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Old 21-03-2021, 12:24   #4621
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Interesting discussion, I think the proposition is a similar one with the smaller Dragonfly trimarans.. payload about 1500lbs/750kg which as you said isn't much at all. I wonder however if the following setup could work:
- electric outboard with hydro regen (epropulsion navy 6.0 for example) which is much lighter compared to a gas outboard
- Some 600W+ semi-flexible solar panels with charge controllers which add minimal weight
- A relatively small 48v LifePo4 combined propulsion/house battery
- Low consumption 12v appliances including water maker

In my initial estimates that should allow a relatively generous payload budget for food/water/personal items. It of course only works with a boat that sails very well and can regenerate a significant portion of electricity consumption through regen.

What do you guys think?
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Old 21-03-2021, 12:26   #4622
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Owlie, my experience, on the solid wing Searunner 40, is delightful. However, spray has been a challenge when the wind is up. I'm installing a dodger and bimini, as well as a new rig, in the next couple months, so I'll be able to give a better report by this summer.

Thanks..... the divided accommodations look like a big plus with the exception of the fact that the aft companionway is unprotected from spray. I can't see any good way to avoid that.
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Old 21-03-2021, 15:34   #4623
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Jon, if you can wait a bit, I will have a ton of pictures. The problem is that I have been doing so many simultaneous projects on the boat that a lot has been removed for storage and overhaul. For example, changing out the deck gear, meant I had to remove the headliner and insulation, to get at the bolts and nuts holding the old winches and sail tracks, but that meant pulling out the cabinetwork. Then with all that gear and stuff filling a storage locker, now I had to repaint the interior first, which forced me to pull the steering gear and cables, which meant pulling the pedestal for refinishing, and since I was then going to have to repaint the cockpit, I had to remove all the cockpit electrical. But then, of course, since I was getting ready to replace the mast, rigging and sails (today is, in fact, the 43rd anniversary of my launch, so EVERYTHING is older and needing overhaul), I had to work out sequences that must be followed. It has been a challenge. Fortunately, I tolerate a lot of chaos and have patience. The bottom line is that stuff is coming to conclusion, all at, seemingly, the same time. Even aircraft carriers have overhaul schedules. Unfortunately, I have a crew of one, and a much smaller operating budget. Still, it's coming together. I'm planning on going sailing again this summer, so you'll have to wait a couple months as this comes together. It is exciting, though. New gear, new paint, and a solid hull. I'm already playing with making a "walk-through" video to show the finished results. And part of that includes some drone footage to make the big picture more meaningful.
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Old 21-03-2021, 15:40   #4624
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Owly, your question about the aft cabin hatch is timely. It has been mildly annoying to not have spray protection, but the new dodger, bimini, and enclosure panels should go a long way to resolving the issues. We'll know soon enough. It hasn't been *that* bad, though, in forty-plus years.
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Old 21-03-2021, 16:51   #4625
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Owly, your question about the aft cabin hatch is timely. It has been mildly annoying to not have spray protection, but the new dodger, bimini, and enclosure panels should go a long way to resolving the issues. We'll know soon enough. It hasn't been *that* bad, though, in forty-plus years.



I don't have any experience with the Searunners.... They interest me, but I haven't sailed on one or even been aboard one.



Keep us posted please. The 37 is the smallest Searunner with a decent payload for live aboard voyaging, which interests me, and that's a lot of boat for my needs. At least the 37 and 40 have a buffer space between the aft companionway and the galley. It strikes me as a not very useful space at sea... at least on the leeward side. I would probably put a curtain there.... with the top cut away for ventilation so it acted like a dorade and some sort of grate so spray and such found it's way directly to the bilge to keep the rest of the sterncastle dry. Perhaps I'm imagining more of a problem than there really is. I don't see any reason to be wet just because you are at sea.



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Old 21-03-2021, 19:33   #4626
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Does anybody know of a Searunner 31 sailed around the world?
thanks
jon

Not around the world, but across the Pacific.


