One of the most recognisable dingy’s in pittwater is my trusty 14 year old tender to Gaisdream. With her attractive lines, striking red colour and trade mark love-heart in the rudder, she has been immortalised in the sketch books of a number of local artists and even features in one of the postcards on sale at the local shop.
She was designed as a rowing dinghy, that also had the option of installing a dagger-board and mast so could be sailed, but the most common means of propulsion was via the small outboard motor that I fitted into a well in the center, making here an ‘in-board, outboard’.
It has been my dream to convert the Red Dingy to be electric for a long-while now, and turn her into a rowing sailing electric boat, with more power as an electric dingy than she has as a petrol outboard,
and over the past few weeks the stars aligned to make it happen.
The first task was to remove the trusty 3 hp outboard from, rip out the old engine well where it used to sit in as an inboard-outboard, and fill in the hole in the hull.
At the same time, I needed to build and install a new propeller shaft as well as construct a new and bigger rudder, which of course, needed to have my trade mark love heart.
A big part of the job was raising the aft floor to create more floatation for the extra weight of the battery bank since the boat is self draining and more space was needed under the floor for the engine components and the batteries.
At the same time as putting the electric conversion in place, I also gave the boat some tender loving care, with a fresh coat of paint, and some minor repairs, so that she looks almost like new again.
The electric propulsion system consists of 5 main parts, I) the 2kw brush-less motor with a 3 to 1 reduction chain drive, ii) the controller for the motor, iii) a joy stick to control it, iv) 3 12volt 100AH batteries to run it with, and v) a special 36 volt battery charger built into the boat.
So far we have discovered that at just over 5 knots we can run for 2 hours and at 4.5 knots we can run for 3 hours, and that the recharge time for 80% battery usage is about 6 hours.
The red boat still can take heavy loads and she is doing an awesome job as people and cargo mover, and is being used evey day as a commuter boat
Since she gets charged with 100% Green energy, she is a carbon neutral boat. Also we have gone from spending about 12 dollars a week to about 2.10 dollars a week in running costs, it shows that being climate friendly can also be good for the hip pocket..
3 of 100 ah 12 volt batteries
engine with controller
under floor batteries and engine
the finished product