economical coastal cruiser

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by sandy daugherty, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Brian@BNE
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    Brian@BNE Senior Member

    Below is one of the FAQ from the website.

    What fuels can your fuel cells operate on?
    Right now, we have designed our solid oxide fuel cell system to use natural gas. It is also possible to re-design the fuel cell system to use other fuel sources such as hydrogen, LPG, bio-gas, coal gas, ethanol, methane and other hydrocarbon fuels.



    If a gas unit is used then conventional cylinders would be used. Not sure of consumption rate. It is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, and also on AIM in the UK. I own a small number of shares (speculative investment) but have no other connection to the company. Their 'News' tab has announcements about partneships in various countries who may have further information. In Australia, there are some test units in operation (see attachment) but the units are not yet available for retail purchase here.

    Like anything using flammable fuels, I'd want the thing in a well ventilated area eg cockpit with a table on top. If they re-design the system to run on diesel it would be excellent.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Here's the U.S. version of the fuel cell:

    http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-02-24/bloom-fuel-cell-individual-power-plant-in-a-box.html

    Fuel cells can essentially operate on any hydrogen containing fuel including all present fossil and renewable fuels. Fuels cells can convert hydrogen at up to 100% efficiency in THEORY (somewhat less in practice), since they are not heat engines (see Carnot cycle). The higher the hydrogen content of the fuel, the better the energy yield, with pure hydrogen being the best and yielding only water as a product. After pure hydrogen gas, methane is the second most hydrogen rich fuel at 25%, and all other fuels trail significantly from methane in hydrogen content yielding less energy with carbon dioxide (greenhouse) and water as products.

    Hydrogen is not particularly a good fuel mainly because of very high cost and storage issues. Solar conversion by electrolysis is not attractive because it is a very inefficient process. That is why we see the focus on methane in stationary (not transportation) fuel cell applications where storage is not an issue. Also, the cost of methane is at recent historical lows making that fuel exceptionally attractive. Supply-demand relationships could eventually change that attractiveness even considering the very high efficiencies with a fuel cell. That's the basics of what I learned in my chemical thermodynamics and economics classes some years ago. The "new" ceramic cells may lower the extremely high cost of conventional electrodes (platinum based) and perhaps lower cell maintenance is what I read. So that part may be considered a breakthrough, but the basics have not changed as far a I can see...

    Hope this helps.

    Porta

     
  3. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Basically and abruptly said : NO.

    I omit all the building issues. Simply to run at these 12kts/12npg, you will need an ultralight boat. say around 2,5 tonnes. The Gerr northwest is 7,5 tonnes. So while lenghening a bit the hull (34->39), you will have to cut around 2/3 of the underwater hull volume. It will be a completely different boat. You understant that if you cut hull volume by 2/3, you can no longer fit the engine in the box, and put a floor above. There will be simply no space, and the floor will be way too high for stability reason on a ligth boat.

    This boat is 40ft 3,2 tonnes (7000 lbs) http://www.finelineryachting.nl/en/modellen/fineliner-40ft-open.html
    You will need to be way lighter than that. ie, even less underwater hull volume.
     
  4. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Reducing boat cost.

    I am surprised that no one checked what Steve Dashew did to this FPB 83 to get some sales.

    He did:

    severely cut length by some 25% (83ft -> 64ft)
    severely cut target speed by some 20% (11.5 kts -> 9.5 kts)
    considerably simplified engine room (twin engines -> single engine)

    But what he nearly kept identical :
    hull technology.
    beam (17ft 10in -> 17ft ) L/B has been reduced. relative beamier boat.
    displacement (90 000lbs -> 75 000lbs) D/L has increased. relative heavier boat.
    layout.
    Creature comfort.

    And the sales went from nil to five, even before a prototype was sailing.

    So people advocating keeping the speed target, lengthening the hull, going narrower, lightening hull building, asceting layout to save weight, adding complexity to engine room to increase efficiency (CPP, common rail) should think hard, very hard on what they are doing.
     
  5. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    fcfc, as you know, I share your thoughts regarding the limited market for the kind of boats you've been describing - the rangeboat etc among them. I do however, think that there is a market. Small for sure, but existing - and possibly expanding. On this very thread, there are 3 who think they want to go long, thin and light, for starters. (I emphasise "think", for many of the attributes and specified inclusions that they've listed would preclude such a set up). It will certainly be interesting to see if any of the three of you actually build a boat that can match the efficiencies that you've laid down, or, if like so many, you choose to compromise in order to increase the accomodation and facilities on board.
     
