Editor’s note: In our Holiday 2015 issue, Derek Rupe described how replacing the diesel engine in his 30-footer with an electric motor led to his founding a company, Captineer, to help others do the same. The letter below exemplifies the very positive response that “Watts Up” has generated.
Derek has joined a growing list of sailors who have moved from diesel to electric. Most of them have recognized that electric is compatible with the experience or way they use their sailboat. Today there are quality electric propulsion vendors providing service to the US market: Elco, Electric Yacht, Electroprop, MasterVolt, Thoosa, Torqeedo are the best known. I have worked with over 300 clients who have done so.
Mike Gunning, Director of Sales at Electric Yacht, Dana Point, CA
Mike - Thanks for the comments. Cruising with electric auxiliary power is very feasible and potentially more pleasant and stress free than traditional auxiliary power sources. It becomes a question of why we sail versus power boat in the first place. I believe electric to be the better system because it enhances the sailing experience. When planning trips, there are concessions that have to be made depending on the electric system. However, once these limitations are factored in, any trip or adventure is possible. If arriving at ones destination as quickly as possible is the goal, a cigarette boat or jet-ski is perfect, but as a sailor I like to think the pleasure of the journey is as important as the destination.
Derek Rupe, Captineer.com