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What happens to power boating when we run out of oil?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by CaptCook, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Chapstick

    Chapstick Member

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    Remember back when Godzilla rampaged through Tokyo? I was backpacking in Tokyo at the time and was at the harbour when he surfaced. I fell down a flight of steps and cut my arm on a piece of reinforcement sticking out of broken concrete: I have scars from it.
  2. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    For safety reasons, boats should have redundant systems, a back up if something fails. It's not like you can call AAA and get help in 5 min when you are at sea. It's fine if there is something to override it and continue boating. Yes, fly by wire has been around for years, and it's had it's share of problems too. Anything electrical can fail, and will eventually.
  3. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    You mean after the tsunami? I think that was the radiation messing with your head.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    While all the sides of this argument may have some points to be made, but we're not solving the future energy crisis today, I do have to say one thing here. I don't find any humor at all in making light of what SomeTexan experienced. I've witnessed some bad wrecks in my life, but I can't imagine watching people burn in a car and being able to do nothing. The emotional scars would outlast the physical ones. Let's not lose sight of the human factor, even if we disagree about the various solutions or brands or any other aspects. While your response, Chapstick, is clever and creative, I personally find it offensive in what it's mocking.

    I take SomeTexan at his word as to what he saw and experienced and feel so fortunate I've never experienced the same. The worst wreck I personally witnessed, I was amazed to find all passengers moving around and fine.
  5. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    It's never a nice thing. Racing and riding motorcycles, I've seen more people go than I like to think of. Still, that was the one that I have problems with. Only scars I've ever tried to hide with ink, some things you don't want to remember.

    I can pass off chapstick's comments because this is the Internet. Lots of people say whatever they want. For all he knows, I'm a 12 year old talking trash. I know I'm not, and that's what matters. For that matter, I only say it was a Prius because that's what other witnesses said. I had never seen one before at that time, and didnt have the time to take a closer look.
  6. Chapstick

    Chapstick Member

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    It mocks neither a situation nor (directly) a person. It mocks the idea that an unsubstantiated claim on the internet could be taken seriously, regardless of what the claim is, and of who is making it.

    Then perhaps we can stop discussing Priuses and go back to boats...
  7. oceaneer

    oceaneer Member

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    Prius STOP

    Ok Guys..
    This is getting silly..

    Yes Fly By wire is going to come into boating and is here now.. So can we discuss that and not a car accident? This is a really cool thread and is being diluted.
    If you want a thread on how ****** a prius is than possibly we need one discussing that but I just don't see how it fits here.

    So as to fly by wire..

    Hinkley has their system of fly by wire on the picnic boats.. its very good.
    And allot of large vessels are fitting Dynamic Positioning.
    As well as the new Zeus drives that are totally fly by wire. What are the other Fly by wire system fitted? and how are they working?

    All major marine engines are now controlled by Electronic Control Units or some acronym that is essentially the same. Its very hard to find a new large engine that actually has a throttle rather than a electronic actuator.

    Have these systems had problems.. Umm yes we have had some spectacular accidents with boats going through marinas... Unfortunately most of these are traced back to Operator error or poor workmanship on the installation and repair.

    How is all of this related to the future of marine propulsion??
    And where are we going as a boating community?
    What safety features do we feel are vital for the safe operation of our vessels?
    What training is now needed as the complexity of the systems increases?
    What level of complexity would the average user feel comfortable with?

    Thanks
    Oceaneer
  8. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    Btw, I've been trying to get some information on Horizon SunCat 46, availability and prices and nothing so far. It's neither in the lineup nor on sale anywhere.

    Anyone knows what happened to it. Did it get nixed?
  9. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    Do you have a link which shows that fuel costs are slowing yacht sales? Does it have a study in it which references reduced yacht use due to higher fuel prices? Can you define yacht for us so that we know the vessels in question? My experience indicates nothing which yours does- but I don't take either view as truth because it's one person's experience.
    Nor do I claim things to be this or that because I believe it.
    You seem to base your views on your experience and extrapolate that to mean everyone. The study of one is not a large enough sample for a valid study.

