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Old 25-06-2010, 07:22   #46
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It's not what they run on, it's how they're stored. My outboard sits on a pushpit mount. That's a huge difference than storing a generator in an unvented locker.

Huge.

If you live on the hook you will need gas for that outboard. If you cruise you will need lots of gas for that outboard. My point is that you will have volatile, flammable stuff stored on the boat whether you have a Honda generator or not. I posted earlier about all the stuff cruisers have stored on their boats. You have to take care whether you have gasoline aboard the boat or not.

As for noise if you put the Honda on the bow of a 40 foot boat you can barely hear it in the cockpit. Diesel generators usually make more noise and most, though not all, cruisers respect the bit about no early or late running of generators. I've noticed folks with dedicated diesel generators seem to run them a lot longer than Honda owners. The power boats run them all day and sometimes into the night.
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Old 25-06-2010, 08:07   #47
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Solar panels with no sun, Wind generator with no wind - Versus - Portable generator any where, any time, any conditions.
We have had 100% batts when theres no sun all day. Mind you we have adequite size. This has included 40 deg north for 3 weeks in ealry spring.

I think they are getting far beyond arguments about cloud, boom shading etc.



But sure, if someone is wanting solar in winter at 40 deg north/south they would need to do their sums
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Old 25-06-2010, 08:14   #48
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. You have to take care whether you have gasoline aboard the boat or not.

.
Yeah. And some of the mixes that would be added if something did fall over in a storm: Diesel, thinners, turps, metho, petrol.... whiskey.... A cruising boat is really a moving fire ball.

I'm sure some folks do much better than us at having it all under control. Its not easy.
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Old 25-06-2010, 18:12   #49
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I'm seeing a different dream than some of the posters. Eventually I will trade in my Perkins for an electric axillary that generates when sailing. I will have enough solar panels and enough batteries to change my yacht into an all electric yacht. And when the time comes I will either row ashore or use a small electric outboard.
And then I am going to have a clean yacht and engine (motor) room, and I will not disturb the pristine environment that I seek. Yeah, right now its a dream, but its getting closer to reality every day.
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Old 25-06-2010, 20:05   #50
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There is no end to the "electric propulsion" threads everywhere and they all boil down to the fact that storing enough electric energy to run the motors is decades away from practical use on a cruising boat. The various threads all assume a maximum of a couple of hours of running the electric motor - and - need a genset to replenish the depleted batteries. The technology of batteries is improving all the time but is still a looooong way from being cost effective or practical except for the day-sailor.
- - For the average cruiser the gasoline Honda 2000eu is the most popular answer to A/C power needs when you do not have a built-in genset. Even with a built-in genset the little Honda fits the bill when you only need a little A/C for a short time instead of running a big diesel genset "un-loaded."
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Old 26-06-2010, 00:55   #51
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Undoing 2 sets of butterfly screws is just too much!
We're big fans of solar panels too Mark, but not at all sure about your (presumably joking) reference to the 'thief' here. We're thinking undoing 2 sets of butterfly screws would be dead easy...and thus so would stealing your panel(s)!?
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Old 26-06-2010, 01:07   #52
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We're thinking undoing 2 sets of butterfly screws would be dead easy...and thus so would stealing your panel(s)!?
The butterfly screws are so the panels can be tilted easily... they do not need to be losened to alow the tilting, but I thought they would be.

In a less secure area, and/or marina you could well be right.
One could put a nut on the end of the bolt and epoxy it on. Then the butterfly nuts would still work. Maybe just some epoxy in the bolt thread... It wouldnt stop someone determained.

I can't say I have really given it any thought. But now you mention it I will put some epoxy in the threads. That would slow someone down enough to put them off


Thanks for the thought.


