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Old 08-16-2020, 10:33 AM   #1
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Question New to liveaboard/trawling, some aqueous experience

I'm moving aboard a newly acquired boat that's as old as I am (approximately). My first place of residence was on a converted landing craft which was sometimes anchored out, eventually tied up to a ragtag assortment of docks in the North Bay Area in California. I've served aboard a US Navy submarine as a nuclear reactor operator and ship's SCUBA diver, lent a hand now and then as an actual sailor while cruising about the Salish Sea, and learned a few tricks aboard fishing boats in my younger days.

Does anyone have experience running a Ford Lehman 120 on higher blends of biodiesel? Is it worth switching over old sets of lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion? Should I put solar panels up on my hardtop or just in an electric tender of some sort? Has anyone done emergency repairs of leaky seacocks or stressed stringers while at sea? What should I keep in my damage control bag?

I have lots of questions and I'm looking forward to finding answers from all y'all old salts. Ahoy!
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. You may have better success by making up a new thread about each topic. There are quite a few questions in your post. To answer one of them about the lithium batteries. I am going to switch to lithium batteries for my house bank this winter when I have my starboard engine out. The Battle Born batteries look very nice to me. I can replace the 4 6 volt GC batteries that are in there now with 2 100 amp Battle Born batteries and get about the same usable amp hours. They batteries are about 32 pounds each so I will loose about 200 pounds in batteries that are causing a list to starboard now. The lithium batteries charge much fasterand they have a 10 warranty with 8 years being full replacement and the last 2 years prorated. But they say the realistic life is between 12 and 15 years. I will have to add another battery charger for the flooded start batteries. But I will save a bundle since I was planning to replace the aft A/C so I could get rid of the compressor that is in the engine room so I could get some real estate back.
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Old 08-16-2020, 12:40 PM   #3
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Farmers are running similar tractor and truck engines on 100% biodiesel because they have a source and the time and space to make into biodiesel. For them it's cheaper. Biodiesel works in the tanks and lines like a solvent. So if everything isn't clean and sludge free it plugs filters. Canadian ferry's had trouble running biodiesel over 50%.
Stay-afloat will seal an open thru hull. Shoring is probably the only way for a temporary fix for loose stringers, better to address in port.
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Old 08-16-2020, 03:14 PM   #4
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Welcome! I'd like to hear more about your "first place of residence" and how old you were. Was that as an adult or from your earliest memories as a child?

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Old 08-16-2020, 04:59 PM   #5
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Tell us what boat you're getting. What does it currently have for house batteries, how many, charger, inverter, generator? Stove, gas or electric? Head, manual or electric. As suggested, I agree with individual posts for each subject.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:48 PM   #6
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Hi Greg! My earliest memories are of the houseboats and docks. The book Subee Lives on a Houseboat provides a good reference.

The houseboat I lived aboard was the Prospero. It's pictured on a floating drydock, no longer sea-worthy (or even bay-worthy) when I returned to visit some decades later.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:16 PM   #7
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Wow, Sparklee - interesting history there. Welcome to TF, and we look forward to hearing more. However, I would endorse the suggestion someone else made about putting your specific issues as new threads in the sections of TF most appropriate for the subject, so you will get more replies. If you scroll down in the home page you will see the forum is divided up into sections based on the type of subject or issue one wants discussed.

I spend quite a bit of my time moving this type of thread seeking specific information out of the 'Welcome Mat' and 'How to use the Forum' sections so they will get this wider readership. Just sayin', and please take note all members, especially newer ones...
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:52 PM   #8
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It's not worth the effort to switch over to Biodiesel. That F.L. only stops at fuel anyway. Like about a gallon an hour. It takes time, space and effort to get and convert fryer oil to biodiesel. If you are living on a boat, you don't have the time. You certainly don't have the space and energy is better spent on working on the old boat.

Fuel, as it relates to the expense of owning and operating a boat is the smallest expense. No need to complicate it.

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