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Old 27-07-2020, 17:10   #61
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
I resemble that remark. i'm sure OP forgot the AC requirement. A heat spell will remind him I'm sure. 100 to 125 Ah per day is not minimal in my book. That should be enough to handle a frig, freezer, electronics at anchor, lights, charging phones and computers, communications, and any other necessary toys. Still going to need the Honda for the AC.
If AC is desired, there is no workaround for the power density in fossil fuels in a generator. Full stop. It's the only reason my boat has a generator.

I'm actually surprised discussions like these don't spend a bit more time on power requirements underway vs at anchor. MFDs , A/Ps, running lights, BFF, SSB, AIS, etc can easily triple at-anchor power consumption. Wonder how well a Honda does at 15+ degrees heel for hours on end. Seriously, if 125ah isn't enough for at-anchor, and cruisers are actually sailing vs motoring, and a Honda is better than solar, how are y'all keeping your batteries charged?

Peter
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Old 27-07-2020, 17:41   #62
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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If AC is desired, there is no workaround for the power density in fossil fuels in a generator. Full stop. It's the only reason my boat has a generator.

I'm actually surprised discussions like these don't spend a bit more time on power requirements underway vs at anchor. MFDs , A/Ps, running lights, BFF, SSB, AIS, etc can easily triple at-anchor power consumption. Wonder how well a Honda does at 15+ degrees heel for hours on end. Seriously, if 125ah isn't enough for at-anchor, and cruisers are actually sailing vs motoring, and a Honda is better than solar, how are y'all keeping your batteries charged?

Peter
I see you have a Willard trawler. No wonder you don't see a need for the Honda. Most sailors spend most of their time at anchor or the dock. Those at anchor use solar mostly. Underway power shortages are made up with the engine alternator or a generator (Honda) and charger. Yep, an autopilot and radar use significant power and a lot of sailboats solar can't keep up. Some use wind vanes that don't take power but they aren't in vogue at the moment. Hand steering is an option that most despise but sometimes you gota do what you gota do.
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Old 27-07-2020, 18:01   #63
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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I see you have a Willard trawler. No wonder you don't see a need for the Honda. Most sailors spend most of their time at anchor or the dock. Those at anchor use solar mostly. Underway power shortages are made up with the engine alternator or a generator (Honda) and charger. Yep, an autopilot and radar use significant power and a lot of sailboats solar can't keep up. Some use wind vanes that don't take power but they aren't in vogue at the moment. Hand steering is an option that most despise but sometimes you gota do what you gota do.
It's not that I don't see a need for a Honda, I just don't understand why all paths lead to one.

My 1970 Willard 36 is small for her size, and was the last W36 built - the production run started in 1961, and the original design can off the drafting table of Wm Garden in the mid 1950's. As moderator of Willard Boat Owners for the last 20+ years, I am privy to reams of archives, including a mimeographed collection of newsletters dating from the mid-1960's, perhaps the very first "Forum" group. In 1963, Hull #4 went from Portland Oregon to the Galapagos Islands. Around 1970, the guy who had my boat built took some friends fishing from Newport Beach CA to Baja - a few years before there was a paved road, and long before VHF communications were available (even if you owned one, unlikely a distress call would be answered). In 1987, a W36 went from California to Hawaii, 2400 nms doing 6-kts and burning 330 gallons of diesel.

I have gone 20+ years without a generator and a standard 75A alternator on my Perkins 4.236. Relocating to Florida means Air Con to my thinking, so am having a Generator installed - a NL6kw. It's expensive, but if I want my partner of 23-years to join, it's a small price to pay. She didn't ask nor did she give an ultimatum - I just know it will make her more comfortable.

I give the above examples for only one reason: you have to look at how the owner and the boat will interact and in what climate. The OP was clear - he had modest needs at anchor. If A/C is needed, you either go to a marina or get a generator.

In a small way, I apologize just a wee bit if I came across caustic. I just don't think the OP's situation was addressed, and the thread was drifted in a way that many folks just seem to go - gotta have a Honda.