    The search for a viable reliable alternative fuel has been going on since before R Diesel invented the compression ignition engine. Many fuels have had promise- which means potential. As I said people talk about potential when they cannot talk about results. Tesla is not proven, and the jury is still out.
  10. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    This is your opinion and it may be valuable to someone.

    I studied economics and believe in numbers. If you google your own words like "fuel costs are slowing yacht sales", you will see the results like these:

    http://consensus.fsu.edu/Boat-Summit/pdfs/Recreational Boating Growth Summit Industry Overview.pdf
    http://www.boatingindustry.com/top-stories/2012/04/27/analyst-smaller-boat-segments-drive-q1-growth/

    (see my next post or chart called "Concerns over external threats" with gas prices being 81% concern)

    There are many articles, studies and discussions about how the general economy and cost of fuel in particular, affect consumer buying decisions in auto motive and boating industries. Back in the days when gas prices were under a buck, nobody was worried too much about finding alternatives. Then, all of a sudden alternative fuel became an "industry" by itself.

    And we are not only only talking about yachts (see OP) and not only in Florida.

    As for Tesla, I mentioned it as an example and for the sake of discussion. The electric engines are proven as viable alternative to gas/diesel engines. You can keep saying they are not and it's fine with me.
  11. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    April 27, 2012
    "…. On the opposite front, the cruisers and yacht markets were not looking as strong, dealers reported.
    “Dealers are still not yet sold on a recovery for the cruiser segment,” Aaron said. “41% of dealers expect their cruiser sales to decline in the next 12 months, while only 10% of dealers anticipate growth in their cruiser business.”
  12. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    Neither of those links dealt primarily with yachts- which is why I had asked you to define "yacht". The first link had little to nothing to say about fuel prices which caused a downturn in yacht sales, and the second talked about "gas prices". If a vessel uses gas as it's fuel it's more likely a boat not a yacht.
    The percentage of yachts which have have gasoline powered engines is miniscule- my definition of yachts is vessels over 20 meters that are privately owned and used for recreation or if for business it's not a commercial venture transporting goods or people. Understanding that I'm not sure why you include gasoline powered vessels at all in this discussion. However- for the sake of discussion please tell me how many yachts have electric engines instead of diesel.

    It seems you are insulted that I've challenged your "proven" remark and given links which show fully electric automotive power plants vehicles have issues. :confused: I have no dog in this fight and take no emotional view into a discussion about what engines or fuel is used to power yachts- but it's clear that fully electric engines are not proven yet for vehicles and have a very long way to go to replace diesel power. Could that change rapidly? Yes. That's called potential and we've spoken about that already, but today electric engines are not a viable alternative to diesel engines in yachts.
  13. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    Sorry, I have no dog in "this fight" either.
  14. Chapstick

    Chapstick Member

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    This needs to be written more clearly: we all know electric motors are most definitely a proven technology (electric motors have been around for 270 years, and electric motor propelled boats have been around since 1839), and are common enough in the marine industry, usually paired with a diesel generator.

    The differences in opinion stem mostly from the choice between diesel or a battery as the energy source. Here diesel has a lot more success behind it, but for many people modern battery packs as sources are good enough now to incorporate into our lives. They already exist in the modern marine industry, and we're only going to see their numbers increase from here.
  15. Yachtjocky

    Yachtjocky Senior Member

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    Boats

    If your definition of a yacht is 20 meters plus, there might be one or two owners out there that are glad to know they have spent a couple of million if not more on a boat !
  16. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    Absolutely true. However I've yet to see a successful 15-25 meter sportfish powered by an electric motor, and just a quick google of electric powered yachts does not show a large offering of them. My previous point was simple- Tesla is not "proven". Despite electric motors marine history "since 1839" they are still not anything more than a bit player in yachts (or vessels over 20 meters). Besides- if "we run out of oil" a diesel powering an electric motor is not an option...
    ...posers ... lol ;)

    Where do you suggest it be cut it off? 10 meters? 12? 15?
  17. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    It is actually very nice to see such a progress in marine hybrid and electic engines:

    http://www.elcomotoryachts.com/powered-by-elco/electric-motor-performance-guide.shtml

    http://regennautic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/ReGen-180-USD-Oct-2013.jpg

    got to love the "before and after" comparison int he middle of the article:

    http://www.elcomotoryachts.com/category/testimonials/reviews/

    "Before: gas fumes, oil and many moving parts
    after: clean bilge, no noise, one moving part"

    One way or another, similar or not, this is the future direction of marine propulsion technology. It's lagging behind automotive industry and probably a bit ahead of aviation industry but we will eventually get there, no doubt.
  18. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    10. Mercury Marine hybrid concept boat:

    This electrically powered boat features two 100hp electric engines, run by lithium-ion batteries. These batteries can be charged on shore, as well as by an array of solar panels fitted on the deck and mounted atop the roof. This boat also has a conventional diesel powered engine which can be used if the situation demands.

