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Hi

wasn't sure whether to put this here or in off-topic, but its sort of sailing related so i'll leave it here.

i find speculative investments more rewarding if they're in fields i'm interested in.

would be interested in hearing if anyone has recently or is planning any investments in stocks related in anyway to sailing and what your experiences have been.

i'll mention that i was interested in electric/hybrid propulsion, and while only peripherally related to sailing, looked into lithium ion battery technology (I own a Torqeedo 801 electric outboard with lithium ion battery, which i love and really got me interested) and risked a bit in speculative lithium junior mining companies (TNR, CDO, WLC, MCI) all on the canadian venture exchange and did well. i know altairnano and A123 trade too. dont know if torqeedo does.

not to turn this into another electric propulsion thread, but given the hybrid and auto PHEV developments, electric motor and lithium battery technology for boats has to be coming. soon.

are any of the big production boat builders publicly traded and if so, what do people think of the outlook for them (previous controversial posts on Tartan notwithstanding). if they're not, who owns them? who are the carbon fiber companies? what about the electronic companies, garmin, raymarine etc - ny new opportunities out there? i'm guessing many other sailing related companies are probably too small to trade publicly, but would be ineterested to hear.

it might be entertaining to explore this.
 

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I have no real insight here - but I did actually think of electric propulsion when I read the title. You're right - it really seems a valid direction at some level.

The obvious hurdles are weight and recharge during extended cruises. But you look at the "Tesla" electric sports car and its success - and it seems we're getting close.

Could you imagine not having to tote fuel around? Sweet.

I wonder if Robert Perry has looked into this from a hull design perspective. My hunch is that he has. He may have some good insight for you.
 

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Might want to consider solar as well. I am beginning to see allot of vessels use solar panels to keep their batteries charged versus hooking up to shore power. High initial costs but there appears to be long term savings---at least according to the owners. Usually solar has been reserved for the blue-water cruisers but I have been seeing an increased number of coastal cruisers installing solar panels.
 

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I've fiddled with figures and read some ideas and, at least for cruising sailors, believe electric is at a dead end.

That's because 1 HP = 748 watts (call it 750W/HP) So to generate 10 HP you would need 7500 watts or in a 12V system about 600 amps. Actually a little more.
Worked just fine for submarines, works for fork lifts (have you SEEN the battery chargers they use??!!), but I don't see a way to work it out on a boat that does not go home after a few hours of motor usage.

Seems like having an electric motor gives me all the disadvantages of having a diesel engine with a 1 gallon tank.:)

I don't think electric sailboats are going anywhere. And if I was the "King of Yanmar" I'd be making sure they don't by making sure sailors get what they need from me. Which is exactly what the current King (whoever he is) is doing.
 

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I don't think electric sailboats are going anywhere
I disagree- I use an electric drive system on my C22 and it works awesome. Total cost was about $500 for an 82lb thrust saltwater trolling motor, 2 large deep cycle batteries, and a promariner 3 channel shore charger. Total weight is about as much as a motor and fuel tank, but the batteries are near the keel instead of the transom. I don't know the full battery life (never ran them dead), but it move the boat at 3-4 knots for many hours. I use it only for docking and for pointing windward when raising and lowering the sails.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
i guess this electric propulsion has been debated before on sailnet and i didnt want to redundantly revisit it, but more wanted to think about what is up and coming in the next few years and how it will affect industry (and how someone might make a buck off of it).

in as much as it is relevant, however, i will add a couple of comments about why i think electrical propulsion does have a more positive immediate future:

1. It IS here. i use an electric outboard on my dinghy. casioqv uses an electric trolling motor on his C22. numerous others do similarly. also the lagoon hybrid 420 cat. 5 years ago there was nothing. it is here now, albeit in its infancy, but undeniably, and 5 years from now will be only further along.

2. I would quibble with equating one horsepower of a diesel engine with 750 W of an electric motor. while one horsepower of mechanical power at the driveshaft of a yanmar and 750 W of electrical power into an electric motor will ultimately produce the same amount of heat, this does not take into account the application being considered - diesel drivetrain and alternator losses or very very very different torque curves not to mention ideling with a diesel compared to simply "off" with an electric. however, lets be pessimistic and accept the 750 W/HP. consider the 56 kWh lithium ion battery pack that is used on the Tesla Roadster, the only all electric street car currently in prodction. at 7.5 kW (what we are equating to "10 HP" but in reality would be more akin, ballpark, to 15-20 hp) this would give 7.5 hours of motor cruising. more than adequate for most day trips. this is today's technology, available now. more advanced battery and ultracapacitor technology is already in the pipeline. add more batteries or small generator or cruise at lower power and we quickly get into the 20s and 30s of hours of motoring time.
would i get rid of my diesel inboard if i could motor 30 hours with an electric drive? sure.

