tender

Selva 320 VIB: in its fourth year of testing it doesn’t miss a beat

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This is the fourth year in a row of testing for our inflatable-keel Selva 320 VIB tender, which has spent the winter, as usual, under the deck of our lab-boat without anyone having bothered to clean it or fold it up too carefully: we do this on purpose, we always want to stress it to the utmost, so that our test is as truthful as possible.

selva 320 vib inflatable keel tenderLast year we took it with us on the ‘1000-mile cruise in the Tyrrhenian Sea’, and it was really indispensable considering that we practically spent the whole time at anchor, do you remember?

This year we put another 900 nautical miles or so on its shoulders between Sardinia and Corsica, mostly leaving him towed by the boat, so as to take full advantage of the zero-impact recharging effect of the Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo engine.

This is how it went.

Launching the Selva inflatable keel tender

We take it off the deck and it comes back to me how we had stored it: badly. It is still full of salt, as we had purposely not rinsed it, which has had an impact on its colour, which is of course no longer that bright white of a few years ago, and there are several creases caused by the fact that we had folded it up and folded it in no more than 10 minutes without paying too much attention to the shape.

It inflates quickly, the creases disappear and I pay attention to all the details to see if there is any deterioration damage. The tubulars still fill evenly, but I had no doubts about that, so I focus on the most delicate parts, i.e. the valves, which are the area where most air leaks could occur, but nothing: it is inflated, stable and ready.

Sure, it needs a clean and after a wash with a special product we remove the accumulated salt and the various encrustations: here too I am particularly careful, but the Selva 320 VIB’s quality is very good and, apart from the obvious and symptomatic ‘signs of time’, I do not notice at first glance any problems that could affect its sealing or stability.

Daydreamer and Selva tender

But I look in detail and check the flaps, I run my fingers over the entire V-shaped hull, diligently searching for a few air bubbles, then I dedicate myself to the handrails, the towing attachments and the engine support plates, but nothing: it is a solid fighter and I can smile because I think that it has fared well this year too. But now it’s time to launch him.

We’ll hoist it aboard a little this year, even in windy conditions and rough seas we’ll try to leave it in the water as much as possible: it’s now in its fourth year of testing and I already know that it won’t let me down.

Selva 320 VIB Test

The retaining line is firmly secured to the stern bollard of our lab-boat, and follows us everywhere.

Its tubulars are very solid, all the Selva quality we know so well is visible, but at the same time the structure is very light, as befits a tender. Its dimensions are sufficient for what we need: 3.20 m long by 1.53 m wide, for a floor area of 1.41 square metres, where we can fit four people without any problems.

We use it a lot.

Sometimes to pick up some guests who come to visit us on the boat, sometimes to run small or big errands, on the boat we are an average of 4 to 6 people, so there is always something to go ashore to stock up on or to retrieve something, or simply to disembark in the evening and go to some little restaurant.

DaydreamerIt’s practically always in the water: even when sailing for long stretches we keep it there, to let it take the waves and the sea, and stress its joints. Moreover, the fact that we always leave it in the water is not only convenient but also very useful, since we have an Eproplusion Spirit 1.0 Evo electric engine that recharges itself while we drag it along in the wind. It’s something that always excites me when I think about it: maximum output, minimum expense, and I never get stranded.

Between nights at anchor, rough seas, time spent working but also, and above all, the pleasure of sailing, we have put another 900 miles on its shoulders, but it doesn’t seem to have felt them at all and indeed I detect a note of sadness as we go to put it away. Everyone notices that: this is one of those gestures that mark the end of the season and so melancholy is always a bit in the air.

Once again this year, no favourable treatment for the Selva 320 VIB inflatable keel tender. We don’t even rinse it out, tighten knots and ties, and store it on deck. It will stay there all winter, waiting for the next season, and as I say goodbye to it with the customary pat of thanks, I already have the feeling that I already know that not even another year will affect this solid and irreplaceable friend of mine.

Of course, I will let you know…

Previously published tests

July 2019: Selva 320 VIB and Selva Guppy 2.5 : a revolutionary tender-outboard duo. The test begins

August 2021: Selva 320 VIB after 3 years of testing: it proves to be indestructible

EPropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo, second year of testing for Selva’s electric outboard

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A year has already passed since I wrote about the Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo, the amazing Epropulsion electric outboard that now travels with our lab-boat around Italy, and of which I admit, I am very proud. But here I am again, with the feeling that collecting my memories is very light on me.

