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Old 04-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #61
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Art has a point - there are so many cruising boats in place that are not being used or under-used due to fuel prices. And, since many are older boats, they are just not worth the investment in an electric power train and/or hybrid system plus battery, plus, plus, plus.

The immediate and obvious solution is just to run about 1 or 2 knots under the "hull speed," or about 5 or 6 knots. This saves a tremendous amount of fuel increasing the miles per gallon by high factors.

If one has an antique diesel (ie. Ford Lehman) that may be ready for mooring duty, figure out just how much HP is required for "hull speed" and replace that rusting iron with a small, lightweight, modern diesel (ie. computer-controlled, common-rail, automobile based) with a turbo so that at this new slower cruising speed, the turbo is engaged and doing something to save fuel. I know I'm speaking heresy to many old timers who just do NOT want a turbo on a slow-speed boat. But, every commercial slow-speed modern boat (ie. tractor tug) has turbo'd diesels (note the plural - twins are not all bad in the commercial world).

No one has yet to mention bottom modifications. Take the 27' Owens for example - once the owner has decided to use her at trawler speeds, there is no reason not to modify the bottom. On a v-bottom boat, this can be done with plywood and dimensional lumber from Home Depot. Essentially extend the bottom past the transom and bring it up to the waterline several feet back. This gives you a great base for a swim platform and will reduce drag at slow speeds.

If your budget and will power is craving an electric solution AND your current motor is OK, you can belt an electric motor to the shaft and add some batteries. Depending on your electric motor, you may be able to charge your batteries from it while running the internal combustion motor.

I have boated in the Miami area my entire adult life. A typical weekend getaway is to leave Miami Friday evening and go all of 12 nm to Elliots Key - anchor - and return on Sunday. Total travel - 24 nm. Choosing to make this trip slowly with diesel power will be only a few gallons each way - maybe 6 or $24 at $4/gal. OR, with a plug-in system, either stand alone or with an internal combustion motor, and suitable battery, most Miami boaters could do their weekend jaunt w/o ever using a drop of fuel. Yes, it'd take them a bit longer to get to their anchorage and back, but, isn't the whole purpose of pleasure boating to enjoy the journey?

Only by starting with a clean sheet of paper can one expect to get an electric-powered boat that has any chance of meeting real cruising needs. As has been mentioned in this thread and others - multiple hulls - long, lean, multiple hulls. Delete as much weight as possible to allow for the biggest battery and maximum solar array. And once built, expect relatively short cruises from harbor to harbor with layovers to recharge. But the joy of silent cruising without a drop of fossil fuel is worth it. Think ZERO carbon footprint.

Anyone have an idea for an on-board head that composts and/or produces methane gas?
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #62
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No. A sign that it is spring and old ideas get re-hatched. This too shall pass as the reality of boating season rises out of the shadows.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:26 PM   #63
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Craig: regarding the "black magic" of LiFePo4 batteries - There is NO "black magic." Essentially they are must less delicate than your AGMs - you can hammer them, both on charging and discharging - up to 3C both ways! ("C" is the size of the battery - in the case of Sunshine, 1,000 AH. So, we could charge and discharge at up to 3,000 Amps! This is over 100 kW!!!!). The salient to maintaining this battery is cell voltage. You must not over-charge or deplete any cell beyond it's specifications. So, with a 48v battery - a size big enough to power up to about 13kW motors - there are 16 cells. Each cell is monitored by the BMS (battery management system). And if a single cell approaches its limits, with top or bottom, the BMS can start to slow or shut down charging (if too high) or slow/shut down loads (if too low). This is not rocket science - just careful electrical engineering.

A well-thought out system can be quite simple for the actual end user. You have a user interface showing loads and charging (fuel flow meter) - total amp hours available (gas gauge) and a few indicators (idiot lights) that let you know you're reaching a spec limit with one or more cells. Ideally, the system can be left unattended weeks at a time w/o worry - if cell balance gets out of wack, the BMS balances the cells - if a cell gets overcharged, the BMS slows down or turns off the charging device(s) - if a cell gets over-depleted, the BMS starts cutting loads loose from the battery. Worst case, the battery finally disconnects from the main bus.

