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post #33 of Old 04-17-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
What do you consider a minimalist? I hear that term thrown out a lot, generally by Americans (which I dont think you are) who think a minimalist is someone without a TV or microwave. I have never met a true minimalist as a cruiser, but have met a two or three in my previous life as a backpacker.
I do have a tv, I need to keep an eye on the news to make my living.

I am a minimalist in that I make it a point to come up with simple solutions throughout my life (professional and private). I also find things that are not decorated and whatnot, but I do like wood, if the purpose makes it a good choice.

Here is a minimalist to me:

They carried everything they own in a backpack.
I can carry everything I need in a backpack, and often do (although, more like a carry-on, that a backpack these days).

They caught rainwater or drank out of the stream.
That is not minimalism to me. That is primitivism.

They fished for food, generally supplemented by what they could find on the trail. No radio. No electronics.
Same as above.

Little to no money.
So, basically, the life of a beggar.

They cook on a campfire and start the fire with flint and steel (a long lost art... though we had to do it many times too).
I often take on small camping trips in my open water rowing boat. But since I'm not a beggar, and I care about leaving nothing but footprints, I don't have campfires anywhere.

The only modern part of them was their backpacks, tents, and hiking boots... all well worn. They disappeared in the wilderness for weeks at a time. Nice enough people, but not for me. That is a minimalist to me.
See the points about primitivism and the life of a beggar.

If you are putting batteries in your boat, I personally would not consider you a minimalist. And the batteries you put in are very new technology, again not what I would see a minimalist ever doing.
You have a very distorted picture of "minimalism". For something simple, go look up "minimalism" on wikipedia, do a google search for "minimalism", and while you're at it, do a google search for "scandinavian minimalism" and do a google image search for both.

The label is not important to me, and if you want to call yourself a minimalist or anyone else does, they are welcome to. Makes me no difference. Just my opinion.
See above. I don't bring "everything and the kitchen sink" as you seem to do, according to your list. I make it a point not to.

I find that comment pretty typical of someone who has not spent a lot of time cruising. It is one of those things that sounds good in theory, but in reality and practicality does not work.
Ah, yeah, and we're back to you thinking it can't possibly be done any other way than the way you do things. You seem to have failed to notice where I said that by simplifying you will need less spares and tools, and that many tools can be found in compact and lightweight versions.

The tools are what the tools are.
No, they're not. Any tool can be had in various versions. It pays to look around.

Again: every tool has been used on this boat.
And there's the rub: I don't carry any and all tools I ever used on my boat. It's simply not necessary. I sail in a boat that sails well, and I have no intention of doing anything other than engine work of the very basic kind while underway.

The weight saved by using the Motorcycle type wrenches may be lost the first time you break one.
Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know your engine was one big heap of rust where you had to bang on the spanners to make it work. The motorcycle spanners I have are plenty strong for my needs. I have never broken a single one.

Not to mention, we are splitting hairs on the small amount of weight saved with the few tools that can be purchased lightweight. I prefer solid, well made tools that will take a beating.
It was an example of attitude. When you buy everything to "take a beating" and bring spares for that, you end up with a heap of weight and space taken.
If, on the other hand, you consider each detail, you will end up with far fewer things needed, and by extension, carried. And those that you do carry are well considered and chosen to save weight and space.

If you are land-side, and your wrench breaks, no big deal. Go to the store and buy another.
I'm sorry, but my wrenches has never broken.

If you are at sea or a secluded anchorage and it breaks, you are screwed... just as screwed as if you didn't bring one in the first place.
See above.

Modern sailboats, especially American made boats, are filled with a variety of different sizes and bolts and screws. A sailboat by its very nature is 80% made up of things bought from vendors. You will have to carry a full set of metric and american. You will have to have a variety of bits. You will have to carry both metric and american alan wrenches. A drill. A jig saw. Hole saws. Hack saw. A large variety of plumbing and electrical supplies. Can you get away without it? Certainly... until the first time something breaks.
See my above points of simplifying that you continue to ignore.

Better hope its not a critical system if you don't have the tool for it.
Apart from the mast, keel, rudder, and, yes, my fridge, there is nothing on board I consider "critical".

Nothing pisses me off worse than hearing some cruiser complaining about a broken waterpump - not knowing where it is, not having a spare, and not having the tools to fix it.
You seem to imply I'm arguing that no spares or tools should be carried. Nice strawman.

Those people are best left back at the yacht club where fixes are a phone call away. As an old Boy Scout, I say, "Be Prepared."
That is all fine and well. I'm saying: You're not preparing for the end of the world. Keep it simple.

Another common misconception I see, generally from those that have not spent a lot of time cruising or away from the marinas. There are several modern items that have really changed sailing. The microwave is one of them.
You must be joking? Maybe in your world. But I don't see a need for one at home (the one I had at one time never got used), so why should I use it when I'm out there? You are reaching at straws when you make the claim that because I think a microwave is ridiculous, then therefore I must only be cruising from marina to marina. How ridiculous is that!?

My microwave pulls 80 amps/h. Sounds like a lot, but it is not. Why? Because it only is run for minutes at a time. That comes out to 1.33 amps/minute. In three minutes, I can cook two cans of canned peas. In two minutes, I can heat up an entire can of soup. In one minute, I can cook fish fillets, which come out surprisingly awesome in the microwave - both juicy and tender. Those same items take considerably longer on the stove, and the fish for example, cooked in the oven, will use a LOT of gas and really heat up the cabin.
Yes, I said, I don't eat microwave food, nor do I have any intention to do so.

