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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. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    You guys both made valid points about the complications and limitations of new technology. These are typical growing pains for any technology. There are countless examples of that in PC, TV, cell phone and other industries, etc.

    Obviously, any new technology needs to be tested and "proven" before it can be embraced by the masses, made widespread, affordable and easily serviceable.

    Again, I will provide hybrid cars as a good example/precedent. I would never buy a hybrid car, let alone three of them if I didn't feel comfortable with them. The risk I took actually paid off with big rewards over the long run.

    There were article about early Priuses used by taxi drivers somewhere in Vancouver, BC going to 300,000 and above without any repairs. Sure it made me comfortable. What did not make me comfortable is taht should something happen to this "hybrid drive", I would only find a knowledbale service at Toyota dealership. Only they have mechanics specifically trained on hybrid engine.

    Luckily, I have not heard of any failures to this day. Yet I had a numerous close calls when running my hybrid vehicles low on gas. There is always a reserve of battery power to continue without gas engine but you risk an expensive ECU repair if the system fails.

    Talking about a true hybrid boat technology of today, it would not be similar to hybrid cars. You can't regenerate braking on the boat, manipulate speed and acceleration like you can do on the road.

    The best solution for the boat for now would be a combination of few safe technologies:

    - diesel or LNG engine
    - electic engine powered by:
    - rechargable Li-ion batteries
    - solar cells

    The way I see it, I would be starting my fishing trip/cruise on a fully charged batteries (in Flroida solar should be always available), crusing at some 5-7 knots for 2-3 hours. Solar cell would continue to charge throughout a trip and give me an extra range or supplying accessory power.

    When I need speed or as a backup power I would use diesel/LNG at the boat hull or crusing speed.

    The result is much more expended cruising range, redandancyavailability of different alternative power sources, huge mpg/saving.


    P.S. And btw, current battery technology is sufficient to achieve this goal. Battery weight is much bigger factor on light cars light Tesla or bigger SUVs like Highlander vs much heavier yachts where they can serve as a good ballast.
  2. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    Here's the article but I have no idea what happened to the boat. Another failure? :(

    Production hybrids next on the horizon
  3. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    In cars you have government subsidies on purchase, road tax, parking, road tolls and electricity or green fuel, at least here. Otherwise they shouldn´t sell a single electric, hybrid or biofuel car.

    It is hard to believe a government would subsidize boats the same way. So I think the market is very very small as long as we have access to fossil fuel.
  5. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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    Again I don't think we are anywhere near needing an alternative to the combustion engine, but if I were content to putt along at 5 knots and installed a battery operated engine I would use all sources necessary to recharge. I would use solar panels, a couple vertical wind turbines and build a few water turbines into the hull. That way you would be generating power constantly. Even when on the hook the tidal currents would be turning the underwater turbines.
  6. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    I don't know about that. More and more people run e85 in race cars because it performs better than c16 at a 10th of the cost. I run propane in my sand rail, as do quite a few others. I learned about it from the old timers when I was a kid. Burns cooler than gas and higher octane, great for tweeked aircooled VW engines. I've got around $100 worth of used forklift parts as a fuel system on a turbo charged 2332 VW at about 360hp. You don't get government aid for racing. Biodiesel is very popular among diesel performance enthusiasts. Since they took all the sulfur out of our road diesel, pump wear has gone crazy. Biodiesel lubricates better than the old high sulfur diesel, so all is good if you can find it. Quite a few green fuels are considerably better than what is at the pump, but until the engines are built for it, it will remain less popular.
  7. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    This is a bit too extreme. I think if there is demand there will be supply and then competition. I don't care about tax incentives and subsidies. I buy my cars because they save me over $5,000/yr on gas and maintenance and are quiet and pleasant to drive.

    If you show me a hybrid Convertible that gets 30mpg at 5 knots and cost as much as regular I would buy it right now.
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    OK, I should have said bifuel, not biofuel. We have subsidies on ethanol, but not on biodiesel, which is what we mostly get in the pump today...
  9. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    You are driving a lot then, I am spending a total of $1.000/year on fuel for my nine cars...;)
  10. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    Ok, that would make more sense. We have different blends for biodiesel, b5, 7 and 10 are common at the pump, but the higher percentages aren't as common.

    Personally, I would like to see diesels on the market that use propane on top of diesel. Propane cleans up diesel exhaust smoke, and drops egt's
  11. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    I average about 150k miles a year, just street vehicles. Number varies, every time I build a nice car, someone keeps shoving cash in my face until I sell it. Then I build a nicer one and it happens again.
  12. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    I've never been to Sweden but I heard it's a nice country and looks like twice as big as Florida. I would guess you take a ferry to mainland Europe to drive your cars. :)

    In the U.S. we drive a lot. We do 20,000 miles + in a any given year not even trying to go far. Now, that I settled in FL, I don't really need a car. A golf cart and boat will do the trick.

    This is all off-topic, though. The need for alternative fule is not going away. :cool:
  13. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    Well, how do you like the idea of a hybrid drive then? Get your 42 knots on diesel when you need it and then 5-7 knots on electric when you don't need speed? Say for a combined 5-10mpg? Wouldn't it be great?
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    You asked Neil, but I do find that idea appealing even though it probably doesn't cost justify itself for most people.

