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Old 12-30-2007, 09:14 AM   #21
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

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FF wrote:

I wish I woulda picked his brain about the specifics of the system....maybe later.

Pro boat builder (back issues on line FREE) had a good series of articles on this very subject bu Nigel Calder.

In a word FORGETABOUTIT.

FF
Yep, I learned a long time ago that you can't talk people out of stuff like this. My only question was.... Why?* And the real answer is that he is a gear queer....pure and simple.* I had seen him take his boat out maybe twice in 6 years but boy did he spend money on that thing......kills me!!!
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:35 AM   #22
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"Yep, I learned a long time ago that you can't talk people out of stuff like this. My only question was.... Why? "

Today in the crushing world of PC , I think its folks wanting to be "Better" than others by seeming greener.

AS long as political power can be gathered by fooling people and FIAT ( A UN carbon tax?)it will go on.

Most common in the boating world is the acceptance of New Speak , the "fast" trawler.

Used to be 25 to 40K was for motoryachts , but that's not PC to own.

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Old 12-31-2007, 03:40 AM   #23
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I have seen a good acceptance of electric motors tho as kickers on smaller dinks.

The ladies are sometimes intiminated by the fear of going ashore , and not being able to start the OB and get back.

The powerful , and fairly cheap small electric motor and sealed bats has made this a hassle of the past.

At a marina in CT more than one use a fishing motor as daily transport to the mooring.

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Old 01-04-2008, 11:53 AM   #24
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

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Until a system can be developed and marketed for a price that a large segment of the boating population can afford, it will remain an "exotic" side-product, something that can go into a multi-million dollar Nordhavn but not into Average Joe's CHB.
The Island Pilot solar/diesel/electric boats are going to be very interesting, and they cost a lot less than the Norhavn.* I'm hoping to see one at the Miami boat show, but I don't know if they're on schedule (planned to be there last year).* It's disappointing that they opted not to build a full-size prototype, but rather to sell the very first hull.* Awfully risky given the uniqueness of the venture.

If the boat works as advertised I can definitely envision buying one.* Gas/diesel is only going to get more expensive, and global warming is real.*

There will always be a majority who want to go fast, but as fuel prices go up I think we'll see more and more converts to slow boating.
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:41 AM   #25
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"I think we'll see more and more converts to slow boating."

OR we will see an end to Bloat Boats and return to the style known as "Commuters" in the late 20's.

Round bottom Semiplaining , great sea boats , modern diesels are 1 /5 or less in pounds / hp of the old engines and economy is far higher. Hulls can weigh 1/3 of the stout wooden construction.

The question is weather folks can enjoy boating with a hotel ballroom aboard.

70-80- years ago folks did .

Even the houseboats like a 65ft Trumphy were mostly long and lean.

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Old 01-13-2008, 11:30 PM   #26
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

FF

I think there was a wide range of scantlings on the comuters of the 20s. Production FG boats aren't light and I belive lighter wood boats, especially the comuter types, were not unusual.

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:43 AM   #27
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I think there was a wide range of scantlings on the comuters of the 20s. Production FG boats aren't light and I belive lighter wood boats, especially the comuter types, were not unusual.

MY favorite STROLLER , a Herrishoff design of 1929 , was of std yacht construction of the time for 20K IN A SEAWAY.

Nice, with a bow cockpit , and on the after deck the couch at the transom was 4 ft wide!

Nice living , for those with some $$$.

Todays production boats with simple solid glass will be half the hull weight of the old woodies, and the aluminum or better grade , Airex , or Carbon fiber over a core will weigh half of that.

