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Scout 30 25-09-2015 05:47

Re: $20k boat VS $60k boat
Something I didn't think about when changing from sailboats to a trawler is the constant noise of the diesel. It didn't seem like a big deal then but in retrospect I think that was because off most of the time. That's probably the biggest reason I long for electric propulsion. Of course having to run a generator would defeat that but I think with the right system I could avoid that a lot of the time.

a64pilot 25-09-2015 06:55

Re: $20k boat VS $60k boat
A automobile Hybrid system won't work well in a boat, in my opinion, but a Diesel / Electric system could, again in my opinion.
I don't know truthfully the definitions, but there are multiple types of Hybrids.

Again in my opinion a Diesel / electric system makes more sense if it's included in the design, like for example, there is no reason to put the Diesel generator where the main engine was in a Hybrid, you could put it anywhere in the boat, and electric would make something like Azipods more possible, quite likely for a performance sail boat to have the drive pod completely retractable so nothing is in the water when sailing.
I think that was done in the 1800's with the first steam boats? Nothing new.
But once you free up the designer by allowing them to put the propulsion engine anywhere they want, it might change things?

Jman 25-09-2015 07:42

Re: $20k boat VS $60k boat
So there are two different ideas, one is hybrid, the other is diesel electric.

Hybrid cars are created to enhance fuel economy. As mentioned, they can regenerate a great deal of energy, converting the kinetic energy back to electricity to be used again. Their tires are firmly connected to the ground allowing for little loss. This recovered energy is turned into heat in a normal car. A boat is moving through water, which is more than dense enough to slow it down without brakes. A boats propellor is very inefficient at doing this, although when sails are added to the picture, it can be done indefinitely. Hybrid cars are relatively expensive because of the bits and pieces needed, the pay back is saved fuel expense. The return on investment for a boat would likely be measured in decades or centuries. Hybrid cars are mass produced, a boat solution is custom.

The other is diesel electric. You are now essentially buying two engines, and a large battery bank. This will perhaps double or more the cost of just the Diesel engine (there could be advantages in that you want a huge generator for some reason anyway). In order to allow for powering indefinitely (or at least until you run out of fuel) you need to generate electricity at a rate greater than or equal to the usage. So if you need 12kw electric motor, you will need a 12kw generator, not counting losses (meaning the 12kw generator is not enough). The idea that you can move about with no noise or smell is now discarded.

The third as also mentioned is the pure electric (Tesla not Prius). This has the limited range issues that are discussed. If you are not passage making but using your boat in and out of a marina for day trips - then this may be for you. Some extension may be gained by use of to electric generating devices, such as spinning the prop while sailing (which will slow you down). Or solar/windmill generation. These devices (at least today) are hard to ramp up to the 48 or 72 volts that you need for the drive engine.

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jreiter190 25-09-2015 07:58

Re: $20k boat VS $60k boat
Thanks Jman, I'm now becoming enlightened. Guess it's a problem that will get solved in the future. Maybe with fuel cells or atomic energy. This has been a pretty interesting thread. I've learned a lot from it.

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