Once the cell(s) return to spec, the BMS reconnects to the bus and business resumes as usual.

This is no more work than checking your gas gauge or oil pressure.

Boeing did none of us any favors - but their chemistry is NOT iron phosphate, but cobalt - the most temperamental chemistry of LI batteries. You can literally drive a nail through a Balqon battery w/o causing a short - or take a blow torch and burn a hole through w/o causing a fire. Not so with cobalt.

There are numerous packagers of LI batteries around the world now offering batteries that actually look like batteries with built-in BMS - you just hook it up and forget it. These are handy, but pricey - not really an option for a large battery if you're on a budget.

Does this help? If I got anything wrong, please correct me?
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #64
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Anyone have an idea for an on-board head that composts and/or produces methane gas?
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #65
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The issue with this whole electric cruising boat thing is that I don't think there is anywhere near enough market interest in the idea to make it commercially viable. And until there is, the concept will remain the hobby of the armchair theorists and personified in a handful of demonstration boats that are far too expensive for any sort of a profitable, let alone break-even, commercial production venture.

Money decides what lives and what dies. World history is packed with great ideas that were possible in theory, sometimes even possible and proven in reality, but were not possible profitably or practically and so they died. I think the electric cruising boat is one of these, certainly for the foreseeable future if not forever.

The boats that could make use of pure electric power (I'm not talking diesel-electric here) are so limited in function as to have virtually no appeal to anyone other than people whose primary interest and objective is to have an electric powered boat. Bob talks of his electric kayak that had an impressive range on electric power.

So what?

Walt is not going to be taking his grandkids out for an exciting spin in the ocean in a kayak, be it electric, paddle, or warp drive. My wife and I and friends are not going take a two week cruise into BC in a kayak, however it's powered.

And then there's this...... Virtually every boater I know has at one time or another looked at this, that, or the other boat and said, "Boy, that's a gorgeous boat. I'd love to have something that looked like that." Nobody is going to look at a boat like Sunshine and say that. So there goes a huge chunk of the boat-buying market right there. People buy boats for all sorts of reasons, but based on what I hear in our marina every day I'm there, and based on our own boat buying, appearance is a surprisingly big piece of the decision process. Probably a lot more than some of the dyed-in-the-wool engineering types on this forum want to believe. But the boat manufacturers realize it really, really well. (Most of them, anyway. Some of them you really wonder what they were thinking.)

Everybody wants something for nothing and on the surface electric power can appear to provide that. I suspect that is the primary motivation behind Craig's interest. It certainly would be mine if I was concerned about the cost of operating our boat.

But the bottom line, I think, is that if it was such a great idea, and if it was something that was desired and could be afforded by the boating market, it would have already been done. I don't see anything truly breakthrough here. Battery technology is improving and the big lithium battery offers a big jump forward in terms of capacity, life, recharge rate and so on. It's why it's being put on airplanes now. The annoying little details like catching on fire at the drop of a hat are being solved.

But the technology still remains far outside the cost range of what the bulk of the market is willing to spend on boating. And as long as there is no market, there is no truly viable product.

For what a lot of cruising boaters want to do, even the Scout (which by the way seems to be based on the famous Lake Union Dreamboat), is not a practical boat for the vast majority of today's recreational cruising boaters. As pretty as the Dreamboats are, they certainly wouldn't do me and my wife any good no matter what powered them.

Diesel-electric as mentioned by FlyWright has, I think, a more practical and affordable potential because you get the efficiency and affordability of a diesel with the operational benefits of an electric drive. And you don't have to compromise the vessel's appearance to make use of it as you do with solar, windmills, etc., or the boat's interior volume and weight as you do with big banks of batteries.

