Thinking ahead a few years...

About powering boats with electricity

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Tedd
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Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby Tedd » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:29 am

I'm just starting to investigate a boat building project and don't expect to even start for about five years. Thinking ahead, it seems to me that as electric cars and motorcycles become more popular there are going to be better and more affordable options for batteries and motors. I'm starting to wonder if it's going to be feasible for me to build an electric Titan or Goliath tug. These boats only appear to require 7 or 8 kW at cruising speed. If the roof were covered in solar panels the net consumption could be reduced to perhaps 5 kW or less. That would mean about 1 kW.h per nautical mile, and in another few years a 100 kW.h battery probably won't be that hard to come by, giving close to 100 nm of range. (Teslas already have an optional 100 kW.h battery.)

I realize there are a lot of other things to consider, but it's starting to look like such a boat might soon be feasible.

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chugalug
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Re: Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby chugalug » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:31 am

:D Seems I've read somewhere in Woodenboat mag about something similar.Why wait until you're retired? alot of these boats take a little time to build(depends on how much$$ you have.some have to do it slowly(I have been building "Chug" for a few years now.Just got new to me motor and am waiting on new steering system.It would be nice to have boat built by the time you do retire and can enjoy it.just the boatbuilding bug can be satisfying enough. :D
Working on regular-sized Bo-Jest


"If it's not crooked,It's not mine

Tedd
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby Tedd » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:12 pm

Thanks, chugalug!

It's not so much about retiring, per se. My current shop is quite small and usable outdoor space is already taken up by our trailerable sailboat. But it's definitely a requirement for our retirement house to have enough shop space and parking space for a boat project. I also feel that I have a few years worth of preparations before I start full-on with the project. First, I need to decide on exactly the project, which will take some time. Then, if I go with aluminum (which seems likely at this point) I'll want to do some work on my welding skills. That can be done with some smaller projects. For example, I have some ideas for modifications to our sailboat that would require welding. I also plan to create a full CAD model of the boat project (in SolidWorks), which will allow us to experiment with some different layouts and customizations before we start building. So there's lots to do.

Meanwhile, my job is very busy, making time for after-hours projects quite scarce. I know myself well enough to know that it would be a mistake for me to take on too big a project under those conditions. Overall, I think I'll be happier if I take my time with all the planning and preparation and then 'hit the ground running" when retirement comes. Plus, the retirement date's not a fixed thing. I have no pension so it's more a matter of making a value judgement on when I feel comfortable giving up my income.

Tedd
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby Tedd » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:15 pm

I just found "slug's" posting on fuel consumption with his Titan (http://www.glen-l.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=25012). Based on his numbers, it looks like 5.3 knots cruising speed in a Titan requires about 6.5 kW.

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CaptDave
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Re: Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby CaptDave » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:46 pm

I have been thinking ahead along similar lines for my next boat. I have been thinking about a Bo-jest (stretched 10%) or possibly a Hercules. Both have semi-displacement hulls that require fairly low power requirements for cruising speed. I do expect that rebuilt battery packs from electric vehicles will become more available at affordable prices in the next few years especially in the 20-30 kwh range. (think Nissan Leaf)
I believe that 1000 watt solar panel very doable. Even if it takes a couple days to charge up completely, overnight charging at a slip is frequently available.The solar panels should increase the range by 10 miles or allow you to run the AC on a hot day... For weekend cruising I can live with a 20-30 mile range. per day. I say get started and see what battery solutions are available when you get that far along on the build.(especially if it takes 3-5 years to complete)

I look forward to adding 200 watts of solar panels to my amp-eater this summer. I will be posting my solar performance by late summer.
Last edited by CaptDave on Wed May 02, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Capt. Dave
Builder of the Amp Eater Aquatron

Tedd
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:20 pm
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada

Re: Thinking ahead a few years...

Postby Tedd » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:06 pm

CaptDave:

Good to know that someone else is thinking along the same lines. I'm not crazy or, at least, not alone!

Ten extra miles a day from solar panels is the number I came up with, too, based on some very rough estimates. That's for a sunny day in the summer, where I am (near Vancouver, BC). Less in the winter, of course, but whatever. AC's not required here!

Motor-wise, I'm thinking electric motorcycle engines in the right power range are likely to be available.

Tedd


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