Electric Outboard by eCycle

"Gear Up" from our September 18 /SW eNewsletter/

eCycle Electric Outboard

As electric motors become more efficient, they're becoming a practical option for more and more applications, sailboats included. It's now possible to replace your boat's dirty, gas-guzzling outboard engine with a zero-emission electric powerhead from eCycle. Powered by two or three 12-volt AGM batteries, the eCycle motor retrofits onto a 9.9 hp Yamaha shaft and will operate for roughly 40 minutes at full throttle, two hours at half throttle, or several hours at idle speed. At the core of eCycle's innovative technology is a brushless electric motor-similar to those used in computer hard drives and nuclear submarines-that provides a high output, low heat, low noise, solid-state power source. Because the eCycle's magnet-driven rotor doesn't require carbon brush contact points, there's less wear and tear, and because the unit operates in near silence, your competition will be less likely to notice when you motor through those pesky lulls (just kidding). Switching to an eCycle powerhead makes sense if you mostly rely on your outboard to get you out to the racecourse and back--it provides plenty of power, just not for long. With batteries, an eCycle setup weighs about the same as a traditional outboard with a 6-gallon gas tank. You can charge the batteries with a shorepower connection, with solar panels mounted on the deck or the dock, or with eCycle's diesel APU. At $2,395, plus the cost of a Yamaha shaft, the eCycle isn't cheap; but with gasoline-free operation and the promise of low maintenance, this electric motor will pay for itself in the years to come. www.ecycle.com