3. i dont expect an electric drive without an absurd and impractical amount of solar would ever exceed the range/energy density of diesel (11 kWh/L compared with, ballpark for current lithium ion technology only 1 mJ/L = 0.3 kWh/L) but hey, its also about convenience. the energy density of my sails is pretty much infinite, but i still have an inboard. would some people trade no trips to the fuel dock, no maintenance, no noise, no oil, no diesel for less range. sure they would. especially if they mostly sail.

4. The market has spoken. its happening. electric propulsion is on its way (for cars). all lage manufacturers are developing plug in hybrids or all electric vehicles to be released between now and 2012. ALL of them use lithium ion (not that a new, better lighter cheaper and higher energy density technology might not replace it). my outboard uses lithium ion. i can charge it from solar. lithium mining, exploration and battery stocks are taking off. China is trying to acquire strategic lithium claims. the market is sometimes wrong, but i wouldnt bet against it.
 

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first yes electric has different power curves than a diesel. electric motors produce more torque at low rpms and are more efficient at high rps. so at cruising speed or close to it when the wave hits you the electric wont have the torque to get you moving again, where as a diesel is just all torque.

cars are different story, mostly because of drag. a sailboat like my hunter 27 needs 8 hp to get to 5.2 knots ( need a bottom job ) or so, a car with 8 hp in a diesel motor could get to 55 mph or so if the areo is good.

my hunter has an 18 gallon tank and at cruise can run for about 10 days, not hour but days. the c22 listed can do 4 knots for a few hours, and would take one or two days to recharge with a 1000 bucks in solar (assuming 100 amp hours used ). this is not counting currents or winds.

i think it will be a hybrid system, one that can motor for an hour, then needs a genny to keep going.

as for the tesla battery, if it costs about 400 bucks for 60 or so watts of solar. and we use 480 watts of panels at about 3200 bucks. that will produce about .5k watts ( if perfect ) of juice per hour, or about 112 hours of sunlight to charge. so you can, if the boat drains the battery in one day sail of low to no winds, you can use you boat once every 10 days with full summer sun, or about every 20 days in the fall or spring

hydro drag is a pain in the math
 

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just looked it up, a tesla can go for about 6 hours at 60 mph. the new ford flex needs about 9 hp to go 55, so the telsa at 55 might be using a little less than 9 hp for 6 hours of driving. then its parked, for 112 hours of summer sun with 3200 bucks of solar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i agree about hybrids with a gen set as an interim step.

as i said in my post, i think the amount of solar required to make a difference would be "absurd and impractical". i still do. solar doesnt make sense. i'm not sure why you're on about the solar.

using a quoted number of 1 gallon per hour per 18 horsepower, you should use 8 hp x (1gph/18 hp) = 8/18 = 0.44 gph. you have an 18 gallon fuel tank. you should get 18/0.44 = 41 hours of motoring not 10 days x 24 hours = 240 hours of motoring. as i stated, i think 30 hours of 10 hp motoring is possible with today's technology. not too different.

15 years ago you probably couldnt buy a high resolution GPS colour chartplotter accurate to a few metres for a billion dollars. you can probably still find threads debating celestial navigation versus gps. carbon fiber spars used to be insanely expensive. now there are producion carbon fiber hulls and the boeing 787 (yes, it has its problems). i have lithium ion power drill, lawn mower, weed wacker, LED lights, notebook computer and outboard motor. none of these were around 10 years ago. five years ago you couldnt get a high capacity lithium ion battery. now you can but they're expensive. in five years, probably de rigueur with bigger and better available.

there is a bias in our brains that presumes stasis. change is coming. dont bet against change.
 

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I have stated this so many times. The watt is a power unit, not an energy unit. Watts per hour is a nonsense unit.
 

