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Old 12-02-2012, 15:47   #31
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Deck Officer I wish you well In your future conversion.

However, it is fair to say that you are at the cutting edge of the technology with your bike and car conversions and I think the Torguedos you are talking about are only about to hit the marketplace not yet proven in the application.

There was a similar weight vessel in Australia (Oram) that went in the water with Torquedos and I think they gave up and went down another route. Others know more about this vessel than I.

Unfortunately at present the implementation of electric propulsion systems on crusing vessels for long distance crusing is still at the cutting edge of development and not yet mature technology nor yet price competetive.

If you are prepared to pioneer technology and accept all that comes with it that is your choice.

It is simply pushing the envelope at present to widely recomend electric drive systems for cruisers, generally.

cheers
Very well thought out and I couldn't agree with you more. Time is the luxury I have now due to taking care of my dad. Everything from the batteries to a finished product, manufactured outboard is quite expensive. As we continue the transition to electric cars, the prices will drop just due to economies of scale. If I was in a position to do it today, I still would.

As to Tropic Cat, those diesels are heavy, in the wrong place on the LRC model, and if you don't think educated buyers know this, then why is the LRC cheaper on the resale market? The 9.9's do an adequate job in the conditions you mentioned, as they are good for 8 kt in a calm state, but if your a "mo power" kind of guy, just use these 13Kw outboards.
aquawatt green power electric outboard motors
and I will assure you no 27 hp Yanmar diesel with its weak kneed torque is going to keep up with it in a headwind/current or any other adverse condition. Just not going to happen.

But on a up note, I respect your fine web site and have visited it often. You have done great work on it and more should visit and wade through all the articles.
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Old 12-02-2012, 15:58   #32
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Actually that boat was launched with E-power pods. They proved to be very poorly made and totally lacking in customer support, so were quickly replaced with Torqueedo's.

Unfortunately the Torqueedo's had several reliability issues also, and were replaced several times under warranty, until finally being replaced permanently by outboard power.

Hell, what a finincial hit that was.
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:34   #33
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

Here we have a group of sailors, who hate their engines, cheer every time they get to turn them off and let the wind take them, consider themselves a gentlemen that don't sail to wind and so on. Still they can't think of any alternative like electric propulsion because then they can't motor as they do. Ironic.

Of course electronic works, it does so well, better for long range 'cause you are refueling while underway. Even going hybrid still has advantages over pure diesel. What's the problem?
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:42   #34
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Of course electronic works, it does so well, better for long range 'cause you are refueling while underway. Even going hybrid still has advantages over pure diesel. What's the problem?
Because current battery technology does not give you enough power (affordably and without a weight penalty) to run your electric motor for long periods along with everything else on the boat.
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:50   #35
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Because current battery technology does not give you enough power (affordably and without a weight penalty) to run your electric motor for long periods along with everything else on the boat.
Around here, if you cruise without a motor you're a hero. If you cruise with an electric motor you're an idiot with a deathwish.

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Old 12-02-2012, 16:53   #36
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

What is a long period? If more then 40nm, isn't it just better to go for a motorboat anyway?
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:33   #37
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

Couldn't have said it better myself JRM. Your post about the death wish I misunderstood till reading your last post.

What happened to your last post?
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:45   #38
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Just how workable, reliable and shockable would electric propulsion really be?

Docking at a marina and filling up with a elctrical cord sounds quite interesting
My boat is usually at a mooring or at anchor and it still works for me. Having converted to EP in 2008 all I can say I would never go back to having a diesel on board. But, it may not be for everybody. First you have to make sure that you really have a sailboat and not a motor boat which just happens to have sails:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: HORSEPOWER AND SAILPOWER
I've got a poor man's hybrid setup (Honda 2000 generator) along with solar and wind generator for charging and it works real well for me. I like not waiting to fuel up for diesel anymore. I just dingy up to the fuel dock to fill two two 2-1/2 gallon jerry jugs for gas and I'm good for two weeks. I also can regen while sailing (need to be doing 6 knots) but, I do love it when my boat is making fuel (energy) while under sail even just using wind and solar:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: HAPPY AT THE HELM!
Last I checked there was no Breeder Diesel on the market.
I also keep finding new ways to use the EP system to help with sailing too and when I do it is QUIET. No noise fatigue like with the diesel. For example in light winds I can set the prop speed to null out the prop drag. No need to spring for a folding prop. Like I said it may not be for everybody but, when people say it won't work for a cruising sailboat I just sit back and smile.
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:52   #39
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

Capt Mike,

What controller are you using. When you set motor speed for sail driven speed to eliminate drag, do you start charging through the controller if wind and boat speed picks up and you don't rematch prop speed?
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:17   #40
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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Capt Mike,

What controller are you using. When you set motor speed for sail driven speed to eliminate drag, do you start charging through the controller if wind and boat speed picks up and you don't rematch prop speed?
I think the controller is a Varitas? Actually yes as the wind picks up I can see the current declines until it becomes 0. I try not to touch the prop speed once it is set as I really just want to counter balance the prop drag. If the boat speed increases further then the motor will start to regen energy back and start charging the battery bank. It's not a lot at first but, it adds up. Plus there is the solar panels and wind generator adding their share into the mix too.
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:29   #41
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I've been doing a lot of research into converting to electric propulsion. Being new to the sailing community I think I have a rather different perspective as I have never had to deal with the diesel issue.