  6. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Not sure of that. A market would mean buyers and sellers. I am not sure buyers are present enough.

    What I agree is that there is a request.

    And the request is not IMHO long thin and light, it is already biased and interpreted , the request is for economical boats (in fact the very title of that thread). But it is though in the public wisdom that long thin light could lead to economical because of lower power request.

    But alas, it is very costly to go light and going thin has drawbacks. I would say it is a bit like saying a 2 seater all aluminium and carbon fiber car would be more economical than a 4 seat steel car, because it will be smaller and lighter, and will burn much less fuel. :p
     
  7. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    I had the pleasure of actually going aboard the containerable motor sailor , a real Box Boat.

    The interior volume was fine , although the interior was not optomized the way I would , there would not be a problem for a crew to cruise her.

    MY objection was the HUGE effort to fit it in the box, mast down , rudder off , and drive package removed!

    UGH hours of effort , lifting in a travel lift to remove the drive , and then a fight to slip it into the Hi container.

    To my thinking most of the hassles are removed with the use of the Atkin style motorboat.

    Nothing but pipe rollers to go in the box, a nice huge prop with the reverse deadrise , with flat outside cockpit floor above .

    Since its a motorboat the engine would be at the rear of the box keel, and a folding , lowering or even canvass deck house would provide heavy weather protection , yet easily fit into a container.

    I have done workup after workup on this concept and so far the use of a very small bow cockpit (covered like a 30's rumble seat) would allow fantastic fair weather cruising . It would also allow the anchors to be worked while standing , that would give a good deal of safety on a boat with narrow deck.

    Bu using a good deal of the foredeck the forward double could be up to 42 inches at the top, and for me a critical point is a narrow space along side the bed would allow normal head calls , not gymnastic back flips over the pillow.

    Further back would be 2, 7 ft Concordia bunks , the entire main cabin.

    Skinny to be sure but fine for two extra crew for a few days.

    Of course I am working on a 39ft LOA so it will just fit in the container.

    After playing with this for almost 3 years I am convinced that a Euro (under 8800lbs) or US boat could be economical and very comfortable.

    To have a boat of 28 ft , that could be lighter and trailed by any full sized car , would require the loss of a main cabin.

    Almost all day living would be in the deck house and only sleeping below.

    FF
     
  8. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Certainly, not enough for a production builder... rangeboat is proof enough of that. I meant the occaisional one-off boat.
    Having said that, I do agree... the flip side of saving fuel is that it tends to be expensive...:(

    FF - I'm looking fwd to the day when you present us with some sketches of what must be the most thoroughly researched boat in history!;) Even more so when she hits the water....
    The success or otherwise of a containerable boat really depends on how you intend to use it IMHO. For the odd long-haul across sea &/or country, where you plan to spend a season at the destination it could make sense (though one has to ask, are the necessary compromises worth it compared to the extra cost of paying someone to transport a vessel of more 'normal' proportions? Like the Rangeboat, I'm not too sure of the market success of the box-boat, so maybe not too many people think so... perhaps...). As a place to keep the boat for the weekend it makes no sense at all....but then you already know all that...
     
  9. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    In my case I am not looking for a trailerable day boat. I will be looking for a passagemaker. I think computer generated optimum drag hulls are too long for the width if you really intend on trailering.

    By my calculations David Gerr's DR Northwest 34 is right at the minimum weight it should be for a relatively decent ride in a chop. Remember the displacments David publishes are with fuel, water stores and people. In other words, Design displacment vs empty weight. Run the fuel down, empty the water and holding tanks and transfer a bunch of junk to the tow vehicle and build a light aluminum trailer and you are down to a fairly acceptable tow weight.

    For my own purposes, a long thin and relatively light monohull with really decent accomodations and fuel starts at around 55-60 ft with a L/B ratio of between 5 and 6. Even then it appears unwise to try to use really expensive materials to lighten the hull. The only reason for wanting to do so would be to add in more systems that weigh instead of making a lighter boat overall.

    The real compromise you can't get around and can't do without is the amount of tolerable motion in a seaway. Long length and relatively narrow beam is where you get the economy but light will knock the livin sht out of you and that is unacceptable. Economical cruisers have got to have enough heft to keep the motion within tolerable limits. This concept is still only good if you pay for dockage by the sqr ft or beam but, if you pay by length then you had better not be a dock queen if ecomony is really important.

    In the end you also have resale as part of the overall economy. I think in the future you would do well on selling the boat but only if you keep it a long time first.

