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Old 10-06-2015, 08:29   #121
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I am bit behind answering everyone's specific questions and addressing suggestions, but I will do my best to catch up shortly.

Deciding if you should equip your boat with a permanently installed marine diesel generator is a very important question that should be given more exposure on CF. Many see a genenerator as a simple add on, but if you design the systems sensibly it alters much of the equipment onboard.

With a diesel generator there is little need to give energy efficiency a high priority. This effects everything from the autopilot to the type of laptop used. Cooking, hot water, watermaker and heating can, and generally should, then be all be based on 110/240v not 12v. Even boat insulation and ventilation are no longer a vital priority when air conditioning becomes viable. So incorporating a generator means the boat is planned fundamentally very differently.

I have cruised on boats with solar and generator systems and I am firmly in the solar camp. That does not mean this is the right decision, more just what suits our priorities. Hopefully with discussions like this, others planning a cruising boat can gain some insight into what might work best for them.

My view is that if you can live happily and comfortably with the power you can generate from solar, then it is not sensible to replace a power source that requires zero maintenance, lasts for 20+ years and is very close to 100% reliable, with a generator that is arguably one of the least reliable, highest maintenance items you can install.

Estimating how much power you need to live happily and comfortably is not easy. You really need to live the lifestyle and find out for yourself. If you can answer this question the right decision to design your boat running primarily off a generator or solar is obvious.
I think this is very well analyzed and contains very important points. A cruising boat is a complicated device and requires a systems-based approach to design properly. Every element of the system influences the others.

I spent a couple of decades cruising on a boat without a generator of any kind. The main power source was an unregulated alternator. We didn't need much power, but it was miserable. Then my Dad added a bunch of solar and suddenly we were in high cotton. No more running the engine at anchor or nervously watching the battery gauge. I used to catch him staring at the battery gauge on sunny mornings, watching the charge indicator go up

Solar is the ideal power source IF you can find enough space to mount enough of it to cover your needs and IF you have enough battery capacity to take up the slack at night without problems. For all the reasons Noelex lists. Diesel generators require maintenance and can break down, which are big disadvantages. They are not silent. However, nothing beats them for producing a lot of power on demand, day or night. They can of course be used in combination with solar -- there's no law that it's "either" or "or".

The only quibble I have with Noelex's post is his characterization of diesel generators as "arguably one of the least reliable, highest maintenance items you can install." Diesel generators are very different, one to the other, and vary tremendously in reliability. Overstressed single-cylinder generators like the notorious Fischer Pandas are awful and deserve the label. But heavy duty, low speed, three cylinder generators are entirely different. These tend to be extremely reliable, no less so than the main engine, and with no more maintenance than that (which you do simultaneously with the same maintenance operations on your main). Gensets are a bane to some cruisers, but for many others, they are really no problem at all. Of course, you have to find space for them, and money to pay for them -- neither trivial issues.

Another issue to think about it what kind of batteries you have. Solar is superb with lead-acid, because it can deliver the long topping off charge which these batts crave, and which you can't get efficiently from a genset. But LiFePo is completely different -- these can accept a huge charge rate, which makes them perfectly suited to rapid charging from a big power source like a genset. And they don't want to be topped off at all, much less do they crave it. So again taking a systems approach -- if you're going to have LiFePo batts, that can also influence your choice of power sources.

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Old 10-06-2015, 08:40   #122
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

I don't pretend to have the experience or depth of knowledge to offer advise but I do have a question. Noelex stated that a skeg might be used to protect the rudder but that skegs themselves are often a weak point. Why not ensure during the build that the skeg is structurally strong enough to offer real support and protection? Would not a full or even a partial skeg reduce the problems of rudder shaft bending at the hull or damaging the hull in the event of collision or grounding?


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Old 10-06-2015, 08:44   #123
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I am bit behind answering everyone's specific questions and addressing suggestions, but I will do my best to catch up shortly.

