Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-10-2007, 12:05 AM   #1
Rear Admiral
 
Harbor_Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 323
Default Multiple Fuel Types

Making plans to purchase an ocean worthy sail boat, I envision, the main engine being diesel, the dinghy having a gasoline powered outboard, the galley stove propane fired, and having multiple batteries on board recharged from solar panels or by a generator / alternator.

Diesel, Gasoline and Propane, or others to?

Are all these fuels commonly used by cruisers?

Are these fuels readily available worldwide? Dockside?

Would it be better to reduce the fuel types?

EDITED:

To delete "DC" from "multiple DC batteries"
__________________

__________________
When in doubt, do the right thing.

Harbor_Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 01:05 AM   #2
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 143
Default

Might want to take plenty of vegetable oil too My husband came home last night to tell me about a test they (someone) had done on diesel Mercedes--filled a container with diesel, let it run out, checked the mileage and whatever else (mileage 33 or 34 per gallon). Then they took old vegetable oil from McDonalds or someplace, filtered it to get out the chunks of potato, etc, then put it in the same-sized container as the diesel, imagining that the engine would hesitate--or not run. It started right up, ran, and at the end, the test showed 30 mpg. Hmmm. I suppose there's a McD's everywhere these days and in a pinch?????
__________________

__________________
SeaVenture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 03:12 AM   #3
Rear Admiral
 
Harbor_Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 323
Default

SeaVenture

That is funny.

On other notes -

Bio-diesel is a growing thing (Pun and Serious to). It is derived from agriculture products with oil content.

Why take vegetable oil? Just take a Super Sized Order of McD's fries. When the blow is slow, just wring out some of the oil from the fries into the tank! There is enough oil in one order of fries to propel an aircraft carrier from California to Hawaii.

~ ~ ~

On the serious side, anybody that owns a diesel, of any kind, if prudent, would be very cautious of what they put in the tank to get the full engine life.

Cooking oil indeed burns!

~ ~ ~

Conversely to that, and relating to my post:

* One can convert gasoline engines to run on propane.

- it is rather expensive.

- once done, the engine can run on either.

- the horse power output is reduced with propane.

* The US Army used to have a very large fleet of multi-fueled trucks; primarily the 2 1/2 ton or Duce and a Half. It was built like a diesel, having high compression, but was augmented with spark plugs so it could ignite lower octane fuels. One could dump most anything into the tank, in various proportions, gasoline, diesel, alcohol (grain - booze - top proof only)(wood-rubbing alcohol), jet fuel, kerosene, oil; and it would run. That engine came about after serious war-time logistic problems, having the right fuels in the right place at the right time, for the wrong engines.

* In the Mid 1980's the initiative was to move to a single and safer fuel. "Let's have everything burn one fuel". The choice was diesel. Powerful, safer. Well..... They got closer, but no big cigar. Small engines, outboards, chainsaws, mission essential equipment, are too heavy to be practical with a diesel engine.

That initiative was what prompted my post. I can not think of a single energy source that would power everything on a 50 foot yacht, all the time. My fuel preference is the free stuff, solar, wind, water current, and hydrogen, despite the initial hardware costs. I doubt most of those technologies will be super economical anytime soon. I think some may exist in labs or could be developed if needed, but would upset the world economies if released to the market. Simply we are not ready for that, yet, or the transition. Or somebody's to smart, greedy or powerful to let that happen. I don't know. It's an unproven theory.

I just want my future boat to have reliable, economical power, when I want it. That may sound greedy. I'm not. Just planning ahead.

Moving around the world with just currents is about as economical as it gets. The hardware under you may cost a bit though.
__________________
When in doubt, do the right thing.

Harbor_Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 04:59 AM   #4
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 143
Default

My husband played around with hydrogen power (he's that sort of engineer and tinkerer) and decided the cost to produce fuel outweighed the benefits of production (though wouldn't it be wonderful to turn seawater into useable fuel?) The quantity needed just wasn't workable. Maybe someday. I doubt he'll quit trying.

I'm with you on the self-reliance issue, though we haven't figured out how I can have my cake and eat it too with only our solar/wind generators. One thing we like about sailboats is that you can do without the toys if need be and get there by wind and currents--though not always as rapidly as some would like. My NC boat--as sharpie--has no engine or outboard. If the wind dies, I wait--or try to paddle over to that place that looks like it has a speck of breeze!
__________________
SeaVenture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 06:07 AM   #5
Admiral
 
Auzzee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Home Port: Darwin
Vessel Name: Sandettie
Posts: 1,727
Default

These days, the majority of cruisers live with diesel, propane and gasoline. It is important to take care in their storage with dedicated, approved, vented lockers for the propane, and quality containers for the gasoline. Some cruisers still use methylated spirit or diesel cookers, but these have their own problems.

It is wise to install a gas detector with sensors in the lazarette, galley and bilge, which can detect carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, propane and benzine.

In some countries, the quality of diesel can be suspect and a gauze filter across the fuel filler and multiple Racor filters before the injectors can be a very wise move, particluarly if travelling to third world and many asian countries.

Propane is generally available but different regions have different filling connectors. Adaptors will generally be available to overcome this.

The potential for disaster through explosion or fire need be no greater than it is in the family sedan. It requires careful storage and handling, occasional maintenance inspection and not much else.

Best wishes.

David
__________________
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!


Auzzee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 08:16 AM   #6
Rear Admiral
 
Harbor_Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 323
Default

Thanks David,

That is what I suspected.

I know the gas dector from my RV exeriances. It even detects one failing to latch the refridgerator door before traveling! The big clue for the dector was a dozen eggs on top of the rest of the fridge contents on the deck. [B )]

Your advice is noted, filed, and on my checklist. Thank-you.

