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Old 25-04-2016, 03:33   #31
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

[QUOTE=ranchero76;2105760]
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Thanks for info. So, If your 800W panels give you 4kWh per day, 3.2kW of panels should give 16kWh. My assumption was around 19kWh, so I'm not far from real life . Actually, I was thinking about motorized mounts (to keep panels to the sun), but that would be space/budget permitting. Other option - use more panels, using flexible panels, mount them in these places where flat panels wouldn't fit.
I would be interested to see how you fit 3.2kW of panels relatively unshaded on any reasonably sized sailing cat. The 800W on my 43ft Belize take up quite a bit of real estate.
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Old 25-04-2016, 03:39   #32
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Thanks for info. So, If your 800W panels give you 4kWh per day, 3.2kW of panels should give 16kWh. My assumption was around 19kWh, so I'm not far from real life . Actually, I was thinking about motorized mounts (to keep panels to the sun), but that would be space/budget permitting. Other option - use more panels, using flexible panels, mount them in these places where flat panels wouldn't fit.

Have you actually used one in earnest? They generate very little when sailing downwind.


I haven't, but I believe you Wind generators - for any situation except two - no wind or sailing downwind Note that I haven't used them in my calculations at all, they're just bonus

I guess the question is why bother?
- If you are anchored, your solar array is massively oversized for house loads as is your battery bank sized to allow some propulsion. You would need a week of complete heavy overcast before you would need an alternate generating source.
- If you have wind, you are sailing and don't need electric propulsion (if you are talking sailing to windward, the drag of pulling a windmill upwind will exceed the electric propulsion they provide making you slower than if you omitted them).
- If there is no wind, they produce nothing.
What situation, do you gain an advantage in adding wind power?

My 40HP diesel uses just about 1 litre per hour at 1800 RPM - which is enough to drive the alternator and heat my hot water tank.

40hp uses 1 liter per hour? Hmm, now I'm surprised

You are confusing engine rating with instantaneous output. Just because the engine is rated at 40hp, doesn't mean you have to firewall the throttle so it produces 40hp every time you start the engine.

A 20hp diesel putting out 10hp will use almost the same fuel as a 40hp diesel putting out 10hp. As I said previously, unless you start talking about massive differences in engine HP ratings, the energy lost to internal engine friction, is negligible.


On a decent sized cat, the exhaust splashing is indeed about the loadest part of the engine noise.

On many cats, diesels are under aft staterooms (or near). How about that?

If you sleep in the aft staterooms while motoring, there might be a gentle vibration. Of course if we are talking twin engine cats and you don't need hull speed, you can typically run on a single engine (opposite the one you are sleeping in) largely eliminating the issue while achieving better efficiency by loading the engine to an ideal load. Also, I wouldn't count on an electric system to be completely silent and vibration free if you are lying on top of it. A lot of electric motors produce an annoying high pitch whine. If you can hear the diesel purring, you can probably hear that whine.
The ultimate test is if it was really viable, you would see a mass migration to solar/electric drivetrains. Currently, it's limited to those experimenting or those who are doing it because of a personal set of morals.

I'm not trying to troll you. I look forward to the day it is viable...but given the current state of technology, it's not viable unless you are willing to pay more for a less capable propulsion system.
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Old 25-04-2016, 03:55   #33
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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I would be interested to see how you fit 3.2kW of panels relatively unshaded on any reasonably sized sailing cat. The 800W on my 43ft Belize take up quite a bit of real estate.
So lets see I looked up and it's around 2sqm per panel, so 10 panels is 20sqm.

Let's say it's a 6m beam and you leave a meter on each side (wouldn't want to smack the array into a piling by accident...your array would be 4m wide by 5m front to back. Kind of hard to mount something 5m front to back behind the boom on most sailboats. (even if you push them to the full width of the boat 3.3m is still tough on most designs)

Also, those weigh in at around 50lbs each, so you just added 500lbs (before including the mounting structure) to the stern which likely also has a dingy and other items...is the boat going to be slower because it is out of trim...eating up all those free electric propulsion miles you could have gained under sail with a lighter boat? Also going to windward, a 20sqm array might create a little drag slowing you down.

