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Old 31-08-2010, 16:56   #1
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Power Options for the 'Toodling' Cruiser

Damn I love this forum. So much information my head can't keep up.
I'm still without a boat and a lot of what I'm reading is scaring me off purely on the cost side. I'm looking at real low end cruising on a derisory British army war pension.
My plan is to locate a boat in the Jacksonville area of Florida. I, personally would like a sailboat around 30 foot but "She who must be obeyed is not totally struck on the cramped conditions and would like the room and airyness of a power cruiser.
The problem of course with the power only option is of course cost and boy have you folk scared the pants of me with the fuel costs for motoring.
So here's the plan. If I do surrender to her wishes and go for the power option I will be looking for a cruiser of around 30 foot with a single diesel engine. I would also add though, an electric motor such as this.
Cruise 2.0 RS / 2.0RL (Remote Steering) (1209-00 / 1210-00) from Torqeedo - Supplied by G COMM
Traveling plans will be a gentle putter down the ICW using the electric mainly and then across to the Bahamas.
The diesel should be large enough to handle the heavier stuff but the electric will be for gentle meandering around quiet areas. which I believe is the general idea of living in the Bahamas.
Basically the electric motor is replacing the sails element.
This is too simple isn't it?
I'm gonna press send but I know I shouldn't.
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Old 31-08-2010, 20:43   #2
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The 2000 watt Torqueedo is going to produce about 3 hp wide open. Your 30', 12,000 lb power trawler is going to need about 20 hp to travel at its hull speed of about 6.5 kts. So the 3 hp may get you to 3 kts or so, but for only 2 hours. After that, it is back to the diesel.

David
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:21   #3
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There is a bigger option of course, but 2 hours of actual motoring at a leisurely walking speed sounds good to me. I'm suggesting using the diesel to get to a location and the electric to investigate at low speed. Any saving is a saving right?
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:54   #4
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How much does that setup cost? And how are you going to charge the batteries? Generator? Solar? Wind? Marinas?

After you add up the total cost, and then figure how much you will save, how long will it take you to break even?

Say the setup is $2k (I bet it's more). For argument, let's say you already have a few thousands of dollars of solar panels, so you get the power for free.

A small diesel will burn less than 1gph at 3 kts. So in 2 hours you MIGHT save 2 gallons. We'll even figure $5 per gallon. So, two hours per day that's 400 days. In reality, you'll probably find you do this on average about 1-2 times per week: you'll probably be spending more time at anchor or in marinas than you'll be gunking around. So, now it's from 400-2,800 days to break even, depending on how often you will really putz around for 2 hours. That's 1 to 7 years. But wait, there's more.

You don't have those solar panels? Add a couple-or-three grand for that. Cloudy days? Add another 1-2 grand for a wind generator. Now we're talking no payback within decades.

Will you have to pay someone to install all this stuff?

Use the generator? The genset will charge the batteries at it's optimum RPM range, so you might save a little there (less the loss of the charging system). But now we're talking pennies a day saved.

Just charge from the engine while running? Now you only have that 2 hours of electric running after burning fuel in the main for several hours. Doesn't help when you are at anchor.

Electric has it's uses. In very large applications, diesel-electric can even be cheaper in the long run than diesel alone. Not having to spend several hundred thousand on mechanical transmissions is quite an incentive. The slight fuel savings is just a added bonus.

But for a small boat, IMHO there are very few applications that electric makes sense. For sailboats on the other hand, depending on habits, electric may be just the thing.

Conclusions?
Look at the total cost of your setup. Consider how you will charge. How much time will you be at anchor? Marinas (if you pay for electric, recharge will be cheap there)? How much are you really saving? How long to payback?

Final comment:
There is the benefit of quietly cruising in silence. That alone might make it worth it. It's not a dumb idea. But if saving money is your goal, I seriously you'll see any.

-dan
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:07   #5
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My 34' trawler uses 2.5 gph at a cruise speed of 8 mph less if i slow up plus plenty of room
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:07   #6
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Has the admiral been on many 30' sail boats? Would you both consider a cat? A good sail cat is a ton of room and if I was trying to sell a spouse on sailing it would be my first choice, once she has been hooked or left my sorry salty hide I would find. Something that better reflected my first dream.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:09   #7
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save the electric for your dinghy
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:18   #8
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Thanks for the input.I appreciate it. I think without a doubt that any boat I get, be it sail or power, has to be diesel as the engine. That's a given.
Now I have to get back to convincing her that sails are soooo much more fun.
I'm not dropping the electric idea though. There are now thousands of boats tied up that will never leave dock purely because it is so expensive to go out for a couple of hours. A couple of hours on a battery has to be better than no hours in the dock.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:04   #9
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I suggest you look at a Willard 30 trawler. Single diesel engine that burns 3/4 gallon per hour at 6 knots. Many well kept 30 year old Willards for sale under US$50K.

Forget electric power, it is just not practical.

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohaboat View Post
I suggest you look at a Willard 30 trawler. Single diesel engine that burns 3/4 gallon per hour at 6 knots. Many well kept 30 year old Willards for sale under US$50K.

Forget electric power, it is just not practical.

Patrick
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Thanks Patrick, I will keep a look out. That sort of fuel consumption looks totally affordable.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:30   #11
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Hillbillylad - Do you know that Torqeedo also have the Cruise 4.0R?

The Cruise 4 has remote steering and capable of up to 10 hp!
Whereas the Cruise 2 offers up to 6 hp.

The downside with the Cruise 4.0 is it needs a 48 volt power supply. (Cruise 2 needs 24V)
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcomm View Post
Hillbillylad - Do you know that Torqeedo also have the Cruise 4.0R?

The Cruise 4 has remote steering and capable of up to 10 hp!
Whereas the Cruise 2 offers up to 6 hp.

The downside with the Cruise 4.0 is it needs a 48 volt power supply. (Cruise 2 needs 24V)
Yup I've had a good look around the site thanks gcomm and think the stuff is great.
Price of course as has been pointed out is a major factor especially with resupplying the batts. I would certainly be looking at one as a dinghy motor and still believe my original concept is good but needs some working on. This could be the answer for all those sad, sad boats left tied up on the moorings for years on end. Never getting a chance to get properly wet for the sake of a few gallon of juice.
Feel free of course to send me one as a freebie to prove the point and you can market my success to your hearts content LOL
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbillylad View Post
Yup I've had a good look around the site thanks gcomm and think the stuff is great.
Price of course as has been pointed out is a major factor especially with resupplying the batts. I would certainly be looking at one as a dinghy motor and still believe my original concept is good but needs some working on. This could be the answer for all those sad, sad boats left tied up on the moorings for years on end. Never getting a chance to get properly wet for the sake of a few gallon of juice.
Feel free of course to send me one as a freebie to prove the point and you can market my success to your hearts content LOL
LOL I wish I could have a freebie.

I notice you were looking at the UK site and saw some of the prices. Did you know there is an office in the USA too? Houston to be exact.

Hopefully you will see the benefits of an electric outboard and prove to everyone that they are infact worthwhile.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:18   #14
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Think I've sorted the battery charging issue now without fretting over solar or wind turbiines. Just need an electrical engineer with some foresight.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:23   #15
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Well as im in the UK it's a little difficult but can offer telephone advice.
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