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Old 27-06-2016, 21:03   #31
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

Don't most of you already have generators already?
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:14   #32
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Victoria harbor on Vancouver Island is one of those harbors near me that I visit. No sailing allowed.
It may be the only harbor in the world. It's probably not worth visiting for other reasons if they actually made this rule.

I wonder what would happen if you sail anyway? Would be funny to try. Can they arrest you or put you in jail for "sailing" ? It's probably illegal for them to make this as a rule.

Quote:
<long story>
We motored a lot.
<longer more interesting story>
I wouldn't have motored at all.
Quote:
I also sail to Hawaii from time to time, and the return usually involves a day or two of motoring.
What did you actually achieve by motoring besides wasting fuel? Please don't answer unless it's a good reason.
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Sure, George Vancouver himself explored my cruising grounds with no propulsion but sails and oars. People have sailed to and from Hawaii for centuries with sails only. I race to Hawaii under sail-power alone.

But for my everyday use, electric just isn't going to cut it.
I agree with you that electric isn't going to cut it. I quit using electric 3 years ago. sail-power alone is already sufficient.

I still don't understand why people want to burn fuel when the world is already in crisis from it and it serves no purpose. No one can give me one good reason or argument why, if they could I would be doing it.
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Old 27-06-2016, 21:14   #33
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
What a fun thread!



sail boats do not need to make way when there is no wind.

I can tack up just about any channel provided it's 30 meters wide. If it is less than this width I have several alternatives that allow me to also make my way.

I have never heard of a harbor where sailing is prohibited.


I have motored 10 hours on a bank of 8 golf cart batteries, and drained them to 11.8 volts.



Already you can easily motor much farther than this using flooded lead acid batteries and brushed motors without even needing any kind of electronics or controllers.



Using diesel is no where close to the capability of solar and regenerating electric and never will be.

This is because the solar can charge the battery anywhere from the sun, and regenerating makes it possible to quickly pass the wind holes from mountains in the lee of islands then recharge where there is plenty of wind at minimal boat speed loss.

How many of you have made your own diesel fuel in remote areas and compare this amount of labor? When I climb I take the coconuts for food I don't waste them.

I don't have a tank.


These statements are all incorrect.


It is not impossible, but it would be pointless anyway, because by the time you travel 30 miles (at the correct efficient speed), you will either have wind or sun.


While I'm completely against any form of generator, even if you had one, this is also not even close to less efficient considering you can still use solar and regen abilities.



This isn't what I have found at all.

I was able to motor 3 knots using 500 watts of solar with a few amps charge also going into the battery.

Or you never stop at any marina, and motor for years using solar panels and regenerating under sail.
To put this in perspective, you have a 27' boat that weighs maybe 7,000 lbs. That's a lot different than my 42' boat that weighs over 20,000 lbs.

I have heard of a harbor that doesn't allow sailing but yes it is very rare. However sailing in the ICW is just about impossible and sailing is not allowed through many opening bridges.

10 hours on 8 batteries. How about details. What size batteries and what speed. I'm sure you understand that it does make a difference.

500 Watts of solar. I estimate about 30 sq ft of panels. 6' X 5' or 7.5' X 4'. That's a lot of space on a 27' boat. For a larger boat it would take a good bit more. On many cruising monohulls that just isn't possible and potentially a safety issue at sea in serious weather.

"Sailboats do not need to make any way when there is no wind"? Well no I guess a sailboat would never "need" to make way at all but the ability to make way in a calm or against a foul wind or current sure is handy at times.
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Old 28-06-2016, 01:23   #34
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
It may be the only harbor in the world. It's probably not worth visiting for other reasons if they actually made this rule.

I wonder what would happen if you sail anyway? Would be funny to try. Can they arrest you or put you in jail for "sailing" ? It's probably illegal for them to make this as a rule.
Well, it's a beautiful destination, and it's their harbor and their rules. I don't see the benefit in going out of my way to be a jerk about it. Some people row their way in and out of the harbor (example: the Race to Alaska, which just left Victoria Harbor last Sunday).

