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Old 05-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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Inkosi, Linupesa,
Maninge sense umslegaas thanks!
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:15 PM   #16
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Thanks every one for all the relevant info, choices are not easier just more informed!
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:56 AM   #17
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Hi y'all - 'Brenda/Yoda/& the quiet 1) & 'Pop's Tanjera' - Beaut photo above - would have been 100% better if there was a wonderful wooden schooner in the pic - don't you think?

Hey 'Pop's Tanjera' for everyone else's sake - more info on your boat - U know - length, width, sail-area, weight - all that stuff ??? - - so we can get a good fix on your hp requirements. Please? Now when you've got it all sorted out, do remember that any transfer of hp consumes large amounts of energy - which is not refunded - not free of charge. This a nice attempt of me to try & say - electrical power being more efficient than diesel motor motive power may 1 day happen but not in my lifetime. Good luck though - mate, you'll need all you can get.

Now Brenda - re boats - dreams - cruising - lifre's values; - - I've fallen in 'lust' again. I needed to do some research into some of Nigel Irens's designs - & stumbled across 'again' SV 'Paradox' - a cruising tri - that I covet - oh - ever so bad - now that's my kind of cruising toy. SO - bye & ciao for now - while I go to work for 18 hrs/day to earn enough to by lotto tickets to win enough money to buy one. WOW - That is sure a lovely floating dream. Ah heck at this time I can't even aford the little 40' tri 'I-T-Cup' in SE Asia that I'm trying to get. But - if I live long enough - IT will happen. Ciao & good sailing everybody. Keep chasing your dreams, james OH & ciao 'Pop's-T' too.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #18
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Does anyone have any knowledge about the electric motor capabilities of the greencats made by Africacats? They have "motogen" retractable drive units and lithium ion battery banks. I scoured their website but couldn't find anything addressing how many amp-hour capacity these boats have or how much the batteries weigh. Thanks.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:16 AM   #19
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BD

perhaps you may want to find out how much power you will need to recharge batteries and for how many miles or hours they will last.

Battery banks can be made for any capacity, so it is the weight and size decisions you will be doing battle with. Plus cost. The biggest bang per buck is still lead-acid aka golf-cart technology. The gel-cell, Li-on etc. all have some advantages but share the boon-doggle of high cost.

Cats especially like to be lightbodied to be nimble. Going green is commendable but I must wonder whether they make a good test-bed for the technology. Unless the weight issues can be solved first. Or, you only need minimal power for getting into your berth.

Ivo
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:12 PM   #20
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There is no magic.

To push a boat you need energy. Each time you convert energy from one form to another or move it from one place to another, you endure an efficiency.

The energy falling from the sun onto our planet per square meter isn't enough to push a boat.

Wind energy will push a boat. The most efficient means is "sails." A small windmill powering a generator charging a battery which turns a motor which turns a propellor is not nearly as efficient. It will take many hours of wind in the windmill to give you one hour of motoring.

The energy density per lb or per cubic inch of diesel fuel is higher than almost any other energy store.

I can't see that electric drive makes any sense unless you posit a much more efficient means of creating the electricity. If we get cheap, small, safe, light nuclear power plants that will fit on a boat, then I will take another serious look at electricity. Until then I will stick with my diesel.

They are the safest, most reliable, most efficient way of powering a boat except sails. Maybe even including sails.

The big disadvantage of diesel is that it is loud and a bit smelly. Other than that, diesel wins every time by a big margin.

Don't expect improvements in technology to radically change that. Neither windmills nor solar panels can even theoretically become twice as efficient. Moore's law doesn't apply here. Batteries could in theory get a lot better, but even there it's a tough row. They have maybe doubled in my lifetime in energy storage ability. Will another 50 years give us another double? If so they still don't do it. Will we do even better? Nobody knows. Maybe we are near the peak of the art now.

Even with amazingly great batteries you still need a generator and you are back to diesel, so there is no real advantage.

For my money, I say get a good new diesel, insulate the engine compartment as well as possible, carry lots of fuel, and maintain it well and you have the best auxiliary power possible. Then use it as little as you reasonably can.

