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Old 28-04-2014, 23:56   #31
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

Just a few generator numbers:

Kohler 9kw Full load 1.05 gph, half load 0.53
Kohler 20 kw Full 1.49, half 0.83
Northern Lights 20kw Full 1.7 half 1.0
Northern Lights 30kw Full 2.8 half 1.5
Northern Lights 99kw Full 7.9 half 4.1

Just examples and most generator manufacturers have fuel usage on spec sheets on their sites.
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Old 29-04-2014, 01:09   #32
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by sgunes View Post
I agree. The F-P Cumberland 47 LC offers factory-installed solar panels which should help minimizing fuel use by the generator.

I also read about the Beneteau Swifttrawlers which can cruise fuel-efficient at 7-8 knots or speed up to escape bad weather.
What is their reputation in the boating community?
The 44 seems to be a good size for a cruising couple.

Beneteau.com Swift Trawler - Powered By Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU Beneteau Swift Trawler 34

Swift Trawler 44 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU Swift Trawler - Powered By Beneteau Beneteau¬*Swift 44 (2014-)¬*2011¬* Reviews,performance,compare,price,warranty, specs,Reports,Specifications Layout, video | BoatTEST.com

Swift Trawler 50 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU
Haven't yet seen a decent factory fitted solar bank from either FP or Beneteau Lagoon. Best arrays of 750 - 1.2Kw on these are owner fitted not factory fitted, unfortunately.
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:08   #33
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by sgunes View Post
I agree. The F-P Cumberland 47 LC offers factory-installed solar panels which should help minimizing fuel use by the generator.

I also read about the Beneteau Swifttrawlers which can cruise fuel-efficient at 7-8 knots or speed up to escape bad weather.
What is their reputation in the boating community?
The 44 seems to be a good size for a cruising couple.

Beneteau.com Swift Trawler - Powered By Beneteau Swift Trawler 34 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU Beneteau Swift Trawler 34

Swift Trawler 44 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU Swift Trawler - Powered By Beneteau Beneteau¬*Swift 44 (2014-)¬*2011¬* Reviews,performance,compare,price,warranty, specs,Reports,Specifications Layout, video | BoatTEST.com

Swift Trawler 50 / Swift Trawler / Motorboats - BENETEAU
Be careful reading reviews. Gather the information you can but keep in mind you will never see a bad review on any of the major review sites. I still read them and gather a lot of information. But they depend on the builders for the opportunities to review and also for advertising. So they give only shades of good with only occasional mention of perhaps one aspect they'd change but the review in whole is always glowing. Still you can learn a lot about the boat. Just know it's not likely to be as perfect as the reviewer leads you to believe. Unfortunately, finding owners' reviews isn't easy for most boats.
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Old 29-04-2014, 12:25   #34
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I simply asked a question. This reply explains that you want to know about "harbors and re-fueling stations."

OK, harbors and refueling stations are covered in cruising guides and activecaptain.
The problem I had with the "simply asked a question" was the: .
Thanks for the Cruising guides link.

At this point I have figured out that in order to be able to do the major cruising areas including Australia/New Zealand and South Pacific the range should be at 1000 to 1400nm. Caribbean, Alaska and Europe apparently need only 300-500nm actual range.
With a 1000nm range you can get from Australia to Lord Howe Island to NZ to Norfolk Island to New Caledonia, then Fiji, American Samoa, Cook Islands and then Tahiti and Marquesas. Most of the hops are below 800nm.
That means that I can see almost everything I want without having to cross an ocean and I can buy a slightly less capable (cheaper) boat.
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Old 29-04-2014, 12:29   #35
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by sgunes View Post
The problem I had with the "simply asked a question" was the: .
Thanks for the Cruising guides link.

At this point I have figured out that in order to be able to do the major cruising areas including Australia/New Zealand and South Pacific the range should be at 1000 to 1400nm. Caribbean, Alaska and Europe apparently need only 300-500nm actual range.
With a 1000nm range you can get from Australia to Lord Howe Island to NZ to Norfolk Island to New Caledonia, then Fiji, American Samoa, Cook Islands and then Tahiti and Marquesas. Most of the hops are below 800nm.
That means that I can see almost everything I want without having to cross an ocean and I can buy a slightly less capable (cheaper) boat.

its worth bearing mind that you need a 30-40% reserve and maybe more in certain cases. so a 500nm range is really a 800nm range


dave
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Old 29-04-2014, 12:30   #36
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Be careful reading reviews. Gather the information you can but keep in mind you will never see a bad review on any of the major review sites. I still read them and gather a lot of information. But they depend on the builders for the opportunities to review and also for advertising. So they give only shades of good with only occasional mention of perhaps one aspect they'd change but the review in whole is always glowing. Still you can learn a lot about the boat. Just know it's not likely to be as perfect as the reviewer leads you to believe. Unfortunately, finding owners' reviews isn't easy for most boats.
I complained about the lack of thorough and objective reviews in the boating industry a couple of years ago when I first looked into it.
The low volume and high price of boats make it impossible to do what Consumer Reports does for cars.
Owner evaluations are also often positive as nobody wants to decrease the resale value of their boat. You have to learn to read between the lines (like looking at how many Greenlines are on sale...).

