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Old 19-06-2015, 08:02   #106
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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Fuel- Cruisers Forum



Everyone's opinion is different, but I've got a bit of a different perspective on this than above, based on some observations in the Caribbean last year and the Pacific this year. I view fuel capacity as having two purposes, safety and it gives us more options.

Rigging Failure:
- We met one boat in the Marquesas this year that did motor out of a rigging failure. They had multiple rigging failures that exceeded what they could jury rig. Most boats are set up to handle failure on one or two failures, but this boat ended up losing all 4 diamond stays. From memory talking to them, they motored over 800 miles with enough of a jury rig to stabilized the mast for the sea state, but not enough to risk sailing). They exhausted their diesel supply, but were able to organize a fuel transfer from one of the other boats crossing via the SSB net they were on. For those jumping to the conclusion it was a crappy, poorly maintained boat, it was a Malo 42 and all standing rigging had been replaced less than a year ago. They're still trying to figure out why the failures occurred, badly tuned after re rigging, bad batch of fittings, etc.
- Another boat was lost this year south of the Galápagos. The couple on it were rescued by a boat we know (a Caliber 40) who had to motorsail hard to windward for almost two days to get to them. They were able to respond without hesitating because they had enough fuel to do it, and still get safely to the Marquesas, still 2000 miles away.

What is 2 Weeks: Normally nothing, but close friends of ours had a significant medical emergency this year on their crossing from Galápagos to the Marquesas that didn't give them that luxury. He used over 200 gallons of diesel (50 ft aluminum monohull w/ 100 hp Volvo) motorsailing through light spots including motorsailing the last 2-1/2 days as his wife was near collapse as Tahiti had determined it would take the same length of time to organize an airlift as for him to motorsail hard the last 500 miles. He's an emergency room doctor so Im comfortable his assessment of her condition and the urgency wasn't exaggerated.

Wind/Solar Power: The one word you used there that I noticed was estimated. As a lot of your sailing will be downwind, I would estimate virtually zero contribution from the wind generator. That is based on my observations of our and discussions with numerous other boats about theirs. Our wind generators were great in the Caribbean at anchor and reaching/beating up and down the chain, but as soon as we started sailing downwind, our generator time spiked substantially. I've now got lots of solar (to the point I'm thinking of ditching the wind generators in NZ), but I've noticed that underway I get a lot less out of them than I do at anchor. Particularly in the S Pacific I've noticed that by mid afternoon the shadow from the sails significantly cuts down our solar output. That's been a common observation of many boats both with panels on davits and on biminis. This may impact your fuel usage for charging more than you're currently estimating.

Options: Having a bit more fuel capacity has allowed us to leave a few times on less than ideal forecasts. For example we left Galápagos this year as a big 'hole' was developing. I was able to motorsail about 18 hours out of the first 48 hrs to keep ahead of it and get into the trades. Having some reserves gave us the ability to use some fuel early in the trip yet still have confidence we'd have enough to cover potential issues later. Our choice would have been to leave a day or so earlier, or wait longer, but there were a couple of dives we wanted to do and we wanted to wait for the fresh market day (once a week) in Santa Cruz. After getting the fresh produce, we wanted to leave as soon as possible to maximize the time out there with good food. Then when we arrived in Hiva Oa, no diesel was available (for about two weeks) so lots of boats were hanging out, waiting and delaying their jump to the Tuamotos. By the time we'd worked our way north to Nuku Hiva, diesel was available, but if it hadn't been, we'd have still been able to leave for the Tuamotus with what we had. Finally, I was discussing this thread with an Island Packet 38 anchored close to us (90 gal in tanks, 10 gal in jugs), and their comment was that coming down from Puerto Vallarta this year, it was nice to be able to motor a couple of days through the ITCZ rather than bobbing between and extending their time around the associated thunderstorms. Options are nice to have IMHO, particularly when I have family aboard to consider.

Lots of people will point to the Pardey's and that they sailed for decades with no diesel, so it's obviously not necessary....you're a sail boat. Having met them, I have tremendous respect for them but also think they are much more 'hard core' than 99% of the cruisers out here. There were places they weren't able to visit as they just couldn't sail in, they are clearly more risk tolerant and patient than most of the cruisers out here, and they have a very different expectations on getting assistance from others. They didn't have an SSB, just a portable receiver so had no expectations of anyone coming to help them if they got into trouble. When you talk about setting off the EPIRB, I think your perspective or philosophical position is already very different from theirs. Neither is wrong, I'm just not convinced you can only adopt part of the philosophy.