But until petroleum gets a hell of a lot more expensive than it currently is, I think the pure electric cruising boat is going to be confined to the same shelf as the famous 100 miles per gallon carburetor of decades ago. Possible to do, maybe, fun to theorize about, certainly, but practical, affordable, and-- most important--- profitable in a market large enough to make it profitable, I don't think so.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #66
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There are so many cruising boats in place that are not being used or under-used due to fuel prices. And, since many are older boats, they are just not worth the investment in an electric power train and/or hybrid system plus battery, plus, plus, plus.



Reuben – I understand what you are saying, regarding the fact that “...many are older boats, they are just not worth the investment...”

That is true concerning many used boats of all makes, models, and sizes that have simply “gone to seed” from age as well as neglect or misuse; and will soon be trashed (or at least they should be put out of their misery – lol).

However, there are quite a few owners who already place more capital into repowering their "beloved” used boats (that they maintained in OK condition) than the boats are financially worth. This expense + phenomenon often occurs in the likes of well built brand-name boats such as Hatteras, Bertram, Chris Craft, Tollycraft, Grand Banks... and the like, as well as to some well built custom one-offs. The repowering that the owners either help perform or have completely done by professionals costs a lot of investment and is usually regarding hi-tech new-age diesels that may be replacing worn diesel or sometimes gasoline engines (change over from gas to diesel can get real expensive!).

Way I see it: With some boat owners already spending oodles of capital ($30K - $60K) to still burn diesel fossil fuel at even a relatively high efficiency (of let’s say 3 gph at 9 knots = 3 nmpg which = $1.67 per mile at $5.00 per gallon) then they would likely invest in a hybrid power system that held their fuel costs to $0.50 or possibly $0.10 or below per mile if there were an acceptable hybrid power system available that could reach a bit of speed and could provide some range with relatively fast recharging capability.

At this development juncture - - > Three problems (holdbacks) confront the production and application of an operative hybrid power system:

1. Energy-Charge acceptance rate/speed by batteries
2. Energy-Storage volume and energy release capability per battery pound
3. Energy-Charger efficiency per gallon of diesel fuel, or wind energy / solar energy capture and transfer

Operative word “ENERGY”... Operative problem “NOT ENOUGH”

So far it seems no person or group of hybrid marine propulsion “inventors” or “specialists” or “entrepreneurs” have engineered a magic formula to beat (or even match) the multi facetted efficiency ratios of using good ol’ high-energy-transfer hydrocarbon fuel engines.

There are breakthroughs coming – I just do not know when or from whom – and, I sure don’t know if this needed propulsion system breakthrough will arrive in time to salvage (i.e. blow life back into) the power-driven pleasure boating industry that is currently falling out of sync around the globe due to increasing fossil fuel costs.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #67
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Marin.

Prior to 1999 there were no commercially available hybrid cars in the marketplace. According to your point of view, if they were a good idea, then they would exist. They didn't until Honda introduced the Insight. It was a groundbreaking product that never made money for Honda. It took Toyota to introduce a commercially viable hybrid car.

Similar development is happening in the boating world. And these early developments will not necessary be profitable nor find a mass market. But, they will push recreational boating into the future.

Most likely the early adopters of electric propulsion will be ex-sailors. They already know about cruising using nature. Lots of the time they can't even head in the direction they want, tacking as necessary - going slowly as wind decreases - or backwards when current's against you and wind doesn't get you going fast enough - sitting in an open cockpit sometimes in rain or cold weather - averaging 3, 4 or maybe 5 knots towards their destination - and accustomed to not paying for fuel.

Give these boaters a modicum of comforts - ease of operation - the ability to actually head directly towards their destination at a constant 5 knots - virtually using no fuel - and at a competitive price, say $200k for a 30 footer - a market, however limited, will be found.