A new Yanmar ,BMW car engine marinization will put out more power at 1/3 or 1/4 the weight of the Sterlings of the early eras.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:04 PM   #28
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Electric Boat Engines

I have worked on several big tugs here in BC that were diesel-electric and I remember asking one of the engineers why. His reply was that the huge diesel engine was run at a governed constant speed which was its most fuel efficient and that the electric motor gave them instant full torque when they started pulling and object. At the time I remember thinking that it must be the way to go for these boats because the engine rooms were HUGE ! Our little motor/generators for converting the 120 VDC that the ships electrical system ran on to 120 VAC for the electronics and comms. were totally lost amongst all the switch gear and transfer panels these tugs had down there. I think the prop drive motors ran on something like 660 VDC but its a long time ago so I may be wrong on that, but it was a high voltage for sure. I am sure that similar sized tugs (straight diesel) had far smaller engine rooms than these ones.
Most of these tugs were ex WWII navy ships both US and Can. so it was used a long while back in some ships. I believe that the new azimuth steered tugs that have as much pull sideways as fore/aft are also diesel electric but again that's just my impression from watching them work. Most of the new cruise ships are also electric driven with the motors inside the prop pods.
I think that if the vessel is BIG, diesel-electric is the choice unless its straight from A to B like the big container ships etc but its not far enough advanced in small versions as yet for our boats.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:56 AM   #29
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

It's interesting that after I posted the initial question about the future of electric/diesel engines, I found an article*published in Southern Boating Magaizine in January 2008, that reviewed a prototype engine built by Siemans.* The electric/diesel engine was fitted into a 42 foot trawler originally built with twin engines etc.

The trawler's twin engines were replaced with a single 225 hp engine and two electric motors.* Fuel economy improved over 10%, sound was reduced 6 dba and the system occupied significantly less space than the twins.* Slow speed handling was vastly improved and with a flick of a switch, the boat could be powered by the trawler's generator,*running 5-6 knots.

The author was so impressed that he predicts we will start seeing these units in boats as small as 30 feet,*giving more room for people aboard.

Well there you have it folks, looks like we're in for some inovation on the propulsion scene soon.

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Old 01-16-2008, 12:29 PM   #30
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Mr. Marine Trader,
There's no reason a conversion that you mention can be done and I don't doubt that savings can be had BUT how much will it cost to do such a conversion? People like me won't spend mega $$ to convert and until prices come into line that would make $$ sense to replace say a blown engine out of a twin engine boat with electric conversion, it just won't happen. I think Penta hit the nail on the head by saying diesel electrics have their place.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:57 PM   #31
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If any of y'all are readers of Latts & Atts magazine, the editor/owner of that rag and his lovely partner are building a new Shannon motorsailor (un)officially named the Bitchin' 52(his (pen) name is Bob Bitchin) that will use the OSSA Powerlite system. I think the days of assuming this power option is just a pipe dream are over. It is a reality and it is upon us. I will agree with RTF that in a repower scenario, it may be cost prohibitive. But in a brand new build, it's looking like it is well on the way. As mentioned, Nordhavn is offering it on some models. There is a builder of powercats(Main Cats I think) that is offering it is an option. Should be interesting.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #32
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As mentioned above, there's also the solar/diesel/electric hybrid being produced by Island Pilot (DSe Hybrid) -- also using the Ossa Powerlite system (2x 25kw generators and 2x 35hp DC motors). Their first hull, a 40' cat, is supposed to be ready for showing this year.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:17 PM   #33
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

I was going to let this topic go but it seems to keep being resurrected every now and again.

Most everyone keeps harping on the "cost".* One contributor said, "But what I haven't seen is what it's going to cost."* Well, respectfully, you haven't seen it because apparently you haven't bothered to look at any of the links that have been posted or done any searching on your own.* Ossa, seemingly one of the major movers in the field, estimates that a re-power currently would be 150-200% of a traditional re-power.* They also say, "For a typical new boat build, the premium paid for a complete OSSA Powerlite system adds about 5% to the cost of the boat."

That's a steep hit for a re-power, that's true, but the price of almost all new technology starts high then drops as it matures and develops.* Does anyone remember what microwaves and video recorders sold for when they were new technology?** That's an apples and oranges comparasion, I know, but the fact remains that prices drop as a technology ages.* And the hit for a new build is not, in my opinion, that great for the potential benefits liable to be gained.

