Elco Electric Propulsion is Simple to Install

John Kelly “The installation of the Elco Electric Motor is actually quite easy and Elco makes it very simple to do. All of the electronics are pre-packaged, all of the control systems are pre-packaged and because it is electric it is very compact motor, which made it fit very nice behind the bulk-head, so the installation was very easy. Of course it has a large battery pack but on a sail boat, down by the keel, that’s no problem. And what’s really nice is that not only do I have no sound, but I have no gasoline on board, so it’s very quiet, very efficient, and very economical.”

Reuben Smith “You might think that putting in an electric motor would be a more complex and harder to deal with than putting in a diesel or gas engine but actually its simpler because you don’t have to plumb for a fuel system or an exhaust system, you can play with space in a different way,you can shift the whole load of weight in a boat in a different way, you can put the batteries where you want them, you can put the motor where you want it. All of these things that effect the frame and the performance of a boat, and a nice feature of an electric boat is that you can be very wise in where you place things. In a formula one they call the engine the ‘lump’ because its always in the way, the aerodynamics call it the ‘lump’ and the engine can be a lump- you really want it out ofthe way and with an electric motor it’s possible.”

Joe Flemming “At Elco we package the complete electric propulsion system in one unit, the plug between the instrument panel, the throttle, and the motor are all plug and play. You don’t have to do any wiring, the only wiring that you have to do for the installation are the batteries, we provide the plug, and all you do is put the batteries in the boat, hook up the wires to your batteries and the plug and it goes together. If you were to receive a system from Elco, we’ll ship you a system, and you had the batteries wired sitting on a bench, you could unplug the Elco system, plug it all together, unpack it I should say, plug it all together and have it running in the matter of two or three minutes. With a competitive unit, or any of the other ones that are out there, you would have to buy all of the pieces, buy the wiring, crimp terminals on, and to put a system together to run would probably take you half of a day on a bench. On a boat probably two days. The installation of an Elco motor on a boat can be done in the matter of a couple of hours. “

Electric Propulsion Satisfaction

John Kelly “One of the reasons I love to sail is the silence and just listening to the wind and just cruising through the water and hearing the water slap against the wooden hull and having an electric motor which is essentially perfectly silent is a perfect fit. In fact when I’m raising the sail sometimes it’s so quiet and I forget to turn to motor off which of course if I was racing would be a problem.”
Jeff Killeen “An electric boat is like being on a sailboat but under power, the lap of the water the quiet of the engine, you are under power but you can talk. For us it’s a cocktail boat- taking that morning cruise or that before of after dinner cruise and being able to talk to your fellow passengers and knowing that you are under reliable safe power, to hear the lap of the water against the hull and say ‘How is this happening? It’s a magical experience on the water. And when you are all by yourself on that Elco boat, you know that you’ve done something that makes you feel good, it’s green, it’s just elegant. It’s a tremendous experience.”
Lydie Jakobson “It’s perfect and the fun part is that when you go to harbor it’s so quiet that people turn around and they look and see that the sail is down and they don’t get it, so the first time we went to harbor, the mayor wanted to come on the boat, there are so many people that come and say can I check the motor, can I check this, can I check that? I’m like, yeah- come on in! ‘Lydie’ the sailboat is like the talk of the town. Everybody wants to be on that boat, at one point we had twenty people, sitting everywhere, eating and checking out the Elco motor, it’s like okay, can we see it? can we see it? Sure! So it’s like a tour of the boat and nobody left! It was fun- it was a lot of fun.”
Chris Jester “The electric boat has been received by our customers very well. The biggest sign is within a month of getting the boat, our membership is sold out. With Sailtime we have one owner and we have up to six leases. We got all six of the leases very quickly, within a month, so we are happy to say that it has been received very well…Some of the comments coming from the Sailtime members that have been on other boats with other diesel engines versus the Elco is it’s much quieter, we don’t hear the noise, the vibration, actually the biggest thing I hear is on not having to start it up and not having to check belt tension, not having to check the coolant level, not having to check oil, it’s actually kind of funny and kind of quick.”
Leo Vortouni “I’ve owned seven boats, anywhere from nineteen feet to thirty six feet, I’ve also chartered boats around the world in Greece, the Caribbean, and Tahit up to fifty five foot boats, I love to sail, but there hasn’t been a boat like ‘Lydie’ it is so trouble free and so quiet and so easy to operate.”

