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Old 14-11-2019, 15:14   #1
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Inboard engines and a changing world

As the march to switch to all electric motors for automobiles and trucks continues to accelerate, what will become of our boats?

Will diesel get cheap because the demand drops or will it become a high priced specialty fuel because no one makes it anymore?

What about propane cooktops? Gasoline for outboards? Heaters (diesel, propane, etc)?

People are moving away from these things and it's not slowing down. A lot of people are selling gas stations because they see the writing on the wall.

What do you think will happen to our boats, which mostly run on fossil fuels when not sailing?
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:01   #2
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

Not sure where you’re located, but I’m not seeing what you’re seeing at all.

Electric still has a ways to go to even be a practical car for most Americans in most of America, plus the time it takes to splash fuel and go, plus the weight and storage comparison, plus charging stations in countries where homes come with gen sets. The electric thing is no where near something I’d toy with for a going places boat, maybe a fun little going around the lake/super local small day boating around and coming back to base thing
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:08   #3
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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Not sure where you’re located, but I’m not seeing what you’re seeing at all.

Electric still has a ways to go to even be a practical car for most Americans in most of America, plus the time it takes to splash fuel and go, plus the weight and storage comparison, plus charging stations in countries where homes come with gen sets. The electric thing is no where near something I’d toy with for a going places boat, maybe a fun little going around the lake/super local small day boating around and coming back to base thing
I couldn't agree more with you. However, times are changing. Look at all the new electric only vehicles getting ready to roll out of Detroit. Ford is abandoning a lot of models and putting out electric cars and the f150 which will probably go electric soon enough.

I'm seeing boats as a forgotten point in these changes.

Electric makes no sense for driving cross country or cruising. (My opinion). Still, there are huge market shifts underway.

We rely on automotive products and fuel for our boats. These are changing at a blistering pace.

Also, lots of gas stations up for sale.
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:18   #4
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

I dont see electric as practical for long distance/remote cruising. Fine for afluent 1st worlders who can plug in each evening, but how do you top up at some remote atoll?

Maybe lots of first world yuppies are going electric, but no sign of it here in Central America.
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:27   #5
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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I dont see electric as practical for long distance/remote cruising ... how do you top up at some remote atoll?
.
Solar? Worked for these guys:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tûranor_PlanetSolar
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:32   #6
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

Diesel will become even more expensive - pure supply and demand markets: there will be fewer people wanting it so those remaining pay more for the higher per-user cost of production. In the short or medium term, the market gets manipulated by the producers for there own ends so impossible to tell about price.

Most sailing vessels will become electric over time as the new boats come with it automatically and age, but that's going to take quite some time to change given the number of older boats and retro-fitting is always more expensive.

Motor vessels are much harder to work with until the storage tech is orders better, which isn't too soon. I'd even estimate that motor vessels may mostly skip the electric-battery generation and only properly move when hydrogen fuel cells predominate.

The real change will occur when non-fossil fuel is de rigueur in most major ports - think Amsterdam coming very soon, and others on the way. That will pave the path to change that the current early adopters are already running on.

It's already at least double or more the cost of fuel in Oz compared to 16 years ago - some history here. So fuel has doubled, or about 4.5% per annum CAGR, yet Australian wages have grown about 2.8% CAGR over that same time. So fuel costs a lot more now than then in real terms. How many boats out there are more than 16 years old, built for a time when fuel efficiency wasn't nearly as important if at all?
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:37   #7
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

What I see as a looming problem is the current electrical grid.

No-one likes to address this weakpoint. Sections of the US already experience rolling blackouts during times of peak demand.

For the foreseeable future electric cars etc are fine as a novelty, but in order to mainstream them, large changes will need to be made in the power generation and distribution grids globally.
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Old 14-11-2019, 16:59   #8
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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What I see as a looming problem is the current electrical grid.

No-one likes to address this weakpoint. Sections of the US already experience rolling blackouts during times of peak demand.

For the foreseeable future electric cars etc are fine as a novelty, but in order to mainstream them, large changes will need to be made in the power generation and distribution grids globally.
EVs are mainly going to charge at off-peak times, so that could actually be good use of the existing grid. There's also the potential for plugged-in EVs to briefly serve as energy sources at times of peak grid demand.

Regarding the OP - for over a year now i believe i've seen the writing on the wall - this is the last decade of the dominance of the fossil-fueled internal combustion engine. By 2030 the majority of urban and suburban personal vehicles will be electric. And probably less of them as well as car-sharing, 'ubers', and other alternatives become more popular in cities. Rural users will probably still need ICE engines, but rural living is in decline.

On sailboats, I believe that electric motors could serve the beercan racers and weekend marina-to-marina cruisers, but for real cruising, I don't think anything can replace the small diesel just yet.

Personally I can't think of a better personal use for fossil fuel than as fuel for a sailboat aux engine. Better than burning it driving a quad-cab duelly pickup to the liquor store.
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Old 14-11-2019, 17:07   #9
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

EV's have their niches. Non-intra city transport in general won't be one of them.
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Old 15-11-2019, 02:41   #10
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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EV's have their niches. Non-intra city transport in general won't be one of them.
Interesting problem came to light recently in the UK. If you are making a long journey with an EV car you can stop and fast charge it, say 40 minutes. What they don't like is doing another fast charge later on and the cars are defaulting to slower charges leaving people stranded in service stations for hours whilst it charges up.

Diesel is definitely being seen as the bad fuel in Europe. UK cities are now applying additional charges to use diesel fueled vehicles in city centers or even outright ban during the day time. London has both a congestion charge and a clean air charge for vehicles that don't meet the latest EU emissions. My Peugeot car meets the standard. My Suzuki SV650 despite being more economical doesn't

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-50292596

So what happens to all the surplus diesel if it isn't used in cars?