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<longer more interesting story>
I wouldn't have motored at all.
What did you actually achieve by motoring besides wasting fuel? Please don't answer unless it's a good reason.
Have you ever looked at the weather charts for the North East Pacific? There's this giant windless thing called the Pacific High that is usually parked halfway between Oregon and Hawaii. Unless you want to take an extra week to get back to the mainland, perhaps sailing much further north than you would like, or battle with headwinds for two weeks or more as you take the windward southern route, you usually skirt the light-air edge of the High. And sometimes the high moves right on top of you and parks itself there for days. If you don't motor, you wait, and wait....

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I agree with you that electric isn't going to cut it. I quit using electric 3 years ago. sail-power alone is already sufficient.

I still don't understand why people want to burn fuel when the world is already in crisis from it and it serves no purpose. No one can give me one good reason or argument why, if they could I would be doing it.
Serves no purpose??? Sure, if I didn't have a job or family to get home to, perhaps I wouldn't mind bobbing around out there, 1000 miles from land, waiting weeks for the wind to eventually return. It's not like I motor the whole way -- in a 28 to 35-day mainland/Hawaii round trip, I probably motor one or two days. Sometimes less.
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Old 28-06-2016, 04:37   #35
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Oh...so we want to play a little smarta## do we...I will play along.

Reading comprehension may not be your strong suit, so lets try again...read closely mi amigo...
If you are incapable of being nice, this is going to be a terse discussion.

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Note the words "Cruisers who spend 365 days/yr on their boats". No reference was made to being underway, nor was one implied. Cruisers who do spend 365 days/yr on their boats also have a much better understanding of how their batteries work and would thus literally laugh out loud at the notion of adding the load of electric propulsion to their already taxed battery bank. 9 years of cruising and living aboard full time with a crew of 4 has taught me a thing or two about powering a cruising boat. Even with my 400AH LiFePO4 Battery bank I wouldn't dream of electric propulsion. Sorry...sell that myth to someone with a Catalina 30, but I'm not buying it.
It's a little presumptuous, or possibly arrogant of you to assume you're the only one who has spent time on a boat. I lived aboard and cruised for a little over 2 years. Most of the time at anchor or otherwise not plugged in, the solar kept the batteries topped up. We ran the generator when we made water or wanted the A/C or heat on. I think we used about 25 gal of diesel during one year, and a good portion of that was for the generator, as I mentioned. I don't know how you "cruise", if you are plugged in normally or if you run your genny daily - why don't you tell us your experience in detail, rather than making vague and slightly pompous "it won't work 'cause I say so" type of statements.

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Oh and since we now know a little about my background/experience, how long have you had electric propulsion on your boat? Now surely you are not recommending a technology to others that you don't have on your own boat are you....que lastima...

Cheers mate.
Since you're such an expert reader, you will have noticed I've never said I have electric propulsion on my boat. I'm interested in the technology and will consider it when I repower. 20 years ago, hybrid cars seemed like a crazy idea, but we've seen how they've become more mainstream. During my career I served in a number of diesel-electric vessels, a technology many decades older than hybrid cars, and perfectly viable in many types of commercial and military vessels - so it could be scaled to use in recreational vessels. Obviously the cost and complexity are issues, but to say it won't work or can't work is false. There are lots of e-boats out there. It doesn't work for everyone, but many are making it work just fine.
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Old 28-06-2016, 05:07   #36
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
What a fun thread!

sail boats do not need to make way when there is no wind.
Only if you don't need to travel. Sailboats are a means of conveyance which implies they need to travel.

I can tack up just about any channel provided it's 30 meters wide. If it is less than this width I have several alternatives that allow me to also make my way.
So many things wrong with this statement. Try doing that with a 15m boat and come back. Also what happens if all the boats do this. Not to mention, many channels are much narrower. I do know there are many places you simply wouldn't be able to go.

I have never heard of a harbor where sailing is prohibited.
I can think of a couple of areas near military bases where it's not technically prohibited but if you tack towards a battleship, you will get a visit from guys with guns.

I have motored 10 hours on a bank of 8 golf cart batteries, and drained them to 11.8 volts.
Convenient you only post the positive aspects. How fast were you going and how long did it take to recharge the batteries.