Deciding if you should equip your boat with a permanently installed marine diesel generator is a very important question that should be given more exposure on CF. Many see a genenerator as a simple add on, but if you design the systems sensibly it alters much of the equipment onboard.

With a diesel generator there is little need to give energy efficiency a high priority. This effects everything from the autopilot to the type of laptop used. Cooking, hot water, watermaker and heating can, and generally should, then be all be based on 110/240v not 12v. Even boat insulation and ventilation are no longer a vital priority when air conditioning becomes viable. So incorporating a generator means the boat is planned fundamentally very differently.

I have cruised on boats with solar and generator systems and I am firmly in the solar camp. That does not mean this is the right decision, more just what suits our priorities. Hopefully with discussions like this, others planning a cruising boat can gain some insight into what might work best for them.

My view is that if you can live happily and comfortably with the power you can generate from solar, then it is not sensible to replace a power source that requires zero maintenance, lasts for 20+ years and is very close to 100% reliable, with a generator that is arguably one of the least reliable, highest maintenance items you can install.

Estimating how much power you need to live happily and comfortably is not easy. You really need to live the lifestyle and find out for yourself. If you can answer this question the right decision to design your boat running primarily off a generator or solar is obvious.
I dont follow your logic.

I have a house, It gets hot, I dont have air conditioning just because I have electric.

I have a boat. I have batteries, I have inverters, I have solar. This is England, sometimes the light is missing for days. Sometimes its hard to know if its day or night. I still require power. The batteries get used, then I have to run the engine. So I have a Honda 2kv. When my power consumption, mainly 12v is higher than my charge input, or an emergency need for 230v arises, I have it.

I have calculated my power needs very carefully. I dont want to keep calculating my needs or have to buy 'special' computers or other things, I just want everything that will run off 12 or 24v AND 230c and I can maintain it in a crunch with a generator. I wont go for A/c or whatever just because I have a generator. I dont want to rely on one power source ie, solar because sometimes, the controller fraps.

I dont use my generator much. But its there. and if something goes wrong I have an alternative power source. Even houses have them for emergencies.

For my current boat size, a 2Kv portable is perfect. For yours, perhaps a little bigger. If your batteries ever got fried, as I have experienced, then you might just want 'something' in backup.

This is not to encourage you to change your mind. This is straight from personal experience in emergency containment. Its another energy source, for 'emergencies'. A different viewpoint. Don't rely solely on batteries, as reliable as they are. A generator will not be your lifestyles primary power source, but it might be your necessary backup.

Nuff said...... Im going to go for a late lunch (3:44pm) and ignore the fact that I have evening clinic at 6.....
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:55   #124
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I don't pretend to have the experience or depth of knowledge to offer advise but I do have a question. Noelex stated that a skeg might be used to protect the rudder but that skegs themselves are often a weak point. Why not ensure during the build that the skeg is structurally strong enough to offer real support and protection? Would not a full or even a partial skeg reduce the problems of rudder shaft bending at the hull or damaging the hull in the event of collision or grounding?


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Noelex can speak for himself, but I can say that skegs are hard to engineer to be very strong -- they are usually glassed in to the hull and can be dislodged by an impact. There were some sinkings of Moodys where that happened a few decades ago. Rudders can be stronger because the shaft can be supported in different places.

My boat has a partial skeg, but in my opinion a massively build spade rudder (like how the Dashews do them) is a better solution. A spade rudder is much more efficient than even a partial skeg rudder and really improves sailing performance a lot. And properly engineered I don't think it's really less strong.

I have no idea why Oyster cling to full skeg rudders -- this is dinosaur technology. Most high end boats have partial skegs with the lower part of the rudder sticking out to give balance -- far better. But I think there is a gradual move to spade rudders everywhere.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:31   #125
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Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Noelex can speak for himself, but I can say that skegs are hard to engineer to be very strong -- they are usually glassed in to the hull and can be dislodged by an impact. There were some sinkings of Moodys where that happened...