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argle the yanmar 1 gm spec is slightly over 1 pint an hour at cruise rpms. i just did the math and i was wrong it about 6 days. so 8 hours or so per gallon.

i did the math a few months ago and dont know where i was wrong, but i was.

i still dont think battery tech will get much further. it will always be a space and weight issue, more space than weight.

the real issue will be using over run to regenerative charge the batteries. ie you set speed for 6 knots and a wave pushes you to 6.25 for a second. if you could get that .25 back then it would help not much but it would.

once again the whole issue of drag is the killer using current car tech will not roll over
 

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All the discussion of electric not being capable of motoring for 10 or 20 or 30 hours misses the real point which is that a vast majority of sailboats simply don't do that. I know the boats at my marina that get the most use are the race boats and at least the one I crew for only visits the fuel dock once a season. Electric may not ever work for a long distance bluewater setup but for the 18-25 foot weekender (which is far and away the largest segment of sailboats by sheer numbers) it is a reasonable solution. Even for the 30+ footer that spends its entire working life in the Chessy electric is likely a practical solution. I have a 20' boat that I use a trolling motor exclusively to maneuver to and from the dock, for me it's completely sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I have stated this so many times. The watt is a power unit, not an energy unit. Watts per hour is a nonsense unit.
tager: i dont think anyone on this thread ever used a "W/h" unit. i do use kWh which, although not an SI unit, is a standard accepted unit of energy which is equal to 1 000 W x 1 hour = 1000 J/s x 3600 s = 3 600 000 J = 3.6 MJ. its kind of like saying an amp hour (Ah) for a battery which is also a unit of energy, at 12 Volts equal to:

1 Ah = 1 A x 12 V x 3600 s which is equal to
1 Ah = 1 Coulomb/s x 12 Joule/Coulomb x 3600 s = 43.2 kJ

so, since 1 kWh is 3.6 MJ, there are (3.6 MJ/kWh)/43.2 kJ/Ah = 83 Ah/kWh.

so, the 56 kWh Li ion battery bank in a Tesla Roadster electric car is the equivalent of a 12 Volt bank of batteries with 56 kWh x 83 Ah/kWh = 4600 Amp hours or about 40 marine house batteries each rated at 110 Ah.

i dont pretend to be an expert about batteries or electric motors or marine propulsion, just an interested layperson, but i am an electrical engineer and i do try to keep my units correct. if anyone used "W/h" i'm sure it was a typo.

scottyt: i accept your quoted fuel consumption. seems considerably better than the rules of thumb for fuel consumption per horsepower i have read. are you sure that gives you 8 hp at 1 pint/h?

Li-ion will make a huge difference in energy density per weight, but not per volume as you pointed out. there are some very high energy density storage solutions coming down the pipeline that will make further considerable gains. right now they are where Li ion was maybe 10 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
argle the yanmar 1 gm spec is slightly over 1 pint an hour at cruise rpms. i just did the math and i was wrong it about 6 days. so 8 hours or so per gallon.

i did the math a few months ago and dont know where i was wrong, but i was.

i still dont think battery tech will get much further. it will always be a space and weight issue, more space than weight.

the real issue will be using over run to regenerative charge the batteries. ie you set speed for 6 knots and a wave pushes you to 6.25 for a second. if you could get that .25 back then it would help not much but it would.

once again the whole issue of drag is the killer using current car tech will not roll over
hi

not to belabour this, but in a previous post i found reference to following Yanmar tech data sheet for 1GM10

http://www.yanmarmarine.com/uploads/products/pdf/GM_YM/1GM10_TechData.pdf

fuel consumption at 2800 rpm about 0.31 gph. this would make it 7.5 hp/0.31 = 25 hp/gph with respect to the crankshaft.

also, there was a Yachting Monthly (British publication) article from march comparing 2 hp outboards (admittedly a very different aimal from a diesel inboard) and included the Torqeedo 801. It did very comparably to the 2 hp gas outboards, beating some in propulsive force (which was their measure). it is an 800 W unit, which when converted to heat units should only be about 1 hp. so, as a first approximation, it may be fair to say that 750 W electric is more the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 hp internal combustion rather than the oft quoted exact thermodynamic equivalent of 750 W/ 1hp.

see:

http://www.torqeedo.com/uploads/media/YachtingMonthly_03.09_english_UK.pdf
 

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Watts/Schmatts.....................Yanmar/Battery............Ya know what kills electric powered sailboats? Marketing. They have to market to the lowest common denominator and that's the person who asks, "Yeah, but how to we get home if the wind quits and we're 20 miles from home? Who's going to feed the dogs at home?.................I think we should get one with an engine.":laugher
 

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I have stated this so many times. The watt is a power unit, not an energy unit. Watts per hour is a nonsense unit.
If someone says 100 watts per hour I'm happy to let it slide because it is obvious what they mean, and it also provides more useful information than watt-hours because you can usually assume 12vdc and see the load they have on the battery bank, and as we all know the amount of current being drawn as a percentage of capacity affects the overall capacity of the bank. If they just used a technically correct measure like watt-hours we wouldn't know anything, and we'd lose the inferred rate of discharge given by watts per hour. I'm guilty of using watts per hour as short hand myself and I'm not losing any sleep over it, as far as I know nobody is publishing these posts in IEEE. :D
 

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Sounds like everything should work out ok.
ArgleBargle is going to put his money where his mouth is.
If he is right and makes a ton of money he can buy his new battery powered 35 footer even if it cost more.