FEYS (Fast Electric Yacht System)*in Houston has some prices posted on their website for an equally sized propulsion system:**

I don't know how current those prices are or even how reliable they were in the first place.* But the general gist of what I see is that, while current prices for this technology are high, they aren't so stratospherically high as to earn the ""exotic"*side product" that the "Average Joe can't afford" label.*

People have also commented that the technology is sound <u>but</u> "don't look for it in the showroom anytime soon" with the admonition that companies "aren't going to re-tool their product line based on a few one-off examples of a lab-built system custom installed in a demo boat."* News flash....there are more companies, big companies, beginning to employ this technology all the time.* Lagoon Catamarans (part of Beneteau) has a production boat that is 100% diesel-electric, the Lagoon 420.* According to a March/April 2006*article on catamaran.com, here the company has over 50 orders on the books for this boat.* If you read the article you'll see that the 420 is 8% more expensive than the diesel powered boat it replaced.... but the re-designed model is also larger than its predecssor.* (8% for this boat works out to around $39K US....but if you can afford $400K for a boat I doubt that the extra 39K will sink you into poverty).* With Nordhavn, Main Cats, Island Pilot, and more coming on-line, I don't think anyone can fairly say that this technology is just an "interesting experiment".**

Speed concerns?* If you want to go fast you don't buy a sailboat...or a trawler.* If you want to pull water skiers you don't buy a Grand Banks.* This topic was started in a trawler discussion group.* I thought that's what we were talking about.....innovative propulsion systems for trawlers.

And it's true that the "experts" have divided opinions on diesel-electric.* But to say that their opinion is "In a word FORGETABOUTIT" is stretching the truth a little.* In one of the magazine articles referenced by that poster, ("Pro Boat Builder",* Aug 2007) the article by Nigel Caulder says, on page 99, "Nevertheless, the diesel-electric approach still has widespread merit because it brings the*boat owner benefits other than efficiency.* I'll explore those benefits in the next issue."* Caulder does seem more down than up concerning diesel-electric but at least he sounds like he's trying to keep an open mind.

I think we're going to be hearing more about diesel-electric in the coming years.* It won't replace conventional systems overnight.....it may never replace conventional systems.* But to disregard it as high-falutin, pie in the sky, exotic, day-dreaming nonsense is totally innappropriate.* I'm glad to read a few more posts admitting that it may be a viable technology.* That saves me from posting some of the really great quotes I dug up.** Quotes from famous people and respected newspapers about past "passing fads" such as automobiles and airplanes.






-- Edited by gns at 19:24, 2008-01-16
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:48 PM   #34
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Don't know about automobiles but airplanes are definitely "passing fads" since once telecomuting and simple, reliable, real-time video teleconferencing become widespread, well, there will be no reason to go anywhere, right?

Anyway, fuel costs will make air travel so staggeringly expensive that no one will be able to afford to go anywhere anyway. And if you're an American, as the dollar continues its plunge to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, even if you could afford the airfare you'll never be able to afford the actual vacation.

Of course diesel-electric is a viable power system for a boat. I don't think very many of us are saying it isn't. But our marina has something over 2000 boats in it. The vast majority of these boats are older, owned by people on a limited boating budget. I'm guessing here, but based on what I see there are perhaps ten boats in our marina that could be viable candidates for a diesel-electric repower based on my assumptions about the financial position of their owners.

The thing I've been reacting to in my previous posts is the tendency for a new technology to come along (not that diesel-electric is new but its application to smaller vessels is) and for a lot of people to jump on the "this solves all our problems" bandwagon amd start painting glorious pictures of repowering a 1970s Tolly 26 with a diesel-electric powerplant.

Sure, if the technology proves viable in the trawler/sailboat market there will be more applications and the cost will come down. But for 99.9 percent of the 2,000 boaters in my marina, I doubt the cost will be anywhere close to affordable in the forseeable future. Most of the boat owners I know would be hard-pressed repower their boats with the kind of engines they have now, let alone anything new.

There is also the issue of the value of a diesel-electric repower. I can see, given the current cost, that repowering an older boat with this type of system could easily be an unrecoverable cost. Sort of like putting a fancy addition on a house in a crappy neighborhood. The neighborhood sets the basic selling price envelope, and even if you do great things to your house it will not be reflected in the selling price because people simply won't pay that much to live in the crappy neighborhood.

I have no argument with diesel-electric power, fuel-cell power, you name it, having a viable potential in new boats. Grand Banks is putting computer-controlled pod drives on their newest model. Great idea, makes sense to me, love to have one. Like the previous poster said, if you can cough up a half million or more for a boat, a few more thousands for a high-tech propulsion system isn't going to make any difference.

