Frequently asked questions

What is the range of a boat with a single charge?


The battery banks are generally configured for 4-10 hours of motoring at the speed of 4-6 knots (about 30 - 40 nautical miles).




What is the lifetime of a Lithium ion battery?


Lithium ion batteries will last 10 years if they are handled properly. The basic warranty is for 2 years and can be extended to 5 years.




What is the cost of an Oceanvolt system?


Oceanvolt electric motor systems typically cost about 20-25% more than comparable diesel systems. However, lower maintenance and fuel consumption (in a hybrid system) costs are considerably lower, so the difference in system cost can be recovered in about 2-3 years. To receive a more precise quote for an Oceanvolt system, please contact Sunwater Marine for a free estimate. Please let us know the specifics of your vessel - model, length, type, etc - and what type of boating you engage in.




Am I eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit if I install solar panels on my boat?


Yes! As long as your boat has a bedroom and a bathroom, you will qualify for the tax credit. And, the great news is that the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar was supposed to drop to 22% in 2021 and get phased out completely in 2022. Instead, congress and the President passed a spending bill in December 2020 that kept the credit at 26% and extended it for the next 2 years - 2021 and 2022!




How long will it take to get a renewable energy system installed on my boat?


For an Oceanvolt system with electric propulsion, hydro-generation, and batteries, please allow a minimum of 3 months. Once an agreement is signed, a payment is made, and the equipment is ordered, it will take a minimum of 10 weeks for it to be shipped from Oceanvolt headquarters in Finland and clear customs in the U.S. The installation process should not take more than 1 to 2 weeks. Solar panel installations will only require 1 to 2 weeks.




Can I install Oceanvolt equipment myself?


You can, but we strongly recommend that it is installed by a certified refit partner, like Sunwater Marine, to ensure that the installation is properly certified by Oceanvolt - so that all warranties will be valid and honored.




What happens if I have a problem with my system on the water or in port?


A key part of Oceanvolt systems is the Remote Service Interface (RSI.) Each Oceanvolt system can be connected to the internet and monitored in real-time. The technology is not limited to monitoring; Oceanvolt engineers are able to solve at least 90% of potential faults remotely. This is because all components are connected via an industry standard Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, enabling devices to talk to each other and to Oceanvolt HQ securely via the internet. If communications to HQ are dropped temporarily, the system will record all data for up to 4 hours and relay it once a connection is re-established.




What is the range of an Oceanvolt hybrid system (with a DC generator)?


The range of a hybrid system with a DC generator and 80 gallons of fuel is around 600-700 nautical miles.




If I buy a hybrid system and have a diesel generator, isn't that the same as having a diesel engine?


No. Electric engines deliver a higher level of performance, more efficiency (93%), less noise, no maintenance requirements and the ability to regenerate energy while under sail. A DC hybrid has all of these benefits and even better range than with a comparable diesel engine due to higher efficiency. A hybrid system delivers the best of both technologies.




What batteries are compatible with Oceanvolt systems?


We recommend either SuperB (EU) or Valence (U.S.) Lithium ion batteries with Oceanvolt electric motor systems. AGM batteries and other Lithium batteries can also be used, but with systems that have an 8kW motor or less.




Does the electric motor have enough power?


Oceanvolt electric motors deliver significantly more torque than any comparable diesel engine. A 10kW Oceanvolt electric motor easily outperforms, and is more powerful, than a 30hp diesel engine. Typically, max boat speed will be somewhat lower (0.5 - 1.0 kn) than with a comparable diesel engine. But, at the same time, the boat will maintain the speed better in heavy seas and headwinds due to higher torque. Maneuverability is also much better in confined marina spaces.




How are batteries recharged?


Battery banks are recharged by hydro-generation while under sail, solar panels, a generator, or shore power.




What happens if the battery bank runs out of power (charge)?


The Oceanvolt display continuously shows the charge level in real time. Should you run low on battery power, you can use solar panels, or the regeneration function while sailing, or both. Some customers have chosen to have a small portable generator (these can run on LPG or gasoline) on board to recharge the battery bank or to use as a temporary range extender. For larger boats Oceanvolt recommends a hybrid system which includes a permanent DC generator - this enables enjoyment of all of the benefits of the electric motor system without compromising on range.




