The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Another Reason To Buy an Electric Outboard

Thanks to an article by Eric Klem, and to a lesser extent one of mine, we all now clearly understand how bad weight in the ends of the boat is for sailing performance.

What’s this got to do with electric outboards? While thinking about a new outboard for our J/109, it just struck me that the answer is plenty:

Outboards clamped to the rail aft or, worse still, on the back of a dinghy stowed in davits, are a big performance hit because they are a long way from the axis of pitch and even further from the centre of gravity.

But what else are we going to do with a machine full of gas (petrol)?

Plus, we will probably also stow a jug full of fuel for the infernal machine—diesels I get along with, outboards not so much—back there.

Electric outboards are way better in this regard because we can stow them below and further forward. Even a few feet will make a difference because the negative effect scales by the square of the distance from the axis of pitch, and said axis is often quite far aft.

So moving the outboard from the stern rail to say the forward end of the cockpit locker is a huge gain.

Heck, we could even take the battery off and stow it where the weight will do the least harm.

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