The only system I've seen that works is to give up on sailing, mount solar panels over the entire area of the boat but even that comes with major drawbacks. To make it practical, they have used extremely slender hulls to make it easier to push thru the water but that means you lose cargo capacity because overloaded cats are much slower. The boats are still limited to around 4-5kts for continuous cruising speed. And most important, it's 2-3 times what an equivalent sailboat with conventional diesels costs.
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Old 25-04-2016, 06:57   #34
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Sails have a distressing habit of creating shade. Solar panels don't do well in the shade. For this reason, I no longer have a mast on my electric boat. I intend to put up a solar canopy over the entire boat and even so, I doubt I will be able to motor indefinitely at over a couple of knots. The performance level you are looking for is pretty much unachievable. It will work, but it will be slow, especially with those pesky sails shading your solar panels half the time.

Not saying you shouldn't do this, because I am a very vocal proponent of electric propulsion. But electric propulsion on a sailboat is best used for maneuvering or short runs, and not windless cruising. For getting in and out of a marina, it beats the pants off a diesel. Kilowatts from shore power work out a lot cheaper than gallons of diesel, and when ultra high performance is not needed, inexpensive flooded lead acid golf cart batteries make a very cheap bank.

A boat built from the keel up to be a solar electric boat is do-able. It has been done. It has shown good cruising capability. It is not cheap, though. Lead batts are heavy. Lithium is expensiver. Near fatal trade-off, either way. For a maneuvering bank, the weight of lead is insignificant, and with reduced range requirement, it is no hardship to only be able to discharge to 50%. For electric cruising, a flooded lead acid bank gives a very poor useable kw/hr/lb figure. I love my lead batteries for a number of reasons but I have no illusions about the superior performance of lithiums... but the cost can be staggering. And I think most people greatly underestimate the size bank that they need.

A hybrid system is quite practical. A hybrid can be done either in-line or tandem. For in-line, the output shaft from the clutch couples directly to the motor shaft, which is in turn coupled on its other end to the propellor shaft. When the diesel is out of gear, the motor doesn't have to turn the diesel. Power applied to the electric motor spins the prop. Under sail at high speeds, regeneration is possible, and the motor produces electricity, with a corresponding increase in drag due to the prop's resistance to freewheeling. With the diesel running and in gear, the diesel turns the motor and can generate electricity (loading the diesel more, of course, and increasing fuel consumption.) Regen load can be user adjusted, of course. When the diesel is running and in gear and power is applied to the electric motor instead of drawn from it, available horsepower is increased. It is a balancing act and you don't get anything for free.

Much has been made about regen. Yes, you get power from the motor with the trailing prop spinning. But you don't get much. Even at high speeds, the prop is a small and inefficient turbine, and the greater regen load placed on the motor, the greater resistance and drag at the prop. Same with wind turbines. Take a look at the output of a typical wind generator. Remember that those ratings are for a certain amount of wind, and just as the sun doesn't always shine, the wind doesn't always blow. Wind generators can be quite practical at anchor in breezy locations, for maintaining the house bank charge. A 1kw wind generator would probably have about a 10 foot diameter rotor which would be somewhat impractical even if you had no sails. Don't count on wind generation to do much for your propulsion needs. Speaking of which, more drag.

Now the tandem system is interesting because it can be cobbled together without the need of the motor having both ends of the shaft available. In this system, a pulley or sprocket is mounted on the prop shaft, and engaged with belt or chain driven by a pulley or sprocket on the motor. Obviously due to lateral forces this is slightly less efficient than serial hybrid, but in principle it works the same. Diesel can turn the shaft and cause the motor to generate power, or allow assistance from the motor, or just turn with no effect. The electric motor can turn the prop with or without the diesel's assistance. Same trade-offs apply. I considered doing this myself, mounting the electric motor over the shaft in tandem with the old Atomic, but a leak in the 40 year old fuel tank forced me to pull the engine anyway to get the tank out, and all in all I decided to just go full electric and forget about that old hunk of iron. But it can be done, at considerable weight/space penalty.

Serial hybrid offers little except flexibility. You are taking diesel fuel and converting it to mechanical energy. Then you are taking mechanical energy and converting it to electrical energy. Then you are converting electrical energy back into mechanical energy and turning a prop with it. So you are introducing more losses than with a parallel system.

Not saying you shouldn't go forward with your idea, because I like it, of course. But bear in mind that unrealistic optimism about performance levels is common in tinkerers, inventors, innovators, and those pushing the envelope or trying new or fringe technologies. It will work, but probably not up to your current expectations.
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Old 25-04-2016, 14:00   #35
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Yes, I know sails create the shade, but there's not much can be done, only use bigger array.
Real estate to mount panels is also big issue, but there are possibilities.
For example, here's top view of FP Sanya 57.