Regarding different strokes - that's why there're kayaks - bass boats - prams - cigarettes - displacement trawlers - fast cruisers - jet skis AND electric boats. No one here is trying to convince you to change your cruising lifestyle for an e-boat. But development progresses. There are way too many players in this arena around the world to dismiss it with a casual "if people wanted electric boats then they would already exist." They will be a niche market for the foreseeable future - much the same way hybrid and electric cars are. But a growing market. There is a growing push back to conspicuous consumption of fossil fuel - look what became of the Hummer. There is a growing awareness of the possibility of yachts using less or no fuel. With the key technology being driven by the auto market where even a niche product still is big enough for profitability, yacht builders can progress in concert taking advantage of high tech batteries, motors, PV arrays and wind turbines.

I'm sure you're comfortable with your current trawler. In also sure most participants on this forum are likewise happy with their current yacht. But a few are open to this developing technology and will be early adopters allowing us to continue to develop and progress.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:19 PM   #68
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Marin.

Prior to 1999 there were no commercially available hybrid cars in the marketplace. According to your point of view, if they were a good idea, then they would exist. They didn't until Honda introduced the Insight. It was a groundbreaking product that never made money for Honda. It took Toyota to introduce a commercially viable hybrid car.

Similar development is happening in the boating world. And these early developments will not necessary be profitable nor find a mass market. But, they will push recreational boating into the future.

Most likely the early adopters of electric propulsion will be ex-sailors. They already know about cruising using nature. Lots of the time they can't even head in the direction they want, tacking as necessary - going slowly as wind decreases - or backwards when current's against you and wind doesn't get you going fast enough - sitting in an open cockpit sometimes in rain or cold weather - averaging 3, 4 or maybe 5 knots towards their destination - and accustomed to not paying for fuel.

Give these boaters a modicum of comforts - ease of operation - the ability to actually head directly towards their destination at a constant 5 knots - virtually using no fuel - and at a competitive price, say $200k for a 30 footer - a market, however limited, will be found.

Regarding different strokes - that's why there're kayaks - bass boats - prams - cigarettes - displacement trawlers - fast cruisers - jet skis AND electric boats. No one here is trying to convince you to change your cruising lifestyle for an e-boat. But development progresses. There are way too many players in this arena around the world to dismiss it with a casual "if people wanted electric boats then they would already exist." They will be a niche market for the foreseeable future - much the same way hybrid and electric cars are. But a growing market. There is a growing push back to conspicuous consumption of fossil fuel - look what became of the Hummer. There is a growing awareness of the possibility of yachts using less or no fuel. With the key technology being driven by the auto market where even a niche product still is big enough for profitability, yacht builders can progress in concert taking advantage of high tech batteries, motors, PV arrays and wind turbines.

I'm sure you're comfortable with your current trawler. In also sure most participants on this forum are likewise happy with their current yacht. But a few are open to this developing technology and will be early adopters allowing us to continue to develop and progress.
Well stated. I admire your boat as a proof of concept design. Thanks for the hard work, which I'm sure will someday have dividends for the general boating public.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:41 PM   #69
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Well stated. I admire your boat as a proof of concept design. Thanks for the hard work, which I'm sure will someday have dividends for the general boating public.
Ditto X 2
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #70
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And the Honda Insight with aluminum body panels, belly pan, low drag, got 73 mpg before the Prius was on the market. The Hyper-miler groups break 100 mpg all the time with that old Insight. You have a good memory when it comes to breakthroughs in the green segment Reuben.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:46 PM   #71
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Another big attraction for e-boat development is the type of technology people are comfortable with. Most of us grew up tinkering with engines, and are willing to depend on our experience to bleed air out of the fuel lines, or change out a faulty implellor when needed. There our times when lives depend on having these skills.

More and more young people have not grown up with these skills. They are more comfortable checking their program battery charging program for a bug, or replacing a faulty circuit board. Sure- there will always be a requirement for basic mechanical skills, but the required skillset is shifting. Look at the effect of navigation electronics.

