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Old 08-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #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, 02:41 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, 03:51 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.

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Old 08-26-2012, 04:23 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, 04:42 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, 06:46 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, 05:34 PM   #27
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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, 06:27 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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Old 08-27-2012, 08:27 PM   #29
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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.

This is how a friend of ours recently sank. Very experienced cruiser who really could sail anything in any conditions. He had no money for fixing the engine in the boat, took the engine out, went cruising, boat started slow leak he couldn't find, solar couldn't keep up with the bilge pumps, even with his manual pump and all, he slowly sank over a 4 day period while trying to get to port. Luckily an SOS he made was heard and a US warship on exercises off Mexico picked him up.

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.

There is very little difference between a manual windlass and an electric one. Our experience in what typically goes wrong is related to the brake (manually applied on our electric windlass) and the wildcat (may wear from use) as well as the chain break (the thing which also wears as it is used to help direct the chain into the hawse/locker below the wildcat). In theory the clutch (manually applied on our electric windlass) should be considered a maintenance item as well. Many electric ones can be used in the manual mode (as our can, albeit slower than using the electric motor on it). I've seen the Pardeys, among others, write that if one requires 5/16" chain or larger, one should have a hydraulic or manual windlass. You will find that a good electric windlass and battery (as long as you have a charger...which I see you will have since you're planning so many radios and whatnot) will be less costly than an equally good quality manual (only) windlass. Unfortunately, manual windlasses of high quality are really hard to come by these days.

The originator of the topic--electric vs diesel--probably doesn't appreciate our diversion. I'd love to ask, again, if he or anyone else with a multihull has considered hydraulic drive with a single diesel engine? I would think that would be quite nice.

Fair winds,
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:36 AM   #30
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Wouldn't worry about the OP Brenda, he hasn't posted on this topic since 2008.

Rob
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:09 AM   #31
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Wouldn't worry about the OP Brenda, he hasn't posted on this topic since 2008.

Rob
I said "I'd love to ask, again, if he or anyone else with a multihull has considered hydraulic drive with a single diesel engine? I would think that would be quite nice."
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:56 PM   #32
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Hydraulic drives can get very noisy at an annoying freq. Only seen one and it was a very noisy cat. I think a diesel and two electric drives would be better. Seen a few of those and the owners were happy with the setup.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #33
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Hydraulic drives can get very noisy at an annoying freq. Only seen one and it was a very noisy cat. I think a diesel and two electric drives would be better. Seen a few of those and the owners were happy with the setup.
Gooday 'U-2' - Fab to see you 'back' in here. Sure do hope both of you are 'A- O.K.' & the 'toy' is as well. Question is - would you fit one to your 'toy' or stay with something like what you've got - that has proven to be reliable ??? & is dependable ??? - especially - in the middle of the night either on a lee shore or - out in the middle - picking up people.

I have a problem coming to terms with the weight - value - reliablity - grunt - fuel consumption equation. Seems difficult to even choose which model - brand to choose from. With all your vast experience - would you care to give us some valuable tips cause we could sure use them ! ! !

Keep well-happy-smiling, ciao, james
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Old 08-29-2012, 02:25 AM   #34
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Since this thread was re-started, I have been interested to look at the Mastervolt E-propulsion systems. I can imagine they will be expensive, but they do look like the sort of drive system which would be ideal on a sailing yacht. There is a lot of good information on these systems on the Mastervolt web page..and the smaller engine (suitable for a boat up to 26') can be seen in West Marine's catalogue.
Very 'swish' indeed!
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #35
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Both well thanks James and the toy is in the middle of another refit. Afraid I have no tips but after checking out electric drive systems(expensive & complicated) have decided to stick with the old rattlers, including rebuilding one. Could not see why the electric motors or control units were so expensive???? Maybe should source manufacturers?
But if I had the money to spare or the time to make my own I would go for a cheap diesel generator and two electric drives and keep it simple. This should be a benefit in both weight and power at the props. Not really interested in running electric motors without generator, as we have found that in calms we motor for days at a time.
Hopefully as more get installed the prices will reflect the real cost.
Hope all is well with you mate, Cheers.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:38 AM   #36
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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.


This is how a friend of ours recently sank. Very experienced cruiser who really could sail anything in any conditions. He had no money for fixing the engine in the boat, took the engine out, went cruising, boat started slow leak he couldn't find, solar couldn't keep up with the bilge pumps, even with his manual pump and all, he slowly sank over a 4 day period while trying to get to port. Luckily an SOS he made was heard and a US warship on exercises off Mexico picked him up.
Pretty sad, but avoidable. As an experienced sailor he should have known where all the through-hulls and stopcocks were, and their condition. Unless he was holed, diving and inserting a towel or a plastic bag full of seat cushions could have save that yacht. Of course a lot depends on the conditions, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't a weather window over 4 days where something could have been done.

Quote:

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.


There is very little difference between a manual windlass and an electric one.
Apart from the need for 120A of battery power to run it.

Rob
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #37
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Haiqu,

How many ocean voyages have you been on which enables you to state that "Pretty sad, but avoidable. As an experienced sailor he should have known where all the through-hulls and stopcocks were, and their condition. Unless he was holed, diving and inserting a towel or a plastic bag full of seat cushions could have save that yacht. Of course a lot depends on the conditions, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't a weather window over 4 days where something could have been done."

Weather window? What are you talking about? The weather is going to become "perfect" and fix my friend's leaking boat? He was sailing towards port during very sunny days. But, believe it or not, it's possible to be more than 4 days from port and it is possible for solar not to keep up with pump loads. As a matter of fact, it is possible for it to take MONTHS to get into port. The world's oceans are big.

the leak wasn't from thru hulls (long story there--keelbolts and seeping generalizes it pretty nicely though. And, when you're sailing--and loading up the keel--if you've got a leak around the keel/hull interface you'd better have good bilge pumps (and power) available) . My friend, according to your other posts, if he hoped to keep things "simple" wouldn't have a compressor or SCUBA set up on board. He'd be free diving--yea--I can see that--in the Pacific Ocean during choppy conditions/winds/waves...uh...huh...pitching boats are very dangerous--if he wanted to make sure he died, that would have been a great way to do himself in. Whack on the head and he's gone. Yep, that's the solution.

and the sailor was someone with 30 years of cruising and more than 50K miles (that I know of, he probably has many, many more miles) under his belt--a very experienced cruiser. The only mistakes that could have been avoided? Sailing solo so that he was totally reliant upon himself with no outside help and not having sufficient mechanical backups because of his solo situation. Had there been two or more people aboard rather than one, he also would have been unlikely to sink.

Why did he make these two mistakes? The latter was because he had an unfortunate financial crisis which drained him and he had too little money to properly outfit the boat for additional cruising. The first was because, though he's a great person on land, he's one of those folks who just can't get along with others while sailing. Sad, sad, sad.
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