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Old 05-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #41
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Life is so much easier powered by electricity.
I certainly agree with that. The ideal boat to me in terms of its propulsion system is electric motor drive for the prop(s)-- water jets are cool but there's an awful lot of energy expended for the return-- and some physically small, self-contained "box" for the generation of the electricity for the motor. So you can size the "box" and motor(s) to power a big boat with it, a small boat, you can go as fast as the hull design will let you, you can cross oceans at speed if you so desire, and the propulsion system puts no limitations on the design of the boat. It doesn't have to covered with ugly panels or whatever.

Of course one of the best things about electric power--- vehicles, boats, trains--- is the almost instant availability of all the power the motor can produce. If someone could build a practical Formula 1 car that was electric drive it would clean up. It could out-accelerate everything else and if you put a Chinese driver in it, it would outmaneuver everything else.

This is a diversion from boats, but my favorite illustration of the incredible acceleration possible with electric drive occurred in the 1940s or 50s in the Green River valley between Tacoma and Renton in Washington. It happend on the Milwaukee Railroad, a perpetually bankrupt but very innovative railroad that in 1915 electrified its 400 mile division through the Rocky Mountains and its 200 mile division through the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Even back then, electricity offered a lot of advantages to rail transportation that I won't go into here.

General Electric and Westinghouse built a variety of electric locomotives for the Milwaukee Roads electrified divisions. Five of GE's passenger locomotives were called "Bi-Polars" (photo) because the axles of the locomotive were also the amatures of the drive motors. So no gear box from motor to axle as most electric and diesel-electric locomotives have. The axle was the motor.

One evening at one of the freight stations in the valley, some brakemen were teasing a Bi-Polar engineer about his locomotive for some reason. The engineer bet that if the two brakemen stood by the front of the locomotive (which was not coupled to a train) he could open the throttle and by the time the rear of the locomotive reached the brakemen it would be going too fast for them to get on.

We are talking a locomotive that was 76 feet long, ten feet wide, and weighed 457,000 pounds (228.5 tons).

The firemen took the engineer up on his bet so the engineer climbed into the cab, raised the pantograph, and when all the cooling fans and whatnot had stabilized "firewalled" the throttle. And try as they might, the firemen could not get hold of the locomotive well enough to climb on as the back end passed them. They tried it several times, and each time, from a standing start, the Bi-Polar would simply be going too fast for them to climb on by the time the back end of the 76-foot long locomotive reached them.

So yes, electricity is a wonderful way to power things.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:45 PM   #42
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Know what you mean, all available torque at 1 rpm. This not so innocent creation of mine could out accelerate my Corvette to 40 mph.
Etek motor, 48 volt AGM bank, 400 amp controller gives 20 Kw at launch.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:13 PM   #43
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I think it is informative to consider the specific energy (energy per unit mass) and energy density (energy per unit volume) of a fuel source or energy storage material to gain perspective. Here is a useful link Energy density - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to a Wikipedia table comparing specific energy and energy density of various storage materials. You will note that gasoline and diesel fuels specific energy is ~46 MJ/kg and energy density is ~36 MJ/liter, while lead acid batteries are 0.17 MJ/kg and 0.34 MJ/liter respectively. Therefore, diesel provides 270 times the specific energy and 105 times the energy density of lead acid batteries. When you take into consideration that most trawlers carry 10% to 15% of their gross weight in fuel, increasing the fuel weight by a factor of 270 isn't feasible. This illustrates that to make an electric boat work your design must be much more efficient, or settle for much lower speed and/or range or devote a much larger portion of the payload weight to energy storage or some combination of all of the above. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it is going to be very hard and your going to have to make a lot of compromises such as lighter weight, efficient hull form, reduced speed and reduced range.

If you choose to use higher performing/cost Lithium batteries, the specific energy is 1.8 MJ/kg and energy density is 4.32 MJ/liter so diesel is still 25 times higher specific energy and 8 times higher energy density than Lithium batteries.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #44
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A company that slipped under my radar due to my preconceived notion that it was basically an inland lakes boat is the Greenline series. I've seen a few for sale used on Boats.com even though they are new on the market since 2010. I also dismissed this boat because as a mono I thought it was going to be heavy and have an inefficient hull. I was wrong on all assumptions. They build a 33', 40', 46', and 70 footer. I now know a mono can be both cured of rolling, and have an efficient hull after computer-based studies and simulations using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and Velocity Prediction software, a full range of tank testing trials are performed for the design. Have you ever heard of twin sacrificial stabilizers? I hadn't but what a great idea, using a pair of underwater hull mounted fins, again designed by all those powerful software programs, that does the jobs of both flopper stoppers when at anchor in a rolling anchorage and those failure prone stabilizers when in a rolling sea state.

