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post #21 of 78 Old 04-14-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

We run a real farm,along with the towing,raising beef,turkeys,chickens ect..,,my wife has probAly has 2-3 acres in garden and fruit trees,pretty hard to convince her to go off on a sailboat for any time ,,,we try to use minimal chem control preferring natural methods ,,I believe my cancer was caused by the Chema we used on our fields,,,,,,..,,,you need lots of land and space for sustainable farming,,,,,on that thought wouldn't a cat have way more space for a garden of sorts,heck I'm sure you could outfit a goat with a PDF.....Ralph

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post #22 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
This is fabulous... but I think at this stage too much work.. and expense... pulling the engine... and buying and installing the electric motor. Porbably need 1 3rd AGM or a 4th??? No room for more solar but windgen is a possibility... noisy and spendy.

We only use maybe 3 or 4 20 of fuel fills a season, 2 oil and filter changes / yr and YES it SMELLS and SMOKES YUCK
My diesel suddenly died. So it was the right time to decide to make the leap to Electric Propulsion. Just so glad I did.

Mike
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post #23 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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My diesel suddenly died. So it was the right time to decide to make the leap to Electric Propulsion. Just so glad I did.
Sure if you are faced with a re power decision... definitely go electric..

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #24 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

My house is in a neighborhood that was a large farm that was divided into 5 acre subsistence farms and given to feed slaves after the Civil War. Each of the subsistence farms were on the water so that the diet could be supplemented by fishing,. crabbing and oystering. (My house is on half of one of those farm and many of my neighbors are decendents of those original freed slave families.)

These farms were thought to be large enough to support a family of 6-8 when the seafood was added back in. Historic records suggest that the wives and children did the farming and that the men in addition to gathering seafood, hired out to work on surrounding farms or on working watercraft in order to buy enough food and clothing for the families.

While farming technologies have greatly improved, I would have to think that it would still require something approaching the 1/6th acre per person that was allocated if the diet could be supplemented with a high protein source like seafood. But for a vegetarian or vegan, I would have to think that it would require a lot more land to produce an adequate amount of food to sustain one self.

And if you think about the small area of a boat,and the sheer amount of that area which would be required for solar collection, it would seem unlikely that there would be adequate suitable real estate to grow even a reasonable percentage of one person's dietary requirements.

Jeff


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post #25 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
My diesel suddenly died. So it was the right time to decide to make the leap to Electric Propulsion. Just so glad I did.
So first, if I can assume here, you keep your boat somewhere there is shore power to keep the batteries fully charged?
My question is what happens when you need more power than you have to operate your electric motor, and can't sail?
For instance, you check the weather carefully, but the front arrives a couple of hours before forecast, so you are caught out. Your course home is directly into the seas and wind which slows you from your normal 5.5 knots to 3 or less. Unfortunately, to add to your woes, the current is against you and your headway is actually down to around a knot.
Now you are looking at a trip 5+ times longer than normal and it is doubtful that your Honda can make up the difference between energy expenditure and consumption.
I would love an electric propulsion system, but unless I went with hugely expensive LI batteries and a massive 20 to 25 kw generator (kinda defeating the whole point) I can't see it happening for my application.
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post #26 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

Mike, given your experience with your Nonsuch, how would you approach converting my boat (Rafiki 37) to electric? Can you sketch out a system that would be viable?

First off, she’s 30,000#, 37-footer. Older design so small interior, meaning limited space for batteries. I currently have a 320 Ah bank (3 x 120 Ah, Group 31 wet cell, and one starter batt) and am struggling to find space for one more Group 31 battery.

We tend to spend months at a time away from docks and therefore shore power. My solar and wind (400 watts each) are the principle chargers. It would be a struggle to add more solar panels. We tend to remain anchored for long periods of time, and never run the diesel just to charge.

There have been times when we’ve had to run the diesel for more than 24 hours at a time. And of course there are other times when we’ve depended on the old diesel to manage big seas, big currents, and big headwinds.

I too love the idea of an electric auxillary for my sailboat, but like Capta, I have a hard time seeing how it would be functional in my cruising world.

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post #27 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

So first, if I can assume here, you keep your boat somewhere there is shore power to keep the batteries fully charged?

No I'm on a mooring and usually only head to a dock only for water. The three legged stool approch to charging works well for me solar/wind/Honda for charging. Once charged solar and wind are all I need to keep things topped up.

My question is what happens when you need more power than you have to operate your electric motor, and can't sail?
For instance, you check the weather carefully, but the front arrives a couple of hours before forecast, so you are caught out. Your course home is directly into the seas and wind which slows you from your normal 5.5 knots to 3 or less. Unfortunately, to add to your woes, the current is against you and your headway is actually down to around a knot.
Now you are looking at a trip 5+ times longer than normal and it is doubtful that your Honda can make up the difference between energy expenditure and consumption.