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Old 22-03-2021, 10:47   #4627
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by Simon.Sails View Post
Interesting discussion, I think the proposition is a similar one with the smaller Dragonfly trimarans.. payload about 1500lbs/750kg which as you said isn't much at all. I wonder however if the following setup could work:
- electric outboard with hydro regen (epropulsion navy 6.0 for example) which is much lighter compared to a gas outboard
- Some 600W+ semi-flexible solar panels with charge controllers which add minimal weight
- A relatively small 48v LifePo4 combined propulsion/house battery
- Low consumption 12v appliances including water maker

In my initial estimates that should allow a relatively generous payload budget for food/water/personal items. It of course only works with a boat that sails very well and can regenerate a significant portion of electricity consumption through regen.

What do you guys think?

Remember that the things you mention ARE payload. Reducing their weight, you are regaining some of that 1500 lb payload


The electric drive is an excellent solution, as are the lithiums. You will save engine weight, but your battery weight may actually increase if you want to have significant range....BUT, you can also eliminate fuel, and use electric in the galley to eliminate the weight of a bottle of propane. Induction is extremely efficient. A single inexpensive induction hotplate could be a big improvement over gas or alcohol. Use a so called "thermal" cooker where you heat stuff up and put it in a fancy thermos to cook, or even a mini instant pot. There are some really net direct solar cookers. Cook when you have power or sun. I used to have a really tiny light weight microwave..... Obviously you want minimal stuff / minimal weight. Your lithium bank makes running a watermaker a great weight saving option........ keep it small... use it often. They work best when you run them daily.... I don't know if anybody makes one on a really small scale.....I'd build my own anyway, and have some spares aboard.... they aren't heavy items.

A POD Drive would be the drive I would choose...... They are regenerative, and available in 3,6, and 9 HP. They are designed to mount to the bottom of a boat, but could be mounted to a beam that came up under the wing when you don't want it in the water
The beauty of electric is that you can turn sun into miles, and surplus wind energy into stored electricity that you can later use for miles... or use to make water, cook, or refrigerate. It's a win win situation. Refrigeration is weight, and probably needs the proverbial axe, but ice is the most efficient "battery" known to man. It stores energy and releases it, and never wears out. Energy storage per pound unfortunately is only about the same as a lead acid battery, but you can run it down 100% rather than just using the top 20%, and that is a good value IF you want to refrigerate things. On an SR 31, refrigeration will probably get the axe if you are doing long crossings.



Again, the thing you need to look at is total weight.... You have 7000 total pounds or which the boat itself is supposedly 5500. If you own the boat already, have it taken out on a travel lift and weighed "empty" That will be your baseline. It most likely will weigh in over 6000, so you need to start ripping things out that are of questionable value...Weigh everything you remove, and everything you add.

Once you have a baseline weight, you can load it to 7000 lbs with sandbags or whatever, and find your loaded waterline...maybe a tape measurement in calm water. A boat in the water IS a scale if it is calibrated. I don't know if Jim lists pounds per additional inch of submersion... it would be interesting to know. Most multihulls are over loaded most of the time I suspect.



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Old 22-03-2021, 10:55   #4628
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by owly View Post
Remember that the things you mention ARE payload. Reducing their weight, you are regaining some of that 1500 lb payload


The electric drive is an excellent solution, as are the lithiums. You will save engine weight, but your battery weight may actually increase if you want to have significant range....BUT, you can also eliminate fuel, and use electric in the galley to eliminate the weight of a bottle of propane. Induction is extremely efficient. A single inexpensive induction hotplate could be a big improvement over gas or alcohol. Use a so called "thermal" cooker where you heat stuff up and put it in a fancy thermos to cook, or even a mini instant pot. There are some really net direct solar cookers. Cook when you have power or sun. I used to have a really tiny light weight microwave..... Obviously you want minimal stuff / minimal weight. Your lithium bank makes running a watermaker a great weight saving option........ keep it small... use it often. They work best when you run them daily.... I don't know if anybody makes one on a really small scale.....I'd build my own anyway, and have some spares aboard.... they aren't heavy items.

A POD Drive would be the drive I would choose...... They are regenerative, and available in 3,6, and 9 HP. They are designed to mount to the bottom of a boat, but could be mounted to a beam that came up under the wing when you don't want it in the water
The beauty of electric is that you can turn sun into miles, and surplus wind energy into stored electricity that you can later use for miles... or use to make water, cook, or refrigerate. It's a win win situation. Refrigeration is weight, and probably needs the proverbial axe, but ice is the most efficient "battery" known to man. It stores energy and releases it, and never wears out. Energy storage per pound unfortunately is only about the same as a lead acid battery, but you can run it down 100% rather than just using the top 20%, and that is a good value IF you want to refrigerate things. On an SR 31, refrigeration will probably get the axe if you are doing long crossings.