Yes, because the satisfactions that it has given us this year too have been many, showing all its usefulness in many situations: what’s more, the fact of combining the silence of the sailing boat, which is clearly unequalled in terms of environmental sustainability, with the total absence of emissions that the use of the Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo electric outboard guarantees for our tender, really appeals to me.

But let us make a brief summary to understand what we are talking about. This outboard, imported in Italy by Selva, is an electric outboard installed on our tender, an indestructible Selva 320 VIB. It is therefore a sort of link between us and the mainland that cannot be allowed to slip, because being halfway between the coast and the boat is never pleasant. Especially in loafers and a shirt before disembarking for dinner. Has this ever happened to you?

Do you remember the features of our Epropulsion electric outboard?

EPropulsion-Spirit-1.0-Evo-electric-ouboardBy dint of using it, I am no longer surprised. After our “1,000-mile cruise in the Tyrrhenian Sea” two years ago, and the more than 900 miles sailed this year, it is now part of our family, but it does surprise those who visit us for the first time and have never seen it before.

Let’s start with the dimensions, smaller than those of a classic tender outboard, and with a weight per single component of less than 12 kg, which makes assembly and disassembly really quick and effortless.  In fact, Epropulsion is installed in stages, first the shaft complete with tiller (11.3 kg) and then the battery (8.7 kg), a system that is light and extremely safe at the same time.

Be careful, however, epropulsiondo not think that this is at the expense of materials. In fact, we have put a lot of strain on it this year, sometimes purposely causing it to take a few too many hits, other times in a less intentional manner, but it has held up to it all.

You know, between filming, drones flying, cameras passing by and a boat to steer, it happens that something has to be ‘thrown in there’ every now and then, if you like.

But that’s the point of our tests, to live as if we were in normalcy and a few jolts are part of the game: in any case, compared to last year, the performance remained the same, still outstanding.

Its display continued to work excellently, showing us, as always, some fundamental data such as the indication of charging volts, maximum voltage and, of course, the residual charge: this engine has a 1276 Wh battery, built according to the latest lithium polymer technology, which takes 8.5 hours to fully charge, although in normal everyday use it takes just over an hour to bring the charge back to full after use.

The EPropulsion electric outboard has a secret

Daydreamer-1000-miles-tyrrhenian-seaBut all this for me, although remarkable, fades into the background in my test because if you remember correctly, the Epropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo electric outboard has a secret: and what a secret! It recharges itself. Yes, just leave it connected to the tender of the main boat by towing it into the water and it recharges, with minimal impact on sailing speed. In fact, its energy hydrogeneration system, through the flow of water pushing the propeller blades, turns the engine producing energy that recharges the batteries. Game, match, encounter.

This could be enough for me. Silence, because in operation despite the extra year it continues to be very quiet, and free clean energy with the guarantee of never running out of power. Need anything else?

Yes, you might say. epropulsion electric outboardFor example, how much energy does it consume? How far can I really go and at what speed? For all the details of the test I refer you to the table below which, you will notice, is the same as last year’s because the performance has remained unchanged, but to give you a concrete example of its hydrogen-generating capacity, we measured about 1 notch of recharge per hour/hour and a half of sailing at 6 knots. Which basically means that in an entire season we never recharged it using the charger!

During this second year of testing, we have never run out of battery power, despite the fact that very often there were four of us on board, engaged in coastal sailing and the classic comings and goings from boat to shore, even over long distances. Like for example in August when, anchored in Cala Brandinchi, we sailed twice to the Puntaldia marina.

Two hours of sailing, without the slightest problem and, above all, with a good charge still remaining at the end of the operation.

EPropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo – Conclusions on the second year of testing

EPropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo is the electric outboard I can no longer do without. Is that enough for you? I’m not exaggerating, because this small engine is not only practical, efficient and quiet, it also marks a turning point. It has something special just in its concept, it makes you realize that it is possible to go to sea using only clean energy, and somehow reconnects me to my favourite element, which on the other hand certainly thanks all those who make such a choice: environmentally friendly and absolutely performing at the same time.

Performance

Power OutputSpeed in knRemaining time in hours
60220
1002.512
2003.16.5
3003.64
4003.83.2
5004.32.5
6004.52
7004.61.8
8004.71.5
90051.2
10005.31