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Old 16-03-2020, 01:59   #76
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Thanks Mike for the info. I had no idea solar engines would be so costly. For some reason I envisioned a very inexpensive system. I didn't even think of the additional batteries and panels that would be needed.


I figured that I could take the old engine out and sell it to recover some costs from the boat and then put in a electric one. LOL


Thanks for reality check.!

It doesn't seem as tho there is a much of a way to make systems more sustainable.

Nuemeyer speaks about using alcohol that is made while out.. do you think there is much viability in that?
If we are going to rationally discuss fleeing pestilence and doomsday prepping it makes absolutely no sense to talk about switching to electric drive with panels and batteries which need a massive industrial infrastructure to support. Nor does it make sense to discuss diesel or gas engines which also require a vast modern industrial infrastructure and oil industry.

The only rational and practicable technology for the bonafide doomsday prepper is steam propulsion. Low tech from a manufacturing viewpoint, well within the capability of a reborn hippy movement, and a sharp axe is all that is required to access the 100% renewable fuel.

Repent ye electron and hydrocarbon sinners, repent and go steam.

If you are interested in self reliant living see if you can dig up a copy of the Whole Earth Catalogue, lot of good alternative lifestyle stuff in there.
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Old 16-03-2020, 03:05   #77
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

Has anyone found an on-line version of the 1970s book, "Other Homes and Garbage"?
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Old 16-03-2020, 03:12   #78
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Any instructions on drying beef/chicken? How long can you expect it to keep? Do you rehydrate it and get the same meat you had before?

I've done some canning, but never drying.


Here’s how my neighbours dry cats or maybe monitor lizards or possibly monkey, we don’t know for sure and they only speak Myanmarese. The sign language would indicate quadruped mammal but python is also a contender. 35°C in the sun for a few days and then it goes into a sack and is hung up and gradually cooked with rice and eatenClick image for larger version

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Old 16-03-2020, 03:29   #79
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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There is a youtube channel "Sailing Uma" using a solar powered engine on their boat and living "off grid". I would definitely have a preference for the solar powered engine than combustion. They give a bit of info about how they changed it out.. wish there was more detail. I had my pen and paper out for notes but didnt get much.
Paul, I did a back of a fag packet costing recently to see if the numbers would work for a smaller mono yacht, 31ft and 5 tonnes, based on Dan and Kiki's sort of set up but with new parts. They now have 14.4kw of battleborn LFP, but started with AGM batteries driving an ex fork lift electric motor. I chose 8 - 10kw electric 48v motor which seemed about right will give 60 miles at 5 knots or perhaps 85 miles at 3-4 knots. This would just see me across the channel to France in flat calm water. If it was rough, there must be wind so you could sail. However, the problem is then how to charge up the huge bank. With 300w of solar we have a max of 20A from solar on a good day, or 40A via a shore power charger. Solar could take a week and even shore power a long day if you continue to use power on board.

In terms of cost the project will likely cost £20k which compares to £7k for a new Beta 30, shaft and new prop. The Beta gives a range of 300 miles or 60 hours at 5 knots, say 400 miles at 4 knots and provides hot water plus electrical power. So currently its not really an option unless you have cash to burn, or sponsorship and enjoy science projects.

We did meet an electric powered Dutch yacht two years ago, but I didn't realise until he came to leave. He untied the lines without starting an engine, causing me to run for the boat hook expecting it to go pear shaped. Instead he turned a switch and silently motored out of the harbour. The old wooden boat was about 26ft and had a couple of 100w solar panels on the life lines. Retired, he sailed when the wind was favourable, using the electric motor to just enter and leave harbour. Made me think of the £200 pound millionaire story.

The steam engine idea could be fun. Hot water and heat during a UK winter would be most welcome, we already use a wood burner in the house. It needed be direct drive, instead running a genny and using batteries as a store could be useful.

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Old 16-03-2020, 07:06   #80
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

I truly wish electric engines systems were more viable for us frugal cruisers. I really did look at it long and hard for a few months. It just doesn't make sense -- yet. It's not so much the engines; they're great, and even affordable. It's the associated power storage and generation which is the real challenge.

I figure it will require battery storage to become 10 to 100x more efficient, and solar charging to do the same, before it is a serious possibility for us frugal cruisers. But even then, the cost will likely remain out of reach for a long time for most of us.

Of course, we could all become much better sailors. Some people use sculling types of oars (yuloh). Again, I've looked at this for my boat, but while I've seen them in action in smaller craft, I've never seen one for my mass of boat: 30,000 pounds.

As far as making alcohol to run the engine, well, it comes down to volume. I've not looked seriously at this, but I just can't see how you'd be able to ferment and then distill enough to have it make any sense on a smallish sailboat. If I were doing that, it would be more consumption, not the engine's .
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Old 16-03-2020, 07:34   #81
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Has anyone found an on-line version of the 1970s book, "Other Homes and Garbage"?
New one for me Gord. Thanks .

