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Old 09-08-2007, 10:06   #646
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Were you to do a refit, you might look at the African Cat's technology as well. I'm getting the understanding that they are allowing it to be refit to other boats. As it uses retractible drive legs, it would have several advantages the least of which is speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaKing
Do not take my comment wrong, friend. I want to see this technology go. It will only help the sailing industry. I will look strongly into an electric refit when the time comes.

Fairwinds
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:46   #647
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Originally Posted by Moby Dick
Just a question: how would having just one battery bank effect motoring speed (other than reducing weight, and presumably INCREASING performance)?

Surely the genset would produce the current needed: the battery bank(s)just acts as a reserve to increase the time between genset runs.
"having just one battery bank" is not quite what I said and maybe I didn't describe the situation well - partly because I don't know the full picture. What I do know is that the 420 control system has some redundancies which had kicked in on s2ws charter. s2w practically stepped aboard the boat as it arrived in the islands and they hadn't had time to address some of the issues developed on the crossing. The boat had all it's batteries (2 banks plus house). One side of the system had been bypassed (manually / automatically - dunno) to overcome a fault that hadn't been repaired. Without understanding the detail I can't explain why this leads to reduced performance. I only know that it does.

I can't explain why s2w used up 60 gallons of fuel either. I was able to speak to the charterer after him and even though the same core problem had yet to be addressed, he reported that fuel consumption had been very low. This was nearly 2 weeks into his charter.
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Old 09-08-2007, 12:12   #648
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DBK Solar Panels- What Happened?

It looks as if all discussion about the DBK Jil 3000 watt panel with 70% efficiency stopped, yet the company is still out there. All the scientific evidence and interviews with experts in the field leans toward the fact that these claims are bogus. Yet, I sent two men, that I am partners with and preparing to set up a Solar business with, out to California from the east coast. One claims 40 years in the electrical world, the other is an expert in marketing. They were shown the Jil 3000 watt panel demostration with several other interested people around and returned to Charleston un-shakeable in their belief that the panels work. Me...I am not convinced but want to be. I started collectiong notes and information on DBK and put them up on some web pages to try and keep track of them DBK Notes
In all my research no one has stood up and stated that they bought one and it works great. (Even though my sail boat went deep six during a hurricane a small 50 lb. solar panel like this would have been a dream come true, hell my battery weighed more than that. ) I found this forum while researching DBK but can't help but notice that stevem4u the primary supporter of these panels hasn't posted since November 20, 2006 so either he became a dealer and got rich, bought a Lagoon 420 and cruised or he doesn't like the taste of crow.



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Originally Posted by stevem4u
First, evidently this new panel is about as different a solar panel from the normal (which converts aprox. 20% of the suns energy to electricity) as a dingy is to a sail boat. This one converters around 70% (using 5 layers of cells) of the suns energy to electricity.

All I know is what I have seen; the first test was done at 10 am in the shade. (Full shade) The warehouse faces west, the panel was rolled up to about half in and half out of the warehouse door with the sun at that time still in the east creating a shadow from where we were, out into the parking lot about 30 ft away. I was surprised they were going through the demonstration anyway! They hooked up the panel to a battery and an inverter. Putting a tester on the battery I found it was at 12.7 Volts. Putting it on the panel I found it was putting out 166.6 Volts.
So covering the panel with a blanket, only blocks out the visible lights energy. How about the rest? Well obviously it converts what it can of that to electricity as well. Fantastic! Shading from my sails is no big deal; Iíll lose less than 20%. Iím going to see what comes of this and go with it. If you guys wont to check it out farther, instead of just bad mouthing it, go to their place and check it out yourself if you are really interested. I did. The observation was by made by DBK while I was there, that the people that had been calling them with all kinds of harsh criticisms, this is impossible, ect. didnít show up to check it out for themselves! DBK was surprised! For Tec ional info call their Senior Research Scientist; Young Yang, Ph.D (877) 325-7693
Iíll help if I can but Iím not an engineer. New wave! Steve M.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:17   #649
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Gwp,