    Personally, I've not done much toward energy conservation and it's not that my wife and I haven't looked and tried. We'd love to do some solar on our home, but the home we purchased makes it outrageously expensive to even consider as our roofs would have to be totally redone. So failed there. As to cars, we looked, but we don't drive as much as many here do. We have our play cars (convertible sports cars) and not really a hybrid option there. We looked at Hybrid SUV's for ourselves and staff use. We didn't see anything we felt met our needs. We don't own a normal sedan which is where hybrid is most available.

    As to boats I would love to have an electric limo type boat just for the days we want to stay in the ICW and Canals with our friends. The Solar Sailor concept appeals to me. The Horizon cat did as well. But all I see is ideas and designs and don't see actual boats being made available for purchase. I think the electric Duffy Norseman purchased is a cool boat.

    It would be a valid criticism that we haven't chosen to make the sacrifices necessary to conserve energy. But we're not alone in that regard. Most who are interested want to make it with minimum sacrifice. If I was buying just a normal sedan I would almost certainly go hybrid. If my home design accommodated solar even with a poor payback I'd probably do it. I would love to have a system on my larger boat when I do purchase it similar to that on Marlow 97's. To me that's an excellent use of solar. It doesn't eliminate anything but it supplements extremely well.

    Also, I love the concept I've seen on some boats with hybrid systems and the ability to go electric for slow speed. Just haven't seen this available on the boats I've considered and not about to be the innovator.
  15. Chapstick

    Chapstick Member

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    No susidies here in Australia, but my next car will be electric, so I don't think your reasoning is correct.

    I think the sub-topics of diesel electric propulsion, and electric only propulsion, are getting mixed together here. The only reason diesel electric was mentioned was because it shows that electric motors are proven technology.

    No, obviously diesel electric is not a fossil fuel free option.
    Diesel electric is a proven technology in the marine industry (see every cruise ship you can name, for example), which means it isn't possible to argue that electric motors are an unproven tech. Only modern batteries are an unproven tech.
    Diesel electric is more viable in large vessels than in small, because of the weight increase.
    Some advantages of diesel electric:
    • generator can be located anywhere in the vessel
    • don't need a seperate generator for hotel services
    • OR if you do have a seperate generator it can provide backup propulson
    • far superior torque curve
    • retro fitting to fully electric in the future would be relatively easy
    • quiet under way when running from batteries
    • easy to pair multiple generators with a single engine, or vice versa
    There are disadvantages too, or course, but the best choice depends on the vessel, the role it fills, the envorinment it's in, and the owner.

    Here are some diesel electric yachts:
    [​IMG]
    Ice (yacht) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    [​IMG]
    http://y.co/yacht/kogo/

    [​IMG]
    Ambrosia III | Benetti Yachts

    Hybrid-electric Tag 60 yacht hits the water

    http://au.yachtworld.com/boats/2014...l-Electric-Yacht-2657370/Ukraine#.Um76oxQyaRI

    http://www.charterworld.com/news/56...tor-yacht-project-561-designed-by-espen-oeino

    The Trawler Yacht, NORTH COAST

    The Move to Diesel Electric Propulsion

    Newswire & Press Release / Diesel Electric Yacht Propulsion - Lagoon 420 - Boat/Yacht/Sailboat - The Catamaran Company | NewswireToday


    Fully electric yachts are unproven because of their batteries, not their motors.

    Also, a bit OT (apologies), there's a great review of the Tesla S from yesterday here for anyone interested: Review: Tesla Motors all-electric Model S is fast?but is it a good car? | Ars Technica
  16. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    olderboater, while reading you post, I realized how we may be from sufficiently harnessing solar energy. I think either nanotechnology or some other breakthrough in materials will allow us to get a lot more from the sun.

    The solar energy is probably the most abundant and powerful energy resourse in our corner of the Universe. Either that or energy of the atoms (i.e. hydrogen) will give us a huge boost for many more centuries. Using coal and other fossil fuels has been too primitive and we just started distancing ourselves from them.

    Again, we are not saying here that we are close to totally replacing diesel and gas engines. But look at steam engines. Where are they now? Definitely not in the industrialized nations. I took a steam trains across Russia and India and it's a very sentimental feeling, not more. You may probably still find steam-powered boats as well. That's not the direction the industry wants t take. ;)
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    How on earth do you manage to drive 500 miles each and everyday of the year????
  18. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

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    I live 2 hours (at 80mph) from the city. I do live 15 min from a racetrack that I have a membership at, at least once a week I go have fun in a street toy. I also restore cars, and do a lot of driving looking for future projects and parts. Also, testing and tuning eats up miles. I guess this year I've probably driven less, but I've done more flying. When I was road racing competitively and instructing, 250-300k a year wasn't hard to do, just in my tow rig.

    Think of it more as 20 hours straight, twice a month, then maybe 200-300 miles a day. And a couple days a month when I say to hell with it, I'm gonna turn wrenches all day.
  19. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I think one of the point he was trying to make is that you would have not saved a penny without the subsidies or tax incentives- you would have spent quite a bit more instead.
  20. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    And the point I was trying to make is that I have not saved a penny with the subsidies. ;)

    I bought the vehicles
    - lightly used (like new)
    - at great prices close to 35% of retail (first 3 years usually eat up a lot of retail price),
    - after warranty (original owners are not taking any more risks with new technology)

    and saved a tons of money on gas and repairs/maintenance (knowing that these cars have proven technology and very reliable).