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Old 01-03-2014, 10:24   #151
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what ifs are just that.
in reality there are no what ifs. do it. it works and has since sailing was invented...is not rocket science. we were taught how to sail and anchor and haul up anchor on a way old boat with no engine.
not rocket science. we were just little kids.
i keep two anchors ready when sailing in...primary is bruce..fun to feel it grab, which is nearly instant
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:49   #152
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Around New Years 2010/2011 we were South of Charleston on the ICW when we developed a hole in the cylinder wall of our 1961 atomic4. We had been rushing south in our Columbia 26 seeking warmer weather. Every day was consumed with getting the most mileage south, using the motor to get to a selected anchorage before dark.

When the engine went out the world changed. We slowed down, spending more time studying the wind and the tides. The trip became peacefull yet challenging, instead of rushed and noisy. We spent New Years eve anchored in the lee of Fenwick Island, sipping wine in the cockpit and watching fireworks in the distance. We would have blown right by this place if the engine had been running. The next day, we rowed the dingy to pull our boat through the Ashepoo/Coosaw Cutoff. We made the Brickyard that day, and spent the next tacking down the river.

We made Factory creek, pulled the motor and had it sleeved there in Beaufort. We would not cruise engine less by choice, but those few days when we had to rely on our sailing skills to move south were some of the best.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:37   #153
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
That is a problem, given how anchorages are ideally windless, and often are when we arrive (fickle as they do be !).

I'm currently designing a hydraulic prop drive, with accumulators to store hydraulic power (which can be generated by repitching the prop and backdriving the hydraulic motor as a pump) for such purposes. Also for running a windlass, and raising the keel.

The installation is intended to have a couple of small diesels, a single cyl 1GM10 Yanmar and a two cylinder of the same design (so spares can be shared - or, in extremis, one engine cannibalised temporarily to keep the other running)

Each engine will be coupled to a (very quiet!) hydraulic pump, so that, depending on requirement, there's a full-load choice of (nominally) 10, 20 or 30 hp, without incurring the inefficiency and corrosion which comes from running a marine diesel at part-load.

For finer modulation, any surplus can be channelled back to the accumulators - whose charging rate is limited only by what's available, on top of which they retain their charge indefinitely.

For short bursts, like repositioning on a wave when making a difficult harbour entry, there will be up to 60hp available at the prop -- for very short bursts, without even firing up a diesel.

I'm not against engines, but I like them to be used in optimal ways, and it just doesn't make sense to me to cart around a big engine on a boat which sails well.

And rightly or wrongly, some of the "moral hazard" of having lots of power on tap is less worrying to me if it's a limited duration option. I'm thinking of gradual loss of emergency skills - not necessarily loss of execution skills (because they can only be kept up by having emergencies, which does not appeal), but loss of pre-emptive planning and imaginative visualisation skills.

(eg: How would I get out of the current predicament if the prop dinged a blade?)

And, on a boat which relies on an engine, the redundancy of two small ones has some appeal, if going off the beaten track for extended periods.

- - - -

As for the difficulties of setting anchors with NO engine: if bad weather is expected, I would row out a Fortress or similar stern anchor and take it to a cockpit winch. I've even used a dinghy anchor to set the main anchor on a small sailboat.
I think you have an amazing idea here. 10hp for 10 minutes pumping up an accum. Would give you the ability to get 100hp out for 1 minute minus losses you might get 100 hp for 45 seconds or 75hp for a full minute. Have you thought of using the same scheme with electric? Then you have the "accumulator" filling with solar as well. Use the same two yanmars turning generators. You might also concider two 20hp identical engines with identical pumps, or generators. That would give you more options for failiures and swapping parts. Assuming the 10 and 30 plan would mean a small pump and a larger pump. Therefore not interchangable.
I hope i dont sound negative just very intrigued myself with this type of thing. My thought was a small yanmar in a car with motors on all four wheels. Hyd or electric.

Andy

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Old 01-03-2014, 13:39   #154
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pirate Re: Engine-less Cruising

I'm thinking about trying to rig my whiskerpole so that it can also be used as a sculling oar. This may be a dumbass idea; it wouldn't be my first. I can build another long oar but that creates a stowage issue.

I've never had a reliable diesel like I seem to now and I love it but me and low bridges do not get along. It's like I'm an Aquarius and all I meet are Scorpio women. I haven't tried the full speed ahead approach excoriated earlier in the thread but I have read Cervantes. Bridges ain't windmills.

How about one of you bright whippersnappers coming up with a way to wire my wind genny to run like an airboat when needed? And as long as I'm imagining, make it run from a stationary bicycle. A person needs exercise.

Engines die. Winds die. Current/tides however seem to keep on keeping on.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:05   #155
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

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I think you have an amazing idea here. ..... Have you thought of using the same scheme with electric? ....

