Future of Sailing? - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 61 Old 10-25-2006
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Don't forget, electric drives/motors have been used to propel vessels for almost 100 years... Diesel/electric submarines. This is not 'new technology', it is old technology that is being put into a new medium. As far as using diesel generators to charge banks versus using a 'normal' engine to drive the boat and as a side, charge batteries, I think that it could be a really great idea.
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post #52 of 61 Old 10-25-2006
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Didn't see the other posts before I wrote this. Magnificent discussion. I think that as all things, as technology advances, we will see more and more diverse methods of systems in use. The trick is getting the idea into practical form AND affordable to the general public.
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post #53 of 61 Old 10-26-2006 Thread Starter
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All,

I still believe, as I said when I started thisthread, that this is the future. It has draw backs, and always will, but I think as sailors we should embrace the idea. I am not suggesting that we all go out and pay 500k for a new Lagoon, but I think support from the worlds most conservative bunch of people would do a lot to help this technology move forward. It is good on the environment, efficient, somewhat renewable, and can open up a lot of avenues for future generations that we do not have now.

As for me, I hope there is a day in the near future where a direct drive diesel for propulsion is the centerpiece in a museum... though I do not doubt that it may be many years in the future.

- CD
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post #54 of 61 Old 10-26-2006
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Way of the future isn't that new.

While having electric motors with diesel generators is new for sailboats I guess, it's been around. All those train engines are electric with diesel generators. And Submarines were diesel/electric but of course are now Nuclear/electric (as well as the cruisers and carriers). The subs still have backup diesel generators just in case of a meltdown
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post #55 of 61 Old 10-26-2006
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... in case of a meltdown there will be nobody alive in the sub to operate the diesel engines! Before any new propulsion systems/fuels are commercially used on sailboats, these will apply first to other means of transport. It is quite possible that the very same current conventional systems will still be in use after 50 years, but the size or/and materials or/and efficiency will be significantly different. Big differences are often observed over time, without noticing any immediate and apparent breakthrough.

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post #56 of 61 Old 10-26-2006 Thread Starter
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You know, one other thought is that several people have shown concerns about it breaking down. Well, isn't that the beauty of a sailboat? If you have done much cruising, there is NOOOO way you have not had an engine shut down for one reason or another (my last one was water in the diesel). I might curse for a moment or two, then throw out the sails and sail in. Now, if you were on a motor vessel, you might curse for more than a moment or two (haha), but on a sailboat, we can still get around. So, even if worst case scnario you lose your drive, you can still sail, right? Again, that was another reason why it seems to make so much sense on a sailboat. Agree?
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post #57 of 61 Old 10-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woopei
While having electric motors with diesel generators is new for sailboats I guess, it's been around. All those train engines are electric with diesel generators. And Submarines were diesel/electric but of course are now Nuclear/electric (as well as the cruisers and carriers). The subs still have backup diesel generators just in case of a meltdown
Jees, how many times now has someone posted to this thread that diesel electric is not new ?

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post #58 of 61 Old 10-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
You know, one other thought is that several people have shown concerns about it breaking down. Well, isn't that the beauty of a sailboat? If you have done much cruising, there is NOOOO way you have not had an engine shut down for one reason or another (my last one was water in the diesel). I might curse for a moment or two, then throw out the sails and sail in. Now, if you were on a motor vessel, you might curse for more than a moment or two (haha), but on a sailboat, we can still get around. So, even if worst case scnario you lose your drive, you can still sail, right? Again, that was another reason why it seems to make so much sense on a sailboat. Agree?
CD, I think your logic threads together but it's a bit obtuse. For me the reason to do something like diesel electric that costs more and is more complex is that it in some way it does more for you, not less such as when you say it breaks down more. Think positive man !

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post #59 of 61 Old 09-22-2009
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Regen Electric Drive is Perfect for Sailboats.

The people bitching about how it won't work are looking at the wrong side of the coin.

Sure, how long you can run an electric motor (without a generator) depends on the size of your battery. And how long you can run a diesel depends on the size of your fuel tank. It's only an issue because diesel stores energy more compactly then batteries.

I look at a sailboat as being propelled primarily by wind. Yes, it's nice to have backup propulsion to get off the dock, or out of a tight spot. Now if you want to motor for days without wind (or too much wind) then you don't want a *sail*boat!

I would look at electric drive as backup propulsion. The beauty of it is that it *never* needs fuel. The same machinery can recharge the battery bank while you're sailing for free. If you're already going at hull speed any extra speed/energy is wasted anyway. It can even recharge (slowly) at anchor from currents or tidal flow. Your house power for stoves, computers, heaters and air conditioning is also free!

In best case, you don't need *any* diesel generator; the system charges itself. In worst case, in a calm, you are stuck; when you have wind you can sail; motor when you have power; sail if you run out of power and recharge; and motor some more; all with no fuel! In heavy weather, you can do the same, or anchor, or use a sea-anchor, charging all the while. On long trips it might prove superior to a diesel because you would never run out of fuel!

Now, I might like to have a small generator as a backup - backup. But probably nothing like the size of a propulsion diesel. It would charge the batteries slowly, or propel the boat slowly if need be.

Aside from the genset, the system can be much simpler, much hardier and much more versatile then a diesel engine. If the batteries end up stored in the keel and used for ballast, that would make it even greater.

I guess this is what separates the motorsailors from the rest of us; the ones who want that genie in the bottle always on call below decks instead of keeping a weathereye out, and your wits about you, and prepared to do a bit
of heavy sailing in a pinch, or relax and wait out a calm. Isn't that what sailing is about?

Jaimes Beam

Jim Baranski, Franklin ME
17' Siren; looking for a bigger old boat!
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post #60 of 61 Old 09-22-2009
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Picking a fight in a three year old thread. Gotta love Sailnet.
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