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post #1 of 13 Old 11-25-2006 Thread Starter
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Water generators????

I found exactly what I was looking for with my last question so here is another for y'all... New boat has a drop down shaft water generator of unknown maker. I don't even know yet if it works. I don't see many around and I was wondering why? I can accept a little speed loss but is there any other reason?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-25-2006
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They tend to get fouled and not work very well long term. When they are working...they can generate a lot of amps!
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-26-2006
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Also, they're generally only found on bluewater boats, not on daysailors or coastal cruisers. By bluewater boats, I mean boats that are setup to make long offshore passages.

Water generators aren't all that useful on coastal passages due to the proximity of lobster and crab pot buoys.

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post #4 of 13 Old 11-26-2006 Thread Starter
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It is a blue water boat and we are in Hawaii so pot buoys are not a problem. I guess I need to see if it's working then. Thanks.
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-26-2006
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a shaft driven generator usually is not a problem with pots, towed gens are
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-26-2006 Thread Starter
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I guess this would be a towed gen. It looks like an electric outboard.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-27-2006
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wildcard...if the thing looks like an electric outboard, it is a shaft driven gen, a towed gen looks like a prop on a thick cable.

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post #8 of 13 Old 11-28-2006
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Does anybody have any practical experience with towed generators? I've been looking at the literature and, while expensive, they do seem to supply a lot more power than relying on the sun.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-28-2006
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Yeah, but water gens only make power if you are moving. Solar and wind (in theory) work all the time. Unless you are an ocean racer, you spend 99% of your time on the hook and 1% going. At least that is my experience. Buy something that will work well in both cases if you are determined to just buy one.

PS Solar charging is coming along, but still expensive. THere was a comment on another post that I almost responded to about solar charging was only going to keep you batts topped off, and that is not true at all. It depends on the array, the size, and the charger. A large array set up in series (not parallel) with a good MPPT charger (like Outback MX60) is a very valuable source for power. However, it ain't cheap and as far as bang for the buck, a wind gen is probably the best... or both if you have the checkbook for it. Good array: (assuming you already have the arch built to take the weight of the panels) about $4,000. A good wind gen: about $1,000.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-28-2006
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CD is right...you spend far more time anchored or moored than you do actually sailing in most cases. There are a few dual-purpose units that convert from water to wind and back...DuoGen is one of them. Whether it is the right choice for you is a different story.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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