Yes, some builders glass on a skeg which is not structurally strong. In the case of a new high quality alloy boat could not the structure of the skeg be built strongly enough from the outset of the design to add real support and protection? I'm not arguing just asking. Yes, the spade rudder seems to be the modern steering method of choice for racers and high performance boats but for cruisers isn't there a benefit to the protection of a skeg?


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Old 10-06-2015, 09:36   #126
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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....Then my Dad added a bunch of solar and suddenly we were in high cotton. No more running the engine at anchor or nervously watching the battery gauge. I used to catch him staring at the battery gauge on sunny mornings, watching the charge indicator go up
LOL, that has been us in the past.
Needs to be experienced to be appreciated. One more reason to do without a generator .

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Old 10-06-2015, 11:34   #127
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Yes, some builders glass on a skeg which is not structurally strong. In the case of a new high quality alloy boat could not the structure of the skeg be built strongly enough from the outset of the design to add real support and protection? I'm not arguing just asking. Yes, the spade rudder seems to be the modern steering method of choice for racers and high performance boats but for cruisers isn't there a benefit to the protection of a skeg?


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Maybe so. Interesting question. Concerning performance, everyone can certainly benefit from a spade rudder, which is truly superior from that point of view. A semi-balanced rudder on a partial skeg at least gives you balance - which means it gives more lift (the water flows smoothly over the non-skegged part when the rudder is turned), and also significantly reduces steering loads, good for both you and your pilot.

But how to make the skeg really strong? Can you tie it into some other part of the structure on an alu boat? I don't know.

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Old 10-06-2015, 12:00   #128
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
In view of your experience, ordering an emergency rudder will need a rethink.

We twice really 'tested' our rudder. Once in iceland we dropped it on rocks about a meter fall at 13 sec cycle time for an hour (we were aground in a rocky harbor and had a hell of a time getting out. The second we smacked it on a rock ledge at 7.5kts in Maine when we cut a corner way too close. It survived both situations with some skin deformation - which we pressed back in shape with a hydraulic press and then faired out. (the iceland experience was with our 'first' rudder and maine with the second one.

Those experienced #1 gave me complete confidence in the main rudder and we tossed out the 'emergency rudder' thought, and #2 taught me a benefit of the pure spare rudder design which I had not anticipated - which is that you can easily drop and reinstall it while in the water - no haul out needed. This was very helpful in iceland.


This will be teamed up with some stronger internal reinforcement so the hull attachment does not become the weak point (although the rudder area will be protected by a coffer dam and waterproof bulkhead anyway).

excellent - same as ours - we had 'three layers of protection. #1 about triple the amount of framing and double the skin thickness around the rudder shaft hole, #2 a (12mm walled) aluminum pipe that held the lower rudder bearing that came 20cm up above the full load water, and #3 a complete watertight bulkhead forward of all this - I might note the details of making that actually watertight are a bit tricky because you have steering gear and exhaust and wiring running thru it.

Any details how this was achieved would be great (a change from 10mm to ...? skin thickness). I understand Hawk's rudder was replaced with an improved model (what were the differences between the old and new designs?). This sort of real world experience from a boat (and crew) that has sailed so many miles in adverse conditions is invaluable.

The second rudder was build down in Chile. The first one was a van de stadt 'cruising shape' which was a bit shallow with a flat bottom. We wanted more control when going fast down wind so asked for a deeper one with a highest performance elliptical tip. For the crumple zone, Van de Stadt designed it one way but the Chilean engineers did not like it and they built it their own way - which was to make the rudder in two pieces - the bottom piece (about 60cm) was 6mm plating and framing with no shaft in it, and the top piece was as I described above. Both pieces were independently watertight. They were then welded together.

