MOG’s Test Drive Defined…
The MOG has ventured from the nest with spectacular results. A short but scenic video record can be found at...
The following is a comprehensive report on the journey and of the tests performed and of the positive results from the cruise:
Although most of the 60 mile (round trip near Wilmington, NC) was under the drive power of the 60 hp Mercury outboard auxiliary engine, the electric motors were tested many times throughout the trip as evidenced by the following summation.
The test plan devised and fulfilled, was to test the new electric motors, stored electricity, solar collector array, solar controllers, motor controllers, remote control steering and auxiliary engine integration. Added to that rather large plate of technical inquiry was the human test side of the new hot water system, food storage, potable water system upgrades, waste/sanitation and ergonomic considerations.
All this was packed into four days of, learning large boat - shallow water navigation, grounding and hull integrity, re-floating (arising from sticking in soft bottoms), new boarding ladder design test, anchor placement and retrieval, fixed anchorage/wind best placement (alleviates running AC unit at night) and creating a good general living environment. Most was accomplished at Masonboro Island, a thin barrier island devoid of all human presence except a few visitors and occasional campers. Seven kayaks and their 10 occupants were at the island's sound side beach when Hillary and I arrived. They were there to enjoy, in the same appreciative fashion, the beauty and power of God's creation. When they departed, Hillary and I realized the true comfort of nights and days to be spent dipping in the ocean 200 feet away and walking in the sound and its beach. With all the comforts of home and the use of AC if needed, dining, showering, radio, talking, reading and sleeping aboard were all absolutely grand mini-events.
The electric motors were placed under maximum thrust and split second reversals when initially exiting the slip at Cape Fear Marina at about 1300 hrs Saturday, September 7, 2013. The motors did exhibit a known controller program malfunction for which I made compensation. There are times when a motor might hesitate from forward to reverse. However, this is not a problem with its robust power and steering. A value that needs modification in the motor controller's internal program must be altered and the only way to know is to test rigorously. The motors and controllers are indeed very impressive.
A three mile electric motor test was also made (saved for the return leg of the trip) for extended 90% throttle operation completely under RC (Remote Control). At this time the twin electric drive motors were purposely driven (no gasoline engine used in this test) without water cooling in a controlled 'near destruction' mode. The motors ran superbly and shut down as intended by the internal heat sensors. No harm was done to the electric motors because of the safe shut down. The gasoline auxiliary engine was then employed and completed the trip while the electric motors cooled. Back at the Cape Fear Marina in Wilmington, the electric motors were restarted and performed as if no shut down had occurred.
A great deal of operational scenarios were completed and now, back in port, all of the data needs to be sorted through and each item addressed to completion. I look forward to the challenge and even more to getting back out onto the water. This was but a small sojourn into the Great Loop and what a pristine and gorgeous area of nature in which to inaugurate our journey.