Electric Motor Compared to a Combustion Engine

Chris Jester “In regards to the performance and the operation of the ‘Lydie’ versus other 36′s, we haven’t really seen much of a difference, by the way the boats turning radius, the way it backs up, the way it moves forward, the prop walk, the propulsion…”
Lydie Jakobson “Friday, we went to Catalina, there was about 20-21 knots of wind and very strong swells and the boat did really really good. At one point we did start the motor and it had no problem, it goes right through those waves.”
Leo Vortouni “Catalina is about forty miles away, and unfortunately that day, there was no wind what so ever, so we had to motor over. We motored the whole way, and Sunday coming back unfortunately we had no wind, we used the electric motor the whole way back and I turned on the generator just before we got to Newport and it was a great trip, we had no problems what so ever.”
Reuben Smith “This little 3hp motor will pull this 6500lb boat at hull speed, just as nice as can be. It just doesn’t need to be a very powerful engine, you don’t need a capacity beyond what an engine can give you.”

Elco Electric Propulsion is Simple to Operate

John Kelly “The Elco electric motors are basically maintenance free. There is no oil changes, there is no gasoline to worry about with the change of seasons. The only thing that I need to do is plug it in. The batteries last basically many many hours, plenty on my sailboat. o it’s just very very easy to use and it saves a great deal of maintenance.”
Reuben Smith “There is a lot of advantages to electric over gas or diesel. In terms of long term maintenance and reliability. One thing of course is that you just don;t have ‘thru holes” that you tend to all of the time. ****”Thru holes are elbow sinks so often it’s not funny. Having eliminated so many of these because you do not have an exhaust port, a cooling line, that’s really key. There is so much less to maintain…It’s easy to take in and out of the boat if you ever had to- honestly I do not ever anticipate ever needing to. I can’t imagine especially in a sailboat that doesn’t get used so much. You just don’t even need to think about it, and that’s another advantage to electric power. Because if you are only running your motor four or five hours a year then having one that doesn’t have fuel to deal with, or oil to change- that’s priceless. hat’s a really good value.”
Joe Flemming “The three phase issue motor requires zero maintenance You put it to bed in the Winter or Fall, you take it out in the Spring and it’s ready to go, nothing that you have to do. As far as the batteries are concerned whether it be an A/C motor or D/C motor, if you have good batteries the basic thing is to charge them in the fall, make sure that they are charged, if you have a maintenance charger that you leave on there that is fine. Good batteries only lose one to two percent per month on their charge. So a good propulsion system, especially one with an A/C motor, you can let it go and the maintenance is zero and over the winter you don’t have to worry about about winterization or a block freezing up or things of that nature.”
Lydie Jakobson “As a woman it’s easier to operate ‘Lydie’ the sailboat, the electric boat compared to another boat just because you don’t have to deal with the oil checking or gas fumes or if there is a gas leak. I don’t have to worry about anything, when I come on the boat, I unplug the thing, turn on what needs to be turned on and here you go!”
Chris Jester “Our current 36′s have diesel engines and over the years have required significant maintenance. With the Elco specifically we have not seen any maintenance issues with it yet and we understand that it can run 50,000 hours with out any maintenance.”
Leo Vortouni “The ease of operation has been a lot easier. The other boats when you get on, you have to check the engine, check the oil, check the belts, check the fluid levels, look over the engine in general. On this boat, I do nothing. I don’t even look at the engine. I know it’s there.”

