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Electric Leopard Catamaran

Leopard 40'

This electric yacht, powered by Bellmarine sail drives was converted by Betts Boat electric

Leopard 40' electric catamaran with Bellmarine sail drives  and lithium batteries plus solar power
Electric Leopard 40' catamaran

Peter's electric conversion

For about 8 years Peter had been considering transitioning from Diesel Engines to Electric Motors for propulsion, and 6 years ago his research led him to Malcolm through a manufacturer that had what seemed right for his boat.

However, after considerable discussion with Malcolm, Peter realised that he should be more open-minded to someone who has real hands on experience with such a transition to electric and for an environment such as Australia and tropical waters, as opposed to much colder climates.

Malcolm explained to Peter the various aspects, features, benefits, and disadvantages along with recommendations to Peter and designed a robust system that would work best.

At this point Peter and Malcolm agreed to work together to remove the diesels that were due for serious overhaul or replacement.

Peter assisted Malcolm by doing some of the less technical tasks, and became very impressed with the ideas that included a robust practical system, that is easy to monitor, manage and simple to operate. This includes the ability of the solar panels to keep up with much of the demands on the system.

After completion Peter did a shake down cruise from the Gold Coast to the Whitsundays and return, learning along the way how best to manage the system with Malcolm providing excellent after sales service for assistance and guidance as and when needed.

Then Peter takes off to sail around the world. Unfortunately his boat was dismasted about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar causing considerable damage not to mention concern as they had yet a long way to go. As it was not feasible to undertake the major repair work in Madagascar, Peter had no option but to motor solo all the way to South Africa to fix a new mast. Fortunately, after 27 days he made it. Peter said, without doubt it was the efficiency of series hybrid system including solar panels and a diesel generator requiring considerably less fuel that saved him . While motoring the 1,406 nautical miles Peter averaged approximately 30 litres of fuel per day rather than the 120 litres per day that would have been required with the old conventional diesel engines which would have not been feasible for such a passage. Without the electric motors and the setup designed by Malcolm, Peter would never have made it to South Africa.

Last but not least, Peter said “it is a real blessing how Malcolm seems to think of everything by setting up the boat the way it is”.

Thanks so much Malcolm.

Technical Information:

Refit date December 2022

Length overall: 12 m

Boat beam: 7.6 m

Draft: 1 m

Displacement: 9000 kg

Electric motor system: 2 x Bellmarine 15 electric sail drive motor (15kW @ 48V nominal)

Electric motor system weight: 2 x 74 kg

Batteries: Victron lithium battery pack

Generator: Enquiest DC 16000-48V DC generator

Propellers: 2 x fixed 3 blade

Electrician: JBetts Boat Electrics


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