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  #11  
Old 11-13-2009
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Why so many user names?

Jasper
Jasper Windvane
Jasper101

If you don't like the boat for whatever reason it is not meant to be. Look for a boat with a better engine or just accept the one you are interested in with the known problem. Logic says that the boat should be de-valued for the cost of the engine; so let the seller decide if he wants to fix the engine and sell it for closer to market value or sell it at a lower price.

The big problem with the A4 in my opinion is that most installations were raw water cooled. The engines corrode and end up with cooling system problems and block issues if not winterized; etc. There are Kubota diesel blocks that are direct fit replacements for the A4; so if you really want the boat you should look at what engine will fit without major modifications to the engine bed.

If you hate the engine that much you could put an outboard on the stern; and turn the A4 into your mooring block!!

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 11-13-2009 at 01:30 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2009
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Hybrids are not solutions for the water. A hybrid in car works because most of the time you are not using all the power during driving. In water you are transferring all the power to the prop which means all power produced is used. If you consider the losses of energy transfer from a diesel to a generator to a battery pack to the electric motor, it will be obvious using the diesel directly is more economical.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2009
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Its a POV thing i like Sea Fever and am starting at close to ZERO and if i cant fix the freshwater cooled A4 i will drop 6k for the Beta twin



In fact we like the interior much better than many NEW boats and if we sink 15k into it and use it 5 years i can assure this will be far cheaper than making payments on a 40k boat which is gonna need a motor at some point
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celenoglu View Post
Hybrids are not solutions for the water. A hybrid in car works because most of the time you are not using all the power during driving. In water you are transferring all the power to the prop which means all power produced is used. If you consider the losses of energy transfer from a diesel to a generator to a battery pack to the electric motor, it will be obvious using the diesel directly is more economical.
I'm not so sure about what you wrote.

When you are in a car you are using all the power to drive when you have your foot on the gas pedal, the rest of the time it is just idling. The same thing happens in a boat, the motor idles when you don't give it any throttle.

What makes a hybrid efficient is that by using a charging system, batteries, electric motors, etc, you can get rid of a lot of design "features" of a normal automobile engine that make it inefficient. For example, you have to design in a lot of inefficiency to make the car engine deliver increasing amounts of power over a wide range of rpm's, if you get rid of that and only run a car motor at one set rpm and deliver a constant amount of power the motor becomes much more efficient. So that's my understanding of how the new hybrids work, they use a simpler motor periodically to charge up the batteries, more like a generator motor than a traditional automobile motor. That same concept can work on a boat, instead of having such a complicated motor that has to deliver power over a wide range of rpm's, you just basically hook a generator up to a charging system and then use electric motors to run the boat, a much less complicated motor than a traditional boat motor that has to deliver variable amounts of power.
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2009
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I replaced a raw water cooled, neglected, A-4 in an Islander 28 with a Moyer Marine rebuilt, the FW cooling heat exchanger and a new hot pipe. It cost me about 6K doing all the work myself. I took the risk of investing in this 78 vintage boat because it was a nice design, very lightly used (stored for 20 years) and a good deal at $1500.00. All the standing rigging is sound. It came with a 10 foot Avon and motor, three usable sails a spinnaker, good lines, anchors, Mustang cold weather suits, sound thru hulls, pedestal steering. I replaced all hoses and hose clamps and the shift and throttle cables and two batteries, too. I enjoyed doing the work. Our little boat has a "new" fw cooled A-4 and it was affordable. I have also replaced the head with a Lavac. It probably has cost us about 8 K for this boat. I have added some nice electronics that I can remove if I want to take it with at the time of a sale. I left the original Datamarine stuff in place, too.

There are lots of tempting boats for 10K that look attractive but buying one means buying "old" parts and problems. Our boat's engine has 12 hours on it after two years. The hull is sound, the sails and other gear is in good shape.

Putting money into an old boat can be a mistake. I would not have picked this boat unless I could do the work myself. I could have sold the parts for more than I paid for the boat. I am glad we did it. it has been a fun boat for short cruises along the Maine coast.

The A-4s got a bad rap because they were squeezed into small boats like this making it difficult to do routine maintenance. They got neglected. They are good, simple little engines.

Choose carefully. Pick a good design that is well built. There are some "old boat" problems that would be a deal killer for me. A bulsa cored deck is a no-no!

George
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2009
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sorry about the multiple names.. I fixed this with sailnet.. the computer had old, older and oldest signins..
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  #17  
Old 11-13-2009
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Why not just try a top of the line/High Powered Trolling Motor...

John
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  #18  
Old 11-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
A balsa cored deck is a no-no!
Wow; that would eliminate most (if not all) of the boats that would be on my short list. Virtually all older performance oriented designs used balsa coring in the deck; the problem is not the coring so much as the non-sealing of thru-deck fastener holes. So finding an inexpensive boat that does not have a deck with a bad balsa core might be difficult. It's a matter of doing your homework and finding the rare boat that needs some restoration but not total restoration.

I'd be more concerned with a balsa (or foam) cored hull; where there is coring below the waterline. But many boat designs with cored hulls have held up well (like the C&C's) so long as moisture has not found it's way in.
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  #19  
Old 11-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
I'm not so sure about what you wrote.

When you are in a car you are using all the power to drive when you have your foot on the gas pedal, the rest of the time it is just idling. The same thing happens in a boat, the motor idles when you don't give it any throttle.