I can see why people want electric drives to make sense and will go through all kinds of contortions to convince themselves that they do. I think it is self-deception.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:11 AM   #21
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YIP-YIP-Awooooh Coyote

You da man. Be say it like it is. No gwine be da free lunch.

Perhaps I'd lay off the "new-killa powah" for a bit for sail-boats while fuel cells and other new tech may try to get a leg up, but you are totally right. Diesel is and will be king in terms of power density and all-around practicality for quite a while yet.

Sun does provide a kW per sq. metre but that is only under optimal conditions. First it needs to shine brightly. Second, we can only capture about 20% of that energy, outside of a lab grade set-up. Diesel still remains the best form of stored sun energy.

Self-deception sounds harsh but you are right. All those plug-in "green" vehicles work on the same premise, ultimately charging up from a fossil fuel source somewhere but NIMBY. Only a few countries have renewable green energy in significant amounts, with Denmark and Norway coming to mind. ( Wind and hydro )

If you already have a vessel with a lot of electric furling and winches and appreciable battery reserves, then perhaps electric motive power makes sense. Strictly for emergency or dock use only, as you won't travel far on it. Run the numbers, Coyote is correct.

Ivo s/v Linnupesa ( the one with the iron mainsail ) :-0
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:41 AM   #22
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I sometimes wonder at the new trend of building into sailboats, high power systems. A friend has a 46' er. He rarely anchors-off, as he needs to be plugged into mains power for all the household systems to work. Consequently he spends a lot of time in marinas.

At sea, he runs the diesel most of the day to keep everything going. 12v fridge, watermaker, pumps, the dunny, pressure water, hot water etc...all are electric powered.

My most efficient trip ever was in my 53' er, when I sailed from the Whitsunday Islands (Oz) to Darwin. In six weeks we stayed in marinas for a few days in Townsville and Port Douglas, sailed the distance (few thousand kilometers) and used a grand total of 19 gallons (85 litres) of diesel. That ran the engine for a short time every day to recharge the batteries, heat water for the shower and drive the refrigeration compressor.

On the new boat there is a water maker and a 12v refrigerator. I have a wind generator, solar panels and, my old fashioned belief that engines are a necessary evil and should, therefore, be stoked up only when absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:51 AM   #23
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Since I'm starting with a dead engine and almost no electrics fitted, one possibility is to remove the diesel entirely and rely on solar alone for the basic systems. No chance of water makers or refrigeration that way but SSB should still be possible.

I was somewhat inspired by a very long thread on Cruisers Forum entitled "Cruising on $500 per month" in which the OP suggested that an engine was entirely optional and probably unnecessary for budget cruising. It certainly would be the way to learn to sail properly.

He also had some very strong ideas about overhauling all systems before setting off and keeping spares of everything aboard, which I tend to agree with considering the cost of acquiring them in remote places, both in terms of unnecessary waiting time and high shipping costs.

Rob
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:23 AM   #24
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Definitely need a diesel. A little hot water and a cold beer are really necessary to a civilised life afloat. In the lower latitudes, a solar shower is brilliant, but warm beer is something no reasonable person should be forced to deprive oneself of.

A diesel also comes into its own when short handed sailing and on the hook with an onshore wind. Electric windlass to haul up the anchor whilst motoring into the wind and heading out to deep water beats a dinghy and kedge any day.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:42 AM   #25
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I know this may have me drummed out of Australia, but I rarely drink Auzzee. :-/ And besides, there's always rum. :-)

I currently live in a VW van and so regular showers are seen as a luxury. I intend to rig up a solar shower but there's always the gas stove. The lee shore fantasy is often listed as a reason for the iron sail, my answer being "don't be there in those conditions!" I know there's always the odd emergency situation but, as I said, this is the way to learn proper sailing, innit.

A manual windlass has less stuff that can go wrong, and can be repaired easily. Even then solar may be enough for an electric windlass as long as you're not raising and lowering the hook on an hourly basis.

Maybe we need to start a new thread to discuss this. I'm all for pure simplicity at this point.

Rob
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:46 AM   #26
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Rob an' Auzzee ?? Hey, that sounds like it's going to get you the same mangling as taking away his drink. Right, Haiqu?