Microwaves can be run from an inverter - they do not require a generator. Their power use is minimal.
I know they can be run from an inverter. See the point about simplifying.

[quote]They are quite light. Their size is small and they make a great place to put things in when at sea because the door can be easily closed and has a positive lock. And most of all, and maybe most importantly, they are readily available everywhere and are very cheap to obtain. Walmart sells them for $35. [quote]


Reread my previous post about carrying everything, just because you can. It's all about attitude.
Your stove can easily run over a grand. Your stove uses propane or alcohol.
Actually it's a diesel - this: Wallas 85DP | veneliesi - Wallas

But, anyway, are you saying that you don't have a stove? Or that a microwave can replace a stove? If not, why are you comparing the purchase price of my stove to the price of your microwave?

Now, as a cruiser, let me tell you what IS a real PITA to get: Propane. This often involves a long trek to some far off propane dealer to get it filled or exchanged... if available at all (not too many propane dealers in secluded anchorages).
Not that I use gas, but I'm pretty sure you can plan your way out of that particular problem.

You can get diesel and gas on the water (to make electricity). No prob. A decent solar system will easily keep up for any loss of electricity the miserly microwave uses. But propane is a RIGHT PITA to get and we covet it, as do all cruisers I know.
I use a diesel cooker.

Is this on your "canoe" boat?
No, I knew you had a chip on your shoulder. It's evident from your ridiculous assumptions and insinuations. If you recall, that boat was to be my next boat. Apparently, reading continues to be difficult to some.

Is this something you would do or you have done? Not sure where you would put a generator on that boat anyways.
You really have a problem.

However, the theory behind not having an engine and the reality I think are two different things. WHen a storm is bearing down on you, it sure is nice to have an engine as a calm often proceeds the storm. When going down the ICW with the Sportfish running you over and cutting you off, it sure is nice to have a engine. When trying to make against the current into a tight channel with breakers and shoals around you, it sure is nice to have an engine. When coming into a crowded marina where currents and winds are not favorable, it sure is nice to have an engine. I can think of a thousand reasons to have an engine, but cannot think of a single reason not to have one.
Wow, you didn't finish reading the very sentence you're responding to. I specifically mentions an electric engine, to be powered by batteries that are charged mostly by a generator. Hello? Could you please finish reading the sentence before flying off making assumptions?

An engine can make electricity, but I certainly do not see that as its key purpose. I believe an engine makes up not only a valuable asset on a cruising boat, but it also is a critical piece of safety gear.
Propulsion is important. I did not say I wanted to go without (mechanical) propulsion: I was saying if went the generator route, I would forego the diesel engine driving the propeller and opt for an electric engine at that end, so I only had a single diesel to carry spare parts for, and so that it could do it's work at an RPM that was the best for it. FFS.

You better research those electric drives pretty good, especially if you are worried about weight. I thought I heard even Lagoon dumped them? This is hearsay, but I was told a couple with a 420 was spending a LOT of money to have their electric drives ripped out or considering it. They were at one of our previous marinas. They HATE them.
Oh, so you DID notice I mentioned electric engines, but you chose to ignore it to make the strawman that I was somehow saying that I didn't want an engine. Way to go, CD

I'm talking about a single drive installation. One of the reasons lagoon dropped them was complexity, and with two drives it quickly becomes difficult. However, electric engines

When cruising, I believe that tried and true and dependable is more important that new and fashionable.
LOL, sorry, LiFePO4 are dependable.

Let the guys that don't leave the marinas horse around with the new technology.
. Yes, LiFePo4 batteries are so new, it hasn't been tested on motorcycles, cars, and circumnavigating racers - you know, where there's a lot of money invested in the ability to drive the huge amount fo electronics constantly.

My life, and that of my family's, depends on my boat and its proper functioning. That is the mindset of a cruiser.
That's the mindset of some cruisers. Cruisers like you who wants to carry everything and anything, and who doesn't consider the options in detail. I have "tested" (i.e. used) LiFePo4 batteries in my boat for four years, and there are no problems, no downsides. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that lead acid is more dangerous, that if you use too much of the capacity of the lead acids (or agms) your entire battery bank is shot for good. You're acting as LiFePo4 batteries are some brand new tech, never before seen anywhere and it's a hit'n'miss affair to be using them. It's not.

I'm sorry, but unlike you, I have actual experience with LiFePo4 batteries, and I'm not afraid of new tech such as dyneema, or, gasp!, carbon fibre.

Lead acid batteries are tried, true, and inexpensive.
And heavy, and you can only use half of the capacity if you want them to last for a while, making them twice as heavy for any given useable Ah.

More importantly, they are readily available anywhere. It baffles me why anyone would put a battery in their cruising boat that is not only incredibly expensive, but its availability in most areas is zilch. I paid $135 for my last 4d wet cell. When it goes out, I can probably replace it at any decent port, and if near a major port in the US, probably for the same $135. I plan for failure and how to work around it. Inability to replace systems, or rare and complicated systems without a working knowledge of them, is like playing with fire to me (as a cruiser).
I don't cruise according to what I can get hold of in the most secluded bay in the most far flung third world country. I can't get a new engine there either. I have redundancy with my battery bank, and the charger can charge both agms and LiFePo4. You may plan to fail, I plain to make it even if something fails.
If I do go the electric route for a drive, then the drive is not something that is prone to failure, the battery bank would be the same setup as I have now, only bigger, and what is now a diesel engine would be a (smaller) diesel generator running at optimum RPMs, making it last longer than if it was used directly for propulsion.

Last edited by One; 04-17-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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