On my inland lakes misconception, I was wrong there too after seeing their usage across the Tasman and in the North Sea. I've spent a lot of time in the North Sea, any 33' power boat out there has to be seaworthy and built strong.

It has a forced air cooled 1.3 Kw solar panel, 11.5 Kw-hr of lithium batteries with an electric range of 20 nm @ 4 kt. To give you an idea how much that battery bank can be expanded, Reuben upgrade to 52 Kw-hr bank, so his bank in the Greenline 33' would give it a range of over 90 nm. Slow down to 3 kt, should be able to run 24/7 on solar output.

Upon further research I have discovered they have sold 100's and employ 250 workers.

I'm going to post some pictures, curious for input, and if you would call it a boating bargain at the selling price?











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Old 05-07-2013, 09:02 PM   #45
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Nice looking boat. Very good combination of traditional design aspects and modern elements.

I assume the solar/electric power is an auxiliary propulsion system to a diesel? The at-speed photo I'm guessing is not trying to imply the boat can do this on electricity alone.

What are the asking prices for the 33 and 40?
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:13 PM   #46
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I'm not sure what they sell new for, but have seen a used price range on 1~3 year old 33's from $175K to $260K. Your right, diesel electric. Diesel is 165 hp VW down to a 75 hp VW. Electric motor is 7 Kw output and 5 Kw generator when driven by the diesel. Top speed 16 kt on diesel, 6 kt electric.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #47
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Well, judging only from the photos and assuming the 1 to 3 year old boats were well looked after, the prices you quoted seem in line with reality to me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:22 AM   #48
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They must be hitting a chord with the boating public. Besides the 19 industry awards, they sold over 200 of the 33 footers in the first 18 months. I guess in countries that have $8~$12 a gallon fuel costs, a cruiser that gets 16 nmpg at slow diesel cruise and free nm on electric is going to be popular. What is interesting about the design team and location, Solvenia with only 47 km of shoreline, is this team and location is the hot bed for tank testing and costly software development. I kind of like the idea of the fat cats paying for all this for yacht racing and commercial shipping and us lowly pleasure boaters reaping the benefits. Explains why for 2 years running, the Greenline 33 holds the #1 slot in production numbers of 10 m boats.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:25 AM   #49
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Yes, I can understand their popularity even if they didn't have the diesel-electric/pure electric propulsion. It's a very good looking boat by my standards, which has been my beef all along with so many "efficient power" machines, be they cars or boats. The Greenline shows that you can put a practical, efficient propulsion system in a very good looking package.

Thanks for bringing this boat to our attention. While we are not in the market for a different boat and may never be, if we were to start considering a different boat I would definitely add the Greenline to the short list of contenders. Which now has three boats on it instead of two.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:32 AM   #50
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Yes, I can understand their popularity even if they didn't have the diesel-electric/pure electric propulsion. It's a very good looking boat by my standards, which has been my beef all along with so many "efficient power" machines, be they cars or boats. The Greenline shows that you can put a practical, efficient propulsion system in a very good looking package.

Thanks for bringing this boat to our attention. While we are not in the market for a different boat and may never be, if we were to start considering a different boat I would definitely add the Greenline to the short list of contenders. Which now has three boats on it instead of two.
With your rep on TF, that is some serious praise. You probably shouldn't consider a Greenline because at their current sales rates, 5 years down the road you would have a boat just like everyone else. Wait a minute, you have a Grand Banks, so you do go with proven designs and boat builders.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:31 AM   #51
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A good design (that we like) is a good design. It doesn't matter how many others are out there. Other than the Greenline which is certainly worth considering, there are only two boats we are considering replacing our old GB36 with if we opt to go down this path in the near future. The Fleming 55 and the Grand Banks 46, with the Fleming the most likely candidate.

Both these boats are a dime a dozen up here so regardless of which one we got we would certainly not stand out in a crowd, just as we don't now.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:46 AM   #52
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I now know a mono can be both cured of rolling, and have an efficient hull after computer-based studies and simulations using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and Velocity Prediction software, a full range of tank testing trials are performed for the design.
And just how did you think virtually every modern (post 1960) concept is designed?


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Have you ever heard of twin sacrificial stabilizers? I hadn't but what a great idea, using a pair of underwater hull mounted fins, again designed by all those powerful software programs, that does the jobs of both flopper stoppers when at anchor in a rolling anchorage and those failure prone stabilizers when in a rolling sea state.
Put down the Kool-Aid jug for a while and do a little reading on yacht design over the past 20 or more years. Fin stabilizers are about as common as wet exhaust systems and I can't think of a single one that can't be described as "sacrificial."

Just because they point downward doesn't mean they work any differently than the first ones installed on a ship in the early 1930s. And the fact that they are mounted so far aft on that boat probably means they don't work nearly as well.