Andy
Thanks for your open-mindedness , Andy.
Refreshing and unexpected, given the prevalent culture of the www.

To answer your question: I certainly have.

It does, however, make sense for me to use hydraulics, because I'm a mechanical engineer by training and by temperament, and electrics on a boat pose difficult challenges, which (due largely to ignorance) I typically struggle to rise to, other than by restricting my use of electricity on board for jobs I don't mind not being done.

Furthermore I have to raise and lower a semi-ballasted 2 tonne keel, for which hydraulics (for me) is the only sensible choice. And I don't want to rely on a diesel engine running to raise the keel in an emergency (which might include "raising" it when inverted), so accumulators are a necessary feature.

I also like the idea of a self-snubbing windlass, difficult to do in the absence of hydraulics. I was even considering a hydraulic furler (once you've sailed with them, they have a certain appeal) but I've come up with a simpler alternative which I like better.

Even for someone else, someone gifted when it comes to specifying and tending to muscular marine electrics, I can see a couple of challenges in your idea.

Firstly, batteries have rather low limits to the rate at which they can accept charge, or deliver output power.

I don't think it would be realistic to put 30hp into any realistic battery bank.
And they are unhappy with rapid and deep discharge: I don't think it would be realistic to draw 60hp, let alone 100hp, from any realistic battery bank.

Accumulators (depending on type) and hydraulics have no such limits, nor do they lose charge over time, provided the couplings and valving are leaktight, which is difficult but achievable.

There are other fringe benefits with hydraulics, such as the ability to use a portable hand pump to provide emergency (albeit slow) muscle.

But most of all, I like the fact that hydraulics is uniquely resistant to seawater; in the event of a leak, oil leaks out (alerting you immediately, if inconveniently) rather than water leaking in (there are exceptions, but in the general case)

And the oil leaking out is a corrosion inhibitor, which cannot be said in the case of electrical leaks, particularly on an aluminium build!

But accumulators are unwieldy in the extreme.

In consideration of this grave defect, my boat is designed around them*, and they (along with the nitrogen bottles which extend their capacity to supply oil without undue pressure sag) constitute most of my internal ballast, all of which serves more than one purpose.

In addition, they are expensive beyond belief -- not that pumps and valves are exactly affordable.

eBay, combined with the collapse of manufacturing in the US and the resulting vast amounts of "New Old Stock" flooding the market, have been my salvation here. It's not a viable commercial proposition, what I'm attempting.

Lastly, there is an issue with high pressure hydraulic leaks, particularly from flat-faced couplings (which in all other respect are the gold standard, particularly for simplicity and hence maintainability and reliability, but also for leak-tightness).

If a coupling comes loose (especially if the O-ring has been omitted) it is possible even at my fairly modest 250 bar, for the resulting planar spray of oil to cut effortlessly through skin and bone, and in time I'm sure it could cut through alu hull plating.
Even low voltage electricity can do the latter, but it would probably take years rather than minutes.

If I drop the working pressure, my keel lift rams no longer fit in the foil envelope, and the accumulators will no longer provide sufficient energy to permit me to trickle along for hours in a calm without firing up a diesel ... and that would be a shame...

*Aluminium construction permits the entire well of my center cockpit, over the machinery space, to be lifted in one piece and swung outboard by the main boom, giving unlimited headroom and crane access.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:31   #156
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Andy, regarding your other questions and welcome comments:

My 20 hp will use a double (piggyback) hydraulic pump of the same design and internal componentry as the single pump on the 10hp - David Brown helical gear - outstandingly smooth and quiet (effectively like a screw pump, except rated for high pressure).

And the Yanmar 2GM and 1GM parts are largely interchangeable, especially the crucial ones.

Two twenty hp motors would be good, but if I have to motor for days in a calm, I would be much happier (and use less fuel) running a 1GM.

I also prefer the finer granularity of a 0/10/20/30 hp progression of output power choices, to the step-change nature of 0/20/20/40

40hp is more than I ever want to need, except for short emergencies;
I can't be sure my character would stand the test.

I don't want to get into the habit of putting my yacht wilfully into situations which only 40 hp would extract it from - and if I don't plan to do that, I shouldn't need 40 hp.

(ON EDIT)
I forgot one other difficulty with electric power: batteries don't have the service life of an accumulator - particularly a piston accumulator, where the seals barely wear, because there's minimal pressure across them ... (nitrogen one side, oil on other, but both pressurised) and no rod seals because there's no piston rod.

Admittedly piston accumulators do lose charge over time. I'm compromising, with one piston unit and one bladder unit, each of similar size (namely about as big as I am).
Bladders wear quicker, and cost a lot more to replace than piston seals, but there is virtually zero loss of stored pressure over time.