How long does it take to recharge the battery bank to 100%?


Using shore power, it can take between 5 and 10 hours to charge the battery bank up to 100% - depending on the shore power source and the size of the charger.




How can I charge my 12V DC house battery from the 48V DC propulsion battery bank?


Oceanvolt offers two DC to DC converters - PowerNet and Victron Orion TR. Either of these will charge a 12V DC Lithium ion or AGM house battery from the 48V DC propulsion battery bank.




Are Lithium ion batteries safe?


Managed properly, Lithium ion batteries are perfectly safe and failures are rare. High quality manufacturers use multiple protection mechanisms to avoid problems. Be sure to understand proper battery care procedures in order to maintain the safety and lifespan of your batteries and the effectiveness of your Oceanvolt system.




Does hydro-generation create drag?


Hydro-generation creates drag of only 0.1 of a knot at boat speed of 7.0 knots - barely noticeable.




Can you use an ax (shaft drive) system for hydro-generation?


Yes. Hydro-generation is a standard feature with ALL Oceanvolt electric motor systems.




Can the propulsion battery pack be split and placed in different locations?


We recommend keeping the battery bank together and in once place. This way, they can be better balanced (electronically) which makes the batteries perform better and last longer.




Can a fixed blade propeller be used with an Oceanvolt system?


For propulsion, definitely. In some specific configurations and circumstances, hydro-generation may also be possible - but only if the boat is moving at the rate of at least six knots under sail, and the propeller is not in the turbulence wake of the keel.




Can you remove the anode without removing the propeller?


The propeller must be taken off before removing the anode. This is to make sure that the contact between the anode and the sail drive is the best possible.




How do I service an Oceanvolt electric motor system?


The service and maintenance of Oceanvolt systems is completely different from what you have gotten used to with diesel combustion engines. There is no need for an extensive service network carrying a variety of spare parts, waiting for your parts to arrive, and relying on the varying skill sets of local diesel mechanics. With Oceanvolt electric motor systems, everything is electric and, thanks to the Oceanvolt RSI (Remote Service Interface system), all the system data is online. Since the entire RSI system is connected online at all times via a central module (Victron CCGX), remote diagnostics are continuously monitored. If there is a need to control or service a component, you will be notified.




What is the size and weight of the battery bank?


Usually, the weight of the battery bank is somewhere between 130lb and 350lb in a 30' - 45' sailboat.




Can I get an Oceanvolt electric or hybrid system in the new boat I plan to buy?


Oceanvolt provides power and propulsion systems in partnership with many top monohull and multihull designers and builders. Many of them are willing to work with Oceanvolt when there is a specific customer request.




Can I replace my old diesel engine with an Oceanvolt electric motor system?


YES! Refitting an old diesel system will revitalize your boat, clean up a greasy engine compartment, reduce overall weight and free up space below deck.




What is the difference between an Oceanvolt electric motor system and an Oceanvolt ‘Hybrid System’?


Both systems include the propulsion system together with the throttle lever, display, batteries and chargers. An Oceanvolt hybrid system is a complete electric propulsion and power management system that also includes solar panels, generators and the Oceanvolt RSI (remote system interface).




If I own a commercial vessel, are there any incentives available to me to help cover the cost of replacing my diesel engine with an electric motor or hybrid system?


Yes! Sunwater Marine is working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program (Carl Moyer Program) for Marine Vessels. This program assists in replacing old diesel engines with cleaner, quieter electric and hybrid systems. Commercial boat owners may be eligible for up to 85% of their replacement costs covered through this program. Sunwater Marine is working with CARB to assist qualified owners of charter sailboats, dive boats, mooring field tenders, water taxis, and other smaller vessels in replacing their old, dirty diesel engines with Oceanvolt electric and hybrid propulsion systems. There are a number of requirements for qualification, and we stand ready to assist in any way we can. For more information about the program, please visit these links: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/apcd/PDF/Grants/Marine%20Engine%20Repower.pdf http://www.aqmd.gov/home/programs/business/carl-moyer-memorial-air-quality-standards-attainment-(carl-moyer)-program/marine-vessel-projects