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Old 26-06-2010, 01:47   #53
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I wholly agree with(vasco)bigger alt. and bigger battery bank,an hour charging every 2 days should see u right.Add on later if need be............reef early,stay dry,enjoy rum
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Old 26-06-2010, 06:25   #54
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I wholly agree with(vasco)bigger alt. and bigger battery bank,an hour charging every 2 days should see u right.Add on later if need be............reef early,stay dry,enjoy rum
The average long time cruising boat these days has just about all the possible replenishment sources of electricity covered with solar panels for sunny, windless days and wind generators for those great trade wind areas and large alternators for refilling the massive battery banks. On larger boats there are gensets and on the smaller ones the Honda 2000eu or something similar.
- - Average electrical usage has exponentially increased as we have added refrigeration and freezers along with all the electronics and A-V equipment, SSB and other "comforts" of cruising. I have seen amp-hour usage escalate from 50-75 ah per day a decade ago to about 200 ah (+/- 50) for today's "equipped" cruiser. Battery banks have grown to max out all the possible places to put the things.
- - Unfortunately all this adds up to long recharging times, especially if you are aiming to not have to replace your batteries often and are using the new microprocessor "regulators" to "gently" put back into the batteries what you drained out to keep from "stressing" those expensive exotic batteries.
- - So the dream of an hour or so every other day really only works with day-sailors with minimal if anything electrical beyond necessary safety electronics. For the "fully equipped" cruiser re-charging is 24/7 when in the trade wind areas or sunny times. Otherwise it takes several hours of some kind of engine/genset/portable generator to get the batteries re-filled. This is not a major problem as you can do it in the evening while watching movies, working on the computers, running the water-maker, and re-heating the hot water.
- - Batteries and re-charging is a topic amongst long and moderate term cruisers that is discussed more often than anchors or politics or women.
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Old 26-06-2010, 06:47   #55
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Batteries and re-charging is a topic amongst long and moderate term cruisers that is discussed more often than anchors or politics or women.
Oh dear...are we trying here to put people off long and moderate term cruising? You make cruisers sound about as exciting and interesting as actuaries! ...and apologies in advance to all the actuaries!!
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Old 26-06-2010, 08:26   #56
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Solar panels with no sun, Wind generator with no wind - Versus - Portable generator any where, any time, any conditions.
How about generator with no gas!


(I am still the biggest fan of solar, wind and portable! Definately not a fan of High output alternators!)

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Old 26-06-2010, 10:07   #57
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For those newbies to generating electric power onboard -- or new to the vagaries of this board and the diverse opinions it elicits -- here's a clue:

THERE'S NO ONE RIGHT ANSWER FOR EVERYONE!

Not even for two sailors with identical boats. Their needs may differ a little or a lot, depending on:

- where they sail

- how many persons on board

- their electrical "budget" -- onboard appliances, computers, watermakers, refrigeration, lights, etc., etc. and how much might be conserved

- the type of house batteries they have (flooded, AGM, gels, LiIon)

- their cruising practices (anchoring out, sometimes in marinas overnite, usually in marinas overnite, etc.)

- their present electrical generation setup (alternators, battery chargers, inverter/chargers, diesel or gas generators, wind generators, solar panels, etc.)

- how much they can or want to spend

Each of these factors into any intelligent decision regarding onboard power generation.

The absolute worst kind of question is, "I can't decide between solar panels and a generator. Help!" Worst because it's unanswerable without knowing a lot about all the factors cited above.

JMO,

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Old 26-06-2010, 10:39   #58
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Maybe unanswerable in an absolute sense, but the discussion can help an individual sort through his own priorities, needs, and resources, and arrive at a conclusion that is sensible for him.

Some may find this topic tedious, but this thread has been very instructive for me.
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Old 26-06-2010, 10:49   #59
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plan 3x the wattage of panels for the amp/hours you consume each day as a general rule of thumb and you should be just fine. As to the thought of yet another engine to worry about, no thank you. We've been using solar panels on cats for over 10 years without issue and now that the price has dropped by 60% to 70% for solar panels, it's really a no brainer.
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Old 26-06-2010, 16:30   #60
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Oh dear...are we trying here to put people off long and moderate term cruising? You make cruisers sound about as exciting and interesting as actuaries! ...and apologies in advance to all the actuaries!!
Quite to the contrary! When you have a realistic idea of what is involved and what to expect then you are not "pissed" and quit cruising because "nobody told me about that . . . "
- - Especially for folks who want to do the $5K/month on the $500/month budget. As Btrayfors eloquently listed, your expectations can vary enormously. For the $500/mo a small solar panel will take care of most everything as they have next to nothing electrical on their little boats.
- - Just add refrigeration/freezer to upgrade from Spam in a can or Ham in a can to frozen fish/meat/cold beer/ice water/chilled wine, etc. and you radically change your electric needs.
- - I sense that the majority of the active posters on CF are in the zone where "middle class" cruising is not attainable but they want to have the comforts of "middle class" cruising without paying for them. This is a classic set-up for disappointment and angst. If we who are actually out there can let them know the reality of what is necessary to cruise that way then they can downsize their expectations to something that conforms to their actual needs. Then they will have a long and enjoyable time cruising. Piling on this and that electrical device and thinking that a solar panel or an hour of engine running is going to top up an 800 plus Amp-hour battery bank is ludicrous.
- - I have seen many electrically challenged cruising boats struggle with the decisions of what to get to meet their electrical needs each day. Solar panels are downright expensive per watt-hour delivered. Wind generators are also a very major expense item when you include installation.
- - The little Honda EU2000ui is a godsend to most of these electrically challenged cruisers. For half the price of solar and a third the price of wind you can have a significant source of replenishment and maybe even sneak in a few "extras" like hot water or a microwave or little hatch air conditioner to just take the day's residual heat build-up out of the cabin or even to be able to run a power tool or two.
- - For the budget full-time live aboard cruiser I would suggest the little portable generator is more cost effective than wind or solar.
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