Finally, all this discussion has centred around the long crossings. However, I noticed you're in the PNW and you're talking about the Atlantic first and then the Pacific. Does that mean you're going down to Panama and then up to the Caribbean? If so, you've probably got a lot of motoring ahead of you getting from Panama to the Virgins or St Martin to jump off for the Atlantic. One thing to consider is that with lower fuel capacity, you're going to then have to take fuel on at lots of places you'd probably prefer not to (price and quality). Make sure you've got a bulletproof filtration/water separator system and a good Baja filter for filling as there is some pretty crappy fuel out here.

For the record, we've got an Amel Super Maramu (100 hp Yanmar) with 160 gals in the main tank and another 25 gals in Jerry Cans in a locker over the chain locker. Less than I'd like, but ok, particularly now that we've reduced our reliance on the generator substantially. I've got 825 watts of solar on the davits and 2 Air-X wind generators on the mizzen mast. That covers most of our energy needs at anchor and minimizes generator time to about an hour every other day underway.

Just my thoughts, as always, 'Your Mileage May Vary'. Good luck with your plans and I hope you're able to leave soon.

Mark
Best reply I've seen on this topic in a while We lost a shroud coming out of Tonga once. We got to NZ with a partial jury rig by motoring a lot. It still took us much longer with more storms along the way. Good fuel tankage does give you another margin of safety and more options.
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Old 19-06-2015, 14:34   #107
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Best reply I've seen on this topic in a while We lost a shroud coming out of Tonga once. We got to NZ with a partial jury rig by motoring a lot. It still took us much longer with more storms along the way. Good fuel tankage does give you another margin of safety and more options.
I don't really think that there is any question that having more fuel is better.

I think the issue at hand though is "is it possible to circumnavigate with less than 'optimal X' fuel"... the answer to that is open ended for so many reasons.

20 gallons in a light weight cat gets you a lot further than in a heavy monohull.

How much range do you need for absolute safety and options? 2000 miles? At what speed? We can motor at a lot less than our hull speed and increase our motor hours significantly.

Maybe the answer is simply mathematical, damn the opinions:

If the marquesas is 2000 miles away on the rhumb line from the Galapagos and you can do 5 knots through the water motoring (currents and all), that is 400 hours of motoring. Add say 10% for safety... 440 hours. If you burn .75 gallons per hour you need 330 gallons of fuel.

Poll... how many of you that have done that crossing have 330 gallons of fuel?
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Old 19-06-2015, 19:57   #108
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Last I checked it was closer to 3000 nm from Galápagos to the Marquesas, but I'm guessing it's not relevant to your point.

I never said it couldn't be done with less than optimum (or even no) fuel, I was just voicing an opinion, background for why, and some data points for the OP.

Again, best of luck to the OP and I hope he gets away soon.
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Old 19-06-2015, 21:33   #109
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

One thought I had to expand fuel capacity when we do a longer passage is, rather than deck mounted jerry cans which are vulnerable and unattractive, to make my own fuel tubes I can lash aft along toerail inside of stanchions.

I calculated that 8 inch diameter PVC pipe will hold 15 gallons per 6 foot section. I think a low profile tube along the deck is safer and less unattractive than jerry cans and likely will fit aft toward cockpit much further than jerry cansout of range of bigger seas. 1 of these per side is like 6 jerry cans. An 8 foot length, is 20 gallons- 4 jerry cans.

Ideally can fit a threaded fitting with ball valve into the end cap using epoxy that can run a hose to the deck fill. Vent that can be opened when transferring fuel. Have to figure out how to fill. Maybe same hose can thread into bottom of baja filter/funnel.

Anyone try this?


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Old 20-06-2015, 18:01   #110
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Fuel- Cruisers Forum
....... I view fuel capacity as having two purposes, safety and it gives us more options.

.....
Just my thoughts, as always, 'Your Mileage May Vary'. Good luck with your plans and I hope you're able to leave soon.

Mark
Hi Mark...probably one of the best / well written / non confrontational posts I have ever read on CF.:thumbup:

In planning...everything about passage making is about maximizing options

BUT...Just as with Sails..... you would only consider taking as much fuel as you could safely carry.

You then adjust your contingencies and schedule accordingly. ... It is not so much a decision justified by a lump sum.... but a kneaded feeling.
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Old 20-06-2015, 22:21   #111
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
One thought I had to expand fuel capacity when we do a longer passage is, rather than deck mounted jerry cans which are vulnerable and unattractive, to make my own fuel tubes I can lash aft along toerail inside of stanchions.

I calculated that 8 inch diameter PVC pipe will hold 15 gallons per 6 foot section. I think a low profile tube along the deck is safer and less unattractive than jerry cans and likely will fit aft toward cockpit much further than jerry cansout of range of bigger seas. 1 of these per side is like 6 jerry cans. An 8 foot length, is 20 gallons- 4 jerry cans.

Ideally can fit a threaded fitting with ball valve into the end cap using epoxy that can run a hose to the deck fill. Vent that can be opened when transferring fuel. Have to figure out how to fill. Maybe same hose can thread into bottom of baja filter/funnel.

