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Old 04-16-2013, 04:31 PM   #21
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by a week on the hook you mean letting your batteroes charge back up and then doing another 100 nm's? if so thats not too bad if your looking to take a long voyage wothout a time constraint.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #22
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That is what I meant, typical Caribbean cruising. The more panels, the less time on the hook to recharge the batteries. Reuben is running 6 Kw of solar on his cat trawler, so in 2 1/2 days he is ready, but his panels pretty much cover most of the boat and he has an all electric galley and A/C that is run off the batteries via inverter.
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Old 04-16-2013, 04:57 PM   #23
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Thats not too bad though.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:03 PM   #24
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He even heats his water with the energy in the batteries. Is idea was for all creature comforts while on the hook without any propane, diesel, or gasoline usage. His dinghy is electric powered as will mine be.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:51 PM   #25
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Thats the same situation/mind set i have to be able to leave the marina for days if not weeks without worrying about dang on fuel. Let mother nature charge me. If it takes awile so be it. Not worried about fuel. Everybody says in cruising, fuel is the least of your worries. While that may be true if you live basically such as i with a high mechanical inclination. The other stuff isent as cost expensive as others who have marina's do their work. Im not better then anybody and dont portray myself as such I personally just dont have the money to pay 100 dollars an hour labor.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:40 PM   #26
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When someone else was paying the bill, I never flinched at a 1000 gallon per hour fuel burn. But that was during my merchant marine days, and the schedule or destination was determined by the shipping company, not me. My past cruising that was for me was on a Cal 40 sailboat. I'm still on the fence for future live aboard cruising, power or sail. If power, even though most here say fuel costs are of minor consideration, I'm not sure it is for me. Converting a current design to diesel-electric hybrid with solar appeals to me. Instead of having nothing to show for all the dollars burned in fuel other than new destinations, I would rather see a fully self sufficient boat that soaks up solar to be used at my discretion. With the cost of solar dropping to $1 per watt, and the recent drop in LiFePO4 prices, there is a pay back on investment, which there wasn't just 5 years ago.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:13 PM   #27
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Walt your right about the cost of boating. I paid almost 3k to get my transmission rebuilt and didn't think about the cost for over about 1/2 a day. But in fuel bucks that would have almost given me enough fuel to fill er' up. I've been thinking about fuel since I bought the boat but it gets the same milage my 29' hydrosport.
The current topic is taboo for me. I was all electric and solar for a long time but I just can't get over the cost and weight of batteries. I've got 6-71's that were built in the 50's. They still run and are pretty darn efficient. 1 mile/gallon total. That's about 11gallons/hour. Most of the money in an electric system would be the batteries and they need to be replaced at the end of there useful life. Motors don't, they go and go and go if properly maintained. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:42 AM   #28
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"Why is this component of the total cost of trawlering so hard to accept?"


MOST of the expenses of boat ownership are hard to accept for many folks.

NOT doing Da Book preventive maint on the engine and noisemaker , hiring "cheap" labor to install or repair stuff , "cheap " chain and low cost unrated anchoring parts, all are boating costs that folks are attempting to reduce.

The next owner uses his bucks to attempt to catch up.

The fuel bill cant be postponed and passed on, so it is a major concern for many, and some of the reason many boats never leave the slip.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #29
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MOST of the expenses of boat ownership are hard to accept for many folks.

NOT doing Da Book preventive maint on the engine and noisemaker , hiring "cheap" labor to install or repair stuff , "cheap " chain and low cost unrated anchoring parts, all are boating costs that folks are attempting to reduce.

The fuel bill cant be postponed and passed on, so it is a major concern for many, and some of the reason many boats never leave the slip.
OK, I get it, but if indeed, that's the case, why do people choose this sport if they can't afford to play?

I love basketball but am a terrible dribbler but I don't expect the refs to allow me to travel on my way to the rim!

If the cost of fuel is truly prohibitive for some folks , shouldn't they consider a sail boat, row boat, kayak, etc where the cost of fuel does not impede their activity?

The "cost of fuel" is part (although small IMO) of the entry requirements for being in the game.

