I also Love my smooth running Kubota Universal M25 5421.....yep only 21 hp and yesterdays hi-tec. Kinda simple compared. However, if it does decide to croak...I will go 100% electric. Only going in and out of the marina then putting up/taking down the sail barely gets the engine to operating temps..nothing more complicated required....especially for yours truly. I am hoping for a hydrogen engined car if at that time I am not too old to drive...same perhaps instead of 100% electric??
I'm looking at eventually going 100% electric and I've been researching the market. The marine EV industry is still pretty immature. Also, I would prefer to take my chances with diesel in terms of fire safety. Lithium batteries fail pretty dramatically and marine batteries and charging systems have not been tested/engineered for as long as automotive systems.
There is an outfit on the west coast called Thunderstruck that makes parallel systems you can retrofit. Sadly when I reached out to them a couple of years ago they were non-responsive. They claimed they could customize their system to the client's needs yet they did not respond to my rfq.
I'm surprised to hear Thunderstruck didn't reply to your inquiry. I have always had good response from them in the past. The only issue I have had from them is not taking my money ;-). They are very good at steering you in a direction to buy stuff cheaper than they can sell it, I'm talking about small relatively inexpensive parts. I did buy a Victron MPPT from them last spring for a solar setup on Lotus Flower (they did take my money and I had an issue setting it up. Thunderstruck's support got me up and going. I'm a big fan of theirs.
Very interesting new technology from Beta, thanks for sharing Christian. Definitely seems like the tipping point of hybrid drive systems coming to the pleasure boating market.
Like others above, my contingency plan should my M25XP pack it in is to go to an electric drive system. Have also thought the Thunderstruck system looked good and cost effective.
Obviously the big X factor is what battery technology to go with. About 10 years ago I had a vacation property where the primary mode of transportation around town was golf cars. In contrast to many of my neighbors who had gas powered units, I bought an electric model. I was amazed by the range and longevity of the 48 volt system (eight 6v batteries). I've assumed this would be the default for my boat. Has anyone explored this?
Before I stumbled on the new Yanmar 1GM10 for a song via craigslist my plan was a parallel hybrid system using Thunderstruck stuff and a Chinese air cooled 10hp diesel. Did the measurements, found a spot for batteries, and determined I needed a small customization to one of their bracket/shiv assemblies to allow me to belt couple the diesel via a centrifugal clutch to the shaft along with the electric. Spoke to them on the phone and they confirmed they could make the adjustment, which really just amounted to adding a second belt shiv on the opposite side of the bracket from where the stock shiv was located.
When I was ready to pull the trigger and about to order their electrical stuff and a Chinese Diesel I sent them an email looking for a quote. No response. Several emails and phone messages brought me no quote, then I saw the Yanmar and went with that as a much cheaper solution.
I am keeping my eyes out for a 3-5KW motor for future use. I have worked out how to bracket it in and couple it to the shaft along with the Yanmar, and since I recently bought a welding rig I will just make my own brackets when the time comes. No rush, but it will be nice to be hybrid.
Much of the time for dealing with the in/out of a marina not much power or speed is needed, so even an underpowered electric drive is fine if it is not primary.