BC/Alaska Inside Passage - Advice

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by inventured, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. inventured
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    inventured Junior Member

    Hello. I have been getting a lot of conflicting info from friends and I am hoping to get some advice and opinions from the kind folks here with knowledge about cruising the inside passage; Specifically, what type of motor boat is best as a year round live-aboard for this area? Yacht, trawler, displacement, catamaran? It would have to have a galley and head. Bigger the better. Something for anchorage, not marina.
     
  2. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Boats are complex systems, everything must work together at anchor. If you intend to run a generator daily you need certain things (preferably physical distance from a running engine). If you plan on "alternative" energy supply the boat is different.

    On the water in BC/Alaska you need heat most of the year. What is your heating system? Catamarans are hard to heat. A lot of boats with many diferent levels are hard to heat. You also need plenty of ventilation and natural light. A big deckhouse with plenty of opening windows will be better than a low profile speedboat type.

    A Grand Banks type cruiser with an oil heater in the foc'sl will work. You'll need additional heat in the aft cabin in the coldest part of the year.
     
  3. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    I depends on whether you want theory or reality.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and reality. In reality, there's a world of difference.

    This place has experienced boat designers and builders. Some of them sail, some of them don't. They can provide you with excellent advice about what should be good in theory.

    If you want reality, I would go ask live-aboards and full time cruisers.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    More absolute nonsense from the Jammer. Yeah, here's a good idea, go ask live aboards and cruisers, because you know they have all the hydrostatic and dynamic understanding necessary, plus coupled with their multiple engineering degrees, are always the best group to elitist an opinion from.

    The reality is, if you provide a list of ten questions to cruisers and live aboards, you get ten different opinions from each and every person that answer them.

    Jammer assumes that designers never experience reality for some reason, nor work in trials, nor oversee new construction or repairs, upgrades modifications, etc. He seems to think they live in a bubble of self worth. Your insanity shows with every post Jammer, as does your grotesque inexperience.

    As Tad has pointed out, your question is too generic to answer properly. Simply put, other than the "there's no ideal boat" reply, you'll need to refine and more closely define you needs, before any suitable design could be suggested. Some might be perfectly happy with a 25' displacement cruiser, while others might need a place to land their helicopter. There's just too many variables to offer anything, without a better description of your desires and needs. It's a bit like asking which house is best: do I need a two story colonial or will a ranch work better, maybe a cape cod or possibly a split level?
     
  5. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    See what I mean?

    Best of luck!
     
  6. inventured
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    inventured Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm sorry for being so generic. I'm not planning to actually do this myself, but a guy I work with wants to. I work for a commercial/industrial mechanical construction company. I install & maintain high end mechanical equipment like boilers, chillers, pumps, heat exchanges, water treatment systems, radiant heat systems, geothermal cooling etc. and also the supports, stands, piping, duct-work and insulation associated with them. The tech today has advanced so much in the last 20 years and is so efficient, I wouldn't be surprised if in another 5-10 years people are running this stuff off wind/solar combined with those new Tesla batteries. The equipment damn near runs on itself and off each-other.
    Anyway, one of our coworkers is a big fan of houseboats. He has wanted one for years. We have a lake here that doesn't freeze, but snow would accumulate on a houseboat if it was left in the water all winter. He has these not-so-crazy crazy ideas about how he could heat the boat with radiant piping in the floor and use the residual to keep the hull surface temp above 0 so snowflakes would melt on contact. We installed something similar for a ski resort driveway, so its not that far-fetched. He also thinks by controlling the in-cabin humility in the summer, he can run a radiant cooling system through the ceiling for the energy cost of a single high efficiency pump. He could even use the system in reverse to collect condensation for drinking water, but that's a bit off-topic. He wants to go off grid with slow-*** electric propulsion, and charge his batteries with a combo of solar, wind, and a couple exercise bikes connected to an alternator. We all thought "Ok fine. Its not like he'll die", but now hes talking about 'you only live once so go big or go home on the OCEAN'! To be honest I think hes crazy to want to live on the ocean for the rest of his life, but hes convinced me that we bounce ideas around for the theory side of it and not worry about him drowning at sea just yet.
    But our conversations have led us to the giant difference between houseboats and coastal cruisers: the hull. The hull type determines where the mechanical room will be located and its location is a large factor in the equipment that we would choose. And this is the one thing we don't have much knowledge about. so, What I'm asking is:
    What design of boat (hull) would be best for use an an anchored livaboard in the BC inside passage? All I can give you is a generic idea of the needs a person would have of it as far as heating/cooling/domestic water/insulation etc. Since I haven't spent any time in the inside passage, I want to know what kind of boats do well in these waters? Its a live-a-board, so going slow is ok.
    Also: He hasn't ruled out electric propulsion. My though is, if he is going to refit an existing boat that has a pair of 1000hp diesel engines, why not try and do a hybrid system, so he can cruise around at 5 knots with his electrics, and if the weather gets bad he can switch to the real engines. What do you guys think?

    And does anyone here know how cold it gets out there in winter?
     
  7. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    Why are you on this forum ?.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've been wondering the same thing for a while now Brendan, I'm glad I'm not the only one that sees his posts as less than contributory.

    Inventured, typically he'd need to establish a set of priorities and goals for a specific design. I think his thoughts in regard to an electric propulsion, heat, etc. boat suggests he hasn't run the math on a wattage count. Simply put, he'll peddle 12 hours a day to keep up with all but the most basic accomodations, in that part of the world. This said, it could be done, but the costs are going to be way over what more conventional systems might initially cost. Eventually, he'll recover these costs with energy savings, but this will mean years of peddling and hoping there's enough sunlight to get the PV's to do their job.

    In any case this fellow will have to develop a SOR, so he can narrow down the search focus a bit. With a solid set of goals in hand, he can look for designs that punch all the buttons or at least, can be modified to hit them.
     