In both cases, the cost of regaining 'as new' capacity is a fraction of the cost of replacing a battery bank of similar energy capacity.
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Old 01-03-2014, 14:41   #157
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Blue Crab

Whiskerpole/sculling oar = pure genius. Have you thought of rigging it as a yuloh?
http://www.reocities.com/nelstomlins...nd.yulohs.html

on the can, it says ".... partially automates the process, and minimizes the upper-body strength required"

On a vaguely related theme: My sister (I think, or it might have been a friend) came across a couple in an engineless 26 footer in the Campbell Islands, well south of NZ.

They had a couple of small round portholes in the topsides amidships, some distance down from the gunwhales.

They had long sweep oars which could be deployed through these ports. The rower would walk up and down the aisle. Presumably the 'resting' member of the couple had a drum in the cockpit... not sure about the whip...

I have visions of a bowling ball with an oar-shaft-sized hole bored through it ..., supported by angle-faced rings around the port inside and out, providing a rowlock even a submarine could love!
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Old 01-03-2014, 15:45   #158
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Andrew, the piggyback pump idea i like. If you dont mind giving out info??? What pressure and volume tank are you using?

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Old 01-03-2014, 16:19   #159
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Every boat I have ever owned or sailed anywhere (besides dinghies, beach cats, windsurfers, kayaks, that sort of thing) has had an engine. I think this will continue to be true.

But I prefer to sail. Its easy to sail on and off a hook, generally easier than under power, regardless of the size of the boat. Try it a few times, you will see what I mean. Its easy to sail in very light winds. Its easy to sail in and out of MANY harbors. Sure, sometimes strong currents, narrow channels, traffic, etc. can make this difficult. These few situations are when I always use the engine.

But its pretty darn easy to avoid using the engine. And it sure is quieter, and in my experience, far more reliable, than an engine.

Now, I must point out that light air performance under sail is something I demand from any vessel I would own or cruise. Being able to avoid the engine is part of the reason its important. But more important is simply the joy of sailing along across a glassy sea, especially at night when the stars reflect so clearly, silently, peacefully, with time to pay attention to everything around me, and everyone along with me.

And maneuverability, a nice responsive helm, is also something I insist upon. So its possible to sail in congested and constricted waters. But more so, because then it is simply fun to go sailing.

Perhaps a better way to think about it: a sailboat should be so fun to sail, and so effective at sailing, that you just don't need or want to use the engine in most situations.
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Old 01-03-2014, 16:29   #160
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Andrew, since you and I share a distrust of electrics in a salt atmosphere, what about having the starters on the diesels hydraulic? They could be normally plumbed to the large accumulators, but have a couple of valves to a small accumulator with a hand pump, in case of leaks in the large system. I think that might be a better system than the coronary crank that the old Volvos and Yanmars used as a backup? Just rattling off some ideas. _____Grant.
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Old 01-03-2014, 17:51   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

Whiskerpole/sculling oar = pure genius. Have you thought of rigging it as a yuloh?
High praise sir. Thank you. And yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u4ea32 View Post
... But I prefer to sail. Its easy to sail on and off a hook, generally easier than under power, regardless of the size of the boat. ... its pretty darn easy to avoid using the engine. And it sure is quieter, and in my experience, far more reliable, than an engine.

Now, I must point out that light air performance under sail is something I demand from any vessel I would own or cruise...

And maneuverability, a nice responsive helm, is also something I insist upon. So its possible to sail in congested and constricted waters. But more so, because then it is simply fun to go sailing.

Perhaps a better way to think about it: a sailboat should be so fun to sail, and so effective at sailing, that you just don't need or want to use the engine in most situations.
Nice post! My feelings exactly. When I went tooking for a new boat, those were my parameters. With no one else to please or account for, I knew exactly what I wanted. I don't feel I compromised in any way. Not saying my new/old Cal is the best sailing boat in the world but it's good enough. This is, I count, my 4th Cal. They are relatively cheap and they sail very well with everything ya need and nothing ya don't. Like a boat payment.
...

Years ago down Galveston way, a guy named Paul sailed into a boatyard I was working at. His boat was named Otter. No engine. Interesting youngish guy. He hauled out, fixed some stuff, and painted the bottom. He hung out awhile. When last seen, Paul Otter, as we called him, was sculling off one windless early Texas morning. No party, no fanfare ... just left. That's been my model of a cruiser for a very long time.
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Old 01-03-2014, 20:03   #162
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

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Andrew, since you and I share a distrust of electrics in a salt atmosphere, what about having the starters on the diesels hydraulic? They could be normally plumbed to the large accumulators, but have a couple of valves to a small accumulator with a hand pump, in case of leaks in the large system. I think that might be a better system than the coronary crank that the old Volvos and Yanmars used as a backup? Just rattling off some ideas. _____Grant.
Two minds with but one train of thought, Grant.