Already you can easily motor much farther than this using flooded lead acid batteries and brushed motors without even needing any kind of electronics or controllers.
Share the facts and figures behind this statement.

Using diesel is no where close to the capability of solar and regenerating electric and never will be.
Totally false but I know how you are trying to twist the facts. Share with us the range before you batteries wear out and have to be replaced.

This is because the solar can charge the battery anywhere from the sun, and regenerating makes it possible to quickly pass the wind holes from mountains in the lee of islands then recharge where there is plenty of wind at minimal boat speed loss.
To get any range from solar means literally days of waiting. Hardly faster

How many of you have made your own diesel fuel in remote areas and compare this amount of labor? When I climb I take the coconuts for food I don't waste them.
Haven't because you can carry enough that it's not an issue.

I don't have a tank.
Sure you do. it's in the form of lead filled plastic boxes.

These statements are all incorrect.
Let's try facts not blanket statements.

It is not impossible, but it would be pointless anyway, because by the time you travel 30 miles (at the correct efficient speed), you will either have wind or sun.
I've had plenty days where it's overcast with no wind and I want to make some miles.

While I'm completely against any form of generator, even if you had one, this is also not even close to less efficient considering you can still use solar and regen abilities.
That's the equivalent of saying it's not less efficient if you harness dolphins to tow you.

I was able to motor 3 knots using 500 watts of solar with a few amps charge also going into the battery.
Sure with a nice tail wind and the genny up on a very small boat.

Or you never stop at any marina, and motor for years using solar panels and regenerating under sail.
As I said previously, if you are willing to accept drastically reduced capabilities, you can go electric today and your post demonstrates some of those limitations.
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Old 28-06-2016, 05:23   #37
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Why not electric engine powered boats

Diesel/Electric has been driving ships and trains for many years.

Btw- it's a Diesel engine and electric motor. 👀
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Old 28-06-2016, 06:08   #38
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Diesel/Electric has been driving ships and trains for many years.

Btw- it's a Diesel engine and electric motor. ��
See my first comment (#15).

These heavy duty uses are mainly about eliminating a massive and complex transmission.
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Old 28-06-2016, 06:09   #39
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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Don't most of you already have generators already?
Sure, it's a 2400w unit. Which means peak output is around 3hp but continuous is more like 2.5hp.

The propulsion engine is 25hp and about 50% throttle gets us 80% of hull speed in calm conditions. If there are adverse conditions (say a strong headwind) we need to use most of that 25hp to make headway.

While the exact HP will vary, the relationship between generator size and propulsion engine size will follow a similar pattern for most cruising boats.

One thing to remember in terms of efficiency, is charging batteries up to around 80-90% of capacity, they can take a fairly large charge. After than it doesn't matter how big the generator is, the charge they can accept drops off drastically meaning that last 10% takes a lot of generator run time for very little actual stored energy. Lithium Ion batteries are better but at a drastically higher initial cost.

We could switch out for a 25hp generator, so it can provide full propulsion capabilities but then it would be very inefficient when just running house loads at anchor. The air/con is the heaviest load we have but it only takes about 1.5hp.
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Old 28-06-2016, 06:32   #40
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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See my first comment (#15).

These heavy duty uses are mainly about eliminating a massive and complex transmission.

While I have not had hands on with trains, I do know the GE752 traction motors and the SCR systems that drive them. I made many my bones on the old GE Siltrol 1 & 2 drives many years ago on ships and rigs.

The new systems are mostly inverter driven AC motors.

All the systems that I have dealt with required a gearbox of one form or another. Primarily for gear reduction and coupling multiple motors.
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Old 28-06-2016, 07:06   #41
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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I still don't understand why people want to burn fuel when the world is already in crisis from it and it serves no purpose. No one can give me one good reason or argument why, if they could I would be doing it.
You are using lead in your batteries. Lead is a very toxic heavy metal which causes significant pollution, loss of natural environment and habitat in the mining of it. Use and processing causes significant risk of serious, lifelong health effects which is often pushed off to third world countries with little restriction or regulation.

Your boat I assume uses bottom paint, almost all of which is derived from petrochemicals.