Again, to quote Clint Eastwood: (I loved Dirty Harry) "A man's gotta know his limitations!"
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:51 AM   #30
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When my present 30 yr old Volvo MD17 finally rots out, I may consider going electric if the costs continue to fall. My hull is fairly efficient, and I've got sails to help me along when I feel like pushing 6 knots.

Diesel will be going up in price, that is without question. I knew that even before my 30+ years in the oil exploration game. But I look forward to higher prices; it will be the catalyst for change.
As a few posters have pointed out current diesel costs are a small part of it all. For me, my burn rate is about $2/knot. Peanuts! My beer costs are higher than that.

My reasons for considering electric are:
I would rather listen to the wind and waves rather than the rattley old Volvo.
I'd rather smell the ocean instead of diesel fumes.
I'm sure there is some preventave maintenance to do on an electric motor drive, but I expect it would be less than what is required with my old girl. In a bilge as tight as I've got, that will be a big plus as I get less nimble.
Also - my teenage kids would think it's cool if I popped a couple of solar panels on the roof.
The dealmaker for me - is that I won't be using a finite resource, (something that took 100 million years to create) to propel myself on the water for a bit of fun. If you think about it, that doesn't make a lot of sense.
Maybe I'd be better off not thinking about it.
La, la, La la te da Another beer please.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #31
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haha, beer is good whats your typical beer buddy? All good points about electric over diesel.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #32
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What else?
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #33
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hmm never tried it......Come to think of it ive never actually seen it haha...Im a corona man myself and sam adams octoberfest when that time of year xomes around
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #34
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If you're into sailing you could consider a hybrid sailboat. Most DC electric motors also function as a DC generator when you apply torque. When there is wind available you could sail and charge the batteries. That would at least provide enough charge to provide house power overnight. You could also use a small generator as backup power.

There are three problems with sail power (IMHO), (1) it is a lot of work and you have to sit in a miserable cockpit to tend the sails instead of a comfortable heated pilothouse (I'm tired of freezing my a$$ off), (2) the cost of sail and rigging maintenance, repair and replacement can easily exceed what you're saving on fuel (at least for a high performance Bermuda type rig, Junk sails and rigging are much cheaper but don't perform as well to windward), (3) the wind isn't very dependable in certain areas of the world or seasons.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #35
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My sails aren't overly efficient, but its set up to be self tacking so I can kick back in the pilot house even when singlehanded. Although my hull is fairly efficient, due to its soft chines it rolls a bit in a beam sea, but the sails steady itl out nicely. And - she's gaff rigged so there's not much heel.

All up it takes me less than 10 minutes on my own to rig things up, and I don't need to touch it until I drop the sails. Sure - I can tweak things to get an extra 1/4 or 1/2 knot, but usually don't bother. With our usual 20 knot breeze, I can get about 4-5 knots out of it under sail alone, 6 knots running on the 36hp Volvo, or just over 7 with both.

Although some folks want something faster or roomier, I can't think of a better suited boat for me (unless there was a electric version).
Hmmmm.... convert motor sailer to solar sailer. - Its got a ring to it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #36
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I can't think of a better suited boat for me (unless there was a electric version).
Hmmmm.... convert motor sailer to solar sailer. - Its got a ring to it.
AusCan: That's not a ring you hear, it's an alarm for a Chinese fire drill about to happen. Seriously, you have the right boat if it's efficiency, quietness and super long range you are interested in. You've matched the right boat for your wants instead of trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Congrats!
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:05 AM   #37
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Walt,

Thanks Walt
A well designed hull is required for good efficiency whether it be a diesel, gas, sail, electric, or steam powered boat.

When I started shopping for my boat I wasn't really sure what made a "good" hull for efficiency and seaworthiness. Thanks to many people on this forum such as yourself, who were more experienced in boat design criteria, I was able to glean enough knowledge to make a good choice. Thank you all.

I ended up with a boat with great bones, and any time & money I invest in it will be worthwhile. (at least to me)

She may end up electric, but I am in no rush to convert. With the speed at which solar panels, batteries and electric motors are developing, if the volvo hangs in for few years, I may be able to get the same 36 hp going electric, at a cost equal to a new diesel.
In the meantime, I'm happy putting along as I am, and picking up further knowledge from the TF knowledge base before taking the next step.
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