We did this . . . but if building again . . . I might consider just making the entire thing really strong. The worse case then is that the shaft bends a bit, and you have to drop it down 25mm to get it to swing again (and then later take it to a hydraulic shop to press the shaft back straight). That does raise another thing I learned - carry a small hydraulic jack - really useful for pressing the rudder in and out of position, and for other jobs on board where you need some force . . . cheap as dirt and easy to stow. Just cover with grease so it does not rust.

By the way - on 'watertight' testing - you want the tanks (fuel and water) and the keel and the rudder pressure tested. They should tap them, pump pressure air in, and prove that the pressure will hold for 24 hrs.


Garcia design a sacrificial fibreglass TOP to the rudder on some models. The idea is to prevent the blade jamming against the hull if the shaft is bent.

Interesting ideal. Yes I can see a foam cored piece there being useful. In fact that was the most lasting 'damage' from our two rudder incidents - there was a bit of a hull dent which we filled and faired out.

They also install a tiny skeg. Presumably with the aim of deflecting ropes/ice from jamming between the hull and blade. Thoughts? Is this just marketing to say they have a "Skeg" rudder, or does this have merit?

We had zero problem with rope or ice, and sure had every opportunity to get it, so I would say it is a non-issue in the real world.
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:08   #129
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

BTW . . . here is the deck non-skid I would use if doing it again . . . . www.esthec.com . . . one of their lighter color shades, perhaps the "champagne" color.

We put this on a superyacht that I was owners rep on (3 years ago) and it has turned out to be excellent. The owners were originally skeptical and very concerned about esthetics and 'what their friends would think' with "fake wood" but they have become very enthusiastic about it.

I see they have an endorsement from your designer right on their site . . . so you should have no problem getting him to spec it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 17:35   #130
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Noelex can speak for himself, but I can say that skegs are hard to engineer to be very strong -- they are usually glassed in to the hull and can be dislodged by an impact. There were some sinkings of Moodys where that happened a few decades ago. Rudders can be stronger because the shaft can be supported in different places.

My boat has a partial skeg, but in my opinion a massively build spade rudder (like how the Dashews do them) is a better solution. A spade rudder is much more efficient than even a partial skeg rudder and really improves sailing performance a lot. And properly engineered I don't think it's really less strong.

I have no idea why Oyster cling to full skeg rudders -- this is dinosaur technology. Most high end boats have partial skegs with the lower part of the rudder sticking out to give balance -- far better. But I think there is a gradual move to spade rudders everywhere.
Actually I think the broken skeg was on one Moody and several did not sink. Somewhere in the Indian ocean the skeg/rudder failed but the boat did not sink as it did not leak a drop when its skeg/rudder failed. With an impending storm some fishing boats tried to tow the boat but did it much too fast and for some bloody reason the rig failed. They then decided to scuttle the boat rather than have it be a hazard to navigation. This was one specific design, a 39 footer that for a variety of reasons had a skeg that was way undersized and the factory designed a support for the rest of this model. There was a major lawsuit that followed and the owner was eventually compensated for his loses. These boats were designed and built in the 70's and since that time Bill Dixon has designed all the later model Moody's including yours and mine and as far as I know the rudder/skegs are very rugged in their build and have never suffered a failure at sea.
Having said that I agree with your comments on spade rudders being superior in steering a boat however the way the typical production builder actually builds spade rudders and the associated support structure I am much more secure with the partial skeg and support system that Moody used. If production builders built spade rudders like Dashew or boats like Hawk then thats completely different but that costs a lot more money so don't hold your breath for that to happen.
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Old 10-06-2015, 18:18   #131
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

