Crick Boat Show, 25th to 27th May, Fischer Panda UK - Stand Q
The owners of 70ft Kingsley barge Sacred are recommending electric propulsion to other boaters after their first-hand experience of life on-board using the latest technology supplied by Fischer Panda UK.
Dale and Alison Canfield opted to install a Bellmarine electric propulsion system and Fischer Panda AGT 13kW 48v DC generator on their Elton Moss-built vessel and have no regrets after months of silent, emission free and low-cost cruising.
Dale said: “We decided on electric propulsion as we prefer to be pioneers and look to the future of boating, rather than the past. Alison felt she did not want to smell diesel and wanted a quieter cruising option. The Fischer Panda Bellmarine system, with generator, has certainly lived up to expectations for ease of use, less maintenance, quiet cruising and free energy for most of the year.
“We have porthole covers in the back windows saying ‘electric propulsion’ which certainly creates conversation on the tow path. Elton Moss in conjunction with Fischer Panda have made us very happy with the decision to change how we lived and also how we operate regarding power and movement. We are pioneers and proud of that, and very proud of Sacred.
“I would recommend electric propulsion to other boat owners. I disagree with people who say the technology isn’t ready for boats, as I am testament that it works.”
Efficient and service-free, with reduced vibration and noise, the 48v Bellmarine 20kW DriveMaster Ultimate water-cooled brushless motor system features a maximum 1450rpm and torque performance of 132Nm. In the engine room, a Fischer Panda AGT 13kW, 48-volt generator by Fischer Panda UK was installed to help charge a huge battery bank consisting of eight 6-volt cells, each one giving 468Ah. A massive solar array on the roof consisting of ten 230-watt panels keeps up with most electrical requirements, while a monitoring system on the batteries automatically starts the generator if the batteries get down to 55 per cent.
Dale and Alison have been able to cruise using just solar energy in the summer, while needing the generator more in the winter months.
Dale said: “We try to use electric only and leave the gen to cut in and out as required. Taking it slow is the key and on a sunny day we can avoid the gen kicking in and just use solar on a slow cruise speed. We have been living off the sun all last summer through until November and were back into full solar in late March. The generator has kept us going all through the winter, running approximately one hour a day.”
Leading integrated marine system specialist Fischer Panda UK offers a range of full package, electric drive hybrid systems, incorporating either a Fischer Panda ‘Easy Box’ Electric Drive System or Bellmarine system, an AGT DC genset or AC generator, and a Mastervolt BMS (Battery Management System).
Electric power can provide all the power and manoeuvrability needed for cruising, with batteries charged through the on-board charger when connected to shore power. The Fischer Panda Whisperprop and Bellmarine electric propulsion systems dramatically reduce annual maintenance costs over standard petrol or diesel engines. Fuel costs plummet with the systems providing very quiet operation.
Chris Fower, of Fischer Panda UK, said: “With our strengthened portfolio of technically advanced systems, we are well placed to meet the specific cruising needs of our customers. We have the capability to develop the right system for virtually any craft from basic low-cost power drives charged via shore power only, through to full hybrid systems linked to our compact and efficient generators that can quickly recharge the batteries quieter and faster than any other generator of comparable size and weight.”