You sent me searching. You probably know this since, you da master, of all this net-slinging, but I found a PDF version of the 2nd edition: More Other Homes and Garbage: Designs for Self-sufficient Living

https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/1006

(and it is available for free).
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Old 16-03-2020, 08:26   #82
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

I just trashed a rather long and in depth post on distillation and fermentation, processes, yields, proof, feed stocks, etc........... as this is not really the place for it.



Suffice it to say that people make it sound simple...... it is NOT. I've built a number of stills over the last 45+ years, the latest for a friend is a reflux column still with electronic controls. It will achieve about 90%...... In reality you cannot go much above that, though people will claim otherwise. A large percentage of your yield will be well below that figure, and will need to be rerun with the next batch... a bit more coming off each time. I run all the way down to about 15%, saving the lower proof stuff for the next run.... you gain each time. Methanol of course is viable as a fuel........not for drinking. Column temp and flame color of the product reveals it easily. I find with the recent still, the only product ready to be good fuel is what comes off at about 80C


This is not a process I would want to do onboard a boat...... It takes a lot of feedstock. One gallon of 12% wash takes the equivalent of 2 pounds of sugar.... that would be less than a pint of 100% alcohol if you could recover all of it. Lets say perhaps 12 ounces of fuel per gallon (probably optimistic).... roughly 20 lbs of sugar per gallon of ethanol fuel............This is just a rough estimate, but it gives an idea of the logistics of the problem. The energy density of alcohol is far less than that of gasoline. Other feedstocks are far less efficient in terms of weight.



It really is "pie in the sky"....... to think about producing ethanol fuel aboard a sailboat!


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Old 16-03-2020, 08:34   #83
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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I truly wish electric engines systems were more viable for us frugal cruisers. I really did look at it long and hard for a few months. It just doesn't make sense -- yet. It's not so much the engines; they're great, and even affordable. It's the associated power storage and generation which is the real challenge.

I figure it will require battery storage to become 10 to 100x more efficient, and solar charging to do the same, before it is a serious possibility for us frugal cruisers. But even then, the cost will likely remain out of reach for a long time for most of us.

Of course, we could all become much better sailors. Some people use sculling types of oars (yuloh). Again, I've looked at this for my boat, but while I've seen them in action in smaller craft, I've never seen one for my mass of boat: 30,000 pounds.

As far as making alcohol to run the engine, well, it comes down to volume. I've not looked seriously at this, but I just can't see how you'd be able to ferment and then distill enough to have it make any sense on a smallish sailboat. If I were doing that, it would be more consumption, not the engine's .



Lithium batteries seem to be approaching viability for this.... but are extremely expensive. Range of course is suitable for in harbor, not open ocean motoring. New battery technology is needed, but energy density will increase incrementally, not dramatically.



The best solar panels theoretically are capable of 20 watts per square foot under optimal conditions... or about 40 square feet per horsepower. A 10 HP electric motor would require 400 square feet of solar panel in direct sun to power it directly... That would be 20' by 20'. Perhaps a light weight catamaran barge towed behind filled with solar panels and batteries ;-)


The wind is free ... though sails are not ;-(



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Old 16-03-2020, 08:47   #84
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

I've never distilled (except in chemistry classes), but agree with Owly. It's just not feasible for a boat. On land, sure, but not on a boat.

Which raises one clear fact; if you're truly focused on independent living, then it's easier to do it on land than on a boat. Having a chunk of land somewhere off in the hinterlands, where you can actually grow enough food, hunt enough fish and game, and harvest enough wood and other fibers, is probably a much smarter way to go.

Paul, you asked about kerosene lamps on the boat. I used them on my previous boat, but this was before the joys of LED lighting. Used to be that lights sucked a huge amp draw. I lived in paranoia around using our lights, so the kero lamps were great at night.



Then I converted to all-LED, and now can turn on every light in the boat with no worries. So I sold the kero lamps with the previous boat. I still appreciate the warm lighting from a lamp, but LEDs are just way too easy and efficient. And with our solar, it is a renewable energy source, unlike kerosene.
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Old 16-03-2020, 08:53   #85
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

Plastics are very high energy density materials...... There are of course many kinds of plastic, but this is almost universally true. With the oceans full of microplastics it seems that this should be considered a potential resource. You can trawl for fish.......... but also for plastics. I mentioned the Mid Pacific Gyre (garbage patch) previously. This might be a real resource.


Plastics and be broken down through pyrolysis (a process you can read about in numerous articles on line), and the vapors mostly condensed. What cannot be condensed at normal temps, could be burned directly as a gas as a feedstock for the process. The condensed liquids could be used as fuels. This is something people have done already......... In fact many years ago my best friend (deceased 11 years ago now) built an ultra simple rig just to test this with tire rubber. We briefly ran a Ford 360 CID V8 on the floor of his shop, "hand feeding" it vapor from this.... Just to see if we could. The rig only amounted to a steel cylinder with a tight fitting lid to keep the vapor from escaping. (machined to a taper on the lathe.... like a taper seal pressure cooker). A copper line carried the vapor to the engine and a hand operated valve fed it to the engine. He ran a propane weed burner on the cylinder....... I fed the engine, controlling the throttle manually to keep the mixture in range. We only ran it a few minutes, but we did condense rubber vapor into a clear flammable liquid just to see if we could using a very crude condenser. We did this on a bet originally...... I won't say who won the bet ;-).......doesn't matter. We did the same thing with plastics later. Another friend of mine drove around his small town using wood gas produced similarly from chips from the local mill. He had carbon problems, and bubbled it through lime water to clean it up, then stored it in an old water heater in the trunk of his old Toyota (back in the early '80's).......... very short range naturally. Wood gas was a common (vapor) fuel during WWII in the UK..........
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Old 16-03-2020, 08:56   #86
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Lithium batteries seem to be approaching viability for this.... but are extremely expensive. Range of course is suitable for in harbor, not open ocean motoring. New battery technology is needed, but energy density will increase incrementally, not dramatically.