I see Larry Pardey just passed. He had been ailing for a long time. What a great example of a cruiser who harmonized with the sea, the destinations, and gave back to the cruising community. Despite being a trawler guy, the Pardey's were hugely influential to me and my cruising style. Sometimes I get the feeling that sailors think they have somehow cracked the code on cruising, and then they extol the virtues of stuff like Honda generators bungee-corded to their aft deck. I just don't get it.

Peter
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Old 27-07-2020, 18:12   #64
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

Peter, I don't think you sounded caustic. I don't have a Honda and have gone out of my way not to have a generator. I won't even put more than two golf cart batteries in my boat. If it won't run on that I don't want it. Standard 40A alternator on Kubota D1105 engine and 320 W solar.
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Old 27-07-2020, 19:30   #65
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

Im order to support want the OP stated his requirements were, to run a 2000W inverter and run an electric water heater and an electric pot of some kind, that’s going to take supplemental power of some form if they only have 300W of Solar.

No one has to have a Honda, no one actually has to have electricity for that matter, boats were sailed around the world for Centuries without it.

However most of us do want electricity and the luxuries that come with it. If you need supplemental power and most either need it or they do without when weather doesn’t support Solar, but if you choose to supplement your Solar, from a financial and ease of use and reliability and ease of maintenance, and no modifications to the boat required, and no windage and little weight and loss of storage et all standpoint, it’s tough to beat a good suitcase generator.

You don’t need refrigeration, and it’s been years ago but someone posted once that refrigeration was the slippery slope or the tipping point, once you decide you want it, your going to have to have an expensive, complex boat in order to support it.
I thought about that for awhile and I have to agree, it’s refrigeration that’s trips the need for. solar, big alternators, external regulation and large battery banks. Take it out and you could most likely get by with a stock alternator and a couple of batteries.

So, once you have gone down that slippery slope, it now becomes a question of how far down it your going and what’s worth doing without in order to stay within an energy budget, and what tricks are you willing to do to stay in budget.

I’m this case, I feel sure if they dropped the 2Kw inverter and heating water and the electric cooking pot and heated water and cooked on a propane stove and dropped the laptops and replaced it with a tablet charged from 12VDC, then they likely wouldn’t have any requirement for supplemental power and the rare times they did, the stock alternator would suffice.
It all a matter of what changes your willing to make and or what your willing to do without.

There is no right or wrong answer
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Old 27-07-2020, 21:42   #66
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

one of my pet hates is having a sundowner on a nice evening and your neighbour starts his noisy petrol generator, often left on deck whilst they retire below to escaape the noise. Installed diesel generators maybe expensive however they are generally alot quieter and much more neighbour friendly.

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Old 27-07-2020, 21:51   #67
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
The OPs use case clearly stated minimal needs. 100ah, maybe 125ah per day. Easily provided by 300w solar array (1500wh/day on average, or 125ah of replenishment). There is no immediate need for LFP batteries.

There are many who simply don't do the math, don't read the question, and just jump to a sentence with a noun, a verb, and Honda Generator and impose the need for A/C which was not on the OPs list.
300W of panels will give you 100Ahr average provided provided MPPT co trailers are used. Mediocre days 60Ahr or so.

More panels would provide a cushion. With care and limited demands, lead acid would be just fine.

If the idea is to go off the beaten path FLAs are preferred since replacements are much easier to come by.
If theyíre going to stay in US, Caribbean or Europe, it matters a lot less.
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Old 28-07-2020, 00:32   #68
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

Looking at my history on my Victron 100/30 MPPT solar charge controller... in the last 30 days, one day I made 1.07 kWh (90 Ah) in one day with 3, 75w, 12v, 10+ years old, solar panels and the peak power for that day was 137w. I am in SoCal...
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Old 28-07-2020, 00:34   #69
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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Old 28-07-2020, 00:57   #70
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

This is why Lithium batteries catch fire:ttps://www.thoughtco.com/why-lithium-batteries-catch-fire-606814
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Old 28-07-2020, 01:01   #71
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_battery
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Old 28-07-2020, 01:40   #72
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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Im order to support want the OP stated his requirements were, to run a 2000W inverter and run an electric water heater and an electric pot of some kind, thatís going to take supplemental power of some form if they only have 300W of Solar.

