Originally Posted by Heath68
Its definitely a case for whatever your preference.. I too think the Antares is overpriced (regardless of the kit that comes with it).. but I've heard too many complaints of saildrives to make them my 1st choice (shaft drive).. Galley up is a definite choice but the space cost can be too high on a sub 47ft cat.. hydraulic steering
gets 2nd place to the Antares system (only cause its got less chance of letting you down).
I've seen some great galleys on cats lately, except for two areas: Cupboards and cooling
. Never enough refrigeration
or freezers for my needs. Then again, that can always be added in later. I lived on and ran a 74' power boat
for a while, and the owner wanted to do this long cruise
down to Barbados
and back. We installed two drop-in cooler/freezers in a mechanical space without much fuss, and it worked great. Luckily, the St. Francis comes with a drop-in freezer
as standard. And I chose two Isotherm
drawer-style fridges, as I fell in love with those while working on sport fishes.
The lack of galley cupboards, I never understood on most cats. You have all this great space for them that goes unused, especially up high in the galleys. I always assumed I'd have to add some to whatever cat I bought.
I find hydraulics easy to work with and repair. I've lost
steering on a large boat while on charter
, and a piece of rubber hose, two clamps, and some oil
got us running again. Having to weld or shape metal while underway would be a nightmare. Anything can break. The question is how likely is it to break, and can you fix it? I've had many more problems with mechanical steering (usually cable) than with hydraulic. That's anecdotal, of course. Just as I've had more troubles with shafts and none with sail drives. I imagine my experience with problems will change once I own something different.
Originally Posted by Heath68
The paddleboard storage idea is a new one on me but a nice and thoughtful addition.. I don't know about the 12v vs 24v system and its advantages on a boat (I can only relate it to 24v handtools are better than 12v or 18v).. maybe you can explain??
An important equation: P = I x V.
That's: Power = Current
Power is measured in watts, current
in amps, volts in volts.
An easy way to think of the three is to equate them to water
. Current is the amount of water
flowing through the pipes (here, the water is electrons). Voltage is the diameter of the pipes (how easily the electrons flow). And Power is the ability of that waterflow to do work (think of water spilling over a waterwheel. The more you have, the more power you get).
The next important thing to remember is that copper wire has resistance. The longer your copper run, the more voltage drop you get over that run. So if the battery
bank is low down in the center of the boat, it has to push those electrons through a lot of copper to get to the anchor
light, or to get to the anchor windlass
. The bigger the boat, the longer the wire runs, and the more voltage drop you suffer. If you have too much voltage drop, you can damage your motors and electronics
. The life of these systems will be shorter. And the efficiency of your batteries will be hurt, requiring more frequent charges (due to the voltage drops).
When you move to a 24V system, you draw half the amps to do the same amount of work (remember the equation: P = I x V. Twice the (V) means you get the same product with half the (I).
This is important for a number of reasons. The first is that less current needed means you can use smaller pipes. That means thinner gauge wire. It's a bonus that this is cheaper, weighs less, and is easier to run, but that's not the reason to go 24V. With longer wire runs on bigger boats, you prevent voltage drop-off over that length of copper. You have more oomph behind the current flow, while needing half the current. (I'd say 50' in boat length is a good cutoff for a 24V system, but with systems getting bigger and power needs growing, that might be 40' these days.)
Which leads to the next advantage: 24V systems are more robust. They do more work with less strain. They last longer. They tend to be more commercial
and less consumer as well. Most of the boats I've worked on had 24V pumps, windlasses, winches, lighting
, you name it. Most systems are available in 24V. They can cost more and be more difficult to source, but I think you save that money
in the longevity.
The last reason is the robustness of the battery
bank. You have more room to run the voltage down before you need to recharge, as you have twice the headroom
. Half a volt dropped on a 12V system, and you're reaching for the generator
switch. Half a volt dropped on a 24V system is a lesser percentage, and so you can keep on trucking. (I also happen to think DC watermakers are the way to go these days, and the 24V really help here.)
Are there disadvantages? Yes. Initial cost can be higher. The systems can be more complex (you will probably need a second bus running 12V, either from another battery bank or a DC -> DC converter for the engine
start batteries, VHF
, and a few other items). But these are very proven systems. I've been on far fewer pure 12V boats than boats that had 12V, 24V, and 110V/220V systems running all together. You use the voltage needed for that item and that power requirement.
I'd probably be looking at this, even if I were building a 45' cat.
Originally Posted by Heath68
The interior space is a thing my wife insists upon... which is why I've also been looking at the Isara with its salon size (a great idea for other manufacturers in my opinion). I will be watching your project with interest.
Thanks. Hopefully we cross paths, and you can come see the thing in person. Best of luck with whatever you decide!