Note that it already has 4 panels mounted. With deck extended, it looks like it's possible to mount 12 panels. Not bad.



GrowleyMonster - thanks for useful information.
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Old 25-04-2016, 14:22   #36
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by ranchero76 View Post
Here we go again . Yes, yes, I know that battery only holds few % of energy comparing to same weight of fuel. But there ain't any gas stations in the middle of the ocean,
Erm, well there are actually, one sitting off Newfoundland refueling the fishing fleet.

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o these % just don't work . Bigger gas tank? But I still would have all these solar panels and batteries, for all other boat systems, so extra gas tank would add even more space and weight.
And no, I'm not expecting to have 24 hr electric driving power, it just would work for as long as there is extra energy (solar+battery+wind). And hey, tomorrow will be more of it, even on cloudy day!
And one more thing that I already mentioned. Silent motoring along the coast, near moorage etc...priceless!
Why not use sails?
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Old 25-04-2016, 16:51   #37
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Why not use sails?
Mmm...actually, we where talking about no wind situation. What do you suggest to use to blow on sails?
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Old 25-04-2016, 21:58   #38
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

It's amazing to me how anti-electric and anti-hybrid, the sailing fraternity can be.

There is more to this than just efficiently making miles. Shouldn't we sailors know this better than anyone?

With the exception of ocean crossings, sails and yheir required compromises, expense and complexity can NEVER compare to the efficiency of a displacement power boat. Yet we own sailboats....

Electric and hybrid systems are part of that "other intangible thing" that makes us love our watercrafts despite them not being as efficient as a power boat (or car).

Maybe it's the quiet. Maybe its the engineering challenge. There are many joys to be had from these systems.

Using wind generators to extend ones electric drive instead of sailing is no more madness than beating up one's expensive sails while tacking to windward instead of motoring upwind.

If one steps away from the efficiency argument there is much to like about these systems. Shall we now stop calling the kettle black?

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Old 25-04-2016, 22:17   #39
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by ranchero76 View Post
Yes, I know sails create the shade, but there's not much can be done, only use bigger array.
Real estate to mount panels is also big issue, but there are possibilities.
For example, here's top view of FP Sanya 57.



Note that it already has 4 panels mounted. With deck extended, it looks like it's possible to mount 12 panels. Not bad.



GrowleyMonster - thanks for useful information.
What's the HP to get that monster up to 5kts? Sure a bigger boat can hold more solar panels but also needs more HP. You are probably up around 30-40hp to make 5kts in calm conditions, so your 3hp solar array doesn't provide much motoring.
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Old 25-04-2016, 22:24   #40
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

I see a couple of times the Parallel hybrid concept would work well.

Just ticking over in light airs, maybe at 2 knots speed would generate enough apparent wind to steady up the sails and the boat, and with a few knots of real wind you might even make 3 or 4 knots of boatspeed powersailing in a very light breeze that would normally leave you slatting and drifting. This would be pretty easy on the batteries and much more pleasant than starting the diesel.

In gusty inshore conditions the electric could tick over to push you through some lulls or an awkward tidal spot.

For getting in and out of a harbour, anchorage etc it would mean you could sail right until the last minute and not have to worry about the engine starting and being properly warmed up.

It would also enable sailing into tight spots knowing power is instantly availible if needed, and its a valuable backup incase of engine failure.

A freind had a catamaran with just one engine in one hull. He was saving up for another. It made manevering awkward! I think an electric engine in the other hull would have been a good solution in his case. Use both when maneuvering or when you need full power and redundancy. Use the diesel engine for when you just got to get someplace in a hurry and the electric as described above.



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Old 25-04-2016, 22:26   #41
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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It's amazing to me how anti-electric and anti-hybrid, the sailing fraternity can be.

There is more to this than just efficiently making miles. Shouldn't we sailors know this better than anyone?

With the exception of ocean crossings, sails and yheir required compromises, expense and complexity can NEVER compare to the efficiency of a displacement power boat. Yet we own sailboats....

Electric and hybrid systems are part of that "other intangible thing" that makes us love our watercrafts despite them not being as efficient as a power boat (or car).

Maybe it's the quiet. Maybe its the engineering challenge. There are many joys to be had from these systems.

