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post #7 of Old 01-27-2013
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Re: Towed Generator that We Really Need

Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
The problem with this type of combined system is that it would entail pretty significant compromises as either an outboard or a towed generator, or both. And frankly both systems independently are only moderately successful. Towed generators create a lot of drag and reduce speed significantly on cruising boats already, ough they do provide a lot of power when working. And electric outboards... Well the best I have heard an owner say about one was "meh" they work but aren't stellar performers.

I am afraid you would wind up with a system that is the same price as the two combined, but didn't perform half as well as the other options.
I think the issue of drag with a towed generator is often overstated, it certainly hasn't been significant for me, and I sail a boat only 25 feet on the waterline... On a larger boat of 40' or so, loaded for cruising, I would expect it would be barely noticeable in the bigger picture...

It's certainly an intriguing idea, but the main problem as I see it, is that the potential market for such a system is likely to be pitifully small... Two of the most notable trends I'm seeing these days, are the proliferation of portable Honda generators, and ever-larger SUV dinghies powered by 15-25 HP engines... I don't think I've EVER seen a Torqueedo in a place like the Bahamas, for example - they simply won't satisfy the demand that many of today's cruisers have to go far, and fast, in their tenders...

The only way for such a hybrid system to make sense, is when used in conjunction with a minimalist approach to energy consumption on board... Unfortunately, the modern trends are quite the opposite, with today's boats being fitted out with a wide array of power-hungry gear - bow thrusters, electric winches, full-time use of laptops for navigation, and so on...

And, bottom line, many people also spend a considerable amount of their time underway, under power, anyway... A LOT of people simply don't routinely use their boats in a way that really justifies such a system, seems to me...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-27-2013 at 09:14 AM.
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