1 st... I only recommend the eVolve on an island for drive well mounting. Never rudder. Use on the rudder greatly reduces rudder effectiveness. It will not fit the current larger island rudders anyway. You need to remove the motor if sailing. The boat moves faster than the motor can go under sail... the motor would be drag.
1. If the eVolve is mounted in the second drive well (so that a single occupant could run the boat from the front seat) what types of maneuvering characteristics would the boat have and are there complete instructions for self installation in this position.
Install can be done in either position. Instructions will work for self install if you have basic tools / drill.
2. I still use the twist and stow rudder with the suggested modifications and have not experienced any of the problems previously discussed(I have not installed the upright rudder).
I'd get the new rudder. Works way better. Better steering.
3. Is the new eVolve electric motor excessively noisy (I’m used to the quiet of sailing)
Hummmmmm Not noisy, but a low level whine maybe.
4. I assume you would need to mount the solar panel on the trampolines. In my experience the tramps destabilize the boat in higher wind conditions with only 2 occupants.
You can lay the panel in the rear cargo area.
5. What happens if water splashes over the solar panels?
They get wet.... waterproof, so non issue.
6. Would two solar panels or 2 batteries affect the amount of time that you could run the motor at higher than 2 knots/perhour?
Would double the range by having a spare charged up.
7. Adding an electric motor to this boat will require me to register and comply with all of the coast guard regulations for power craft. Do you have a recommended set of fire extinguisher(small unit specifically for electrical fires I assume), flares/lights, audible signaling device, marine radio, running lights etc. appropriate for this type of craft
We don't deal with registration issues or their requirements in a given area. They vary so widely. We do not have safety kits, but suggest contacting your dealer or local marine hardware store for recommendations.