But I personally am not so interested in the higher end of the new boat market. I'm more interested in what's viable for boaters like me, which from what I see is most of us. That's why I'm skeptical about diesel-electric power being some sort of savior for high fuel prices. I can buy a hell of a lot of diesel fuel--- even at $10 a gallon--- for what it would cost me to repower our boat with diesel-electric or some other leading-edge technology power system.

In short, our boat, as nice as it might be, is simply not worth converting over, and I suspect that the vast majority of boats out there are the same way. VCRs, computers, cell phones, etc. came down fast in price because their market is huge and to a large degree, they are all "disposable" items, so the market stays huge. Not so boats. So it will be interesting to see how big the market really is, which in turn will determine how affordable the technology becomes.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:17 PM   #35
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

gns,

Good copy. Some of us appreaciate your imput but it seems most on this forum are of the baah humbug catergory. Marin, nobody's presented DE as a " savior ". At best wer'e considering DE as just plain better, and most indications point to the probability that it is. Where do you get the idea that someone is trying to convince you to but DE in your boat? That would be ridiculous as youv'e already stated you want to retain your " roaring " engines and don't want any " pansy little constant speed generator ". FF says it's not worth talking about as he says " FORGETABOUTIT " and RTF says it's a " pile of crap ". DE will probably never be as cheap as straight gear drive and it appears to not to cost much more but, objectivly considered, it's obviously better.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:27 PM   #36
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ken williams on his blog about his nordhavn 68 says he initial wanted to go diesel electric
but nordhavn talked him out of it because of delays it would cause to production schedules.
now having seen the diesel electric nordhavn whilst still believing de is the way of the future
he is glad nordhavn talked him out of it for the present

now has anyone considered fuel cell technology combined with electric drive ???
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:56 PM   #37
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Eric---

Nobody on this forum has presented this technology as a savior, but I've seen it presented this way in other venues recently.

I don't know if I'd go so far as to say diesel-electric is better across the board. It offers some advantages and has some disadvantages, just like every other form of power
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:32 AM   #38
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Nomadwilly,
Nowhere did I say DE was "a pile of crap". The "pile of crap" I was refering to was the new "technology" to release the so-called energy trapped in time. From the chart gns provided, DE DOES seem like an option for a new build and it DOES have a lot of advantages but is out of my budget for a repower based soley on economic fuel savings. As was mentioned, the largest percentage of boaters out there do have some sort of budget.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:05 PM   #39
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RE: Electric Boat Engines

RTF,
Sorry. I thought you were calling Diesel Electric a pile of crap. Why don't you guys want to talk about things you can't afford? I would love to have DE in my boat with single engine and twin screws. I could tuck the propellers in tight against the keel so if I went high and dry my props would still be protected. I can't even think about doing it as I just put in a new engine and replaced the fuel tanks. Talking about teletransportation as in beam me up Scotty is silly but talking about new stuff thats already on the market is fun ..I think. I've really enjoyed the personel history thread and I see it's not active. I'll keep going on that as I think it should be fun for everyone not just the gear heads or special interest guys. Just bought a skiff today. They are very popular on the bay. Many use them like cars. To me ther's nothing as much fun as small outboard boats. My skiff has a 25hp 3cyl Suzuki on it and it seems to suck the fuel fairly fast but a bigger concern is keeping my feet warm down in the bilge. About fishing I don't know if I'll use the Willard, my 19' outboard or the skiff but in time that will all sort out. As to DE I wish I was in a position to seriously kick it around. I'll bet somone on TF is though.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:21 PM   #40
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>Why don't you guys want to talk about things you can't afford?

Well, I talk about commercial jetliners all the time and I can't afford one. But I get paid to do it

As to non-work topics like boats and whatnot, if something is totally outside the realm of reality to me, I don't want to waste much time talking or speculating about it. I've got plenty of things to talk and speculate about that ARE in the realm of my reality.

Diesel-electric power in small boats is interesting, in some forms it's viable, and it may become more viable in the future. But it's not in MY future so I see no value--- to me--- in spending any time discussing it in detail.
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