Anyone try this?


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According to https://www.spilltech.com/wcsstore/S.../ccg/CBOOM.pdf PVC's resistance to Diesel is Good to Moderate, and its resistance to gasoline is only Moderate. Also, the PVC in solvent-welded joints is less dense, so that might be a weak point. If anyone odes do this, they should use the grey electrical PVC, which is UV resistant. White PVC should not be used outdoors as UV will embrittle it quicker.
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Old 21-06-2015, 00:21   #112
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

I found this Norwegian concept of turning the cargo hull into an airfoil as a means of saving fuel, interesting.

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Old 21-06-2015, 06:26   #113
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
One thought I had to expand fuel capacity when we do a longer passage is, rather than deck mounted jerry cans which are vulnerable and unattractive, to make my own fuel tubes I can lash aft along toerail inside of stanchions.

I calculated that 8 inch diameter PVC pipe will hold 15 gallons per 6 foot section. I think a low profile tube along the deck is safer and less unattractive than jerry cans and likely will fit aft toward cockpit much further than jerry cansout of range of bigger seas. 1 of these per side is like 6 jerry cans. An 8 foot length, is 20 gallons- 4 jerry cans.

Ideally can fit a threaded fitting with ball valve into the end cap using epoxy that can run a hose to the deck fill. Vent that can be opened when transferring fuel. Have to figure out how to fill. Maybe same hose can thread into bottom of baja filter/funnel.

Anyone try this?
One drawback I can envision, would be that everywhere you go, people will be asking you "What the hell are those things?" At least by lining the rail with jerry cans, you're just another member of the club...

:-)

Also, at least with jerry cans, once you're finished with one, there is the possibility of re-stowing them elsewhere - in the lazarette, lashed outboard of the stern rail, or whatever - in an effort to get them off the deck and out of the way... Seems to me you're gonna have to live with those 8" diameter tubes on your decks permanently... Sounds like quite an impediment or obstruction, to me, and likely just the sort of thing one might easily come to regret in an unexpected situation such as the recovery of a man overboard, or similar...

I dunno... You own one of the sweetest-sailing 40' cruising boats out there, a stellar example of the sort of performance S&S is known for, and a very nice looking boat, as well... You really sure you want to do something like this to her? I doubt Olin Stephens would approve :-)

What sort of passage are you contemplating, that you feel the need to do something like this for a boat that performs as well under sail as your beautiful Tartan 40?
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:45   #114
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

I don't know how HDPE holds up to diesel but I think pretty well. It comes in large diameters and in heavy wall if needed. It is far less brittle, flexible even and last forever in the sun. End caps would need to be plastic welded. Horizontal drillers use it. it's really just water pipe or cable jacket.
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Old 21-06-2015, 07:42   #115
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
One drawback I can envision, would be that everywhere you go, people will be asking you "What the hell are those things?" At least by lining the rail with jerry cans, you're just another member of the club...

:-)

Also, at least with jerry cans, once you're finished with one, there is the possibility of re-stowing them elsewhere - in the lazarette, lashed outboard of the stern rail, or whatever - in an effort to get them off the deck and out of the way... Seems to me you're gonna have to live with those 8" diameter tubes on your decks permanently... Sounds like quite an impediment or obstruction, to me, and likely just the sort of thing one might easily come to regret in an unexpected situation such as the recovery of a man overboard, or similar...

I dunno... You own one of the sweetest-sailing 40' cruising boats out there, a stellar example of the sort of performance S&S is known for, and a very nice looking boat, as well... You really sure you want to do something like this to her? I doubt Olin Stephens would approve :-)

What sort of passage are you contemplating, that you feel the need to do something like this for a boat that performs as well under sail as your beautiful Tartan 40?
Thanks for the compliments. Yes, unlikely I'll need more fuel than my 50 gallons. At 1500 rpm (<0.5 gallons per hour) I am going over 5 knots. 2000rpm gets me 6.2 knots. 2400 is 7.1 knots with more fuel burn. The boat sails great in light air.

I am not planning on crossing oceans yet. But if we ever go south through panama canal and to South Pacific, would be nice to have extra fuel to power through ICTZ.

I always thought this concept was interesting, and I thought these would be cheap and possibly disposable/recyclable (ok, have to figure out who would find them useful at the other end) after crossing Pacific....
I also think 2 of these which would be low profile would be less unattractive than 6-8 yellow jerry cans on deck, and certainly more stable and less likely to get washed away by a wave.


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Old 21-06-2015, 07:59   #116
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Hi Duckwheat, I appreciate I've come to the discussion late and don't have time to read all of the responses but am happy to share with you what we've learned in the past 2 years sailing 15,000nm including crossing the Pacific and circumnavigating New Zealand.