Given that 'proper' diesel engines (pre 'smart' electronic controls, eg up to about the GM era, in the Yanmar case) will, with minimal extra marinisation, continue running when drownded, and given that a high capacity centrifugal pump (with clearance) can be permanently coupled and automatically perform de-drownding service whenever the engine is running, whether or not it is needed, reliance on electric starting does not fill me with enthusiasm.

So one of my first investigations before finalising my circuit will be to hook up the David Brown pumps and see how they perform as motors. If this doesn't cause them to bind up or otherwise present some unexpected difficulties, it would be a matter of swapping over some quick-connects to use the direct-coupled hydraulic pumps for emergency starting.

I expect to have a portable handpump in case the keel needs to be retracted with a system failure in the main hydraulics, but at first blush I do like your idea of a small accumulator: it would not be difficult to contrive this to be (separately) portable and hooked up with quick connects, for starting duties, and even for keel problems it could be handy to be able to concentrate on peering (oops, almost typed "peeing" !) down the keel well to diagnose problems.

The 1GM can in any case be handstarted, even by active geriatrics (if provided with a raised layshaft - but I do love your "coronary crank" crack!)

Nonetheless I'd prefer to be able to e-start the 2GM directly, without a 'pony engine'

I don't exactly plan on flooding the engine room, though, so I don't see any need to relinquish the convenience of electric start in normal ops.

These are small engines, with decompressors (and I plan to fit lube oil warmers), hence shouldn't need dedicated starting batteries given the hand and hydraulic start options.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:06   #163
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Engine-free voyaging

A friend suggested I take a look at this topic. Really glad folks are discussing some of the important aspects of learning to keep on sailing, even if the engine fails, especially using anchors, kedging. Larry and I choose to go engine-free on both Seraffyn and Taleisin because both boats were wonderful light-air sailors, and with their large rudders, easy to maneuver in tight spaces. But as some have noted, we did use a sculling oar to get in and out of marinas, had three very long warps ready to go, extra anchor gear, including a stern anchor mounted aft on it's own roller and ready to run out in an instance., plus we avoided schedules like the plague and had loads of good books to read when winds died away.

As I read these posts I did note some folks claiming we took tows into some ports - interestingly, when Herb Mccormick was interviewing us for the bio he just wrote, he stayed with us for three weeks and we actually listed the tows we were forced to take due to having no internal power plant. We were not allowed to sail through the Panama Canal or Suez Canal (We could have sailed through each of these if it had been allowed as the wind was mostly fair). Harbour master in Victoria, BC threatened to arrest us if we sailed in a second time - so to attend the wooden boat festival there we had to comply. When my seven month pregnant sister (a non--sailor) was with me on board Seraffyn and Larry was off in the orient cutting timber to build our next boat, Taleisin, I decided accepting assistance to get through Active Pass during spring tides (currents to 7 knots and whirlpools)would be prudent. Sorry I did, as the person who provided the tow in exchange for a generous gift, wrote a story about it, starting the rumor you hear repeated here. (Larry and I later sailed through Active and Porlier Passes and other narrower ones on Seraffyn. Many years later when we sailed Taleisin north from Chile and decided to cruise Desolation Sound and spend two summers around the fiords of British Columbia, we bought a 2.5 outboard motor which we attached to our dinghy, then used the dinghy secured aft so it's propeller was behind the rudder. Moved us at almost 3 knots in smooth water.)

For his book, As Long as It's Fun, Herb went on to interview several dozen folks who have sailed with us, known us, and others who thought we were slightly crazy. His book is well researched, and does reveal some warts that make us squirm just a bit, but it definitely shows the sheer pleasure sailing engine free provided us.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:26   #164
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Lin

Kudos to you. Thanks for your interesting post.

I always thought that particular rumour (even if, in an alternative universe, it had turned out to have a basis in fact) revealed much more about those who relished and retailed it than it did about you and Larry

... but it's even better to hear the backstory. And it gains credibility (not that it needs to) by the 'warts and all' nature of Herb's book.

Clearly you did not seek to tip him towards hagiography.

I can never understand why people who adopt alternative A should react so defensively when someone else is praised for adopting alternative B. That came up just yesterday, on another topic, in another thread.

I guess that particular human failing is one of (unfortunately) many which make it easy to get people lined up and obeying orders, though !
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:40   #165
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Re: Engine-less Cruising

Andrew, several years ago, I asked a friend who did a lot of hydraulic work about a hydraulic starter/pump and he said that the pumps werent designed to be used as motors. Of course there may be specialized ones that he (and I) were not aware of, but my idea was to just use a hydraulic motor with a conventional bendix in place of the electric starter motor. I know it works with air start(from working on large power boats) and I dont think it would be hard to do with hydraulics. Of course cost might be a factor, but less dependency on electrons is always a plus. ______Grant.
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