Do you have any idea of how much power it takes to operate a pair of fin stabilizers? Do you know how much drag they induce? Do you know how (in)effective they are at what amounts to idle speed? And finally, do you know how (in)effective a single pair of small area stabilizers mounted aft will be for zero-speed stabilization?

Greenline's marketing is obviously very effective when the recipient arrives at their doorstep from the path of feel-good greenyland and without much knowledge of state of the art vessel technology, energy requirements, and performance expectations.

That boat would probably make 3 knots over the ground from windage alone. That is great if you operate it inside the marina breakwater to dock it but I suspect a breeze too light to fly a kite and a chop large enough to stop the radio control boat hobbyists would reduce the distance made good to minus figures.

The type of operation where that boat might be attractive is the same operation and location where nearly any low powered, lightweight, TT type of boat will do as well for half the price and probably three times the reliability. It would probably impress the SF Bay and Delta dayboat crowd on a calm day but other than that I see a lot of smoke and mirrors marketing.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:28 AM   #53
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70 Footers

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Reuben

On a marketing, resale and technical basis, why would a big center hull tri of say 70' be better than a mono hull like an Outer Reef, or even as good? Both are destined as blue water cruisers.
Not sure why this question is asked? My guess any well-engineered, well-styled, well-built cruising yacht of this size could do OK in the market if competitively priced. I have no horse in this race.

On the other hand, if one wanted to propel a 70 footer with solar-generated energy, then perhaps a long, lean center hull with a pair of skinny amas would be the preferred platform - of course, the accommodations of this 70 footer may be more akin to those of a "normal" 50 footer? And to find a market, the price would need to be closer to that 50 footer, also.

What many ignore is that the cost of building a boat is tied to the weight of the boat - it's like buying steak, you pay by the pound. Of course, prime beef (high tech) costs more per pound. Just compare the price of an MJM with that of an Island Gypsy to confirm the costs/pound of high tech construction.

In the 30 foot "trawler" area (i.e. Ranger Tug), I see no reason why a solar/electric boat can't be built with similar accommodations and priced to compete. It may be longer and leaner - perhaps a bit more spartan in finish (wood is heavy) - but with equivalent space and function minus the speed (and costs of maintaining a diesel and filling up fuel tanks).
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:56 AM   #54
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Bob has posted some photos of the Greenline 33 and 40. Price for the 40 is a bit over $500k. I have been aboard both boats and am impressed by the ingenuity of their design team. They have "cracked the code" on a convertible master - the V-berths can swing inboard to become an island queen. On the 33, the helm seat flips back to become part of the dinette. The aft galley has a disappearing window opening onto the aft cockpit like a snack bar, joining the interior and exterior spaces.

Fit and finish is good though a bit "Ikea-like." Not to every American's taste. I have NOT been out on one - it is my understanding that the e-propulsion is typically used for maneuvering and of course, cocktail cruises.

Slovenia seems to be a hotbed of hybrid activity. The Iskra motor/generators that Greenline uses coupled to VW diesels are the same we have on board Sunshine coupled to the Steyr diesels. There is a boat builder making a solar launch using a single 4kW Torgeedo (hidden under a seat) for power. Likewise, some of the more interesting steerable electric pods are coming from Slovenia.

I applaud the effort and execution that Greenway has achieved with their hybrid cruisers - and I'm more than a bit jealous of their success.

Interestingly, however, I recall posts on this forum saying that most current buyers of cruising yachts are 1) looking to spend between $50k & $100k (obviously in the very-used boat market) or 2) going to spend hundreds of thousands on faster yachts. I'm wondering why any of us is even thinking about fighting this trend? BTW, the Greenline has very modest speeds, mid teens at most. And as noted elsewhere, are selling a bucket-load of them! They certainly must be doing something right.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #55
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RickB,

It appears I was having to stand in line to drink the Kool Aid. When a new entrant to the race takes pole position by selling more 10 m boats than all the others, the Kool Aid (hype) didn't disappoint. A small note, as a styling cue, added on solar panels look a bit retrofitted, whereas flush panels are just a color cue. To bring back the higher efficiency of a cooler panel they employed forced air circulation under the panel. The stabilizer fin is designed to break away with no damage to the hull and replacement fins are inexpensive.

I know we have had tank testing for many decades, but only in the last 15 years have we had computers that are fast enough to run these software programs. Remember when CAD first arrived and how it taxed the computers back then. As a teenager in the 60's I remember reading all the boating magazines and being drawn to the fuel consumption curves for the boat tests, thinking I could only afford this boat at idle. Fuel was cheap back then and the design software or computers to run them weren't available. Today things have changed, tomorrow solar boats will be common place.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:56 PM   #56
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It appears I was having to stand in line to drink the Kool Aid.
That's the beauty of a Kool-Aid stand, people will stand in line to drink the stuff. That is why they call me-too marketing "drinking Kool-Aid."