However, the biggest problem with mass rollout of EV vehicles is the new price. £30,000 for a battery powered car isn't currently financially appealing when a new small petrol car doing 50-60mpg (imperial gallons) is half the price.

Interesting times ahead, perhaps we need to sail more.

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Old 15-11-2019, 02:54   #11
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Interesting problem came to light recently in the UK. If you are making a long journey with an EV car you can stop and fast charge it, say 40 minutes. What they don't like is doing another fast charge later on and the cars are defaulting to slower charges leaving people stranded in service stations for hours whilst it charges up.

Diesel is definitely being seen as the bad fuel in Europe. UK cities are now applying additional charges to use diesel fueled vehicles in city centers or even outright ban during the day time. London has both a congestion charge and a clean air charge for vehicles that don't meet the latest EU emissions. My Peugeot car meets the standard. My Suzuki SV650 despite being more economical doesn't

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-50292596

So what happens to all the surplus diesel if it isn't used in cars?

However, the biggest problem with mass rollout of EV vehicles is the new price. £30,000 for a battery powered car isn't currently financially appealing when a new small petrol car doing 50-60mpg (imperial gallons) is half the price.

Interesting times ahead, perhaps we need to sail more.

Pete

Tell me about it. I purchased a spanking new diesel powered car in 2008 when it was the cool green thing to do. I still own that car (and it has low mileage for it's age) but now I'm a polluting pariah second only to kitten killer in the scheme of things that should be ashamed own it let alone drive it.


But back to EV's. We've all felt the frustration of being stuck in a fuel queue at peak times. Just imagine the angst when EV's become the fad and you have to wait 40 minutes for each vehicle in the front of the line to fill up!


And then there's the issue of depreciation....
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Old 15-11-2019, 03:29   #12
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

Thanks for this one. I wasn't looking to get political, just to try to predict what's coming.

As internal combustion is phased out on the roads, it'll have a profound effect on small boats like ours.

Personally, I'm thinking about this in terms of fitting out a boat I have so that I don't have to fit it out more than once in this lifetime.

It already has outboards, which means an easy transition to whatever is next, engine/motor wise. However, I have started keeping an eye toward the domestic systems as well.

Thinking sailing will become more important than ever.

These changes skew the arguments of solar vs generator, induction vs lpg, heating and cooling, etc.

The post wasn't really about cars. It's just that what happens on the road will have a great effect on what's available for boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarthur View Post
Diesel will become even more expensive - pure supply and demand markets: there will be fewer people wanting it so those remaining pay more for the higher per-user cost of production. In the short or medium term, the market gets manipulated by the producers for there own ends so impossible to tell about price.

Most sailing vessels will become electric over time as the new boats come with it automatically and age, but that's going to take quite some time to change given the number of older boats and retro-fitting is always more expensive.

Motor vessels are much harder to work with until the storage tech is orders better, which isn't too soon. I'd even estimate that motor vessels may mostly skip the electric-battery generation and only properly move when hydrogen fuel cells predominate.

The real change will occur when non-fossil fuel is de rigueur in most major ports - think Amsterdam coming very soon, and others on the way. That will pave the path to change that the current early adopters are already running on.

It's already at least double or more the cost of fuel in Oz compared to 16 years ago - some history here. So fuel has doubled, or about 4.5% per annum CAGR, yet Australian wages have grown about 2.8% CAGR over that same time. So fuel costs a lot more now than then in real terms. How many boats out there are more than 16 years old, built for a time when fuel efficiency wasn't nearly as important if at all?
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Old 15-11-2019, 04:08   #13
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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The post wasn't really about cars. It's just that what happens on the road will have a great effect on what's available for boats.
True, the leisure boat market is tiny in comparison, probably why they marinise small industrial engines for boats.

If you have outboards now, then larger electric outboards must be coming, after all electric motorbikes are available and ought be be easy enough to engineer as outboards for small power boats.

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Old 15-11-2019, 04:33   #14
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

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True, the leisure boat market is tiny in comparison, probably why they marinise small industrial engines for boats.

If you have outboards now, then larger electric outboards must be coming, after all electric motorbikes are available and ought be be easy enough to engineer as outboards for small power boats.

Pete
Yes, but then we get into the "how to power them for longer distances" question which hasn't been solved, as it hasn't even been solved on the road. The boat I'm fitting out that already has outboards for ease of change and light weight is a 50' cat. I'm thinking sailing performance is more and more important as these changes are taking place. Getting ready to do the rig soon and I'm really leaning toward doing this part well so it'll be able to sail nearly all the time.

Then leaning toward the solar/induction route with backup gasoline/petrol generator.

I already put in an lpg system and I'm wondering if it was a mistake given the changes coming.

Hot water seems to be the real sticking point running off solar. I suppose the generator could handle an electric on demand, but lpg is a lot more attractive in terms of reliability.
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Old 15-11-2019, 05:15   #15
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Re: Inboard engines and a changing world

A couple of years ago I looked long and hard into repowering my good ol' boat with an electric inboard. I found a number of companies already marketing options to folks like us. So it is certainly possible right now.

The main reason I stuck with my old diesel is -- not surprisingly -- the whole range question. Second issue was cost; it was going to cost about twice as much as even a new diesel.

Electric is increasingly a good option for those who don't venture far from first-world infrastructure. But if you want to travel off the beaten path, electric is still not easily viable.

The technology keeps getting better though. Maybe someday...
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