Cameraderi posted a link (Eligible Photovoltaic Modules) in one of the other threads. This is a ratings list of a rather large number of solar panels. Looks pretty official. DBK is not on it. If DBK are building solar power plants in CA using these cells, it's kind of odd they didn't make it onto this list.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:33   #650
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Blue Light Special

Hello everyone,

I must say I appreciate all the honest opinions posted here recently. That is what this forum is for. I have a 420 on order, as many know. Much of the earlier debate focused on whether a heavy multi-hull could perform adequately. I am driven to repost because I want to clarify one thing, this augment demands that the heavy multi still retain an appropriate sail area to displacement ratio. This is the power to weight ratio of the sailboat. I meant in no way to imply that a multi with a low SA/D could perform well. The would be akin to saying a heavy car with a low horsepower motor is going to be fast. This is not possible. Heavy cats like the L440 or L500 have decent SA/D and do perform adequately IMHO.

When the specifications of the L420 became available we contacted Lagoon for clarification on the weight issue. Lagoon stated that they were using a new standard to determine displacement. Lagoon wrote that the 420 was really not heavier than its competitors. Well, this does not appear to be the case. The L420 appears to really be an incredibly heavy catamaran. It is a heavy catamaran without an appropriate increase in sail area to compensate for the additional weight. Would be owners were also concerned about battery placement as Lagoon choose to install 2500lbs of batteries in the transoms. These could have been placed at the center of buoyancy. Of course there are complex issues involving low voltage cable runs.

It seems Lagoon bit off more than they could chew in terms of control system complexity. They essentially began promoting and selling the Hybrid before they even had a functioning beta system. That was deceptive. Lagoon generated fancy press releases before they had even a marginally functioning system. The L420 group became silent as we were dribbled information from brokers and the factory regarding the true functionally of the system. It is quite apparent that the present system is patched together to work somewhat, but is certainly nothing like the initial sails pitch.

I find it interesting that Lagoon is already developing a new model, the L400. Is this a sign that Lagoon is giving up on the 420? Who knows? The French have not been forthcoming with information. I still have a bit of hope regarding sailing performance. The diesel version, with a couple thousands pounds removed, better weight distribution, and no huge props dragging through the water, may do a bit better. The ergonomic issues can be rectified. Lagoon could increase the sail area. My broker contends that there is no such things as a fast, reasonably priced multi-hull once they are fully loaded for long-range cruising.

The incredible accommodations may be worth mediocre performance. Hey cruisers spend the majority of time on the hook. I remain undecided on this purchase. Ultimately, if anyone is interested in buying my March 2008 delivery, I may be willing to sell at a $60K -75K discount to the current catamaran company published base price. How about 399K for a new dual diesel 2008 420? I doubt you could find more new catamaran for the money.

-John
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Old 11-08-2007, 13:29   #651
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Hi guys, moved from LV NV to Hawaii, got screwed by lagoon out of my deposit money, but hay, the DBK Solar seems OK. I'll get back into it first of next year.
All keep well!!
Steve Merrill
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Old 11-08-2007, 16:23   #652
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I am still very interested in this technology and believe it is the future. I chose another option for a boat other then the 420 because I still felt the technology was not mature enough for a charter boat. The layout of the 420 also did not suit me because we do a lot of diving. It has however unquestioned internal volume and great living area. A boat in charter is a very different animal from a private vessel. I think in the long run the 420 will work out much better as a private vessel then a charterboat. The level of competence of many people allowed to charter is minimal at best. An entire battery bank can quickly be destroyed by a charter quest who starts messing with settings on battery charters/inverters. The huge generator is going to burn a large amount of fuel to provide AC at night. It may also run into wetstacking issues since it will not be under a proper load. I have often thought that the charter version is better ordered with the smaller genset. A better solution might be a 13 K genset combined with a smaller 6k genset. The 6k could be run overnight for AC and other items with a very low fuel burn. The 13k could run the engines normally and for higher speed sprints both sets could be run. I don't know however how this would end up from a weight standpoint.
The sailplan can be fixed to a certain extent by fitting a bowsprit and a code 0 or screecher. Add a Assym. chute and you are in business. Those are not however options for charterboats. I think the rig was undersized for the charter market. Its ashame they don't offer a tall rig for private owners. The actual reports on the boat are few and far between. This winter there should be a flood of feedback on how the boat is really performing. Hopefully some will post here.
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Old 11-08-2007, 16:27   #653
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Who killed the electic cat?

