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Old 01-17-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Electric Trawler

Hi; I've just joined this forum and am interested in feedback/info re an electirc powered trawler:

My idea is to buy an 1980's ish trawler; fiberglass; approx. 34' to 38'; no flybridge; something along the lines of a mainship pilot but doesn't need to be one specifically. don't care about the condition of engine or interior per se' but want a solid hull.

Replace engine with a low rpm high torque electric motor and fuel tanks with rechargeble lithium-ion battery bank; install solar panels along with foldout 'wings' for additional solar radiation collection; also install some type of wind generator..........

Thats the basic thesis; would like info on types of motors, batteries; solar panels etc; anyone done this??; etc.

I'm somewaht amazed that in this day where its time to get off fossil fuel that the over a hundred years old idea of larger electric powered boats is not utilized........ intjonn
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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I think its a sound idea, but only if you use a diesel-electric system. I don't believe you'll be able to replenish your battery bank at a sufficient rate with solar panels or a wind generator.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:53 AM   #3
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To anyone/everyone:

I did not join this site for a social experience but for serious feedback/input. Am not interested in anything with fossil fuel and thought I made that clear. am only interested in ideas/ feedback on where to find potential capable motors; batteries and solar panels; etc. If you are some type of ship architect and/or EE with marine application then you can probably help me; otherwise please don't waste my time......

Requirement:
1 - low rpm high torque motor - don't know if ac or dc would be best; hp needs would be to propell a 15,000 +/- pound trawler to typical trawler speeds (6 -8 kts +/-)
2- lithium-ion rechargeble batteries; perhaps kind that are used to power the Navy's SDV? wouldn't mind the motor either but that might be classified.
3 - solar cells /panels - I can probably buy the cells and make my own panels but want to explore/analyze/inspect all of todays modern technology

again; has anyone done this?
thanx......intjonn
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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Could you be any more rude? Go away.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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I'm not an EE, by any means, nor am I offering a "social experience" as you put it- but being in the marine business for the better part of the last 2 decades, I've seen and discussed ideas like this many times. I insure boats, and as a byproduct, spend a lot of time with surveyors, in various yards, and with marine architects and the like; I've never heard of a feasible electric only propulsion system for a displacement/semi-displacement trawler.

D/E- yes.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intjonn View Post
To anyone/everyone:

I did not join this site for a social experience but for serious feedback/input. Am not interested in anything with fossil fuel and thought I made that clear.... otherwise please don't waste my time......
That's about the rudest introduction I've seen! Good luck mining your information.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:14 PM   #7
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intjonn,

Look on BoatDesign.net

Why would you want to do this when diesel power is so economical? You'll pay MUCH MUCH more for considerably less capabilities w electric power. I think your'e time and effort would be better spent in the laboratory than at the dockside w electrical components.

Most people w hybrid or electric cars aren't trying to save money but "show the way" to others that can't seem to grasp the fact that we're quickly consuming a non-renewable fuel supply. This sacrifice to help others w their ignorant ways could be effort VERY well spent .... IF ... we run out of dino fuel before we find other solutions. There is probably (almost certainly) much more oil in the ground as we keep on finding more. Our salvation may well be in solar panels or windmills or some other new tech solution. And A bit like gas turbines in the 50s. the situation may not get much worse when we find a good solution to the dino fuel problem as perceived so much of this electric car and high tech stuff may eventually be considered a waste of time. Consider objectively the fact that fossil fuel is still very cheap.

However one person on this forum has a Prius just because he likes to have his hands on high tech stuff and you may be like him so this could be an interesting voyage indeed. In the 50s they put gas turbines in cars and trucks and those involved probably had a good time doing it.

The electric boat that is not to some significant degree diesel electric may need some very serious improvements in the electrical infrastructure on the float where you keep your boat and quite likely where you cruise too.

If you do acquire a boat for electrical power it MUST be of the full displacement type and of a more efficient type than most full disp boats we are familiar with. This I know something about so lets see this part of your design plans. And on your quest for efficiency here ... think light .. very light.

Not everyone here will consider you rude. Brusk .... ?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #8
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Intjohn,

You seem to be a bit reactionary to honest input. You will not get much support from the good folks here with that attitude.

Just curious, about how many hundreds of hours of experience do you have on a typical 36' diesel Trawler to base your plans on, or is this just an academic power engineering exercise?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intjonn View Post
To anyone/everyone:

I did not join this site for a social experience but for serious feedback/input. Am not interested in anything with fossil fuel and thought I made that clear. am only interested in ideas/ feedback on where to find potential capable motors; batteries and solar panels; etc. If you are some type of ship architect and/or EE with marine application then you can probably help me; otherwise please don't waste my time......

Requirement:
1 - low rpm high torque motor - don't know if ac or dc would be best; hp needs would be to propell a 15,000 +/- pound trawler to typical trawler speeds (6 -8 kts +/-)
2- lithium-ion rechargeble batteries; perhaps kind that are used to power the Navy's SDV? wouldn't mind the motor either but that might be classified.
3 - solar cells /panels - I can probably buy the cells and make my own panels but want to explore/analyze/inspect all of todays modern technology

again; has anyone done this?
thanx......intjonn
If you were smart enough to actually do this you wouldn't have to ask folks on a boating forum.

