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Old 03-31-2016, 05:58 PM   #1
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Questions from a sailor thinking Trawler:
On boats with multiple steering stations do you have to disengage/engage when you change locations or do they mirror each other. I'm talking steering, throttle and forward/reverse.

AC/DC refrigeration:
On these multiple current refrigeration units are there compressors that run off both AC & DC, two compressors or an internal inverter/converter.

Electric stoves:
Why instead of propane. Are they initially cheaper, are people afraid of propane or ??? I ask because I can't see firing up the genset to make a cup of coffee.

These questions may appear dumb but coming from the sailing world these questions are all mysteries to me. Have your fun but I hope in the end I get some answers. Thanks
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:00 PM   #2
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On Gumbo one can operate from upper or lower helm without engaging or disengaging the other, just push or pull either throttle or shift knob.

Fridge, I'm not sure on this one so won't say.

We have propane cooktop and, seldom used, oven, I believe quite a few people are afraid of or dislike using gas so have electric or their boat came with electric stove. We also have a microwave it can operate off of the inverter same as the coffee maker so we can use them without cranking up the genset.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:09 PM   #3
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120/12 v fridges work on either with an inverter. I think you would be better with 12 v only and a good battery charger. I would bet that it is 90% propane for stoves otherwise you also need generator. I had a full size RV propane refrigerator in my last trawler. 20# tank would last 10 to 15 days depending on the outside temperature.


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Old 03-31-2016, 07:30 PM   #4
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Ulysses only has one steering station so I will not address that aspect of your questions.

She has a propane stove and oven, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker which run off of inverter, generator, and/or shore power.

Refrigeration runs off of inverter for a short period or generator. It usually requires about one hour of run time twice a day (cold plate type).

I do maintain redundant coffee making abilities with either stove or coffee maker.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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Regarding stove question...I think most people stick with what's on the boat they are interested in. My boat has electric. I'm not going to retrofit propane. If it were propane, I'd leave it. If I had a choice...I'm not sure I'd care but a propane system is slightly more complex and technically more dangerous...although risks can be mitigated.
Having an inverter answers some of your questions. I just installed one. If I had the inverter before I had to replace that $1400 hunk of crap Norcold, I would have bought I nice household unit...
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:54 PM   #6
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My 1977 boat is old school. All helm controls are connected mechanically. The only thing digital on my boat controls are my fingers. I've been on a member's Helmsman 38PH that had digital power levers. He had to press a button to transfer authority to the other helm... and accept it at the other helm, I think. Maybe Windmist will see this and confirm that.

AC/DC Fridge: I have one, a Norcold, and it has its own inverter/converter. Not sure if its native power is AC or DC though.

I've got propane for the stove/oven but I hardly use it. It works well when I do, though. I have a POCCC (Piece of Cheap Chinese Crap) Xantrex 1000W Inverter that powers my small coffee maker, microwave and 2nd fridge (AC Only). If I want Keurig coffee, I need to fire up the generator b/c that little appliance draws 1500W! It revs up my Honda gen!

I bet you're looking forward to being able to open a fridge door and look at what's there, aren't you? No more digging into a deep hole in your little counter hole to get food. I remember when one nice sailing couple joined me for a drink in in my cockpit. I pulled out 2 chairs and the wife exclaimed, "Oh, look honey...Chairs! I haven't seen chairs in a while!" You should have seen the relaxed look on her face when she sat down on a comfortable chair. Welcome to the comfortable world of trawlering!!

Oh....and please....no sailboat pics. We have some 12-step recovering sailors as members.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:58 PM   #7
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<<AC/DC Fridge: I have one, a Norcold, and it has its own inverter/converter. Not sure if its native power is AC or DC though.>>

I'm pretty sure the way it works, if AC power is available, that is what they will use. Ironically I've heard they are more efficient on DC...probably because of that inverter thing. So I guess Native is DC.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:19 PM   #8
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Great questions Adagio, some of my own as I started looking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
On boats with multiple steering stations do you have to disengage/engage when you change locations or do they mirror each other. I'm talking steering, throttle and forward/reverse.
As near as I can tell, mechanical controls with two stations will be split controls, ie one for throttle and one for power. With newer systems there are electronic controls which can use a single lever for both even with multiple helm stations. Not sure how control is passed however.

