Sailing Kherson - Nova Kahovka - Energodar - Zaporozhye

Our team:

From left to right: Sergey and Tolik - sheet and bowman, Captain - Artem, cook - Oksana :)

Sailing route:

Kherson - Nova Kakhovka - Rogachinsky Bay - Energodar - Zaporozhye (325 km)

What's new compared to similar hikes last year

This time we went to the transition with a new team - Tolik and Sergey was new onboard. Looking ahead - I am very pleased and can recommend them for other sailboats - all work with the sails was fast and accurate, we never had any problems with corrugation, even if there was very little room for maneuver (the leventik was running close aground) always had time change the windage in accordance with the strengthening and weakening of the wind.

The boat has also undergone many changes:

  • The generator has got a soundproof casing and a modified heat dissipation system.
  • The electric motor and controller are cooled by a fan, which allows them to run at high power for a long time, keeping the temperature of the components low.
  • The boat is temporarily equipped with 60V 235 Ah batteries (14 kWh) which are enough for 10 hours of sailing at an average speed (7 km/h - 4 knots).
  • Made a new rudder and tiller. The new rudder has a better shape and works better in the propeller jet.
  • Enlarged bimini. In our hot summer, a very useful thing.
  • Enlarged solar panel 400W.
  • New water tank. The old one was welded incorrectly and the stainless steel began to rust (overheated) along the welding seams. New is food grade plastic tank.
  • Smooth propeller shaft (vibrations are finally over!)
  • New stuffing box
  • 7 kW maximum power at motor controller input
  • Lazy jack


Day 0 - 07/24/2020, Friday.

Before the Kherson - Zaporozhye crossing, it was necessary to overtake the boat from the Roma shipyard to the Kherson Embankment. We left at about 17:00. It was necessary to go down the Koshevaya river to the place where it merges with the Dnieper and further up the Dnieper, to the Petrovets yacht club, which is located opposite the Kherson embankment.

Sasha and Pasha (from the Sagittarius sailboat) went with us on this day. Pasha asked him to drop him off at the pier of the restaurant near Hydropark, which we did. Sasha spent the night with us and in the morning left for the city on his business.

All the way on the motor, a power of 1.5 kW was set, and we reached Petrovets harbor by about 21 o'clock.

We plugged in, had supper and went to bed.

Statistics for today:

  • Energy reserve at the beginning of the day - 13 kWh (approximately 90%)
  • Energy consumption - 6 kWh
  • Charged from the sun - 0.5 kWh
  • Remaining energy - 7.5 kWh (approximately 60%)
  • We went under the engine - 27 km.
  • We went under sail - 0 km.

Day 1 - 25.07.2020, Saturday.

After spending the night in the Petrovets harbor, Oksana and I had to pick up Tolik and Sergey from the Kherson embankment. In the photo below, they took a picture of us when we approached the embankment.

We drove upstream through the Kherson bridges (by the way, their maximum height is 14m). This day we used only electric motor, no sails.

There were kilometers behind the stern, today they should have approached the Kakhovsky lock by evening

The input power on the motor set about 1.2 kW, which made it possible to drive 6.5-7 km/h. The wind was up to 5 knots, it was blowing clearly downstream, so the sails were not set.

In this part of the Dnieper, the banks are mostly overgrown with reeds, sometimes the banks become steep. The depth above the Kherson bridges is great, 10 meters and more. It is shallow only near the shore. There are almost no rocks in these places.

Our stem 

Toward the end of the day, I noticed some noise - I looked at the shaft line and noticed that the bearing was overheating (80 degrees, its box temperature). It was decided to go through the lock, moor in Novaya Kakhovka and inspect the bearing.

In the evening we approached the lock and spent the night half an hour from it.

Statistics for today:

  • Energy reserve at the beginning of the day - 13 kWh (approximately 90%)
  • Energy consumption - 9 kWh
  • Charged from the sun - 2 kWh
  • Remaining energy - 6 kWh (approximately 40%)
  • Passed under the engine - 65 km.
  • We went under sail - 5 km.

Day 2, 3 and 4 - 07/26/2020 - 07/28/2020, Sunday-Tuesday.

I called the lock dispatcher, received the go-ahead response to approach the lock and instructed to wait for the barge and the tug, for which it would be necessary to go into the lock on the sailboat Shark.

Photo in the lock:

we passed the lock

The headwater greeted us with a strong wind and wave, we went at 2 kW. The noise in the bearing intensified. It's good that it was already close to the pier.

At the guest pier in Nova Kakhovka:

Moored, dismantled the bearing - everything is bad there. Metal shavings in the lubricant. I suppose that the reason was the heating of the bearing from the oil seals on the shaft and improper lubricant - graphite.

I ordered a new bearing, until he arrives we are resting in Nova Kakhovka, we are looking at the city.

While we were standing here, I redid the wiring of the "home power grid", now we take 12V from the engine battery through a DC-DC converter. 12V LiFePO4 batteries in reserve and automatically connected if DC-DC power is lost.