The production of solar panels uses toxic chemicals and consumes a lot of electricity which is usually generated with oil or coal or other non renewable, green house gas producing fuels. They also consume rare earth metals which have to be mined.

Do you eat only foods grown locally or grow your own? If not you're contributing to pollution and oil consumption used to transport that food to you. Do you eat only organically grown vegetables? If not the production of that food is using chemicals and adding pesticides to the environment. Do you eat meat? It takes about 21 pounds of vegetable protein to make one pound of meat protein and consumes large amounts of water. Do you own a car or a house? If you own a car you probably burn more fossil fuel than dozens of sailboaters combined.

Bottom line, the fuel used in the engine of a sailboat is insignificant compared to the overall global energy use. And going green is not done with zero impact on the planet. Just living on this planet, no mater how one does it has an environmental impact.
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Old 28-06-2016, 07:26   #42
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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While I have not had hands on with trains, I do know the GE752 traction motors and the SCR systems that drive them. I made many my bones on the old GE Siltrol 1 & 2 drives many years ago on ships and rigs.

The new systems are mostly inverter driven AC motors.

All the systems that I have dealt with required a gearbox of one form or another. Primarily for gear reduction and coupling multiple motors.
AC or DC isn't really the issue. There are reasons for selecting each option but in terms of choosing diesel/electric in this discussion, they have similar effects.

Not many cruising boats are coupling multiple motors to the same prop, so that's not really relevant.

If I implied that a locomotive was simple because it is diesel/electric, let me state that was not my intent. They are big complex pieces of machinery. The issue is it would be far more complex and likely less efficient in the end if you tried to use the equivalent of an oversized automotive style transmission. Most cruising boats use what is basically a modified version of an automotive transmission (all be it with different gear ratio and only a single forward gear along with some other marinized stuff).

It really is a matter of scale and when you scale down to a 20-30hp cruising boat engine, it just doesn't offer the advantages you get with massive train and ship propulsion systems.
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Old 28-06-2016, 07:44   #43
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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I've never said I have electric propulsion on my boat. .
Your Honor, I rest my case....
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Old 28-06-2016, 07:46   #44
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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You are using lead in your batteries. Lead is a very toxic heavy metal which causes significant pollution, loss of natural environment and habitat in the mining of it. Use and processing causes significant risk of serious, lifelong health effects which is often pushed off to third world countries with little restriction or regulation.

Your boat I assume uses bottom paint, almost all of which is derived from petrochemicals.

The production of solar panels uses toxic chemicals and consumes a lot of electricity which is usually generated with oil or coal or other non renewable, green house gas producing fuels. They also consume rare earth metals which have to be mined.

Do you eat only foods grown locally or grow your own? If not you're contributing to pollution and oil consumption used to transport that food to you. Do you eat only organically grown vegetables? If not the production of that food is using chemicals and adding pesticides to the environment. Do you eat meat? It takes about 21 pounds of vegetable protein to make one pound of meat protein and consumes large amounts of water. Do you own a car or a house? If you own a car you probably burn more fossil fuel than dozens of sailboaters combined.

Bottom line, the fuel used in the engine of a sailboat is insignificant compared to the overall global energy use. And going green is not done with zero impact on the planet. Just living on this planet, no mater how one does it has an environmental impact.
Shhhh...
People don't like having their "I'm greener than you myth" shattered.
The next thing you know, you will be called a MMGW Denier.
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Old 28-06-2016, 13:34   #45
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Re: Why not electric engine powered boats

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To put this in perspective, you have a 27' boat that weighs maybe 7,000 lbs. That's a lot different than my 42' boat that weighs over 20,000 lbs.
If you were to have more batteries and a more powerful motor with more solar panels you would also be able to motor. The physics favors larger vessels, so for example, if you cover the deck with solar and drive the motor directly without batteries, the larger boat will go faster.
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I have heard of a harbor that doesn't allow sailing but yes it is very rare. However sailing in the ICW is just about impossible and sailing is not allowed through many opening bridges.
First of all, you can always sail at least one direction along the ICW correct? Half the time you can sail both directions without tacking. The ICW is wide enough to tack. Using tidal currents etc you can probably get around fine, I will find out when I get there. In the unlikely case it's a problem you go outside in the sea.