No one has to have a Honda, no one actually has to have electricity for that matter, boats were sailed around the world for Centuries without it.

However most of us do want electricity and the luxuries that come with it. If you need supplemental power and most either need it or they do without when weather doesnít support Solar, but if you choose to supplement your Solar, from a financial and ease of use and reliability and ease of maintenance, and no modifications to the boat required, and no windage and little weight and loss of storage et all standpoint, itís tough to beat a good suitcase generator.

You donít need refrigeration, and itís been years ago but someone posted once that refrigeration was the slippery slope or the tipping point, once you decide you want it, your going to have to have an expensive, complex boat in order to support it.
I thought about that for awhile and I have to agree, itís refrigeration thatís trips the need for. solar, big alternators, external regulation and large battery banks. Take it out and you could most likely get by with a stock alternator and a couple of batteries.

So, once you have gone down that slippery slope, it now becomes a question of how far down it your going and whatís worth doing without in order to stay within an energy budget, and what tricks are you willing to do to stay in budget.

Iím this case, I feel sure if they dropped the 2Kw inverter and heating water and the electric cooking pot and heated water and cooked on a propane stove and dropped the laptops and replaced it with a tablet charged from 12VDC, then they likely wouldnít have any requirement for supplemental power and the rare times they did, the stock alternator would suffice.
It all a matter of what changes your willing to make and or what your willing to do without.

There is no right or wrong answer
I use an electric tea kettle every morning - it runs less than 3 minutes to heat water for two cups of coffee (Aeropress - if you haven't tried it for coffee, makes great coffee). If you do the math, well under 5ah at 12vdc. Similar with running a microwave for 5 mins. These can easily be run off an inverter and a modest battery bank.

Last summer, I built a small solar bank for a friend who is constructing an off-grid house in Wyoming. Two 6v GC batteries, two 270w panels, and PSW 2000w. Off this he runs all power tools (mostly saws, including an ancient worm drive Skilsaw that draws close to 20a) all day long. Plus we make coffee using a nespresso each morning, usually 8-10 cups. So a small worksite with at least two men working plus helpers are all powered off a relatively small solar system roughly similar to what the OP can install.

But yes, my first response was that running an electric water heater off an inverter is not practical. Install an engine heating circuit and be stingy with hot water. Or get a generator or repair the old one when parts are eventually found. Until you add A/C as a requirement, there are alternatives to a generator (or large alternator) but may take being mindful of energy consumption, something that comes naturally to most sailors anyway

There may be no right answers, but there are sequences that make more sense than others. The OP has room for 300w of solar. With MPPTs and wiring (inverter is needed regardless which option), that's probably in the range of $500 to add and its something few would regret even if it needs augmentation in the future. LFP batteries can be added later.

Unless A/C is desired, a generator is not needed as long as there is some room for a couple solar panels. Large exotic battery banks are nice, but there's a lot of fine living to be done off an average FLA battery bank if you're just a bit careful with consumption. Then upgrade opportunistically.

I still don't understand how y'all are managing power underway when power consumption at least doubles. Seems there is so much hand wringing over at-anchor. Either you don't sail very far (Bahamas?) or you run a generator a bunch. More or less the usage profile of many powerboats.

To the op: I hope you update this thread down the road with whatever you decide. Always fun to see these old threads pop up with an update.

Peter
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Old 28-07-2020, 02:25   #73
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

How does your power double underway?
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Old 28-07-2020, 02:29   #74
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

How does your power consumption double under way I should have said...
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Old 28-07-2020, 02:39   #75
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Re: New Generator or Lithium?

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How does your power consumption double under way I should have said...
Electronics, autopilot, and running lights. MFD, sailing instruments, VHF, tablets, etc. They really add up, especially if you have redundant displays.
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