    My Solar News: World's 10 Most Ingenious Solar Boats!
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The Mercury boat looks like the only usable boat out of all 10 of those. I wish it had some specs on it. But it looks like the marine industry is making a lot of headway in the diesel electric era. The only problem is maintaining a yacht is such a scare for many new boaters, that the diesel electric concept making it that much more complicated would really freak them out from a maintanence perspective.

    For example, I've been in the marine industry a long time and am pretty well educated and intelligent. I manage one boat that has a Sealand toilet, that has a circuit board on the toilet and about 15 wires that go to it. Every once in a while the $800 circuit board screws up and you have to disconnect one wire to reset it......it's bad enough learning how to fix a stupidly overcomplicated toilet (Sealand)....It's installed in a 2007 boat and they've already discontinued it and you can't get parts for it......so we bought an entire demo toilet in case we need a toilet seat or? ..but the best and only feature it has that's worthwhile, is that it will not flush if the holding tank is full......LOL
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The real problem with the development of electric propulsion systems for widespread use in recreational boating is batteries. That's where the development must progress. That's long been a challenge to battery manufacturers, to put more energy into a smaller battery. It's not just for propulsion.

    Think of cell phones. The reason for the bricks in the early days was largely the battery. Now even today, I suspect further development could reduce the size. However, since batteries are no longer the limiting factor, bur rather screen size is, that development has slowed down.

    Computer rooms are an example sometimes of huge banks of batteries for those that have battery back up. We use to have 64 batteries to power our backup before we put in a generator. The batteries worked fine. It was just the bank had to be huge.

    Perhaps the use of solar or even wind power ultimately figures in. Tesla was mentioned earlier. The range has always been the limiting factor as it is on most electric applications in boating. You see more small electric motors because of all the community and residential lakes that have banned gas. As a result, you see electric set ups that are great for a few hours fishing and limited distance.

    It was always interesting that on solar boats, they've been primarily 50' and larger. That's simply been necessary to have the necessary solar panels. Once again, figuring out how to get more into a smaller space is key.

    Over the years many of the high tech batteries designed to take less space have come through military development and by companies that are heavy providers to the military.

    So, how much work is going into developing new battery technology for cars and boats? There's a good bit, but then there are hang ups too. First, the battery manufacturers are luke warm in their commitment to longer lasting batteries or getting more in less. They depend heavily on the existing set up of replacing batteries in all cars and boats on a regular basis. Second, the environmental issues in manufacture of batteries are huge and very costly and have many of them concentrating on those rather than new development. Recycling is a key and has become the norm in battery materials, but smeltering is a dirty, challenging industry.

    So, do we have electric today? Yes. Do we have it to the stage of being viable and accepted to replace a large part of the petroleum fueled products? No. Are we close? Not sure you can even answer that. It's a bit like developing a cure or treatment for a disease. You work for decades, but you're either there or you aren't. Until you reach the goal, you can't really know how close you are.

    Will electric become the answer? I surely don't know. It might with breakthroughs, but so might something else. Nuclear was going to be the huge provider of energy but then with a few major incidents, that was pulled back. Maybe manufacturers find magic ways to get today's results on gas and diesel engines with a third of the fuel requirements. Maybe we find a way to power boats through the use of water. I'm not a scientist and don't have the answers. I know there is a lot of work being done to come up with answers, although probably far less than many of us wish. Industry today is geared toward short term profitability. Executives are rewarded based on current results. This limits the amount of resources devoted to new, innovative ideas for the somewhat distant future.

    I guess just the arguments in this forum show how complicated the issues really are. No simply answers. Hopefully future answers however.