I'm not saying this change of skills is a step forward, but it is a reality. These people may still want to be boat owners, who like to tinker down in the bilge like we do, but in a different way. The attraction to boating is as much about this as the joys getting out on the water. This change may attract more people to revitalize the boating industry than any savings in fuel.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:57 PM   #72
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Another big attraction for e-boat development is the type of technology people are comfortable with. Most of us grew up tinkering with engines, and are willing to depend on our experience to bleed air out of the fuel lines, or change out a faulty implellor when needed. There our times when lives depend on having these skills.

More and more young people have not grown up with these skills. They are more comfortable checking their program battery charging program for a bug, or replacing a faulty circuit board. Sure- there will always be a requirement for basic mechanical skills, but the required skillset is shifting. Look at the effect of navigation electronics.

I'm not saying this change of skills is a step forward, but it is a reality. These people may still want to be boat owners, who like to tinker down in the bilge like we do, but in a different way. The attraction to boating is as much about this as the joys getting out on the water. This change may attract more people to revitalize the boating industry than any savings in fuel.
Very Well Put AusCan!!!
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #73
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Reuben--- Fair answer, particularly the part about the need to explore new technologies or we will never make any progress. That's that's what the industry I work in has been all about since 1903. (Or earlier if you believe the French.)

But I think right now and for a long time to come the idea will be stymied by the extremely high cost, a cost that I don't believe will warrant an interest by a market large enough to make it viable, by which I mean profitable.

The comparison with hybrid cars appears logical at first, but where it breaks down is that just about everyone on the planet needs a vehicle. Nobody on the planet NEEDS a recreational boat. And vehicles are used every day, for the most part, and in most cases the vehicle is in integral part of the owner's abilty to make a living. So they HAVE to use it. As such, the cost of fuel has a major impact on its owner.

Recreational cruising boats are used, so the published statements would have us believe, an average of 100 hours a year. That kind of usage will never make an electric-only boat viable as a product unless the cost comes down to the cost of operating a petroleum-powered boat.

Vehicle manufacturers are also under a lot of pressure to reduce their emissions "contribution" to the atmosphere and a hybrid is a great way to meet that pressure. So even if the early hybrids were sold at a loss, their immediate effect on their manufacturers' CAFE numbers more than made up for that loss, at least in this country.

So I think trying to compare the future of electricity in recreational cruising boats with the experience of vehicle manufacturers with their hybrids is an apples/oranges thing.

The Hummer, by the way, did not die because of its fuel economy or lack thereof. Plenty of other vehicles still built today have mileage figures worse than it. The Hummer had a very limited market to start with--- much like your electric cruising boat idea--- and when GM hit the skids in 2007/2008 it was a logical product to kill. A Chinese company tried to buy it but the Chinese Ministry of Commerce killed the deal and that was that.

I'm not anti-electric power. It offers all sorts of advantages and has been offering them for more than a century. I would be happy to drive an electric-only vehicle, fly an electric-only plane, and go cruising in an electric-only boat. But the severe limitations of the current crop of electric vehicles make them totally unsuitable for what I need a vehicle for, the airplane thing is self-explanatory, and the electric recreational cruising boat-- even if it was an available product--- would simply not be worth the cost.

So, get the price down to where it can be produced and sold as "inexpensively" as what the boating market offers today with petroleum power and you may have something, assuming it appeals to all the other things that push boaters' buttons (aesthetics, accomodations, capabilities, speed, range, etc.). But if you can't do that, then I suspect it will remain on the shelf with that 100-miles-per-gallon carburetor.

