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post #41 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnnero
When none other than Nigel Calder recently had his diesel electric Malo 45 built, the availability of power distribution systems along with diesel electric propulsion systems were the two deciding factors for him to experiment with it. I'm hoping we'll hear his conclusions on all of that this spring. We'll see.
I was reading the 2005 edition of Nigel Calder's book last night and he has a section of diesel/electric and electric drives but doesn't mention that his Malo is equipped with one - which is odd given that his Malo is used extensively in photographs etc. Do you know what system he went with?
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post #42 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMacDonald
I was reading the 2005 edition of Nigel Calder's book last night and he has a section of diesel/electric and electric drives but doesn't mention that his Malo is equipped with one - which is odd given that his Malo is used extensively in photographs etc. Do you know what system he went with?
The electric motor is from Solomon Technologies I believe. He did a write-up in Sail this year with a few photos. I don't remember anything about the genset manufacturer or power distribution system. I'll find that issue and post the reference.

He had just completed a 3 year project getting the same boat built with conventional systems, but he said since the technologies just recently matured he felt duty bound to sell it and get another built with the electrics. The first one was about a $600K boat.

-- neal
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post #43 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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Regardless of the efficiency/inefficiency of the diesel/electric, there is one quick anecdote that was relayed to me from the Annapolis Boat Show. I recently ordered the new Leopard 46, which was supposedly competing for multihull boat of the year honors with the Lagoon 420. Unfortunately, on test sail day after the show, the Lagoon would not start and did not leave the harbor. Wonder how they rated that one at SAIL mag. Not sure if it had to do with the diesel electric, but I'm sure my Volvos kicked over just fine. I think battery size will eventually make this the wave of the future (think cell phones in the 80's), but I think boating is at least 10 years behind the auto industry and we'll have to deal with lots of trial and error before this becomes mainstream technology.
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post #44 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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STI warranties the motor for only 2 years, and some other system parts for only one year.

Gotta wonder, for a recreational boater who might only put 100 hours on it in two years...even 200 hours...Does STI have any faith in their own product? A warranty comparable to major car makers, i.e. "Five years or 5000 hours" (with a built-in hour meter to verify that) would show they had a little more faith in their products.

I might buy a toaster with a two year warranty, but a propulsion system? A newfangled propulsion system?
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post #45 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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What's the warranty on a new Yanmar diesel or Honda four-stroke outboard? Two years may sound like a short warranty, but two years is an awful long time in a very harsh environment, like a salt-water sailboat.

Personally, I'd go with a tried and true method of propulsion, at least until these guys have gotten the bugs worked out.

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post #46 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
STI warranties the motor for only 2 years, and some other system parts for only one year.

Gotta wonder, for a recreational boater who might only put 100 hours on it in two years...even 200 hours...Does STI have any faith in their own product? A warranty comparable to major car makers, i.e. "Five years or 5000 hours" (with a built-in hour meter to verify that) would show they had a little more faith in their products.

I might buy a toaster with a two year warranty, but a propulsion system? A newfangled propulsion system?
Yes, that's pathetic. I remember a couple of years ago they wanted over $30K to convert a 30-something-footer to their system. They want a large fortune compared to the conventional system and provide a relatively short warranty ?

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post #47 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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"What's the warranty on a new Yanmar diesel or Honda four-stroke outboard? "
You mean, the warranty on proven technology versus something new and unproven? Both Yanmar and Honda have earned their reputations, STI is still something new and risky in comparison.
"At Honda, we believe our warranty is the best in the industry. Independent experts agree. Honda’s three-year, limited factory non-declining warranty was selected "best overall warranty" by both Bass and Walleye and Trailer Boat magazines"
Yanmar pleasure boat marine diesels, " 24 months or 2000 hours"

And one should note, there's a much greater potential for owner abuse in a combustion engine. Fuels, coolants, all sorts of complexities that in theory, the "simple" STI electric wheel just can't suffer from. No lube system, no cooling system, no fuel filters...It has what, only 10% as many parts?
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post #48 of 61 Old 10-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
...

And one should note, there's a much greater potential for owner abuse in a combustion engine. Fuels, coolants, all sorts of complexities that in theory, the "simple" STI electric wheel just can't suffer from. No lube system, no cooling system, no fuel filters...It has what, only 10% as many parts?
Hellosailor, practically speaking the STI system requires a genset for cruising so once again there's an internal combustion engine and the generator portion of it to take care of.

-- neal
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post #49 of 61 Old 10-25-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captnnero
He had just completed a 3 year project getting the same boat built with conventional systems, but he said since the technologies just recently matured he felt duty bound to sell it and get another built with the electrics. The first one was about a $600K boat.
That makes sense - I was over at the Malo yard a few months ago and saw Nigel Calder's first Malo (a 45, called Nada I think) and was told that it was up for sale already.

The potential advantages of the diesel/electric drive (e.g. ability to distribute the drivetrain over the whole boat, no need for a second engine to power the gen-set etc.) are quite compelling, but the addition of more compenents between the source of power and the prop does mean there's a lot more to go wrong. That said, the sailing world (especially in larger boats) has got used to new drive train technologies such as turbochargers, and arguably they are just something else to go wrong too.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMacDonald
That makes sense - I was over at the Malo yard a few months ago and saw Nigel Calder's first Malo (a 45, called Nada I think) and was told that it was up for sale already.
And now it's sold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VMacDonald
The potential advantages of the diesel/electric drive (e.g. ability to distribute the drivetrain over the whole boat, no need for a second engine to power the gen-set etc.) are quite compelling, but the addition of more compenents between the source of power and the prop does mean there's a lot more to go wrong. That said, the sailing world (especially in larger boats) has got used to new drive train technologies such as turbochargers, and arguably they are just something else to go wrong too.
Just as with the hybrid cars it's a much more complex system. Also the needs of the transiting sailor may be quite different than the local cruiser. For ocean transits regenerative charging may be very desirable; for the local marina based cruiser that capability is irrelevant with plug-in chargiing back in the slip. In either case they still need the genset for more than brief propulsion.

-- neal
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For my headstone:

If I'd only listened to those guys about that wing keel...
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