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Seven things we didn't expect to love so much about electric propulsion!

Co-founders of HopYacht, Paul and Mary-Clare Tomes, talk about why the decision to equip their new HopYacht 30 with twin E-Propulsion 6kW electric motors has been so positive.

1. Dock mode

Because electric motors have significant torque, a single push of the dock mode button, de-sensitises the throttles so that you can't accidentally 'over-cook' things. Dock mode is a bit like being able to adjust the speed your computer mouse tracks across the screen ... giving you better control when you need it most.

2. Always on standby

This is one of the most significant advantages of electric propulsion we discovered during our initial test sails. When you need power to quickly get out of trouble there's typically very little time to turn a key, pull the starter, and wait for a diesel engine to get up to speed. Electric motors give you instant power on demand.

3. Pushing through a tack.

Whether it's a lack of wind, adverse sea conditions, or just a lapse in concentration, every now and again we are all guilty of stalling our boat in a tack. With electric propulsion on demand, a quick burst of power on the leeward motor and our HopYacht sorts itself out very quickly.

Sailing single-handed, power-assisted tacking is an absolute joy, giving you more time to focus on loading the new sheet onto the winch.

4. Pushing through the swell

Sailing in light winds and a lumpy sea often results in not enough boat speed to drive efficiently and comfortably through the swell. Adding just a touch of electric propulsion to increase speed, helps the bows cut through the waves. Of course, you can do this with diesel engines, however, you pay a heavy price with noise and fumes adding to the overall discomfort.

5. E-Sailing!

E-bikes have transformed cycling, so how about E-Sailing? Let's imagine under full sail, with the prevailing wind and sea state you are managing around 4 knots. By adding as little as 300 watts of power, we have found we can add another knot of boat speed. This means just 5% of the motor capacity adds 25% more speed.

This could be quite significant if you are trying to beat the tide or you have a hot date!

On a marginally sunny day with just 300 watts of power from each motor, HopYacht's solar panels still create a net positive input. This means you can e-sail all day and arrive at your destination with full capacity in the batteries.

6. So far it's all been free!

Our first Hopyacht has been in the water now for over 4 months and our shore power cable has yet to be unwrapped!

Typically we use the motors for +/- 15 minutes to get clear of the marina, sail, or e-sail throughout the day, and later if the wind dies, perhaps an hour or so of motoring to get back home. We rarely use more than 10 -15% of the battery capacity. With 1 600 watts of solar input, the batteries are topped up very quickly.

And best of all, so far we estimate we have saved over 100 litres of diesel. Fuel free means pollution free ... happy days!

7. Going green means your guests don't go green!

So many of the guests we have onboard HopYacht (especially non-sailors), talk about how the fumes from a diesel motor trigger nausea and sea sickness.

With whisper-quiet electric propulsion you are saving the planet and saving your guests ... one sail at a time!


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