PS-- I just reade AusCan's post and frankly, I think his point is the only one that makes sense for the potential viability of electric cruising boats. The market is "dumbing down" to the point where a plug-and-play product is the only kind they can deal with and so is the only kind they'll buy.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:58 PM   #74
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AusCan,

To date, I haven't needed to do any tinkering with the electric motors that I have in 3 EVs. I'm a baby boomer, grew up wrenching on my own cars and now in my 60's do not want to wrench anymore. Electric propulsion needs no wrenching or maintenance, and I'm comfortable with controllers, electric circuits, motors, and batteries, so this is the route I plan to go.

healhustler turned me on to the single engine proa type cat hull called the Aspen here Electric Trawler so I think this 28 footer just might be for me.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #75
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"Marin said: Everybody wants something for nothing and on the surface electric power can appear to provide that. I suspect that is the primary motivation behind Craig's interest. It certainly would be mine if I was concerned about the cost of operating our boat."

Let me state one more time in case it hasn't been made abundantly clear already in my previous posts in this thread. The above statement could not be further from the truth. No offence Marin, but you've missed the point entirely with that paragraph. Others have stated it, I'm just a nutty boat owner that wants to push the envelope opening my mind to what is possible, not financially practical. As I stated before in this thread, if I was interested in financial savings I'd a never bought a recreational boat in the first damn place.

Boats have no place in your life if you can not afford them. Anybody thinking they'll "break even" with a boat is a dreamer in the tallest order in my book.

I'm completely open to and considering the idea of a DC genset to provide charging while anchored or underway. I also stated that from the onset. I've owned and driven daily a low speed electic motor vehicle as a daily commuter for over 3 years in the form of my Gem e2 two seater. Wife and I are completely sold on the idea of purchasing another in the future without any tax incentive, exactly as we purchased our current one.

For those who've never had the joy of daily driving electric vehicles its an experience to behold. The most relaxing miles ever driven in daily commuting. It's akin to being under sail in calm seas with no spray in your face and no foulies on. This thread was started by me to see if I can replicate the feeling received in my Owens that I currently enjoy in my Gem. My Owens will never cross oceans or even cruise the coast, it is what it is and ain't what it ain't.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:38 AM   #76
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I'm not convinced the price of fuel is the primary cause of people not using their boats. I note many sailboats never or hardly ever leave their berths.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:46 AM   #77
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Reuben--- The comparison with hybrid cars appears logical at first, but where it breaks down is that just about everyone on the planet needs a vehicle. Nobody on the planet NEEDS a recreational boat.
And that Marin, (which you clearly FOCUS upon):

Exact reason hybrid motors will eventually become prevalent in the recreational boating industry... Because... People (we) don't own pleasure boats due to their (our) NEEDS, but rather in a very important emotional depth, they (we) do own their (our) boats due to their (our) DESIRES, which turn to their (our) affections, which impel care from them (us) toward their (our) boats, which means that when electric hybrid motors become advanced enough to very efficiently power their (our) boats then many of them (us) will implant hybrid power systems into their (our) emotionally beloved boats when repowering their (our) boats eventually becomes necessary for them (us) to accomplish.

IMHO: There will become a very large market for electric motor powered pleasure cruiser recreational boats as soon as the correct mix of hybrid power has been developed far enough for them (us) to purchase, use, and enjoy!

Happy Power Boating DAZE!
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:08 AM   #78
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I believe as you Art that eventually there will be a market for these style boats but the retrofit market may never happen. Marin's statement above about most folks being plug and play is very accurate. The average new boat owner cares less about how it works than that it works. However there is a growing population that would rather purchase a "greener" widget. Doesn't matter if the widget is a car or a toaster. Consumers like that, and it is a large and growing segment, will slowly as income increases begin to demand that in boats like they do in all other purchases. That will drive the market IMO.

The problem with forums such as this is they are populated in a top heavy sense by enthusiasts of whatever the particular subject is, trawler or heavy cruisers here. As enthusiasts we tend to have more folks here willing to tinker and push the envelope than the public at large.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:41 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Art View Post
IMHO: There will become a very large market for electric motor powered pleasure cruiser recreational boats as soon as the correct mix of hybrid power has been developed far enough for them (us) to purchase, use, and enjoy!
NOTHING ever happens on any sort of scale unless or until it becomes affordable. Or the government pays for it.