I will skip the "methylated spirit or diesel cookers".

The Army (last I knew) used drip burners in the Field Mess (Galley in the field) and in tent warming applications. Fairly economical, effective, but came with a degree of fire hazards I would not want on board.

Can not over filter diesel. Check.

Propane. What a pain. Even between the various US States. Some states weigh it and sell it by the pound, while others meter it and sell it by the gallon. The standard tanks already have two types of threads built in; now I need adaptor(s)? Good Grief Charlie Brown!.... Even though you said they are generally available, what if they are not? Can I pre-buy; pre-prepare? How many types of propane tank fittings are there in the world; or at least in the maritime business?

Yes sir, fuels, filling, use, transportation, storage, piping, and ventilation can pose great risks. BIG CHECK. No sparks. Got it.

Incidently, I forgot to mention in my introduction post, I was trained and served as a land-based commercial marine fire fighter, with The Marine Resolve Group, based in North Dakota, Headquarted in Florida, with a branch in California. They have a four hour response time to the be in the air, destined anywhere. Though it sounds slow, it's very responsive as ships usually burn for weeks. Fire trucks have a response problem, don't know what to do if at dock, and lack the proper equipment to knock a ship fire down. As a machinist I could identify and manufacture the fittings. As a fire fighter we were not concerned about most fittings. We didn't get to inspect them. They were just a molten unidentifiable puddle, behind flames, maybe 300 yards from the monitor, maybe 16 decks above us, or maybe 20 decks below our staging and entry point.

Thank-you,

Jeff
__________________
When in doubt, do the right thing.

Harbor_Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 08:50 AM   #7
Admiral
 
Trim50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Home Port: Who cares really...
Vessel Name: T
Posts: 1,215
Send a message via Yahoo to Trim50
Default

OK guys...something that no one seems to talk about when touting bio-diesel is the fact that it requires Methanol to make it work. I believe the mixture is 20%/Vol. Hmmm...where do we get that MeOH?

As far as a hydrogen powered vessel...take a look at my friend Craig's efforts. It is indeed very possible and patented (don't ask me how they got this through since the Navy has been using the technology for many decades.)

http://www.haveblue.com/
__________________
[
Trim50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 09:18 AM   #8
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

Re: vegetable oil to power diesel engines. Back in '92 we met a fellow who was motoring around the world fueled by soybean oil. He was hired by the Soybean Growers association to promote soybean oil as a fuel. He said that the alcohol was a catalyst and was recovered. However, the most recent article I read said that "biofuel" was 10% or so alcohol. I don't know what has changed in the past 14 years or if I misunderstood him.

Here's a photo of Skyrider in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 11:50 AM   #9
Admiral
 
Trim50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Home Port: Who cares really...
Vessel Name: T
Posts: 1,215
Send a message via Yahoo to Trim50
Default

They also don't tell you that the bio-diesel will destroy your rubber o-rings and gaskets in your fuel system. Methanol has the tendancy to corrode and dissolve most all metal alloys and polymers (even high grade stainless steel). As such, it's not the grand solution to alternative fuels as people would have you think.
__________________
[
Trim50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2007, 11:38 PM   #10
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 29
Default

Interesting topic.

Regarding multiple fuels. I currently have propane for the BBQ, CNG for the stove, gasoline for my portable Honda generator (used at the mooring to top off batteries), gasoline 2cycle mix for the dinghy outboard and finally diesel in the main fuel tank.

Plans are underway to: Convert the stove to propane and run the BBQ and stove from the same propane bottle. Sell the 2cycle outboard and get a 4cycle, no more gasoline mix. Install HO alternator/regulator/solar panels to keep batteries charged and leave the Honda gennie on the dock.

There used to be a kerosene/diesel fueled outboard from Tohatsu and I know there was a British company working on a modern diesel fueled outboard. Provided it was light enough and cheap enough such an outboard would allow NO gasoline on the boat at all. Wouldn't that be nice?

Regarding biodiesel: I run it all the time, mostly in blends in my three diesel vehicles. I have also homebrewed it. The methanol used is a catalyst and a correctly built biodiesel processor can recover most of the methanol used in the process. There should be no methanol present in correctly made biodiesel.

Biodiesel works extremely well but has some notable issues. It does in fact eat rubber in high concentrations. This is not a big deal as Viton rubber is immune so simply replacing hoses usually fixes that. Most internal injection pump parts for the last 15years or so are made of Viton so unless you are running an old engine you have little to be concerned about. Even then it takes a good long while for biodiesel to actually eat through rubber so the "conversion" of replacement parts can be made part of regular PM. Biodiesel will absorb more water than petrodiesel and it also has a shelf life of 6months to a year so if you use little fuel an the fuel just sits around then you may have problems. Biodiesel is also a very good solvent. It will clean out ALL the crap in your tank and lines so prepare to change fuel filters regularly until the crap is gone. Biodiesel is also more prone to humbugs or fuel algae. If you have a well maintained fuel system then you likely will have no problems. If you ignore everything, well, you know.... I usually top off with biodiesel blend in the spring and then use regular diesel after than. The reasoning is by winter layup there is no longer bio in the tank.

Biodiesel may not be a perfect solution but it is workable if you understand and plan for the issues. It also smells better and leaves less soot on the transom.

RT
__________________

__________________
1983 Ericson 381
rwthomas1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keel types for open ocean sailing gaschenkel General Cruising Forum 13 07-08-2016 11:05 PM
Multiple Uses Of Radio duckie General Cruising Forum 5 07-07-2007 09:45 PM
Fuel Capacity clay1diver General Cruising Forum 12 10-16-2006 08:44 PM
fuel-return line hangfire General Cruising Forum 6 04-04-2006 11:34 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0