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jason wynn with a massive power upgrade on the boat

This Upgrade Changes Everything!

Picking up the hook and moving on is always a bittersweet moment.  But alas, summer doesn’t last forever and neither does our visa.  Aotea is but one glorious piece of this sweet kiwi pie.

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — Gandalf.

But, thanks to one powerful new upgrade, firing up the engines to pick up the anchor is way more exciting!  We have sooo much more power and Jason is pumped to tell you all about it.

So, we say goodbye to the barrier and set sail for the wilds of the city.  Our new sails are waiting for us (whoop whoop) and a few more exciting new upgrades.  Because this is #BoatLife and the projects never end.

UPDATE**** 

We’ve been using this system since mid-December 2021 and it’s now June 2022.  So we’re 6 months in and it’s worked well.  The ability to pump in so much power to our battery bank while simply arriving at and leaving an anchorage is fantastic!  We think high output alternators will be the norm on boats vs a generator in the future.  It’s already becoming an option with some boat manufacturers and that is very cool to see.  Our new CURIOSITYhybrid-electric system is set up with high output alternators as a part of the eco-drive package.  Different alternator manufacture, but same idea.

FYI, we were warned by friends with high output alternators that we would notice a slight drop in our overall speed.  That’s because power is being diverted to the batteries.  For our setup, it seems to be about half a knot or so.  For instance, if we motored with one engine at 1800 RPMs before we would travel at about 5 knots, now it’s 4.5 knots.

The team has been responsive to my questions, concerns, and feedback through the installation, setup, and use.  I’ve also spoken with Rob one of the lead engineers who helped me troubleshoot my wiring schematic and install.  There were a few bugs in the beginning with our setup (ours is a preproduction model. So I did sign up to be the guinea pig), but the techs at Electromaax helped us sort out most of it.  One of the issues was the alternator heat (they do get hot, as expected) was setting off an alarm on our starter battery (because it’s located close to the alternator).  We added some extra engine insulation around the battery and that solved the issue.  The only remaining bug is our tachometers haven’t worked properly since the installation but we can see our RPMs by plugging our computer into the system.  We’re still not sure what caused the problem but once we figure it out, we’ll update it here.

Everything was surprisingly ‘plug and play’ for the most part.  Even the exact wiring guide for our catamaran (with 2 Yanmar 39s) was sent before we installed it.  If you have a good understanding of 12v wiring, and the tools to do the installation, you could probably do it yourself.  I personally don’t own proper big boy wire cutters or hydraulic crimpers for such thick cables, so I knew right away it was best to hire a pro.

Even if you don’t go for the High Output Alternators I would highly recommend the Serpentine Pulley kit and Belt Tensioner.  For our Yanmar 39s, it loves to eat through the v-belts and they’re such a pain to replace.  If you’re dealing with the same dusty issues we’ve been struggling with for the past 6 years, you will think this is the best thing since sliced bread!

We have talked with friends who have the Mastervolt, Balmar, or earlier versions of the Electromaxx high-output alternators who are very happy with their set up too.  So lots of options out there to research.

Full Disclosure:  ElectroMaax reached out to us when they launched the new Genmaxx 2 and we really liked the updates they had made which is why we were keen to test them out.  They sent the product, we did the installation and they offered a discount to you and a referral fee for us if you use the discount code below.

No matter which brand you choose, we’re fans of the technology and think high-output alternators are a fantastic solution for boaters.

⚡ElectroMaax Discount

Use Discount Code WYNNS for 5% off!

🎥 CAMERA GEAR USED TO FILM THIS VIDEO

💻 Editing Templates

🎶 MUSIC IN THIS VIDEO

  • Artlist, Get 2 Months for FREE: https://bit.ly/artlist-GWTW
    • Artlist – Eldar Kedem, the Hunts, Team Callahan, Lone Wild
  • From Motion Array – Down to Little Italy, The Great World

🙏 THANK YOU!

Ups, downs, and all around, we share it all. If you like what you see, there are lots of ways you can show your support.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (14)

  • Mike Budreau

    So did you get rid of the generator all together and if so, any regrets? And I assume we will hear more on 12 volt AC units? Thanks

    reply
  • Cam Inskeep

    Do you folks still own the Catamaran with this name at Gulf Harbour? The reason that I ask is that it appears to be quite stern heavy in the water. It could just be something small like water in the tender but thought I’d mention it in case it’s something more serious.

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      If you pull up some photos, all Leopard 43’s of the vintage look stern heavy. She will get a little lighter when they finally remove the broken generator!
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • Alan Solomon

    Awesome video Jason because you have become so technical. You have done so many positive things to Curiosity. Now you have 3 if not 4 ways of powering your vessel as well as at least 3 ways of storing energy and loading batteries on cloudy days.
    Curiosity is now even more efficient, self-sufficient and sustainable than ever. Nikki and you will probably stay off-grid and on-the-water for a while, maybe a long time because of all the technical and other achievements you have accomplished over the last 7 or 8 years. It can be a rush to achieve and accomplish these types of things time and time again which you continue to do. Awesome Job. Thanks much for this video.
    Continued Joy and Happiness…

    reply
  • candy

    you two are amazing. God bless you on your journey. Thanks for sharing your amazing adventures

    reply
  • David

    When you said you put the blower tube next to your battery to cool it down, it made me curious. Is the that tube sucking from the engine room or blowing into it? If it’s sucking air out of the engine room, it’s probably best to keep it high, and not necessarily next to the battery. It may be good to test the battery temp with it in different positions. If you have a specific intake (maybe even passive w/ no fan) then it could probably help to place its outlet next to the battery so fresh air is passing over the battery. Sucking the hot air from the engine past the battery may be counterproductive, though.

    reply
  • AlainCh2

    What about the watermaker and the freezer?

    Did I miss that repairs ?

    Nice to see you so happy !!

    reply
  • Rhonda

    Geez, I’m getting stressed just watching the contortions Jason goes through in those tiny spaces!
    Love you both and all that you share with us! Thank you for keeping me sane for the past two years!!

    reply
  • John S.

    That Motion Array demo was fun.
    I think that your grunts, groans and flexibility demo the end could have been enhanced with a bit of Array humour.

    reply
    • PoliticalSailor

      🤣🤣🤣🤣💯

      reply
  • Michael

    The idea of a generator or genset is that the engine is made to run at a constant, energy-efficient rpm. Therefore it uses less energy (fuel) than an engine that is designed for something else. Also, the idea that one is saving by placing the alternators on the propulsion engines is overlooking the fact that the engines now use more fuel to create the electricity because of the extra load placed on the engines. One does not get something for nothing.

    On the other hand, windmills, solar panels, prop-driven generators and even Stirling engines are ways of truly getting something for nothing. Of course, one is paying for the equipment one way or the other, so that does not change. However, the output is still free, and that makes all the difference.

    Using what is already all around us is always better than creating something from scratch, IMHO.

    reply
  • Tracy H

    I love your videos. For some reason I especially love the repair/work vids you do on your Curiosity. That feeling of accomplishment and a job well done. Keeping her in tip top shape. Looking forward to watching more of your working vids when I take a break from the work/repair I’m doing on my home, which isn’t quite as fun or relaxing as watching yours.

    reply
  • Timothy Davis

    Did you ever replace the odd shaped fuel tank and the missing life boat?

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Fuel tanks, no. The fiberglass is holding well and may last another 10 years. Life raft – of course. It was installed in the same locker which now only opens from the top so if it falls out again that means the boat’s upside down & they’ll need it anyway haha.
      Curious Minion

      reply

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