A lot of my knowledge and research comes from reading these forums and researching both methods of propulsion.

In my situation I am looking for reliability, ease of maintenance and cost. My current engine will either need to be rebuilt or replaced. I contacted yanmar and got a quote of 15,000 for a new engine. That did not include installation and removal of the old. Most of the companies selling pre assembled electric units run approx 12k not including installation and batteries. Being the type of person to learn things for myself I have priced the motor, controller, etc for about 5k. Which seems about right as most companies will sell their products at 100% markup.

I also calculated weight. By removing the old diesel, fuel tank, and fuel and replacing with batteries the weight issue will just about be a wash.

I am not a diesel mechanic nor do I want to be. Just reading these forums I have learned that everyone spends a lot of time with upkeep and maintenance of their diesels. I also don't particularly care to be smelling diesel while cruising not do I like the fact that I have 100 gallons of explosive diesel fuel sitting underneath me. Also cost. Why spend up to $5 a gallon in diesel when I can charge my bank for free off of solar, wind and regen.

Now I may take Bianca's advice an have. A small generator as a backup but I am also keeping in mind that this is a sailboat and I plan on sailing not motoring.

In these arguments I always here that electric is not the way to go for long term cruising. I say why not, people have been doing it for hundreds of years without motors. What I would like to know from cruisers is how much they actually use their diesel for motoring. Let's take out running the diesel for charging the batteries, and let's take out running the diesel merely to motor in and out of port. When truly cruising when and why would you really need to use your diesel for momentum?
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:40   #42
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

When the Bumfuzzles did their circumnavigation they were becalmed for days. It was blazing hot an no wind at all. They motored quite a bit just to be moving. Sails are fine when the wind blows except when it doesn't or it blows too much. This is why you need lots and lots of batteries.
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:43   #43
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

Capt Mike,

So, if you are making a passage that you say to yourself "with these conditions I should average 7 kt" and you set motor speed for such, you could calculate an accurate ETA, and depending if you over or under estimated speed, you just arrive right on time with either a battery bank with more or less SOC?
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:46   #44
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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In these arguments I always here that electric is not the way to go for long term cruising. I say why not, people have been doing it for hundreds of years without motors. What I would like to know from cruisers is how much they actually use their diesel for motoring. Let's take out running the diesel for charging the batteries, and let's take out running the diesel merely to motor in and out of port. When truly cruising when and why would you really need to use your diesel for momentum?
People used to wreck boats on reefs a lot more often too. I'm very pro-diesel electric and as soon as it makes sense, I'll probably switch - mostly to get reliable house power and finer motor control. But note the diesel in there.

BTW, people post about their diesel problems. Nobody posts saying "I've had my diesel ten years and motored thousands of miles and only ever changed the oil and filters every six months". But I could post that.

I moved my boat from Seattle to San Diego summer before last. I had a bit of a schedule to keep but a lot of flexibility (allocated about 5 weeks to do it). Just getting out of San Francisco bay took a lot of motor power. You'll go nuts tacking back and forth in the slot all day when you could just motor into irons in an hour. Getting out of Juan de Fuca took two full days of motoring into the wind bashing into square waves.

Furthermore, the wind died and I ended up in flat calm fog around Monterey CA and it stayed that way until Santa Barbara - thus I motored the entire way over a couple days staring at a glowing screen for nav, radar, and AIS. Stuck off the CA coast with no motor and high nav electronics requirements would be very frightening. Lots of rocks out there that stick up from the water - some many miles offshore, and plenty of industrial vessel traffic. Being able to run a motor continuously for a few days at a time can be a huge life saver. I have a 400 mile range and I've made good use of a good chunk of it. It is a very nice-to-have thing.
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:50   #45
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Re: Electrical propulsion vesus Diesel propulsion

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When the Bumfuzzles did their circumnavigation they were becalmed for days. It was blazing hot an no wind at all. They motored quite a bit just to be moving. Sails are fine when the wind blows except when it doesn't or it blows too much. This is why you need lots and lots of batteries.
Or a genset capable of driving the motor directly thus giving you best of both worlds.
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