Using wind generators to extend ones electric drive instead of sailing is no more madness than beating up one's expensive sails while tacking to windward instead of motoring upwind.

If one steps away from the efficiency argument there is much to like about these systems. Shall we now stop calling the kettle black?

Medsailor

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Where did you get that anyone s anti-electic/anti-hybrid? If it was viable, it would be great. We have been discussing the practical aspects of implementing a system. Calling people haters because they bring up the downsides is just trying to stifle discussion.

Read the recent post from the guy with an electric boat. Here is a believer and he readily admits the capabilities are drastically less. If you can live with those reduced capabilities, it's viable now. If you just weekend sail and need to get in and out of the slip under power or you are the type willing to drift until the wind comes back, electric is viable now but that's no reason to gloss over the downsides.

On a side note, I believe most cruisers on sailboats have simply chosen them as the most viable option. They work great as displacement motor boats and when the wind is right, you can use the sails. I think you will find cruisers as a group to be very practical in selecting their boat an how it is outfitted. The purist sailor who be happy with no engine is a rarity.

What are these intangibles? If it were pure intangible to heck with efficiency or practicality, it would be a couple of 500hp diesels and a 30kt cruise speed.
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Old 25-04-2016, 22:30   #42
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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I see a couple of times the Parallel hybrid concept would work well.

Just ticking over in light airs, maybe at 2 knots speed would generate enough apparent wind to steady up the sails and the boat, and with a few knots of real wind you might even make 3 or 4 knots of boatspeed powersailing in a very light breeze that would normally leave you slatting and drifting. This would be pretty easy on the batteries and much more pleasant than starting the diesel.

In gusty inshore conditions the electric could tick over to push you through some lulls or an awkward tidal spot.

For getting in and out of a harbour, anchorage etc it would mean you could sail right until the last minute and not have to worry about the engine starting and being properly warmed up.

It would also enable sailing into tight spots knowing power is instantly availible if needed, and its a valuable backup incase of engine failure.

A freind had a catamaran with just one engine in one hull. He was saving up for another. It made manevering awkward! I think an electric engine in the other hull would have been a good solution in his case. Use both when maneuvering or when you need full power and redundancy. Use the diesel engine for when you just got to get someplace in a hurry and the electric as described above.
Your thoughts are similar to mine
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Old 25-04-2016, 23:11   #43
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by Korvessa View Post
It's amazing to me how anti-electric and anti-hybrid, the sailing fraternity can be.

There is more to this than just efficiently making miles. Shouldn't we sailors know this better than anyone?

With the exception of ocean crossings, sails and yheir required compromises, expense and complexity can NEVER compare to the efficiency of a displacement power boat. Yet we own sailboats....

Electric and hybrid systems are part of that "other intangible thing" that makes us love our watercrafts despite them not being as efficient as a power boat (or car).

Maybe it's the quiet. Maybe its the engineering challenge. There are many joys to be had from these systems.

Using wind generators to extend ones electric drive instead of sailing is no more madness than beating up one's expensive sails while tacking to windward instead of motoring upwind.

If one steps away from the efficiency argument there is much to like about these systems. Shall we now stop calling the kettle black?

Medsailor
Some people don't realize that technology is changing very quickly. Few years ago people were saying EXACTLY same about electric cars. But now there's Tesla out there. Skeptics will say that "they're overpriced". Yes, but this is breaking point. Once it become mainstream, prices will drop. In fact, there's cheap Tesla Model 3 coming already.
Same thing with boats. It's harder, because boats manufactured in much smaller numbers. But right now it's very close to breaking point. There are fully electric cats out there already, but they're not perfect, have limitations, expensive etc.
The batteries improved, solar panels improved.

From my point of view, 2 things should happen:
1. boat design should become more "solar friendly", allowing big solar array to be mounted.
2. These expensive battery prices should drop.

And actually, there's #3, but this is tough one as sailors are very suspicious to new things as it seems, and many of them get mad when someone offers "sailboat without sails".

Wingsail, with all its surface been solar panel. That's A LOT of solar energy! The only conventional sail on the boat would be gennaker, to sail downwind. This is simply unbeatable combination. I'd LOVE to test such boat

Many guys simply can't believe that huge wingsail (while free rotating) creates MUCH LESS resistance to the wind than BARE MAST with rigging. Here's nice proof of that Note that they've created two sections of wingsail, so even if wind is different on different heights - no problem.
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Old 26-04-2016, 07:48   #44
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I see a couple of times the Parallel hybrid concept would work well.