For bridges it is not much of an issue because I have a sculling oar.
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10 hours on 8 batteries. How about details. What size batteries and what speed. I'm sure you understand that it does make a difference.
they were 200 a/h 6 volt, so 800ah total 12 volts. The motor draws 22 amps and pushes the boat 2 knots. I had also a 2-3 knot tidal current for 6 hours, then slipped out of the current for the last 4 hours, so I was able to cover more than 30 miles, this is in the queen charlotte sound in the south island of new zealand at night time.

I did not have any wind to use this whole night.

Quote:
500 Watts of solar. I estimate about 30 sq ft of panels. 6' X 5' or 7.5' X 4'. That's a lot of space on a 27' boat. For a larger boat it would take a good bit more. On many cruising monohulls that just isn't possible and potentially a safety issue at sea in serious weather.
I had 350 mounted, and another 200 that were stored below and deployed with weather permitting.. but I think they were "overrated" as I never got more than 35 amps total.

A larger boat isn't different, you have more panels, but the same area relative to the boat size.

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Well, it's a beautiful destination, and it's their harbor and their rules. I don't see the benefit in going out of my way to be a jerk about it. Some people row their way in and out of the harbor (example: the Race to Alaska, which just left Victoria Harbor last Sunday).
Ok, so I can row my way in, this isn't a problem. I don't understand this "it's their harbor" attitude because it is already everyone's harbor.

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Have you ever looked at the weather charts for the North East Pacific? There's this giant windless thing called the Pacific High that is usually parked halfway between Oregon and Hawaii. Unless you want to take an extra week to get back to the mainland, perhaps sailing much further north than you would like, or battle with headwinds for two weeks or more as you take the windward southern route, you usually skirt the light-air edge of the High. And sometimes the high moves right on top of you and parks itself there for days. If you don't motor, you wait, and wait....
I have done that. Longest I waited is 7 days, and it wasn't a problem.
Quote:

Serves no purpose??? Sure, if I didn't have a job or family to get home to, perhaps I wouldn't mind bobbing around out there, 1000 miles from land, waiting weeks for the wind to eventually return. It's not like I motor the whole way -- in a 28 to 35-day mainland/Hawaii round trip, I probably motor one or two days. Sometimes less.
Why don't you take a plane and save a lot more time?

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As I said previously, if you are willing to accept drastically reduced capabilities, you can go electric today and your post demonstrates some of those limitations.
It isn't reduced, but different capabilities. So there are some things impossible with each system that the other one can achieve.

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You are using lead in your batteries. Lead is a very toxic heavy metal which causes significant pollution, loss of natural environment and habitat in the mining of it. Use and processing causes significant risk of serious, lifelong health effects which is often pushed off to third world countries with little restriction or regulation.
Lead is recycle able.
Quote:
Your boat I assume uses bottom paint, almost all of which is derived from petrochemicals.

The production of solar panels uses toxic chemicals and consumes a lot of electricity which is usually generated with oil or coal or other non renewable, green house gas producing fuels. They also consume rare earth metals which have to be mined.
I can see you are making the argument that if I make any amount of pollution then it is ok for you to make as much as you want.
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Do you eat only foods grown locally or grow your own?
Just about, but sometimes people give me food that isn't in this category. I am planting vegetables in bush gardens in various places.
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If not you're contributing to pollution and oil consumption used to transport that food to you. Do you eat only organically grown vegetables? If not the production of that food is using chemicals and adding pesticides to the environment. Do you eat meat? It takes about 21 pounds of vegetable protein to make one pound of meat protein and consumes large amounts of water. Do you own a car or a house? If you own a car you probably burn more fossil fuel than dozens of sailboaters combined.
I don't own a house or car, and I climb trees all the time for food, today a coconut tomorrow it's a mango etc...
Quote:
Bottom line, the fuel used in the engine of a sailboat is insignificant compared to the overall global energy use. And going green is not done with zero impact on the planet. Just living on this planet, no mater how one does it has an environmental impact.
Insignificant is some kind of excuse. Again you are using the argument that if someone else has some impact then you might as well have as much impact as you can.
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