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Old 21-09-2011, 02:17   #1
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Diesel Capactiy / Range for Atlantic Crossing

Hi All,

Preparing ourselves for the upcoming ARC in November and I'm looking into how much diesel we should be carrying.

It's probably easier to talk about range rather than capacity. What sort of range would be considered safe or prudent? I read somewhere once that you should have a range equal to half the intended journey so that should it be needed you'll always be in range of land. For an Atlantic crossing on a yacht though that just seams too huge an amount!

We currently have around 300nm range with the standard 200L tank on our Beneteau Oceanis 46 (assuming 4L/hr at 6 kts) I was thinking about doubling this capacity with either jerrys or a bladder.

What are other people's thoughts on this?
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Old 21-09-2011, 02:45   #2
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Re: Diesel capactiy / range for Atlantic crossing

Having enough fuel to always be able to motor back to land is overkill, IMHO, on a sailboat. For centuries people crossed oceans without any mechanical propulsion at all.

On a relatively easy tradewinds route like the ARC, I think enough fuel for a couple of days of motoring PLUS all your power generating requirements would be plenty.

Do you have a genset? How many hours a day will you run it to keep power up? How much fuel does it consume?
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Old 21-09-2011, 02:48   #3
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Re: Diesel capactiy / range for Atlantic crossing

We have a 160L tank and we use around 4L/hr also. We found in a recent GOM crossing with no wind that the 160L is not enough, so we bought five x 22.5L jerrys which puts us on the edge of feeling comfortable. I'd carry more if I could, and I'm considering an extra tank. It would be too much to carry enough to always be in striking distance of land, but having enough to clear major seaways such as the Panama/Colon approaches under power can make things a lot safer.
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Old 21-09-2011, 02:53   #4
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Yep we have a generator that uses about 1L/hr and we'll run it about 3.5 hrs per day. Say a worst case 20 day crossing and it'll use up 70L.
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Old 21-09-2011, 02:53   #5
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Re: Diesel capactiy / range for Atlantic crossing

for world cruising 8x 25l cans lashed to the stantions should be plenty.

also boats tend to motor downwind in <5 knots of wind at low revs which will greatly increase fuel economy
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Old 21-09-2011, 04:36   #6
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Re: Diesel capactiy / range for Atlantic crossing

To me the minimum range the boat should be able to do is 400 km.
I bet that bene would do this if you kept the speed down to 5kn.
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Old 21-09-2011, 05:00   #7
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Re: Diesel capactiy / range for Atlantic crossing

I have a bene 473, if I really eek it out, I'll get less than 3 l/hr at 5 kts, providing it not pushing into wind, seas. You'll have wind/seas astern, so that will help.
Previous owner did 4 Atlantic crossings, 2 each way, boat has a 237 litre tank, and 4 x 20 litre jerry cans. No genset, he managed with plenty to spare, also at the time, boat had no wind or solar means of battery charging.
The 4 jerry cans I have live in the stbd lazerette.
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