FWIW, I used separate controls for throttle and shift for the first time yesterday. It was a bit odd at first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
AC/DC refrigeration:
On these multiple current refrigeration units are there compressors that run off both AC & DC, two compressors or an internal inverter/converter.
Great question. Seeing as how I likely will be an owner with one of the those, I should probably add that to my ever increasing list of "stuff I don't know".

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Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
Electric stoves:
Why instead of propane. Are they initially cheaper, are people afraid of propane or ??? I ask because I can't see firing up the genset to make a cup of coffee.
There was a long discussion that you should read on Gas or Electric galley. What I took out of it is that those that need air conditioning, are more likely to use an electric galley as they are running the GenSet all the time anyway. Many of the new boat manufacturers spec out electric galleys for the East Coast and Propane for the West Coast. Bottom line is that either is fine and you can get used to either one. Coming from sailboats, we tend to be loathe to run a Genset. I imagine we will get over that pretty quickly. On that thread above, there was much discussion on how to get that morning cup of coffee without the genset. For me, I am hoping that a 3000w inverter will be enough to fire up my Keurig.

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Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
These questions may appear dumb but coming from the sailing world these questions are all mysteries to me. Have your fun but I hope in the end I get some answers. Thanks
You will find that the TF folks are very gentle with us sailors at first. Much like the drunken bar bully is nice and gentle to small children and puppies.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:34 PM   #9
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You will find that the TF folks are very gentle with us sailors at first. Much like the drunken bar bully is nice and gentle to small children and puppies.

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Old 03-31-2016, 10:41 PM   #10
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1 I can only answer for hydraulic systems. No need to do anything but relocate your body to the other station. everything works just the same at both places.

2 You need to know what AC/DC fridge you have. Usually, they are more efficient on AC, so if being at anchor for days at a time is important, don't buy AC/DC. Get DC only, so no losses when having to convert to AC using the (Norcold) built-in inverter. Search for this topic, as it has been discussed many times before.

3 Fear. Don't be afraid. Get propane. Be silent.

No dumb questions. Just dumb if you didn't ask when you should.
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:49 PM   #11
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Some (maybe all) the electronic controls require disengaging one (shift & throttles) and then you engage the other.
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Old 04-01-2016, 01:48 AM   #12
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I'm an ex-sailor - you'll love having a trawler!

On controls - my steering and engine controls are hydraulic. No switchover is required. The engine controls move in sync at both helm stations. The wheel at the helm not it use does not move. Neither wheel moves when the autopilot is steering.

I have a propane stove. When I refit my galley I plan to go with a full sized propane stovetop and an electric convection oven. I like cooking with gas and was used to it on my sailboat.

I have a good sized battery bank and an inverter so I can run my espresso machine and 120v fridges (2) and freezer without running either of the generators. At anchor I can go 24 hours without discharging my batteries more than 50%.

I have to do some research on whether to go AC, DC or AC/DC for the fridges/freezer when I refit the galley. It's not clear to me which is the most efficient given I'm always running an inverter when there's no AC (shore power or genset).

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Old 04-01-2016, 07:24 AM   #13
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1. We have hydraulic steering and mechanical shifters and throttles. No changeover required, all controls can be operated from either station.
2. We have DC fridge, said to be nominally more efficient than AC. Not sure about the efficiency, but we don't run the gen while at anchor or on a mooring buoy.
3. We have a propane stove/oven and use both regularly. Propane cooking and diesel heating was a basic requirement for us since we boat in the PNW and we like quiet and heat.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
Questions from a sailor thinking Trawler:
On boats with multiple steering stations do you have to disengage/engage when you change locations or do they mirror each other. I'm talking steering, throttle and forward/reverse.

AC/DC refrigeration:
On these multiple current refrigeration units are there compressors that run off both AC & DC, two compressors or an internal inverter/converter.