We like you, carry just over 50 gallons in a tank and x2 5 gal Gerry cans. For our use this has been more than enough. Despite our 13tons we ghost along in very light weather and are happy so long as we're moving in the right direction. Our Aries windvane can still steer us when we're moving at one knot upwards and sometimes we hand steer in less or resort to the engine. We tend to motor mostly when the currents are taking us the wrong way or when there is a big swell but very little wind. This had never been more than about 6 hours at a time. Between islands we've sometimes given up and motored into the wind. Generally in the interest of getting to our destination before sundown. Motoring on long passages isn't our style so we don't use much at all.

I'd second what has been said, that it's really useful to have a separate can in case of (very common) tank trouble but I see you already plan this.

We agree that a stack of fuel cans on deck is ugly. Also even if they're well lashed, in heavy weather they could become a problem. Less is more on deck!

When we cross the pacific again we won't take any more fuel but we'll happily use more in the first week before picking up the trades. We arrived to the Marquesas with most of it left. We used much more fuel in higher latitude sailing but still always found we had plenty with what we carry between fills.

All the best with your plans.
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Old 21-06-2015, 12:58   #117
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Hi Duckwheat, I appreciate I've come to the discussion late and don't have time to read all of the responses but am happy to share with you what we've learned in the past 2 years sailing 15,000nm including crossing the Pacific and circumnavigating New Zealand.

We like you, carry just over 50 gallons in a tank and x2 5 gal Gerry cans. For our use this has been more than enough. Despite our 13tons we ghost along in very light weather and are happy so long as we're moving in the right direction. Our Aries windvane can still steer us when we're moving at one knot upwards and sometimes we hand steer in less or resort to the engine. We tend to motor mostly when the currents are taking us the wrong way or when there is a big swell but very little wind. This had never been more than about 6 hours at a time. Between islands we've sometimes given up and motored into the wind. Generally in the interest of getting to our destination before sundown. Motoring on long passages isn't our style so we don't use much at all.

I'd second what has been said, that it's really useful to have a separate can in case of (very common) tank trouble but I see you already plan this.

We agree that a stack of fuel cans on deck is ugly. Also even if they're well lashed, in heavy weather they could become a problem. Less is more on deck!

When we cross the pacific again we won't take any more fuel but we'll happily use more in the first week before picking up the trades. We arrived to the Marquesas with most of it left. We used much more fuel in higher latitude sailing but still always found we had plenty with what we carry between fills.

All the best with your plans.
This is great feedback. When you cross pacific again, what do you think of a well lashed 15-20 gallon bladder on coachroof or deck?- once you've motored more aggressively the beginning of trip and gotten to trades you can empty into tank, and stow collapsed in a locker.


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Old 21-06-2015, 17:21   #118
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Hi malbert, for us it wouldn't be necessary. We don't want to motor far. Can't see why it couldn't work though if that's your bag
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Old 21-06-2015, 20:30   #119
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

Good to hear. I've been sailing, racing, and cruising for 35 years- though never have crossed an ocean- and usually can eke knots out of any breeze. I'm constantly amazed at how many others I see motoring in perfectly good sailing breeze. This thread had me wondering about our 45 gallons/ 600 mile motoring range but your feedback helps reassure me. We'll make sure we keep the chute and possibly a code zero stowed aboard for the light stuff when the time comes. Maybe a couple of jerry cans as well for clean fuel reserve.

So i'm glad to hear your feedback, as if you can do it in your beautiful boat, ours can certainly do it as well. I am not sure how many former racers like me get into cruising, and without racing in countless shift, light air conditions- it's tough to develop the skills and desire to move in that stuff. Add a low revving engine to motorsail in light stuff and you can really expand your range.


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Old 21-06-2015, 21:36   #120
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Re: Cruisers: How Much Fuel?

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Good to hear. I've been sailing, racing, and cruising for 35 years- though never have crossed an ocean- and usually can eke knots out of any breeze. I'm constantly amazed at how many others I see motoring in perfectly good sailing breeze. This thread had me wondering about our 45 gallons/ 600 mile motoring range but your feedback helps reassure me. We'll make sure we keep the chute and possibly a code zero stowed aboard for the light stuff when the time comes. Maybe a couple of jerry cans as well for clean fuel reserve.

So i'm glad to hear your feedback, as if you can do it in your beautiful boat, ours can certainly do it as well. I am not sure how many former racers like me get into cruising, and without racing in countless shift, light air conditions- it's tough to develop the skills and desire to move in that stuff. Add a low revving engine to motorsail in light stuff and you can really expand your range.


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Many certainly manage it on limited fuel and on many routes fine. Just remember that there are areas such as Patagonia and in the Pacific around the equator where fuel capacity can be a real issue.
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