  9. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Seen here: "In theory, there is no difference between theory and reality. In reality, there's a world of difference."

    I have to take issue with this statement. I have been a practicing engineer for almost 50 years, doing real technical work, and I have never seen any difference between theory and reality. The statement quoted above is just nonsense.

    But I have herd that kind of statement about the difference between theory and reality on numerous occasions, even from engineers who should know better.

    The actual (true) statement should read: "There is no difference between theory and reality. In reality, there's a world of difference when the application of the theory is misused or misunderstood by those who are trying to apply theory with half-baked knowledge of what they are doing."
     
  10. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Efficiency

    "The tech today has advanced so much in the last 20 years and is so efficient, I wouldn't be surprised if in another 5-10 years people are running this stuff off wind/solar combined with those new Tesla batteries."

    Tesla Batteries? I think you may be saying Lithium-Ion Batteries? In fact, while the new Lithium-Ion batteries are impressive, they are not much better in the efficiency department than the existing standard of Lead-Acid battery technology. Efficiency of most other electrical applications has not changed much either, motors are available with high efficiency 50 years ago or today, etc. The only real significant change I have seen is the LED lighting, providing the opportunity for lighting with minimal electric use.
     
  11. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Electric Propulsion

    "My though is, if he is going to refit an existing boat that has a pair of 1000hp diesel engines, why not try and do a hybrid system, so he can cruise around at 5 knots with his electrics, and if the weather gets bad he can switch to the real engines. What do you guys think?"

    Looks like you are way off-base here. A boat with two 1000 horsepower diesels is very large, on the order of 100 feet more or less if it is a displacement boat. Maybe 40-50 feet if it is an ocean race boat, but that certainly is not what is being discussed here. The 2000 HP ship, at 5 knots will require 100 horsepower, more or less, far too much for any reasonable (affordable) electric system.

    The reality of electric propulsion is that you can get, at best, only a few hours of 5 knot performance with a few horsepower. Assuming five horsepower for five hours, you would have to spend a month on the bicycle generator recharging the battery, working 8 hours a day, seven days a week, then you are ready for another five hour cruise. Solar charging in the north is not much better. If there is wind, the only reasonable approach is a sailboat.
     
  12. inventured
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    inventured Junior Member

    Yea These: http://www.teslamotors.com/powerwall

    Pumps. The pumps are far more efficient than they've ever been. Incredable differance from 50 years ago. http://bellgossett.com/pumps-circulators/small-circulation-pumps-boosters/series-ld3-hd3-pd/

    Sorry 1000x2 is too big. Maybe something like this with 2x550hp: http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1985/Ocean-Alexander-PHMY-2466802/San-Diego/CA/United-States#.VfmPQZckFEY

    He got the electric propulsion idea from this: http://greenlinehybrid.com/ and from watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EV2qq2-Lck
     
  13. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Pump Efficiency

    "The pumps are far more efficient than they've ever been. Incredable differance from 50 years ago."

    The Bell & Gossett circulating pumps of years ago were notoriously inefficient, so pointing out that they now have pumps of much higher efficiency is not real demonstration of better general efficiency.

    I published a paper at the ASME Joint Power Generation Conference several years ago, specifically addressing this efficiency issue with these circulators. The following is taken directly from this paper, ASME JPGC2003-40192, EXPERIENCE WITH EARLY DISTRIBUTED GENERATION SYSTEMS:

    "A note with respect to circulator pumps is relevant here. Domestic circulator pumps are well evolved and very reliable machines, used throughout the US for domestic and small commercial heating applications. These 120 VAC pumps typically give about 5 GPM (1.1 M3/hr) at 10 feet (3 Meters) of head, which amounts to an equivalent pumping power of only about 10 watts. Allowing for pump efficiency, a shaft power on the order of 20 watts, more or less, is required. Some popular domestic circulators of this size consume more than 350 watts of electric power, and some brands consume less than 30 watts of electric power. For most applications, this power consumption is not even considered, however in a domestic heat and power application where two pumps (HHW circulator and EJW circulator) operate continuously, the improper pump selection could consume half the entire plant output! The pumps selected for this application used 27 watts electric power each, and no malfunction has ever been experienced with them....."

    While the paper did not specifically mention the Bell & Gossett pumps, they were the reason for putting that paragraph into the paper. Being constantly involved with pumping systems for over 50 years, I can tell you with certainty that pump efficiencies have not changed much, except for some companies that were so far behind on the technology that they had to improve or face going out of business.
     
  14. inventured
    Joined: Sep 2015
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    inventured Junior Member

    Very interesting. Since these pumps almost always operate on AC power, I guess efficiency isn't as much of a consideration. I suppose the only real efficiency difference then is the addition of the VFD's used with these pumps now. https://us.grundfos.com/products/find-product/grundfos-vlc-vlsc.html Ts funny - We install these and then run the system to test and purge for a few weeks before the balancer's show up. You can tell when they've tuned the VFD's because the sound changes so much when the frequency goes from the default 60 down to 19 ;)

    I remember we had a fella come to commission a boiler for an aquatic center we built. He had just come from a big tech fair in Germany, and he said he saw a gas boiler there that, as its secondary function, produced enough electricity to power its circ pumps. Now its a few years later, and Im starting to see this tech coming to consumers: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/jan/17/new-boiler-generates-electricity
     

  15. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    "chp"

    "Now its a few years later, and Im starting to see this tech coming to consumers"

    Yes, that was the main subject of the ASME paper, Local Generation Total Energy Systems. Whenever one is burning fuel for heat, there is an opportunity to make electric power with virtually no extra fuel cost. The time for this technology is far past due in this technical world.

    Sorry to be off-topic here.
     
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