The best solar panels theoretically are capable of 20 watts per square foot under optimal conditions... or about 40 square feet per horsepower. A 10 HP electric motor would require 400 square feet of solar panel in direct sun to power it directly... That would be 20' by 20'. Perhaps a light weight catamaran barge towed behind filled with solar panels and batteries ;-)
Yup, and now there's the new carbon foam type batteries like Firefly. They look interesting, but crazy expensive, and it's still linear improvement. We haven't yet seen those exponential increases which I think we need. We may get there eventually, but I speculate that what we really need is a whole new approach to energy creation (conversion) and storage

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The wind is free ... though sails are not ;-(
There's the rub. Nothing comes for free. The piper must be paid, one way or another.
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Old 16-03-2020, 09:58   #87
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

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Yup, and now there's the new carbon foam type batteries like Firefly. They look interesting, but crazy expensive, and it's still linear improvement. We haven't yet seen those exponential increases which I think we need. We may get there eventually, but I speculate that what we really need is a whole new approach to energy creation (conversion) and storage



There's the rub. Nothing comes for free. The piper must be paid, one way or another.

That is one of the big arguments for the junk rig. On the Bermuda rig, only the luff and the foot carry load, so it takes tremendously strong sailcloth. On a junk rig, each batten.. the boom, and the yard is connected to the mast, and transfer the load to it, and the multipart sheet...... so the loads are a tiny fraction, plus you build the camber into the panels, so you aren't pulling the sail drum tight to shape it. That means that you can build your sail from much lighter cheaper material, (most folks build their own) and of course the lack of standing rigging greatly reduces costs and maintenance.................... But I've said all that before.


Engine power is not a necessity...... it's a convenience that is relatively new in the world of sailing..........


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Old 16-03-2020, 12:15   #88
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

The junk rig does indeed have many attributes. I was all hot-to-trot on it after reading Annie. But in the end sail the boats we have. There's no feasible way for me to re-rig my cutter to make it a junk.

But I agree with all you say about their benefits. If I was building a boat, or re-sparring one, I'd look at making it a junk.
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Old 16-03-2020, 12:42   #89
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

.......... I just put 5 parcels of chicken thighs precooked sous vide at 135F for different time periods from hrs up to 24 hrs in my dehydrator.. I chunked it, cutting cross grain. I did observe that while all were "stringy" as chicken is the strings got progressively more tender..... It will be interesting to see what the different batches turned out like....They go in hours sous vide 4, 9, 15, 20, and 24..... just the way it worked out with my night wakings ;-)......... I'm expecting mid range to be the best when reconstituted I'll post again. Weather has me more or less housebound........... It was -10F this AM when I got up!! and I have a foot of snow. A balmy 18F now, I'm going out this afternoon to work in the shop on my canoe-trimaran project........... I'm peeling the decks off a pair of Hobie 14 hulls, and may do more to lighten them for amas. They are amazingly heavy stock, and the crappy urethane foam core is separated from the two skins in a lot of places. I regret buying them..........but I got them cheap. The rudders and linkage were easily worth what I paid for the lot.



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Old 16-03-2020, 13:28   #90
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Re: Fleeing Pestilence.... flight of fancy... or rather voyage of fancy

"But realistically most of us are not going to try to exist independently at sea"

Indeed... probably most are of this category. I have found this thread most interesting because it is providing exactly that...how to exist independently at sea.

I think dependency is one of the worst things about society, If everyone tended to their own needs in a sustainable way we wouldn't have half the problems we do today.

Nothing irks me more than when people make their problems mine.. or make my problems theirs. Preppers are nothing like folks seeking self sustainability and leaving a small footprint.Preppers are waiting for the end so they can be the last one standing in a broken system. They are part and parcel of the problem and do not seek an overhaul of their routine and gluttonous lifestyle.

Sailing and living a frugal and sustainable life is for me the apex....of course it is easier to do on land but I have no desire to be tethered to a handful of acres surrounded by "those people" LOL..

Ill take off grid living on a sail boat following the weather eating sprouts and fish over 20 acres in the woods freezing my arse eating moose hotdogs...which I would not suggest ever eating.. probably the worst game product I have ever had.

Anyway, I really appreciate all the info everyone has provided here regardless if that is to temporarily escape a calamity or to be truly independent. I have found soo many great ideas and have been inspired to research many of these topics further.

Thanks for sharing!
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