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If coastal, I would say water is more important than fuel, since both are accessible. Off shore or remote, fuel beats water...... you can make water, you can’t make fuel. It can be hard to properly maintain a watermaker, if in a harbor for lengths of time.

If circumnavigating to set a record, you’ll do a bunch of seriously long legs. However, most circumnavigators seems to really coastal cruise, interrupted by a few long passages.
 

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It can be hard to properly maintain a watermaker, if in a harbor for lengths of time.
Why is that? Unless a harbor has visible oil in it, or extremely silty water, we run our watermaker pretty much anywhere in harbors and anchorages, and don't find any maintenance issues other than perhaps cleaning/changing the prefilters a bit sooner.

There is a subtler side to fuel tankage beyond fuel stops. Not all fuel stops are equal. Some are poor quality fuel, and some are dangerous docks, and some require jugging. Having more latitude to pick and choose when and where to obtain fuel is nice.

Mark
 

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You should have around 48 hours of fuel tankage at a 5k cruise speed in calm water. There have been times when I've had to run the engine for more than a day because of calms or need to get somewhere. That much tankage has worked for me powering through zero wind conditions in the doldrums till we found enough wind to sail, more than one forced return to port because of a rigging issue and a recent delivery when there was no wind for most of the trip. Easy to extend the range with Gerry Jugs. My boats have been pretty efficient burning around a 1/2 gallon an hour so 4 Gerry Jugs can nearly double range under power.

Another big thing is your commitment to sailing. If you are the type that MUST turn on the engine when speed drops below 5k, you might look for a fuel tank that is disguised as a boat. If you are the sail no matter what might want to throw the tanks overboard and go electric.
 

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Good thread.
I think i have approx 50 hrs with 2x5 extra gal of cans. 35ish total.
5-6.5 knots depending on conditions so far.
Ive been tracking use and this thread helped me back get closer to learning some usable facts.
id like to track it by rpm over time....not so easy yet.
 

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As water makers get better and less expensive and easier to maintain.... tank capacity is less important. Perhaps in the future boat builders will include a water maker as an option instead of large tank capacity????
 

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Finding ones max endurance rpm is a good idea for long distance cruising. I’m betting for most diesels it in the range of 50% of max rpm, maybe a little less. Not necessarily the best place to operate a diesel. I think 60% is about the floor for normal operations and still ones gets much longer range than at full cruise.
 

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There is a slope up the the knee of course.
Maybe good to learn where and how steep it is.

6.5 in calmist water at 1800 rpm with a fixed 2 blade....makes me think the fuel curve severely dips beyond that.

Something to track...over time
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Wow, quite the thread from my original post (question). I did live in Chesapeeak bay and sailed quite a bit with my 5 day on 5 day off work schedule. I did not use 20 gallons the entire year.

A previous post stated this exactly right:
The OP states he will run a Spendide or equivalent so expect his experience will be periods of high energy usage even in absence of watermaker or AC. Expect the frig/freezer will be a big draw as well. A wife who needs a washer/dryer will expect a frig(freezer. Therefore the major variable is when the air goes light do you sit and wait while decreasing your non propulsion energy use as well best you can or put the engine on. Periodically turned on the watermaker, genset, and took showers. Watched movies, listened to music not headphones, everyone was on their devices, radar went on time to time to check for local weather. Then sailed. With the lift from the Gulf Stream made good time but last day food and spirits were getting low so engine went on.

I plan to sail everywhere, even slowly, but I'm not into sitting there in zero wind. I would expect about 5-10 years to circum including pretty remote places. I can suck up high heat, but if it gets ridiculous, I would power the A/C for a few hours in the evening before bed, but not all day. Alternative energy will be big on my boat, but some things cannot be done by the sun/wind alone.

Thanks everyone for the tips/thoughts on this. I'd feel comfortable with the 150 gallon standard. I'm flexible on that amount, but needed a ballpark figure. I've seen some boats with 80 or less and they make stops all the time. The other end of the scale, the lagoon 45 with a 268 gallon tank.
 

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I carry 35 gallons in the main tank, plus when cruising another 15 in jerry cans, giving me 50 gallons total. Now, I look at this as cruising range, figuring on about 9 MPG on average at 1800 rpm on my trusty A4. So, this roughly translates to about 450 miles cruising range if the wind completely died, which it seems to do in Chesapeake Bay a lot during mid summer.

For comfort I have my new Honda 2200i generator, which I just fired up for the first time a few nights ago. This thing is super quiet, and I seriously doubt that someone in a boat 50 yards away could even hear it. This will be used to run my AC/heat pump and my oxygen generator, which is what is currently keeping me alive. Not sure how the fuel consumption on this will be at this point, but from the literature, it's reportedly very miserly on gas. I love those kind of words! :)

Good luck,

Gary
 

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FWIW, our internal diesel tank holds 20g and for longer trips we carry 10-12g in jerry jugs carried internally. If it isn’t possible to sail (light/no winds or light winds on the nose, we would motor if we need to be somewhere. Our longest motor trip was Annapolis to Mystic (via C&D and Cape May canals and outside Long Island) for a total distance of 320 nm. We used perhaps 25g of diesel for that distance, which included a fuel stop at Cape May and transfer of 5g at sea (to keep the tank at 1/2 or more. We ran our 3GM30 at about 2200 rpm and averaged about 13 nm/g. The longest continuous motoring was about 36 hours—love that diesel!
 
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