and has lost a tad of that desired stability I enjoyed with the heavy battery bank. I might be adding a water ballast system in the future.

Alice Gale had a fair amount of surface checking on the paint so I blocked her off the trailer. I then spend a week of sanding and finally spraying several new top coats of paint. Good as new!


Posted by on July 2, 2020 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


Early Afternoon sail

Ready for an early afternoon sail in Newport Harbor (Aug 2018)

This is taken from Newport Dunes launch ramp.   This is the only public access launch ramp for Newport Harbor.   I usually do my sailing midweek to avoid overcrowding at the ramp.  Parking can be limited here along with periodic closures due to local events.


Posted by on August 7, 2018 in Building Stage


Motor sailing with Alice Gale

This video is my first sail with Alice Gale after the Elco electric conversion.  I have comments about the sailing and handling in the video.   In summary,  I am super pleased with the outcome of the conversion.

Since this video I have had other opportunities to sail.  What I discovered was a wonderful way of motor sailing.  With just a minimum thrust from the electric motor I am now able to significantly improve my pointing ability.  The motor has eliminated all concerns about cruising the harbors in Southern California.  The boat balance feels great.

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Posted by on November 17, 2017 in Building Stage


Alice Gale is now a “Happy Ohm”

After several years of motoring out to the sailing area of Newport Beach I have desired an electric conversion to allow smoother and quieter operation, provide a substitute power source for relaxed cruising with friends, and allow access to the canal homes in our area.   An electric conversion would allow us to significantly expand my local area of exploration. My gas 4.0 motor was not particularly happy at super slow cruising speeds and liked to run at quarter throttle which for the Alice Gale was approaching hull speed.    I desired an electric motor that would have zero to max power available with the twist of a knob or throttle.

I have researched multiple sources for electric propulsion and found a direct solution for my use without significant modification to Alice Gale.   Elco Motor Yachts started distributing 9.9 hp motors that have the exact footprint of my existing 4.0 hp Mercury motor.


As a reminder to my followers,  my number one usage of Alice Gale is harbor cruising under sail with friends while enjoying the views and a glass of wine with snacks.  Boat speed was never an issue, so a fast responding quick moving sailboat is the opposite of my desires.    Under perfect conditions I wanted a responsive boat that would move comfortable under a range of wind conditions and be stable enough not to concern the captain or passengers of ‘dangerous capsize conditions’.     Alice Gale has always been a responsive and easily driven boat under light to moderate wind conditions.  Under erratic and higher wind conditions greater then 10 knots required more sailing focus from me or reefing to de-power  the boat for comfort sailing.

With this in mind I have been comfortable trading boat acceleration for more stability.

The following photo’s explain my changes to Alice Gale in making her a truly multipurpose boat.  She is rigged for both sail and as an electric launch.

My design updates included adding 550 lbs of lead acid AGM batteries to the center line of the boat.


This modification has done an excellent job in lowering the waterline on the bow of the boat and raising slightly the stern to match the designed waterline originally intended for the Ebihen 15.  Alice Gale was alway a bit tail heavy and looks better with several passengers sitting up front.  With the added battery weight clearly centered on the boats center the boat sits very comfortable in the water, though it now may be an inch or two overall lower then design.   It has made the boat several inches longer at the waterline, so in reality I have a slight increase in maximum hull speed.    As the owner of the boat I am extremely happy with the changes.


Alice Gale sitting nicely at the dock with electric propulsion

llSo starting from the beginning of my modification.  After determining by measurement and balance I selected an installation of the batteries directly below my forward seats on  the center balance point of Alice Gale.   I designed and made brackets and a battery shelf to both secure and hide the batteries from normal view.    All of my parts where first constructed with thin ply patterns.   I experimented a number of times to come up with the final shape, shelf height and overall look.


Brackets cut and notched for cross members


Removing finish for Epoxy attachment


Bracket and cross members installed

With the weight of each battery at 61 lbs I made sure I had sufficient cross bracing to support the weight of four batteries.  Each support member is epoxy attached to the adjoining frame.




Battery support


More prep


Adding a door rail


Door rail detail


Door rail detail


Door rail installed


Prep and paint the shelf brackets


Shelf installed


Painted to match hull color


Dry fitted door panel


Identified Left/Right side for perfect fit


First battery install


Cutouts for Gauges


Filled old master Switch location


Master Switch, Amp Meter, and Charger outlet


Finished look


Finished look

The tight areas under the seat shelf has the added benefit of allowing stowage of fenders and life jackets without the clutter of being underfoot or hidden away in cabinets.


Installed charger

I installed NOCO Genius dual 10 amp chargers for each 12v bank.  I hooked up across each 6 volt pair to individually charge two batteries independently from the other batteries in the bank.   Each side of Alice Gale has a similar row of batteries (4 – 210 amp AGM) and a 2 bank 12 volt charger as shown.


Shunt and bilge pump wiring

I used my previously wired bilge pump and required to a 12V bank.  The lower shunt provides details to the running amp meter from Victron Energy.


Ready for our first cruise




Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Building Stage


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Rigging Alice Gale

Alice Gale is rigged for sailing.

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Alice Gale



Posted by on January 2, 2016 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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A two day sail in San Diego Harbor.

Gail and I trailered “Alice Gale” down to San Diego and spent two days sailing out of Shelter Island.


Posted by on February 2, 2014 in Sailing the Ebihen 15


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