Sounds fair to me.
Good luck ArgleBargle and if we are racing don't even think of spinning that prop even if it too quiet to hear.
 

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I disagree- I use an electric drive system on my C22 and it works awesome. Total cost was about $500 for an 82lb thrust saltwater trolling motor, 2 large deep cycle batteries, and a promariner 3 channel shore charger. Total weight is about as much as a motor and fuel tank, but the batteries are near the keel instead of the transom. I don't know the full battery life (never ran them dead), but it move the boat at 3-4 knots for many hours. I use it only for docking and for pointing windward when raising and lowering the sails.
This is interesting.
What boat do you have exactly. Catalina 22, what is the displacement?
What motor do you have?
What batteries do you have?

What is the longest you have run on battery?
What water are you in? lake, current, tides how much?

Sorry about all the questions. Inquiring minds want to know?
Did this really work out cheaper than an outboard?
 

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I'd be moe interested about using these "hybrid" lithium batteries for my house bank. There was a thread some time ago about this but I can't be bothered going searching for it.

I was at that time led to understand that these batteries could seriously revolutionise electricity (other than electric drives) on boats. What has anyone to conribute to that aspect (or does that constitute thread hijacking?)
 

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I think of it like this: Electric motors run on coal. IMHO, more specifically, electric cars (or boats) get charged somewhere and it costs money to do that charging. If we start plugging our electric drives into shore power, for sure we'll start seeing marinas charge extra for sailboats with electric drives.

Hybrid cars make sense because of all the breaking that they do. Recapturing that energy makes sense. For boats, I think the equivalent is the extra sail power you have up once you reach hull speed. So, for "old shoe" designs that don't really plane, the extra energy is there to recharge batteries from the prop moving through the water. Owners of sailboats with more modern designs, which get extra speed from planing or partially planing, would be less inclined to want hybid drives since it would slow them down. Also remove from this group those "old shoe" designs that are used for living aboard, since they have their own power needs and are less inclined to have the ability to charge engine batteries, especially when (mostly) sitting on the hook.

The other category would be infrequently used sailboat engines that have solar panels to make a dent in the needed charging, and don't go far from home. I picture these as "non-docked solar day sailors", since it's far easier to store energy (motoring distance) as gas or diesel than as batterines -- I'musing 10 miles as the range, pick another number if you want. Since day sailors seem to be the most likely to incorporate modern hull designs that can exceed theoretical hull speed, they are stuck with solar or extension cord charging. If you are at a dock, it's far easier (lighter weight, cheaper) to charge from the power grid (coal) that solar.

So in terms of investment, where it makes sense is with electric drives on sailboats are:

1) old shoe designs that are not at a dock and not live-aboards, capturing prop charging (hybrid drives)

2) any sailboat that doesn't go far from home and is either
2a) infrequently used (solar charging) or
2b) at a dock (coal-based charging) (using edison batteries, see below)

and let's add in this one too...

3) any sailboat that does go far (>10 miles) from home, which has a generator

So I'd invest in making those options viable for people. For #1 that means businesses that retrofit older boats with hybrid systems. For #2 and #3 that means simple, inexpensive, lightweight electric engines and battery systems.

---

While I'm taking up space on your screen, I'm actually thinking 1) that hybrid sailboats need to use the weight of lead-acid batteries to their advantage with a battery keel. If you are really revamping sailboat designs, use that 8,000 pounds I have as a place to energy storage. That would change the equation a lot by giving you tons of motoring distance.

And 2) that edison battery technology be used along with lead-acid batteries(or any other type of battery that doesn't have many charge-dischage cycles). The edison battery would be used for the first part of discharge and the lead-acid is used for the infrequent final part of discharge. This utilizes the best characteristics of both:

Edison battery: near-infinite charge/discharge cycles, 2% power loss per day, short term overcharging possible in more sophisticated designs.
Lead Acid: very few charge/discharge cycles, 0% power loss per day, no overcharging possible.

All this is IMHO, of course. Hope this helps.
 
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