Electric stoves:
Why instead of propane. Are they initially cheaper, are people afraid of propane or ??? I ask because I can't see firing up the genset to make a cup of coffee.

These questions may appear dumb but coming from the sailing world these questions are all mysteries to me. Have your fun but I hope in the end I get some answers. Thanks

No engagement/disengagement necessary on the dual-helm system we had.

Our AC/DC fridges always run on a DC compressor. When fed AC as power source, the fridges "power supply" converts AC to DC, much like a laptop's power supply.

Ours came with electric, so that's what we use and have come to prefer, for this boat. (Induction would likely be even better.) Coffee and microwave will run on an inverter easily enough, when the genset isn't running.

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Old 04-01-2016, 10:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktdtx View Post
Some (maybe all) the electronic controls require disengaging one (shift & throttles) and then you engage the other.
Our Volvo KAD44P, 18 years old but electronically controlled, has three helm stations. Throttle and shift are fly-by-wire. To take engine/gear control at a different station, I push a button at that new station. No disengagement required at the station which had been in control.

Steering (hydraulic) works everywhere all the time - turn any wheel and it steers.
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adagio43 View Post
Questions from a sailor thinking Trawler:
On boats with multiple steering stations do you have to disengage/engage when you change locations or do they mirror each other. I'm talking steering, throttle and forward/reverse.

AC/DC refrigeration:
On these multiple current refrigeration units are there compressors that run off both AC & DC, two compressors or an internal inverter/converter.

Electric stoves:
Why instead of propane. Are they initially cheaper, are people afraid of propane or ??? I ask because I can't see firing up the genset to make a cup of coffee.

These questions may appear dumb but coming from the sailing world these questions are all mysteries to me. Have your fun but I hope in the end I get some answers. Thanks
I can only answer based on my own boat.

I don't have to engage or disengage anything when moving from the lower helm to the upper helm. The steering is hydraulic and the throttle and gearshift are interconnected cables.

My refrigerator runs on AC if available, DC if not. It's what is commonly called an "AC/DC refrigerator and is probably the most common kind on a relatively small boat.

I don't know why anyone would put an electric stove on a boat. Mine is propane. I do have a large battery bank and inverter so I can also use a microwave oven and a coffee pot (but not at the same time).
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Old 04-01-2016, 10:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post
I don't know why anyone would put an electric stove on a boat.

Electric cooktop, inexpensive units, easy installation, takes minimal space, no special venting required, cooks OK, works well with boats that already have shorepower and gensets, electricity is already on the boat (so no finding/humping propane or alcohol or whatever needed), etc.

Not a recommendation, just an observation.

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Old 04-01-2016, 10:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesK View Post

I don't know why anyone would put an electric stove on a boat. Mine is propane. I do have a large battery bank and inverter so I can also use a microwave oven and a coffee pot (but not at the same time).
Since I'm one of those anyone's you don't see, I'll answer. I choose not to have propane on a boat. I'm not saying it's a huge risk or that many don't have it safely. We use electric for many things on the boat, including air conditioning, and between batteries, inverters, generators and shore power, have no problems getting by without it. As to the coffee question, we'd accommodate that with a coffee pot. But if we need to start the generator and it's not already running, then we just start it. That's what it's there for.
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britannia View Post
I'm an ex-sailor - you'll love having a trawler!

On controls - my steering and engine controls are hydraulic. No switchover is required. The engine controls move in sync at both helm stations. The wheel at the helm not it use does not move. Neither wheel moves when the autopilot is steering.
How does that work, I've actually always been curious about this. What if you leave the wheel at helm 1 all the way to the right and then start steering on helm 2 and turns the wheel all the way left. Does it mean that as soon as you touch the helm 1 wheel, the rudder will go hard over right?
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:17 AM   #20
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With our helms (Teleflex Seastar hydraulic steering), the visible position of any of the wheels has nothing to do with the position of the sterndrive (our rudder). Only the motion of a wheel is important. When we turn any wheel, the hydraulics are pumped, and the sterndrive turns whichever way the wheel is turned. The other two wheels do not move. Valving in the helms makes this work.
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