Just ticking over in light airs, maybe at 2 knots speed would generate enough apparent wind to steady up the sails and the boat, and with a few knots of real wind you might even make 3 or 4 knots of boatspeed powersailing in a very light breeze that would normally leave you slatting and drifting. This would be pretty easy on the batteries and much more pleasant than starting the diesel.

In gusty inshore conditions the electric could tick over to push you through some lulls or an awkward tidal spot.

For getting in and out of a harbour, anchorage etc it would mean you could sail right until the last minute and not have to worry about the engine starting and being properly warmed up.

It would also enable sailing into tight spots knowing power is instantly availible if needed, and its a valuable backup incase of engine failure.

A freind had a catamaran with just one engine in one hull. He was saving up for another. It made manevering awkward! I think an electric engine in the other hull would have been a good solution in his case. Use both when maneuvering or when you need full power and redundancy. Use the diesel engine for when you just got to get someplace in a hurry and the electric as described above.



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All true. I love having power instantly available. I love not having a running but idle engine. I flip one switch and my engine is "on" but zero power consumed, it's just ready to go. I twist my "throttle" potentiometer and it goes. I twist more and it goes faster. Twist the other way for reverse. Instant torque. Hang on to something, if I am showing off, haha! And I don't have to bump it in and out of gear for a slow, careful approach. I can throttle down to 10 or 20 RPM, if I want. Guys with single screw infernal combustion engine powered boats don't get it, until they actually get a chance to handle an e-boat coming into a slip. Especially backing in. Maneuverability is greatly enhanced with fully variable and instantly available power. With diesel or gas, your idle speed is as low as you can go, without taking the engine out of gear. You have to hope it starts when you need it. You have to pray and fend off and brace for impact when it doesn't. You have to warm it up if it does. Facts of life we don't even think about because it is what it is. Until you try electric, and discover the cool (and not so cool) quirks of the system.
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Old 28-04-2016, 04:50   #45
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Some people don't realize that technology is changing very quickly. Few years ago people were saying EXACTLY same about electric cars. But now there's Tesla out there. Skeptics will say that "they're overpriced". Yes, but this is breaking point. Once it become mainstream, prices will drop. In fact, there's cheap Tesla Model 3 coming already. Electric car tech has hardly changed. The cost of fuel was the difference along with govt handouts creating a small compliance car market. Are you talking about the Tesla 3 that will be $50k optioned and once govt handouts expire going up against $15k cars...as "cheap" (ignoring the fact it's been coming for a number of years without actually arriving).
Same thing with boats. It's harder, because boats manufactured in much smaller numbers. But right now it's very close to breaking point. There are fully electric cats out there already, but they're not perfect, have limitations, expensive etc.
The batteries improved, solar panels improved. They are only close if you ignore the cost or accept substantial reduction in capability (an issue cars have but since most families have 2 or more cars, a commuter car with reduced capabilities should be viable. Oddly they aren't marketing a cheap low range car for that segment, which baffles me.)

From my point of view, 2 things should happen:
1. boat design should become more "solar friendly", allowing big solar array to be mounted. Kind of hard unless you accept it won't be a sailboat. If it's not a sailboat, the motoring requirements go up substantially because you can't count on sails as your primary propulsion with the motor just getting you in and out of the marina.
2. These expensive battery prices should drop. I suspect we have achieved most of the economy of scale savings in batteries but even then, there is still the range limitation, particularly if you give up on sails.

And actually, there's #3, but this is tough one as sailors are very suspicious to new things as it seems, and many of them get mad when someone offers "sailboat without sails".

Wingsail, with all its surface been solar panel. That's A LOT of solar energy! The only conventional sail on the boat would be gennaker, to sail downwind. This is simply unbeatable combination. I'd LOVE to test such boat Problem is that surface is at a poor angle to the sun and would require less efficient flexible panels with special installation to keep them aerodynamic. The end result being not nearly as much power from the wingsail panels as a simple surface area calculation would suggest.
On a side note: I think Ford may have addressed the viable electric car situation. They are putting out a new model and aren't trying for 200mile range, which does nothing for usability. If they bring it out under $25k (actual price) and get 80-100mile range, it could sell on it's own as a commuter car in multi-car families.
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