My sole point is that unless or until electric, hybrid, or diesel electric power for recreational cruising boats becomes affordable to a large enough market to make it worthwhile aka profitable for manufacturers to provide it, it will never happen on a scale large enough to matter.

There will always be the tinkerers-- the Sunshines and electric kayaks and whatnot. And who knows, they may well lead the way toward affordability and profitability. Or not.

But as long as the batteries and motors and control systems and solar arrays and all the other anciliary systems remain more expensive than an alternative that accomplishes the same thing--- gets you out on the water in the kind of boat that will do what you want it to do, be it speed, range, accomodations, etc. --- the electric cruising boat will remain nothing more than a technical curiosity and something to discuss on boating forums when there's nothing better to do.

There is a saying at Boeing and I assume Airbus as well that "everything has to buy its way onto the airplane." And I think the same can be said for any technology in any application including one's life.

Only one thing has to happen with regards to making the electric boat viable to the market, and that is that it has to become more viable to the market than the alternative, which right now is the petroleum boat. Viable is not just price, it's also capability.

Craig drives around in an electric vehicle that can barely get out of its own way and has a range only slightly farther than you can throw a rock (yes, I know thats not quite accurate but it was fun to write). Works great for him, apparently. Is it practical for all the rest of us?

Until Craig's electric car can carry two people, a dog and luggage, and do a sustained 70 mph with a range of 400 or 500 miles between rechargings, and tow a boat on occasion, it is of absolutley no use to me at any price, nor is it to 90 percent of the rest of the world's population, even the ones who don't have to tow a boat on occasion.

Same thing with boats. Until the electric cruising boat can do at least 8 knots and preferably 12 to 15 and go at least 600 miles between rechargings (or can recharge itself continuously along the way), it is of no more use to me, or 90 percent of recreational boaters than Craig's electric car.

So price and capability have to fall in line with what the market wants. And no matter how cool something might be technologically, that is not a guarantee the market will want it. Markets change, often for reasons nobody sees coming. We learned that with the Sonic Cruiser, a brilliant, imaginative, out-of-the-box airplane design and one the airlines were intially clamoring for us to build until the realities of a changing energy market dumped cold water all over the idea and we all had to settle for the very much in-the-box Plan B which was Yellowstone aka 7E7 aka (yawn) 787.

So... electric cruising boats may look to some people to be the bee's knees but who knows what's around the corner? Could be a continuing supply of cheap petroleum in which case the battery boat could be a total non-starter. Could be fuel cells. Could be the whole recreational boat market keels over dead per AusCan's implication of a new generation of smudge-screen adicts whose idea of a great boating vacation is to go on a POV cruise on their iPad. Could be......(your guess here.)
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:50 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
NOTHING ever happens on any sort of scale unless or until it becomes affordable. Or the government pays for it.

My sole point is that unless or until electric, hybrid, or diesel electric power for recreational cruising boats becomes affordable to a large enough market to make it worthwhile aka profitable for manufacturers to provide it, it will never happen on a scale large enough to matter.

There will always be the tinkerers-- the Sunshines and electric kayaks and whatnot. And who knows, they may well lead the way toward affordability and profitability. Or not.

But as long as the batteries and motors and control systems and solar arrays and all the other anciliary systems remain more expensive than an alternative that accomplishes the same thing--- gets you out on the water in the kind of boat that will do what you want it to do, be it speed, range, accomodations, etc. --- the electric cruising boat will remain nothing more than a technical curiosity and something to discuss on boating forums when there's nothing better to do.

...

So... electric cruising boats may look to some people to be the bee's knees but who knows what's around the corner? Could be a continuing supply of cheap petroleum in which case the battery boat could be a total non-starter. Could be fuel cells. Could be the whole recreational boat market keels over dead per AusCan's implication of a new generation of smudge-screen adicts whose idea of a great boating vacation is to go on a POV cruise on their iPad. Could be.......?
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