Again, the thing you need to look at is total weight.... You have 7000 total pounds or which the boat itself is supposedly 5500. If you own the boat already, have it taken out on a travel lift and weighed "empty" That will be your baseline. It most likely will weigh in over 6000, so you need to start ripping things out that are of questionable value...Weigh everything you remove, and everything you add.

Once you have a baseline weight, you can load it to 7000 lbs with sandbags or whatever, and find your loaded waterline...maybe a tape measurement in calm water. A boat in the water IS a scale if it is calibrated. I don't know if Jim lists pounds per additional inch of submersion... it would be interesting to know. Most multihulls are over loaded most of the time I suspect.

H.W.
Some excellent points, thanks for that. I fully agree with your comments regarding weight, efficient appliances and careful management of it all.

The goal really is to keep it light, and also not go overboard with a heavy lifepo4 battery. A boat that can sail in most conditions doesn't need too much range on the engine. A 10hp gas outboard gets it to move to 6-7 knots in flat seas according to its current owner, so even at low wattage the electric outboard should be able to move at a comfortable 4-5 knots in my estimates.

I prefer the outboard over the pods as I can retract it and beach at a very low 0.6m draft.

I'm pretty set on a Dragonfly 920, but have 2-3 options right now. Will report back when I know more and can provide more details of the project.
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Old 22-03-2021, 12:05   #4629
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Some excellent points, thanks for that. I fully agree with your comments regarding weight, efficient appliances and careful management of it all.

The goal really is to keep it light, and also not go overboard with a heavy lifepo4 battery. A boat that can sail in most conditions doesn't need too much range on the engine. A 10hp gas outboard gets it to move to 6-7 knots in flat seas according to its current owner, so even at low wattage the electric outboard should be able to move at a comfortable 4-5 knots in my estimates.

I prefer the outboard over the pods as I can retract it and beach at a very low 0.6m draft.

I'm pretty set on a Dragonfly 920, but have 2-3 options right now. Will report back when I know more and can provide more details of the project.

The numbers I was talking about were for the Searunner 31.... I have no idea what the Dragonfly numbers are, but everything still applies.


My preference for the pod is that it is a single discrete component, simple and compact. The electric outboards for the most part have their motor on top, a drive shaft and right angle gears, a cast housing, controls, etc on top. A big bulky unit that must be mounted on an outboard bracket and has a pre-determined length. The advantages of an outboard include being self contained and so easily moved, controls and all to another boat, and steerable. They are usually mounted on the transom, which is not an ideal location as the prop will come out of the water as the boat pitches. A more ideal location of course is under the hull, but that means drag when sailing. I would build a simple hinged beam that would allow it to drop down alongside the hull. That beam could be mounted anywhere appropriate and be as long as desired, and the unit could be easily lifted up out of the water, on it's beam which would swing aft, probably bringing it up so the prop pointed at the sky just aft of the aft beam or bridge deck using a simple rope system. The resulting unit would be lighter and more compact than an outboard and easier to deal with... it could of course be made steerable if that was considered important. In addition, eliminating the right angle drive of the outboard significantly increases efficiency. It also means less maintenance, no oil to maintain and change,no gears to go out, no bearings to fail except the two in the motor itself. It simply looks more reliable and simple.......... and probably lighter, and those are all good things.
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Old 22-03-2021, 18:07   #4630
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Coaming status: I've trimmed the spray foam with a razor knife and Japanese saw, then sanded a fair curve with 40 grit FessTool sanding pad (best boat tool in the world!), Then, I mixed up a couple batches of epoxy and 107 filler, peanut butter consistency, and squeegeed it into shape. Then it was late in the day and a couple of cold IPAs called to me. I should be able to complete the filling tomorrow, then it's time for sanding and glassing. I'm trying to finish all of the not fun tasks, before doing the priming all at once. Finish paint is then the last major prep project before installing the toys. This has been a long road to overhaul, and it's very satisfying to see the chaos and clutter begin to diminish (at least in my imagination).