A/C Electric Motor Compared to a D/C Motor

Joe Flemming “I felt that we should abandon the D/C motor and go with the A/C motor for the reliability, the simplicity of design, efficiency and ultimately the lower cost. D/C motors have brushes and commutators, and the part that turns is the armature or the rotor and that has windings on it including field windings. Where there is a shut wound motor or a series wound motor, the two types of D/C motors, there is quite a bit of losses. The efficiency on even a good D/C motor is seldom above 80-85 percent efficient which sounds pretty good. Now take an A/C motor, especially a 3 phase A/C induction motor there are no brushes, no commutator, there is no rotating, winding and the efficiency of a good motor starts at the high 80 percentile and goes up into the low 90 percentile. So you are talking about something like a ten percent more efficient. The other thing is that a good D/C motor will give you two to three thousand hours of life, which sounds like a tremendous amount of time, but an average A/C motor can certainly give you up in to the fifty thousand hour life, and it isn’t just the motor that wears out, it’s typically the bearings and they are easy to replace. The motors we use are regular standard off of the shelf ball bearings, deep groove permanently lubricated, sealed ball bearings, you put the motor in and you never have to worry about it. With a D/C motor in a boat you have moisture conditions which can cause corrosion on the commutator, make the brushes stick. So a D/C motor does require periodic maintenance, the three phase issue motor requires zero maintenance.”

Electric Propulsion is Evironmentally Friendly

John Kelly “I sail this boat here on Lake George which is in Upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains. Lake George is one of the most beautiful pure water lakes that I have ever seen or ever experienced and I have been all over the world, and so thinking about what type of motor to put in keeping the gasoline and oil away from the lake was also a big part of the decision, and electric is just so environmentally friendly and sustainable that I wanted to go electric from the get go with this boat.”

Reuben Smith “I think that in terms of green power it’s hard to argue against electric power for a sailboat you just don’t need the horsepower that you need with a power boat. If horsepower and weight are a real issue than maybe it makes sense to go with a gas or diesel, but with a sailboat weights not really a penalty as long as it’s in the right place… Just practically, not having to deal with stinky fuels, not dealing with ethanol problems and water in fuel and all of these nightmares that we have with marine engines nowadays. Its a great thing with the reliability, there is no oil changes, no mess-there is no muss no fuss. Goes in clean and easily and it’s reliable.”

Jeff Killeen “Especially if you are environmentally oriented, or if there is a green aspect to your motivation. It’s clean, it’s pollution free, it’s quiet, and it’s maintenance free. It’s ideal.”

Lydie Jakobson “There is also no fumes, no smell, there is no toxins getting out there, because I think that it is extremely important that people start to think more green, because we have to protect what’s left of the planet”

Leo Vortouni “I’m a consultant fin occupational and environmental health and it’s one the reasons that I wanted to get on a hybrid boat, the fact that it doesn’t pollute the environment. I’m very pleased from that stand point. There is no diesel fumes coming off and it doesn’t pollute the water and I’m very happy for that.”

Electric Propulsion the “better” choice

John Kelly “This is a 1926 sailboat, which is a very special antique. Originally it had no engine, it was one of twenty eight boats that was built for racing. So the decision as to what type of engine to put in was quite a big decision, I didn’t think a diesel engine or a gasoline engine would be appropriate with lake sailing on Lake George. I really need a motor to get in and out of my docks and get to the wind, so we looked around and an electric motor was a perfect solution.”

Reuben Smith “We decided to use an electric motor for a number of reasons. One of the which was we did not have the room under the cockpit to install an normal internal combustion motor, but we could fit an electric motor in that very small space. Other advantages are no thru holes, no fuel tanks, fuel tanks are a issue to deal with on a sailboat because the loading and unloading of the fuel effects the trim of a sailboat. The trim is key to performance when sailing, so with an auxiliary engine on a sailboat, you want it to be as unobtrusive as possible and the electric motor we were able to tuck in the boat in such a way that you would never know it’s there. The controls are mostly hidden from view which is nice, you really don’t know it’s there until you need to.”