Smart folks have determined that with today's technology, it's impractcal. That's why you can't walk into a dealership and buy one.

If you're so dead set against "fossil fuel", consider a sailboat.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post

If you're so dead set against "fossil fuel", consider a sailboat.
There's the right answer.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Marin View Post
There's the right answer.
Marin- at 4 words, I do believe that is the shortest answer I've ever read from you!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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Here ya go electric and all. Not a long range cruiser and batteries are not included but probably some cheap fun.


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Old 01-17-2013, 02:41 PM   #13
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Intjonn, I don't know what your experience is in Internet forums but you released the sharks in this one, which I haven't seen in a long while. There are folks here that are a wealth of knowledge and will spend the time to help a trawler buddy out. I see you only have two post. Play nice and get use to us.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:43 PM   #14
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Just had the pleasure of a guided tour of the RV Knorr at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. Knorr was the vessel that did the initial discovery work on the Titanic with its submersibles. Anyway the point is, the vessel is diesel electric propulsion. But, you had better believe the size of those diesel engines!!! No batteries involved at all!! Power goes straight to the electric motors (sort of, for those more technically inclined!!) I think the idea of running a trawler with just solar and wind is just not practical. It may be feasible depending on a bunch of trade-offs, such as only using it on bright sunny windy days, never at night or in fog, and having no spare power for anything other than slow propulsion under fair conditions. But is this boating??? And I agree that the original poster is a real a=-hole!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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Look for the most efficient sailboat hull you can find, with the least resistance to moving thru the water. Remove the rig. Replace the diesel engine with an electric motor. Replace the ballast with batteries. Operate the boat and determine range.

After spending $$$$$$$$$ you will find the range limited to several miles.

This is why electric propulsion boats are sailboats, WITH SAILS, The electric motor is to get in and out of slips and harbors, the sails are what propels the boat most of the time. These boats also use sailing to recharge the batteries by recovering power from the dragging/spinning propeller.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #16
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Well this is more interesting than I first imagined. Not that I think it's practical as a trawler, but there is potential and I learned something:

Electric boat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.marygordon.org.uk/

And then I found this, a modern diesel electric design:
http://www.cmdboats.com/redwingHybri...871f1db3860166
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #17
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Intjonn: For electric trawler design tech and/or efforts to develop them, check-out the following. While living in Germany I visited the Dusseldorf Show several times. Greenline Boats offered a pure electric version or hybrid diesel/electric version of their so -called super-displacement trawler/cruiser. I didn't see the pure electric version offered lately, which may be an indicator of the market or feasibility of the design.

Then, designers looking toward multi-hulls as lighter, easier to push boats took on this project:
Island Pilot DSe Home Page
This idea proved to be difficult in controling the weight of the hull during its build, and the bridge deck height may have turned out a bit compromised over it original design. It claims 6 knots on pure electric for a given time, but still carries it Styer diesels to charge the system and for safety back-up, essentially a hybrid. Take a good look at the solar panel coverage on this boat. It will give you an idea of exactly how aggressive panel coverage will need to be.

Lagoon got together with some efforts to bring the highly touted, Florida-made "Electric Wheel" to their catamaran designs for rentals in the Caribbean. I don't know what happened to them. Some say they were all discontinued after less than a year, and swapped out for diesels again. I had some photos of the Electric Wheel installation and it was very nice for the application, but the success of those systems depend so much on a working combination of variables that, apparently, have not occurred yet.

At least one German Cat featuring solar power has completed a circumnavigation, and there's plenty of data on that design. I saw the machine in Dusseldorf, and then again in Miami Beach when it was on its journey. I might add that the solar panels that covered the entire surface of the deck and roof area were nothing super technical. They were panels you could easily buy today, and more efficient panels are available now.

Lastly, Torquedo has come to the market with a 90-100 HP Electric outboard that I've seen no test data on. This new unit will probably be one of the darlings at the Miami Boat Show in Feb., and working with companies to obtain a lightweight, durable battery storage system will surely be the next step in making this new product fly. A 100 HP electric will easily drive many of the full displacement type hulls on this forum, including my own Krogen Manatee that originally sported a 90 HP Volvo. The original Manatee had only a 50 HP Perkins Diesel that was sufficient to drive the boat to 6.5 to 7 knots. One of these Torquedos on the back of a 36 ft. full-displacement trawler would do what you want it to do, but it won't be cheap. I'm also considering this option for some time in the future.

Your reaction to the first poster was unfortunate. The wealth of information here is surely worth respect, patience, and a civil tongue. Any kind of boating would be hard to manage otherwise. Good luck
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #18
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In the Big War, we operated a lot of fleet boat submarines on batteries. Sure, they had diesels to charge to batts too, but I think they must've been able to run more than just a couple of miles on electricity, though admittedly not very fast.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #19
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There was a small tug in a magazine I read a few moons ago, I can't seem to remember what the publication's name was, that ran on a similar system. If maybe you were someone I would break bread with I could possibly remember but I don't see that in the cards.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:25 PM   #20
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An electric boat I saw at Dinner Key Marina Miami the Vi Ve project
seems optimistic not much in the way of panels.
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