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Alice Gale is now a “Happy Ohm”

30 Jun

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brackets cut and notched for cross members

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Removing finish for Epoxy attachment

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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.

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Shelf

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Battery support

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More prep

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Adding a door rail

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Door rail detail

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Door rail detail

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Door rail installed

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Prep and paint the shelf brackets

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Shelf installed

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Painted to match hull color

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Dry fitted door panel

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Identified Left/Right side for perfect fit

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First battery install

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Cutouts for Gauges

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Filled old master Switch location

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Master Switch, Amp Meter, and Charger outlet

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Finished look

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ready for our first cruise

 

 

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3 Comments

Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Building Stage

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Alice Gale is now a “Happy Ohm”

  1. Anonymous

    September 23, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Hello Stan,
    I have been inspired by your Build , and having completed my own Ebihen 15 recently was going to contact you about what kind of ballast you found best, But this seems to have superceeded all!!!
    Prior to your recent electric motor upgrade did you use any ballast?
    By the way, many congratulations on a wonderful boat, and a fantastically detailed blog, which I must confess I referred to almost as often as the patterns and plans. Who am I kidding?? More often definitely.
    Thanks for the inspiration, the dedication to sharing the building process, and the detail you went in to.
    Magnus Kelly, Skerries, Ireland

     
    • twsg2009

      September 24, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Magnus,

      Congratulations on your Ebihen 15 build. I hope to visit Ireland within the next few years and hopefully I will have a chance to see your Ebihen in person. As far as ballast for for ‘Alice Gale’; I never had additional ballast installed prior to the battery bank installation for the electric addition. I had given it some thought though many times. My recommendation is to sail your boat for a period of time and add lead ballast to balance the boat to your liking. I have found the 500 lbs of battery weight to be ideal for my boats balance as an electric launch. It is considerable more stable when boarding and I like the water line better with the additional ballast. I have enjoyed the electric Alice Gale so much that I have yet to test the sailing characteristics with the added ballast weight. My assumption is that she will be less responsive in being driven by the wind but have more stability.

       
  2. C N

    June 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Hey, congrats

     

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