...The incredible accommodations may be worth mediocre performance. Hey cruisers spend the majority of time on the hook. I remain undecided on this purchase. Ultimately, if anyone is interested in buying my March 2008 delivery, I may be willing to sell at a $60K -75K discount to the current catamaran company published base price. How about 399K for a new dual diesel 2008 420? I doubt you could find more new catamaran for the money.

-John[/quote]

Thank you John for your sincerity. It is a pitty that the biggest cat builder could not get the system straightened out as this would /could / should have been a major step forward for electric diesel propulsion. No other cat builder seems to be stepping to the (electric) plate.
Lagoon claims to have (pre)sold 150 L420s so far, I wonder how many will follow now that even the biggest supporters are trying to sell their slots.
When it comes to production catamarans around 40', the Leopard 40' is a great catamaran in my opinion, somewhere in the mid $350k will get me a well equipped owners version on the US east coats. And this Gino Morelli designed cat will move at any wind speed. I like the balance between sailing decent speeds and living comfort. If it were for living space alone, one could buy an RV and save a lot of money.
Just my thoughts.
Frank
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Old 11-08-2007, 17:32   #654
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Lagoon is a very French company

Sure Frank, the Leopard 40 is a great compromise cat. Take your wife on the her, then bring her aboard the 420. She'll board the 420 and say, "Wow." Really no comparison if you desire to convince her to pack up the kids and sail around the world. The 420 accommodations are far superior. She feels like a comfortable condo.

$350K, is that a real delivered price? Not bad. As you cite, life is a compromise. A 2008 Lagoon with options will run you close to $600K.

I believe a diesel 420 will likely make a wonderful family cruiser. I am leaning towards going though with the purchase. Think about it, all that battery weight gone, folding props, the electrical issues non-existent, off we go in great comfort!


I've been jaded by this experience and wanted to share with the group. Lagoon really left us hanging for a year while they pretended (mostly silence) that all was well. I can confirm that Lagoon did plan a diesel version right from the beginning. I was told about the diesel 420 in Jan of 2006.

Frank aren't you a Moorings broker? I think a closer comparison would be the 4600. What are those going for these days?
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Old 11-08-2007, 21:22   #655
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The last batch of 4600's the Mooring sold were 569,000 charter ready. With the Euro now at 1.38 I suspect the next block will be over 600K.
The 4000 is not really a boat you would compare to the Lagoon 420. The Lagoon has very steep suger scoops reducing overall length relative to its actual volume and size. The 4600 would be the proper boat to compare it with. Both the L420 and the 4600 have amazing living spaces.
George
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Old 13-08-2007, 08:11   #656
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Dump the 420 and get a used 440. Just a thought.
Much better ride and way faster. 12-13 knots at 50 degrees with 20 knots
wind.
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Old 14-08-2007, 09:09   #657
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"No other cat builder seems to be stepping to the (electric) plate"

Not so. Leopard, Africa Cats, Broadblue to mention just three have electric options now or soon.
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Old 14-08-2007, 10:33   #658
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The advertisement of motoring silently is quite misleading. Being one of the first 420 charterers, the generator ran 90% of the time while motoring. Actually, when the generator did turn off it was quite erie. The fuel consumption is still a very serious issue. The first 420 charter out of Horizon had a $400 fuel bill with A/C. We had a fuel bill for 5 days with no A/C at over $200. I would not charter or buy an boat with electric motors.
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Old 14-08-2007, 11:48   #659
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I agree. Test sailed both a couple of weeks ago. In similar conditions, could not get the 420 over 6 knots while the 440 consistently sailed between 7 and 8 knots peaking at 8.5. We just bought a new 440.
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Old 16-08-2007, 18:54   #660
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I took a look at the Lagoon website to get some info for a friend on the 420. They have bumped the weight by over 3000 lbs since the last time I looked there. They used to have the Light displacement weight at around 26,000 lbs. They now have it over 29,000 lbs!! Thats quite heavy. Does anyone know why the recent change on the Lagoon site?
George
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