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Old 10-09-2013, 11:16   #1
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Harvest Now or Save for Later.

I know posting this thread in September people are thinking of a certain herb but that isn't the case.

As sailors, how often do we have just the right amount of wind for a beam reach on our desired heading?

Also, just how often do we make a really long single passage?

When using wind as our energy source for propulsion we either have too much and have to waste some by furling and reefing, not enough so we supplement with our diesel, our dead on our nose so we are tacking off our intended course.

Wouldn't it be nice if our propulsion energy source could both be stored for when we need it and be available everyday to either use at the time or store if not needed?

I still have my head in the clouds about solar electric sailing. With last year's price drop on LiFePO4 cells, and solar panels at $1 per watt, I think it is viable. The last time I was cruising I found that I preferred 50~150 nm hops followed by a few days at the new anchorage. I have crunched some numbers and determined a light displacement (<10000 lbs) boat with minimum wetted surface hulls only consumes 500 watt-hours per nm at 4 kt speed. With a 75 kwhr lithium battery bank, that is 150 nm on a charge. Solar would charge the bank while on the hook for a few days or you could pay for a slip and feel you got your money's worth as your battery bank sucks down 3600 watts from the 30 amp 120 VAC service for 24 hours. That takes the sting out of high overnight slip fees.

How about input from other dreamers.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:27   #2
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

the trick is to turn off the gps,look at the clouds,and focus on getting the boat sailing as well as it possible, in roughly the right direction.

as passage makers i think it is too easy these days to become consumed by thinking it is a delivery,where time is money.

get in tune with the ocean, let its moods caress you,become a sea creature!

who cares if it takes 4 days to sail 150 miles!

after all we are out there to get away from the preassures of time and modern living!
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:36   #3
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

Alex,

As I get older I just don't see myself crossing oceans anymore. I have missed that experience in a small sailboat, just the large ships. I feel local cruising is more my speed now, from the PNW to Mexico, Caribbean, inland waterways, just a lot of places in my "backyard" I haven't seen.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:37   #4
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

My thoughts are not as elegant as yours. Though I do dream of sailing solar winds into deep outer space. My ideas run to building my own solar panels and combining with a wind generator, in order to run the gen set only when I have fish aboard that need to be frozen. Here is a thought would it be possible to turn your keel into a large battery, perhaps dual purpose your sails as solar panels too, and every available surface covered with solar cells. Eliminate the need for internal combustion for propulsion. Use a large electric motor to provide a propeller when needed. In Alaska, the wind generator provides more power in the winter time than the solar cells. There was a commercial fisher on the west coast that was generating Brown's gas to improve his efficiency running a diesel, which I found interesting as well.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:40   #5
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

The beauty of a long passage, is the time you are allowed to get into your own head and explore. Also absorb the outside world you are transiting. Once you arrive in a particular local, then you can spend as long as you like in the different island groups. Just hang out if you find someplace that suits you.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:46   #6
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

Having lived in Valdez I know solar won't fly during the winter months, but I wouldn't be cruising at those Lats in the winter. I am aware of the successful solar boats out there,

10 kw of panels, crossed the Atlantic at 5.5 kt.
transatlantic21: The world's first crossing of the Atlantic on a solar boat

8 kw of panels, 8000 nm cruising in Europe.
Boat - SolarWave

I'm just thinking more along the lines of short hops, so a more modest 2~3 kw solar array and the larger storage of this energy would work well for me. Plus I'll have the electric galley I've always wanted.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:55   #7
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Alex,

As I get older I just don't see myself crossing oceans anymore. I have missed that experience in a small sailboat, just the large ships. I feel local cruising is more my speed now, from the PNW to Mexico, Caribbean, inland waterways, just a lot of places in my "backyard" I haven't seen.
given those perameters,and if money is not an issue i would go for something in the 33ft range,with a good engine,reasonable motoring range...etc

and let the next generation worry about running out of fuel!

i get far more usage out of my 26 footer than any of my other boats!

so far used about 10 gallons of fuel for the whole season,and been out at least twice a week this year!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:12   #8
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Re: Harvest now or save for later.

That is the direction I'm leaning towards Alex. A trailerable powercat with outboards and an electric cruise motor when speed isn't wanted or needed. I have a diesel 4X4 Ford Excursion that can tow 10000 lbs, so tow to the cruising grounds of choice.

This is a Glacier Bay 2690 that the owner has mounted a kicker mount on the aft pulpit for a trolling motor. Scale up that motor to a 4 kw electric outboard and I would hope to have the best of both worlds. Silent, slow cruising and 30 kt blasts when needed. This model is quite capable for its size of 26', having run to Bermuda, Russia via the Bering Sea, and Hawaii to Midway Island, all under gasoline outboard power.



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Old 11-09-2013, 10:06   #9
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Re: Harvest Now or Save for Later.

Bob, you can stop dreaming and join me in building a solar/hybrid cat.
To get sufficient solar you need a lot of surface area,
a lot of batteries means a lot of weight -- a cat/tri is the way to do it.
Just going with a powerboat and paying the fuel bill is the easy way to go.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:20   #10
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Re: Harvest Now or Save for Later.

Jack,

Even though my ideas I've arrived at were independent, I just discovered yesterday a Polish boat builder is working on a prototype of pretty much my concept. Currently they are using AGM batteries (been there, done that), I hope they see the light and switch to LiFePO4 cells. I emailed them yesterday. Here is what they currently offer in the trailerable cruiser category.

MC30

Instead of a pair of 150~250 hp outboards, they are getting the job done with a pair of 50 hp outboards, still with a good turn of speed.

This is in development, sound familiar?
E-MC 30 - Powercat - MOTORCAT
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Old 26-09-2013, 12:45   #11
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Re: Harvest Now or Save for Later.

bob, take a look at this boat, might be just what you need, trailer it where you want, sail if you feel like it, otherwise motor. only $33k, buy now, go later.


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