First I take to heart the quote from the Admiral who said: "You can out think the Ocean but, you can't out slug the Ocean". I tend to always go with the flow did it even in my diesel days. That said I have been out when things like you mentioned have happened. On one one homeward bound leg I thought I could beat a severe front heading my way. I didn't. So I dropped sail set the Autopilot for a comfortable course and went below as the lighting, thunder, wind and hail arrived. The nice thing is that since electric is so quiet I could hear how the front was passing my boat by the thunder claps getting further and further away.

Another time while sailing from Montauk into Long Island Sound the winds did not cooperate so rather than be uncomfortable I beamed reached north to the Connecticut River and spent a few days exploring the area until the winds were in my favor. Much easier on the boat and Captain crew and passengers then trying to slug into head seas. The magazines, post and Vlogs are full of stories engines that failed while pounding into such seas. Depending on them totally is sailor roulette IMO. I've had experiences with the diesel suddenly failing while in a channel coming into Boston harbor.

Another time I was beating into near gale winds coming into New York Harbor. I was trying to avoid tacking to get under the Verrzanno Narrows bridge. When I just cracked the throttle on the EP system that allowed me to point up enough to avoid having to make another tack to get under the bridge.


I would love an electric propulsion system, but unless I went with hugely expensive LI batteries and a massive 20 to 25 kw generator (kinda defeating the whole point) I can't see it happening for my application.

I only need 450 watts to push my boat along a 3 knots. I have a 400 watt wind turbine and 120 watts of solar and 1600 continuous watts available from the Honda if needed. Plenty of power for my boat move along with if I wanted. All I can say it works for me and allows me to do things that I would not do with the diesel. Of course it's better not to have a schedule and the ability to change plans. I like to be comfortable as possible and it is primarily sailboat after all.
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Last edited by mbianka; 04-15-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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post #28 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Mike, given your experience with your Nonsuch, how would you approach converting my boat (Rafiki 37) to electric? Can you sketch out a system that would be viable?

First off, she’s 30,000#, 37-footer. Older design so small interior, meaning limited space for batteries. I currently have a 320 Ah bank (3 x 120 Ah, Group 31 wet cell, and one starter batt) and am struggling to find space for one more Group 31 battery.

We tend to spend months at a time away from docks and therefore shore power. My solar and wind (400 watts each) are the principle chargers. It would be a struggle to add more solar panels. We tend to remain anchored for long periods of time, and never run the diesel just to charge.

There have been times when we’ve had to run the diesel for more than 24 hours at a time. And of course there are other times when we’ve depended on the old diesel to manage big seas, big currents, and big headwinds.



I too love the idea of an electric auxillary for my sailboat, but like Capta, I have a hard time seeing how it would be functional in my cruising world.
Mike

You boat is much heavier than mine but, I'm sure there would be a system available. I would contact several of the EP distributors. They should be able to come up with a turn key system. My batteries sit on a platform on the stringers where the old diesel sat. For me it made it the logical choice and everything is much more accessible than on the old diesel.. As for cruising I pretty much cruise the same way I did with the diesel. Except with less noise and heat when running under power. Makes for a less stressful passage IMO. I'm able to meet my needs with the Honda 2000 for charging and rarely do I need it when underway but, it is available and will run until the fuel runs out and is easier to maintain. My plan B was a small on board marine generator but, found out it is not necessary for my needs in ten years of using EP.
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post #29 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
I only need 450 watts to push my boat along a 3 knots. I have a 400 watt wind turbine and 120 watts of solar and 1600 continuous watts available from the Honda if needed. Plenty of power for my boat move along with if I wanted. All I can say it works for me and allows me to do things that I would not do with the diesel. Of course it's better not to have a schedule and the ability to change plans. I like to be comfortable as possible and it is primarily sailboat after all.
Sounds like a dream come true. 450 watts of what voltage?

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“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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post #30 of 78 Old 04-15-2018
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Re: Sustainable Sailing

Interesting subject. I had a small, 1/4-acre garden where I raised vegetables, but it was nowhere near enough to supply the needs of my children, let alone my wife and I. Additionally, I had a large, upright, freezer filled with fish, venison, beef and pork. plus all the vegetables we harvested during the season. It was packed to capacity by the end of October every year. By early June, it was usually empty. The freezer was the size of my Morgan 33 Out Island's head. No way to do any of this practically on a boat of any size, including a barge.

As for an electric engine - not for me. I'll stick to my old A4 as long as it continues to provide me with good service. And, if it were to die tomorrow, I would likely replace it with another from Moyer Marine.

All the best,

Gary
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