Walked around the city, went to a local large park

Then we went to Maxmarine

Back on the boat.

We cooked steaks on the pier, played board games. While away the time)

The bearing arrives tomorrow, we will install it, test and prepare for departure.

During these days the boat stood still, charged up to 100%.

This days we run only 10 km through the lock to the pier on a motor.

The sails were not set.

Day 5 - 07/29/2020, Wednesday.

The new bearing is installed in the housing

Water tests began

Tests have shown that everything works fine. Tomorrow morning we will go further along the route.

Day 6 - 07/30/2020, Thursday.

Morning greeted us calmly, again we motor upstream

Ksyusha learns to steer

Some random photos of the shores

A cloud flew in the afternoon

The rain poured out and gave us a gulfwind, we turned off the engine and went under sail

The wind lasted for 1.5 hours, then I had to turn on the engine again.

In the afternoon there were many fishing nets and in the evening we missed one. But the engine was stopped in time and the propeller did not wind it. We cut the net from the keel and rudder by catching it with a hook.

Sunset after rain is usually beautiful.

We spent the night at anchor in the Rogachin Bay.

Statistics for today:

  • Energy reserve at the beginning of the day - 14 kWh (100%)
  • Energy consumption - 11 kWh
  • Charged from the sun - 2 kWh
  • Remaining energy - 6 kWh (approximately 40%)
  • Passed under the engine - 75 km.
  • We went under sail - 15 km.

Day 7 - 07/31/2020, Friday.

The morning was greeted with calm - we are already used to it)

We run motor for 2 hours, then a light breeze appeared, we raised the sails, but the motor was left running at 500W, because there was not enough wind.

About 6 hours after, the battery controller (BMS) began to warn about a low charge with it's zummer. We started the generator, run it for hour and the wind began again, which this cloud brought to us

It was blowing fine, with rain and lambs on the water, the mainsail had to be reefed. Sometimes the motor was turned on when the wind weakened.

So we got to Energodar and went to the mooring.

A Sergei acquaintance came to us and brought some pickled meat)

Statistics for today:

  • Energy reserve at the beginning of the day - 6 kWh (40%)
  • Energy consumption - 8 kWh
  • Charged from the sun - 2 kWh
  • Charged from the generator - 1 kWh
  • Remaining energy - 1 kWh (slightly less than 10%)
  • We went under the engine - 20 km.
  • We went under sail - 15 km.
  • Passed in mixed mode (sails with a motor) - 55 km.

Day 8 - 08/01/2020, Saturday.

Morning in Energodar

Charged from the outlet by 90%.

We left the pier. The reservoir met us with wave and wind

We left the pier, stood in gulfind and went under the middle staysail and reefs reefed to one shelf.

The speed was around 7-9 km/h, depending on the gusts. As we moved to Zaporozhye, it was necessary to bring it and the wind gradually blew into the sidewind.

On a fit, we go 10 km/h

Closer to Zaporozhye city the sails were smashed, I put 1.5 kW on the engine and went further under the engine.

5 km from the pier, the Zabava sailboat was met, her captain asked us to tow them to the nearest beach

2 kW was enough to pull both boats at a speed of 5 km/h

We go to the 7th pier in Zaporozhye

In the evening we celebrated the end of the hike with friends :)

Thank you all for your attention, the trip is over)

Statistics for today:

  • Energy reserve at the beginning of the day - 13 kWh (90%)
  • Energy consumption - 7 kWh
  • Charged from the sun - 2 kWh
  • Remaining energy - 8 kWh (60%)
  • Passed under the motor - 30 km
  • Passed under sail - 35 km

Breakage: propeller shaft bearing.

Statistics (this does not include day zero):

  • Spent gasoline in the generator for the trip: 1 liter.
  • The electric motor and the controller have been working like a clock for the 4th year. I have never problems with them since installed.
  • New batteries worked in the transition without nuances. We are planning a larger boat next year, and the old battery will return to the Shark.
  • The solar panel generated total energy during the running days: 8 kWh
  • Total energy spent for the transition: 35 kWh
  • Driven by motor: 200 km
  • Driven under sail: 70 km
  • Mixed mode sails + motor: 55 km
  • The electric motor worked for the transition: about 35 hours


  • Many times algae were attached to the screw. This is not a big problem - we can even reach the propeller by hand without diving, and in summer it is hot enough to enjoy swimming)
  • There are many fishing nets, we need to be vigilant
  • In the current configuration with a 14 kWh battery and a 400W solar panel, a generator for the Dnieper is not that badly needed. 

Special thanks:

  • To Roma from Kherson for his work on the boat at winter :)
  • To Oksana for delicious food and good photos fot this post :)
  • Tolik and Sergey for good company and excellent work with sails
  • Electric engine for 4 years of stable operation without nuances
  • Ukrainian manufacturer of BMS Yaroslav for a convenient and reliable battery management system

As an advertisement :)

Contact us if you want to make your sailboat an electric with good battery and motor and for low price.

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