Aside from subtracting 5 years from the design timeline and claiming that replacement of a broken off stabilizer is "inexpensive" (haven't had to replace one, eh?) aren't there any comments about the power requirement and effectiveness of those peculiarly located "stabilizers"?

Idling along at 3 or 4 knots at slack water on the New River in Fort Lauderdale or a similar situation might be romantic and interesting for the first couple of weekends but spending a half million $ should provide the buyer with a lot more than an Ikea interior and barely enough power to get out of the slip when there is a hint of current or a light breeze.

Not meaning to rag on you particularly but the aquatic hybrid MMS here that seems to focus on the minutiae of milliamps and nano watts should perhaps apply that same microscope to the realities of how that boat is equipped and how much power it really takes to use the stuff that you waxed so generously about a couple of posts back.

Now that you know fin stabilizers exist, figure out how much power they use and why the claims you stated are maybe a bit clouded by some Hickory flavored Kool-Aid.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #57
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Even though the Green Lines (and others) do not produce enough solar to cruise in "real time," they do produce some energy from the sun which is then stored in LiFiPo cells for future use. Any use of this stored energy means less fossil fuel burned - whether it's just to power the fridge or take a 4 knot cocktail cruise around the harbor on electric power. I feel that this is a good thing.
Far too much going on here for me to keep up with, and for that I apologize. But it's all very interesting.

Reuben,
Does not the above scenario ("any use of stored energy") ignore the real additional cost of that stored energy? I'm thinking of the real environmental costs of manufacture, acquisition, maintenance, and recycling of batteries, solar panels, electric motors, etc. And the additional power required (increased displacement = increased resistance) to move all this additional equipment every time the boat moves.

That's my take on the relatively high-speed hybrid Greenline.

In other situations a purely electric vessel is starting to make some sense. I'm working on an electric "Great Circle" boat right now that may work. What it comes down to is range and reserve power. With perhaps 800 pounds of batteries (I'm guessing at Lifepo) plus solar panels to charge them equaling a gallon of diesel fuel(in terms of deliverable energy), silence and not burning fossil fuel comes expensively.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:41 PM   #58
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I think they are passive stabilizers.


As to other power requirements, i.e. galley, lights, electronics, etc, 1.3 Kw of solar will handle all of that with extra left over for topping off the propulsion battery bank. You have to get in a mind set of slow is good, which if your full time cruising works fine. When I was full time, passage making was maybe 10% of my time spent on the water, hanging on the hook was the other 90%, so a slow and steady collection of solar energy that is stored in lithium batteries works.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #59
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Aside from subtracting 5 years from the design timeline and claiming that replacement of a broken off stabilizer is "inexpensive" (haven't had to replace one, eh?)....
Back in the early 90s Grand Banks built three GB66s. These boats have no relation whatsoever to their Aleutian line. The GB66 was in essence the plans of a GB52 enlarged on a Xerox machine to sixty-six feet.

Besides being ugly--- in my opinion the GB Europa design doesn't hold up well past 52 feet and even then it's starting to look a little awkward--- the GB66s were not very stable due in large part to the owners insisting on a fully-enclosed, by which I mean solidly enclosed--- flying bridge. So what would have been an open flying bridge became a very heavy pilothouse.

Now I'm sure the boat had to meet whatever stability requirements are set by whatever regulatory agencies set them-- the USCG, I suppose, in the US--- but they were definitely pushing the envelope.

Active stabilizers were essential to these boats and I was told by one of the shipwrights who was part of the commissioning crew for one of them that the stabilizers were required to be on whenever the boat was underway.

One of these GB66s was part of a Grand Banks-sponsored group-cruise to SE Alaska. Somewhere north of Prince Rupert, IIRC, the GB66 tore one of its stabilizers off on a rock. As I heard the story the boat was just barely saved from sinking by the action of GB's very experienced leader of the cruise who managed to get the major water inflow stopped.

The boat returned to Puget Sound where it was repaired. I was told the cost of the repair and it exceeded what we paid for our boat. The point being that ripping something like an active stabilizer off the bottom of a boat is not a "just stick another fin on it" repair.

PS-- I wrote the above before seeing the photo of the Greenline boat's fin. They are indeed passive, which means they won't do all that much to control rolling. Their function is the same as bilge keels. They add some resistance to rolling but they will not be nearly as effective as active stabilizers. And they will add considerable drag given their size.
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #60
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I think they are passive stabilizers..
Then they are not stabilizers, they are a bizarre form of drag inducing bilge keel.

That boat is far from the sort one would use for "full time cruising" or "passagemaking."
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