The middle picture is a detail of the ventilator dorade inside vent I mentioned yesterday, with a portion of the forward coaming foam and conduit base.

The reddish 107 filler will be sanded in a fair curve, then filled and sanded with all the fillets, then primed.Click image for larger version

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Old 23-03-2021, 04:35   #4631
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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I'm already playing with making a "walk-through" video to show the finished results. And part of that includes some drone footage to make the big picture more meaningful.
That would be exciting. i have watched numerous walk-thru videos of boats and i see two common mistakes. Some focus so much on details (like the interior of lockers) that you are lost in the clutter, and others brush thru so quickly that you can't really see whats there. A drone shot of Wilderness sailing is a great way to begin and end a video. i will be excited to see your end result.
Thanks for all your help
jon
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Old 23-03-2021, 09:15   #4632
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thank you, Jon. It will be awhile before I actually do something viewable on video. The actual boat project needs to have some closure - too many unfinished components. And today is cool, cloudy and drizzly. Damn! I'm greedy to get the boat primed and painted. The mast might be here in a couple weeks, and will need a few weeks to assemble. And it will be smoother if I can get the outside of the boat in order. So, time to drink coffee and organize stuff.
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Old 30-03-2021, 18:01   #4633
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Update on coamings: sanding for shine is a drag, but the consequence is dramatic, so I do it for the effect. Building a boat from scratch is a commitment, kind of like the one of being institutionalized for madness. It doesn't change how the boat performs (unless it's the underwater parts), but it sure affects how folks view your efforts. Jim Brown, the designer (and co conspirator with John Marples) made an effort to warn those who built his brilliant designs to not get carried away with excessive cosmetic detailing. The warning was wasted on me. From the moment I began building the strong back (the ladder-like horizontal support structure the boat's individual frames attach to) I was smitten. I couldn't help myself from sanding, epoxy sealing, sanding some more to make things pretty and accurate. As the hulls grew into completed objects, I doted on how they would look when concealed by decking and darkness. I painted the most obscure portions of the float hulls, underwing storage spaces, the bilges, the backs of lockers, all the places no one but I would probably ever see. Just because I wanted a boat that would be around for a long time. Longer than I would. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I am reminded of this now, as I overhaul the boat after 43 years of sailing, cruising, living aboard, so that I can go on some more adventures before I croak.

This is merely my weak excuse for rationalizing the seemingly ridiculous energy I have been expending towards prepping to paint, for probably my last time, my boat. I am doing this because I love this boat, the Searunner 40. It is unlike any other craft I have ever sailed on. And, that after all these years, it still strikes me with it's beauty and performance. So, this is why I am sanding and filling and sanding some more to make the outside of the boat shine like a jewel. It's a madness, self inflicted, and secretly rewarding. And this last expression, the addition of coamings for dodger, bimini and enclosure, is perhaps excessive and exhausting, but it is worth it, at least to me.

So, Jim and John, I salute you and thank you for this experience. I'll be sailing WILDERNESS again soon, and reminding myself why I did all of this work, this dreaming, and even, the interminable sanding to make it shine. I'm very excited. But now, back to sanding, filling, sanding and painting as I go into the home stretch. [emoji16]
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Old 15-04-2021, 19:22   #4634
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Was in Oceanside, CA this weekend and saw a huge Tri in the marina in the harbor just south of the marine base. Reminded me of this thread. Anyway, i couldn't get close enough to make out what kind it was or how big...but I could see that its mast towered over all the others so it must have been a good sized tri. I also saw a green tiki 38 in the same harbor....thought that was rare to see them both there.
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Old 15-04-2021, 20:25   #4635
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Status report: I'm just about finished glassing, sanding and priming the newly built coamings around the center cockpit. My yacht club is celebrating its 96th anniversary in one month, so I'm trying to get the outside shiny. Still waiting for the new mast to arrive, then all efforts will be directed at assembling all the mast parts and rigging. Still a lot of subtasks awaiting completion, but the fantasy is to have the boat sailing in August, though still a lot of stuff to go before making any passages. I'll send pictures once the chaos is controlled and things look better. Maybe two weeks [emoji39]
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