Jeff Killeen “An electric boat is like being on a sailboat but under power, the lap of the water the quiet of the engine, you are under power but you can talk. For us it’s a cocktail boat- taking that morning cruise or that before of after dinner cruise and being able to talk to your fellow passengers and knowing that you are under reliable safe power, to hear the lap of the water against the hull and say ‘How is this happening?’ It’s a magical experience on the water.”

Lydie Jakobson “When we brought to boat from San Diego to Newport, the best part was no gas. You know how gas is expensive these days and more so ever been, it was such a delight not have to stop for gas because the only thing that you have to do to recharge the boat is plug it. For us it is perfect.”

Chris Jester “We ordered the Hunter 36′ with the Elco electric motor the reason being was to offer our clients something to move up to. We have three 36′ boats in our fleet already but we wanted to offer something different. We also wanted to attract a new market to gain new members…Some of the comments coming from the Sail Time members that we see have been on other 36′ boats with diesel engines versus the Elco is it much quieter, we don’t hear the noise the vibration. Actually I think that the biggest thing I hear is the difference in starting it up. We are not having to check belt tension, not having to check coolant level or oil, so it’s actually kind of funny and kind of quick.”

Leo Vortouni “One good thing about it is the lack of heat that it gives off. I know in other diesel engines, there is a lot of heat given off which contributes to the heat inside the cabin, as well as the smell. There is no heat given off by this motor and no smell what so ever. So it makes it a lot more comfortable down below.”

What Makes Elco Electric Propulsion Superior

Joe Flemming “With the Elco system, all of the wiring is rated waterproof and in a marine environment that is important. The motor itself and all of the components are at least water resistant so they can take splashing, rain and things of that nature not necessarily submersion, but very close to it; so in that regard we are much more marinized than anything out in the field. Our motors are totally enclosed fan cooled. All of the motors that I have seen out there are totally enclosed open drip proof meaning that they are open motors, water can get in them readily and it is not so with our motors, they are almost sealed.”
John Kelly “I’m delighted with my choice of an Elco electric motor for my sailboat, again having an antique boat having a very quiet, efficient, environmentally friendly, sustainable power system I think was a perfect choice. The Elco company, the people were wonderful to work with, the installation went well and it has been problem free. I am just thrilled with the decision that I have made.”
Reuben Smith “Elco as a company, the guys there were just wonderful to deal with installing the engine. We had a bunch of strange requirements we had to deal with because the space was so constrained and we also had kind of an odd system where the shaft couldn’t come out of the middle of the boat it had to be off set and run out of the side of the hull because the rudder post was in the way we had a sort of crooked installation, we wanted to use a folding propeller because of the sailboat and we also wanted a super low shaft speed for maximum efficiency so we were able to come up with a reduction system to work with the guys at Elco and to come up with just the right boat. Now we are running somewhere around twenty hours at hull speed on a single charge- it is amazingly efficient. The prop is running at 500 rpm, it doesn’t make a sound, it’s as nice as can be in this type of case. It’s so far superior to internal combustion there is no comparison. I don’t know why you would think of putting a gas or diesel engine in a boat like this.”
Leo Vortouni “I am thoroughly impressed with Elco they have been so responsive. Any littlequestion that I have had, they have always answered. Any minor glitches that have occurredthey have been right there to correct them.”
Jeff Killeen “The Elco experience, it brings together the best of antique boating with all of themarvels of today’s technology into a product that is frankly one of a kind.”
Joe Flemming “The reasons in my mind why Elco is a better choice than any of the competition arevery basic, very simple. Reliability, water resistant, more efficient, easier to install, easier to handle,very responsive, they are regenerative, they give you everything you could ever want in an electricpropulsion system.”