What makes a hybrid efficient is that by using a charging system, batteries, electric motors, etc, you can get rid of a lot of design "features" of a normal automobile engine that make it inefficient. For example, you have to design in a lot of inefficiency to make the car engine deliver increasing amounts of power over a wide range of rpm's, if you get rid of that and only run a car motor at one set rpm and deliver a constant amount of power the motor becomes much more efficient. So that's my understanding of how the new hybrids work, they use a simpler motor periodically to charge up the batteries, more like a generator motor than a traditional automobile motor. That same concept can work on a boat, instead of having such a complicated motor that has to deliver power over a wide range of rpm's, you just basically hook a generator up to a charging system and then use electric motors to run the boat, a much less complicated motor than a traditional boat motor that has to deliver variable amounts of power.
Actually, you're not using all the power... most cars only need about 25 HP or so to keep them moving at 55 MPH. If you take your foot off the gas pedal, most cars will take a long time to slow down to a stop. If you kill the throttle on almost every sailboat, it comes to a dead stop rather quickly.

Most cars are equipped with an engine that is 100+ HP. As such, these engines are generally running way below their efficient operating range most of the time. In general, an automobile needs the maximum 100+ HP it can get less than 1% of the time—when accelerating hard.

Conversely, a boat's engine is working much harder any time the boat is under power. The resistance caused by moving a boat through water is much greater than that of moving a car, which is rolling on wheels. This is why a car can go 55 mph with only 25 HP or so of power, and a boat weighing the same 3000-3500 lbs. can only go 7 knots or so with a 25 HP engine.

The real issue of an electric hybrid's inefficiency on a boat is due to the fact that to run the boat you do need batteries, unless the generator is sized large enough to power the motors to move the boat at hull speed. If the generator is sized that large, there are few gains in efficiency or savings in weight or fuel.

If the electric hybrid's generator is sized to recharge the battery bank and uses the battery bank to supply the current needed to keep the boat moving... eventually the battery bank will be depleted under a continuous load—like trying to fight your way off a lee shore in storm conditions. While a gasoline or diesel engine can easily be restored to operating condition if the fuel runs out by adding more fuel or switching tanks—an electric hybrid that runs its battery bank dead is pretty much SOL... and the boat ends up on the rocks.

BTW, this information, at least regarding the automotive side and the efficiencies therein, come from working with the inventor of one of the earliest hybrid automotive powerplants, which was designed in the LATE 1960s/EARLY 1970s.

I'd also point out that electric hybrids are not really all that sound from an environmental perspective. What Toyota and the other hybrid manufacturers don't say is what the environmental costs of making and disposing of the massive batteries used in an electric hybrid. They don't mention that the batteries will need replacing in about six-to-eight years time. All an electric hybrid does is shift where and when the pollution occurs.

An all-electric car doesn't make any sense, since it shifts the pollution from multiple point sources to a single, much larger source—the exhaust from the cars are replaced by the smokestack of an electric power plant, which is often far less efficient and far more polluting. Also, I'd point out that electric cars are inherently less efficient, since they do have to move all that excess weight around. The batteries from an all-electric car weigh in excess of 800 lbs.... do the math... if you have to move that much weight around, and it isn't part of the useful weight carrying capacity of the vehicle, it's deadweight.
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  #20  
Old 11-13-2009
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For the most part, I agree with Sailingdog's argument here. A hybrid is pointless in a sailboat because they are a continuous power output application. You do not get the benefits of being able to undersize the engine by making up for it with short bursts from your motor. In a boat, the hybrid would need to be a series style which involves several energy conversions, significantly lowering your efficiency. Also, from an environmental standpoint hybrids are not all that good. It is true that the hybrid cars do get a bit better fuel economy but they have so much embodied energy that a life cycle analysis comes out to being about the same as a gasoline car. If you want to get 5mpg better than a prius with a car that is going to last longer and have less embodied energy, buy a much simpler VW tdi. The hybrid that I participated in building was actually an assigned graduate culminating experience in engineering and we built a car for the hybrid formula SAE competition. Interestingly, this car was much worse environmentally than the cars competing in the gas classes.

What I was attempting to argue in my last post about an all electric powertrain was that the powertrain must be matched to the use. If you look at the numbers that I presented, it is a really unappealing solution. If you are going cruising, having an electric powertrain would limit you to very little engine operation and you would be having to plug into shore power all the time. Not to mention, when it got rough out would be when your batteries went dead and you would have to rely on your sailing abilities. The only place that an electric system might make sense is in a daysailor where it might be able to get you 4 miles home to your slip but that is it. This is similar to electric cars which are useless if you are trying to drive 500 miles to go on vacation but are great if you are trying to drive 20 miles each way to work.

All electric powertrains are actually more environmentally friendly. Internal combustion engines are significantly less efficient than producing energy in powerplants and then using that energy in an electric powertrain. In addition, since powerplants are point sources of energy, it is much cheaper and easier to put pollution control devices on them. You also do have the option of charging off of renewable energy. We figured out the mileage equivalency of the ford ranger that we converted to electric and it gets the equivalent of 60mpg on electric (charging with "brown" energy) and it used to get a little over 20mpg with the gas engine. The problem that I see here is that our distribution system could not handle the increased demand of lots of electric vehicles/boats at this point. This isn't a problem right now considering there are not any mainstream electric options out there anyways.

To sum it all up, the only place for an electric on a boat is in a daysailor application where you don't mind a lot of weight and have shore power.
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