Once I get closer, I will go to Boatshows and then try to charter various boats for a week at a time. A good boat is as serious an investment as a house.
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Old 29-04-2014, 12:33   #37
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
its worth bearing mind that you need a 30-40% reserve and maybe more in certain cases. so a 500nm range is really a 800nm range


dave
As some have pointed out, most of the manufacturer's range estimates are not with a fully stocked boat, generators running and possibly facing adverse currents and wind.
So, your 30-40% deduction will get me the actual safe range.
To do 800nm safely (with some 20% reserve) I would have to find something that is advertised as 1200-1400nm.
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Old 29-04-2014, 13:33   #38
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Re: Minimum cruising range needed to cruise all areas

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Originally Posted by sgunes View Post
As some have pointed out, most of the manufacturer's range estimates are not with a fully stocked boat, generators running and possibly facing adverse currents and wind.
So, your 30-40% deduction will get me the actual safe range.
To do 800nm safely (with some 20% reserve) I would have to find something that is advertised as 1200-1400nm.
I disagree on the characterization of manufacturer's range estimates. Most are very careful and make it clear exactly what they're based on. The various reviews also are accurate in that regard as they test with excellent equipment and state the conditions. But in the past two years I've used many different boats and found fuel usage to be right on target. Now one note, most are done with 10% reserve but again that's clearly stated and easy to convert to what you feel is adequate reserve. Also, very few are done at the absolute best fuel usages.

Now when you're full of everything and heavily loaded, obviously it will worsen. So I guess what I'm saying is it's not the estimates, it's our use of them that is critical. I just looked at a test on a Carver 34 and it states "2 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs of gear". I read a test of a Grand Banks 54 that read, "full fuel; 200 gal. water, 10 persons, 500 lb. gear."

So, be cautious, not because their estimates are misleading but because they may not represent your situation or your level of reserve desired. One factor often overlooked is sea conditions. On a trawler going against the current and winds can be important.

The reserve is a very complex issue. I've heard many numbers tossed out. Some say 30%. But much long range cruising would have to stop at 30%. 30% of 200 gallons is one thing, but when it comes to 10,000 gallons of fuel it's excessive. One thing we do is look at range at an economical mode but not our absolute best. Then we know we can always slow if necessary. Also make sure along the way you've conserved so when you reach half way you have more than half a tank left.

Here's an example. The boat we are on as I'm typing this. Tested range is on 54 degrees, light seas, two way average, full fuel, full water, 3 persons, 600 lbs. and based on 90%. Given that range at 20 knots is 550 miles, at 12 knots is 1382 miles, at 10 knots is 1734 nm. So what do I know. Well, we're not in light seas, we have 2-3' wind waves and 8 ft swells at 13 seconds. We have 8 people, not 3. We have far more than 600 lbs. At least four or five times that. Now we've actually tested usage some today. In spite of conditions it's very little different than the tests. I attribute it to newer engines with slightly better economy. If I had to go 1700 nm how would I feel? Well, the 10% would scare me and the 1734 at 10 knots too close. But I also know that the lowest speed tested of 10 knots was both engines at 1000 rpm. So we slowed to 750 rpm to test. Our range at 750 rpm is 2500 nm. Would we normally run that? No. But could we to increase range, yes. Could we go to one engine, yes. Still I'd set my comfort level at 1500-1600 nm.

My point is too that you need to know your own boat. Take flow equipment on a sea trial if you're doing a trial and survey. Every boat is slightly different. Study your boat at all speeds. Don't estimate just in "we took this trip mostly at this speed and used this much." That's decent for an estimate but that's not something to base long cruises on and doesn't equip you to know all the options. The equipment isn't expensive and it's accurate.
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Old 29-04-2014, 14:51   #39
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Re: Minimum Cruising Range Needed to Cruise all Areas

I would err on the side of caution regarding ranges/fuel consumption. Even with careful weather planning you can still get into a blow and you will make a lot less distance for fuel consumed. Got caught crossing the gulf of Alaska in a blow, and made 1 knot to the good for 48 hours, but the fuel consumption went up. Give yourself plenty of cushion, you have enough to worry about in bad weather without sweating if your going to run out of fuel before making port.
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Old 29-04-2014, 15:19   #40
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Re: Minimum Cruising Range Needed to Cruise all Areas

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I would err on the side of caution regarding ranges/fuel consumption. Even with careful weather planning you can still get into a blow and you will make a lot less distance for fuel consumed. Got caught crossing the gulf of Alaska in a blow, and made 1 knot to the good for 48 hours, but the fuel consumption went up. Give yourself plenty of cushion, you have enough to worry about in bad weather without sweating if your going to run out of fuel before making port.
Absolutely. Our longest planned crossing in Alaska is 620 nm and returning from Sitka we estimate at 760. We can make the 760 under good circumstances at 15 knots. But we'll run around 12 knots much of the time, especially at night which gives us a 500 mile pad of range. As we get well into the trip and during daylight hours if we have built up a sizable reserve of fuel then we'll likely run 20 knots part of the time during the last day, but only after saving fuel earlier and being very certain we have fuel to do so plus have plenty to spare. Were conditions to somehow be such that we were using more than anticipated we'd just run the entire trip at 10-12 knots.

Of course on the East Coast the big thing people coming south need to watch for is the Gulf Stream.
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