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Actually I think the broken skeg was on one Moody and several did not sink. Somewhere in the Indian ocean the skeg/rudder failed but the boat did not sink as it did not leak a drop when its skeg/rudder failed. With an impending storm some fishing boats tried to tow the boat but did it much too fast and for some bloody reason the rig failed. They then decided to scuttle the boat rather than have it be a hazard to navigation. This was one specific design, a 39 footer that for a variety of reasons had a skeg that was way undersized and the factory designed a support for the rest of this model. There was a major lawsuit that followed and the owner was eventually compensated for his loses. These boats were designed and built in the 70's and since that time Bill Dixon has designed all the later model Moody's including yours and mine and as far as I know the rudder/skegs are very rugged in their build and have never suffered a failure at sea.
Having said that I agree with your comments on spade rudders being superior in steering a boat however the way the typical production builder actually builds spade rudders and the associated support structure I am much more secure with the partial skeg and support system that Moody used. If production builders built spade rudders like Dashew or boats like Hawk then thats completely different but that costs a lot more money so don't hold your breath for that to happen.
If I were building a new boat for myself, I would want the rudder to be like Dashew's, or like Evans'.

I don't know how good the structure is for my skeg. I don't have access to those parts of the structure of my boat.

I presume it must be pretty strong, judging by those elements of the structure I can see. My 54í boat has chain plates more massive than those of a Swan 90 (they must weigh 50 pounds each), and has fully glassed in and through-bolted bulkheads, huge stringers, beams, and massive floors. I would have to think that the skeg is as overbuilt as the rest of the boat, but I donít know for sure.
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Old 10-06-2015, 18:34   #132
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

There are skegs and then there are skegs. This on my Bristol 41.1. While I suppose that there are situations where it could fail, it is not very high on my anxiety list.

That being said, a spade rudder will of course perform better, as will a deep fin keel, narrow beam, light weight, longer waterline, deck-sweeping sails, etc. All attributes of a good race boat. None of which (other than the WLL), would be first among my requirements for a live-aboard cruising boat.
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Old 10-06-2015, 18:57   #133
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

As an aside, I will comment that the original reason we went with a spade rudder was not for sailing performance, but rather for low speed control in reverse around marinas. Spades offer exceptional steering in those situations and when going into a tight spot our standard approach was to go in backwards both because we could spin either way on a dime and if we had to abort we could just power forward out.

After having one, a second significant benefit I mentioned above - the ability to drop, inspect/touch up (rudder or bearings or seals) and reinstall in the water without a haul out. Checking/working on a skeg rudder/bearings is almost always more difficult.

It's honestly not a lot of money to make a strong spade rudder. It's really just some extra aluminum and aluminum is cheap.

Note: most likely your designer will think my rudder shaft diameter will make the rudder profile too fat. We did taper the shaft so that the most effective lower 2/3's was thinner. They always bend right where they enter the hull and ours is 'full/extra" strength right there.
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Old 11-06-2015, 00:07   #134
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

This is a photo of the lower rudder bearing on a Bestevaer 49 (ignore the black wire, which is just an electrical lead belonging to a power tool used during construction):




You can see the substantial reinforcement that is used to support the lower bearing of the rudder. It is important that this area is very strong. The preferred failure mode is to have the rudder bend or even break before compromising the watertight integrity of the hull.

If you are buying a boat take the time to inspect the construction details of areas like this. Chainplate and keel attachment are other vital areas. The effort a builder has put into these structural details will tell you far more about how suitable the boat is for "blue water" than a lot of the forum internet discussions on this subject .
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Old 11-06-2015, 00:59   #135
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Re: Bestevaer 49ST

Rather than offer suggestions in areas that you have made your mind up regarding, I wonder if there is merit in contacting Bestevaer owners and finding out what changes THEY would suggest.

As I look at the vessel, and the years of experience the company have, Im beginning to see that the builders design a certain way for a purpose. Even though the individual comments here are based on experience, they are NOt based on the build of the 49.

Have to say Nolex and SeaWorthy that the boat is of a standard not seen overmuch in its base state, and I know that what is beng mulled over is in the main, preferences rather than safety additions. That baby is strong from the outside in and the inside out.

Great choice and even without auxiliary power backup of a small generator, it will be a great liveaboard.

(Though it will be better with one.)

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