I'm all for the go sailing approach and admire those who do. YET, there are places you just cannot or should not go without an engine. The US E coast is often very quiet and slatting about getting nowhere made even the old salts of yesteryear going postal. ( do you say "bonkers" in Oz ? ) Never mind some canals, like the ICW for one, will require an engine over long stretches. You might as well bite the bullet and dare I say it, for those places even pure motor vessels make sense. Don who came along up the Penobscot with me has one. He gets better mpg than my sailboat... and only carries like a 3'6" draught and slides under most bridges. Creature comforts are on a par and he really is handicapped only on long ocean passages, where enough fuel is the issue. OK, there's extra windage and blue water worthiness, it is not quite a wash and I do not want to belabor the issues.

The fact is most sailboats are attached to marina 50A outlets, for good reasons. Yes, we are spoilt and going simple is not every-ones delight.

Rob, I also toured from a VW-bus, both in S.A. and 11000km from Miami to Argentina and Chile. It is a different lifestyle and brings about a very humbling but beneficial transformation to your psyche. Seeing the many unhappy faces with wires plugged into their ears and eyes constantly squinting at a screen makes me want to cry. What have many humans devolved into? Rant, rant...

Appreciating the simple and enjoying what you have are really the things we should strive for. Bobeep covered all the bases there very eloquently. For Luka, it is best to actually go try it, perhaps on someone else's boat. With the little ankle-biter aboard it may pose a problem finding someone to accept the risks involved, but that is for Luka & Co. to decide.

Ivo
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linnupesa View Post
YIP-YIP-Awooooh Coyote
That made me laugh. I've spent hundreds of nights listening to that sound and it's part of why my boat is Coyote. One licked my face one night many decades ago while I was sleeping on a beach.

I really do like to keep things as simple as possible. My anchor comes up by hand and when that is too hard I have a pair of chain hooks that will take 12 feet at a time to the jib halyard winch. No electric windlass or even a mechanical one.

No watermaker. No refrigeration (OK, easier in the north, but I didn't have one in Baja California in July, either,) no shower other than my solar shower, no lots of things.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:27 PM   #28
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Good, always nice to be able to throw a funny-bone to a coyote that already has one to laugh with. That's the spirit of cruising and travel: enjoy what you have and don't fret about what you do not have.

Baja and watermakers, reefers etc. Most folks ashore there have neither and manage OK. They will also not tell you that is the first thing they will get if they had the opportunity. Still, it makes life a lot more liveable with at least a fridge. Auzzee et al need to replenish their beer circulatory systems whenever the blood content gets too high and the ladies must keep their artesan salad dressings happy. Each to their own, I don't want to get a dog into that scrap.

Do agree though, keep it simple, stoopid. If it ain't there it don't break, it's that simple. Further, you do not need to worry about, futz with or carry spares for it.

Stooping still lower, the lowly MSD aka "a bucket" has much to commend it, apart from the fact that it's usage immediately makes it an unsanctioned MSD.


Fridge/freezer:

On Linnupesa, I keep things well frozen by running the generator about 2 hrs each day, even in FL heat. The diesel it takes is quite modest. It also allows an electric coffee maker and microwave, especially if used during the "gen on" time. At other times I do use the stove for coffee and the microwave for warm-ups or baked potatoes.

The two solar panels (100 or 120?) each keep the batteries up while I'm away. Six 6V cells (golf cart type) are the house bank and there are no issues with the microwave at any time. At times the wind-gen will put in 6-15A, nice during dark and stormy days when the sun is awol but the winds are 15kn. Below 8kn it's become pretty useless. Note that a generator will bulk charge batteries quickly, but the final low-amperage float charge takes for hours. Solar is ideally matched to that task and by mid-afternoon their trickle charge rate has dropped to a few amps or none.

The anchor winch is a bit uppity at 80-100A+ draw as well, more so than the microwave. That's a 120VAC model and draws ca. 84A from 12V DC. )

The water maker I may actually un-install. Very heavy, maintenance and power hungry and without me using it its a total waste of space. Per glass of product I'd be better off flying in Evian, or Naive if it's spelled barseackwards.

Ciau

Ivo s/v Linnupesa ( not so "nu", really, more like '86 apart from the new mod/cons I've put in. )
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