    Costs go something like this:

    Cost of Capital (up front plus interest lost) for custom vs existing
    Resale value at the time of selling again
    Dockage
    Insurance
    Storage and haul outs
    Maintenance
    Upgrades
    Fuel and oil
    Every other damned fee the government can come up with

    These are the things to kick around and research before you know what economical is.

    Why do I want long and thin?
    I want to cross oceans at a very good clip, 10+ knots if possible
    I want decent accomodations but also French and Canadian canal capable.
    I hate steps and like accomodations more or less on the same level. A few steps are okay.
    I have a limited budget but not so limited as these things are out of reach.

    Tad's designs come pretty close.
     
  10. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    We have too many conflicting goals. Commercial success? Containerized? magic carpet ride? Home made? economy at any cost (!)? Trailer-able? Classic 1920's styling? Tri hull?

    My first (and subsequent) question has been: can it be done? That was naive. You have educated me in the complexities, and the consensus seems to say, yes, no, maybe, but... I keep hoping me and Toto can wake up back in Kansas. If you see any parallels with the movie I want to remind you it was entirely fiction, no living characters were represented....

    I suggest we close this thread and start several new ones:
    1. Le nes plus ultra low carbon footprint cruiser.
    2. The lowest total cost way to cruise on a new boat
    3. Flame wars for the belligerent boaty
    4. Making a grand entry with a politically correct skinny boat
    5. Integrating emerging technologies for a practical cruiser
    6. Recycling mid-ocean gyres
    7. Staying alive in the boaty business when the world economy has gone to hell in a hand basket.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2010
  11. sandy daugherty
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    sandy daugherty Senior Member

    I already have it!

    I'm thick. It finally dawned on me that I already have the answer, or at least a solution with the least painful compromises. [I embrace the word because I am dealing with existing conditions and not possibilities.]

    I am the principal care provider for an overweight elderly sailing catamaran with a serious electronics addiction. She has an enclosed hot shower, air conditioning, two queen-sized berths, refrigeration, etc., etc. She is fun to sail when there's wind, and gets 6.5 mpg when there is no wind. I can handle her by myself, or entertain a dozen friends.

    The down sides are: She is 18.5' wide, and marina operators see dollar signs when she arrives. There is only one way she will ever get to Europe, and that would cost $20,000 one way. The cockpit is cold in the winter, and the heating is iffy when the water temperature is low. She needs 20 knots of wind to go 10 knots, and her little outboards* can't push her into 35 knots and 4' breaking waves.

    All I need to do to achieve my original goal is accept a lower cruising speed, take my time going anywhere, wait for favorable weather conditions and put side covers on the Bimini.

    p.s. She's paid for. I can save my pension for essentials; shelter, sustenance, and gadgets with buttons.

    * Two Yamaha high thrust 8's with power tilt, 2.92:1 gear, and larger than normal props, burning 1/2 gallon/hour at 2/3 throttle for 6.5 to 7 knots no winds.
     
  12. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    An imminently practical solution comes along Sandy. The answer was there all along. All that was required was the recognition of a couple COMPROMISES:p

    It's a personal matter whether these particular compromises are acceptable but it is certainly the most economic path for you.
     
  13. FAST FRED
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "Long length and relatively narrow beam is where you get the economy but light will knock the livin sht out of you and that is unacceptable."

    That's where a centerboard would be useful to ease the ride.

    If set up as a powered anti roll system ( Air ram is quick responding and cheap) it might save $30k for powered off the shelf stabilization.

    ," are the necessary compromises worth it compared to the extra cost of paying someone to transport a vessel of more 'normal' proportions?"

    That would really depend on how OFTEN and FAR the vessel was relocated.

    The usual cost of $20K to $40K just to go from the US to the Med. would take a long time to eat up at container costs.

    Depending on cargo volume and direction its cheap to go in the right direction.

    The US imports more from Euro-land or Asia so from the US to either spot is less than half the other way.

    Haven't checked on the entire world , but a circumnavigation (of sorts) would be less than just a one way , one ocean ride on a specialized ship.

    Same on land in the US . Truck don't like to deadhead , so if you have time , a coast to coast ride would be $ 1 to 3 grand , depending.

    FF
     
  14. graftonian
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    graftonian Junior Member

    Sandy,
    If you are still around, thanks for starting a most interaining thread. I have learned much here, both about boats and ego. thanks to this thread, I discovered Tom Lathrop, and, if I can afford it, my next boat.
    Thanks Again,
    Duane
     

  15. Pierre R
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    Pierre R Senior Member

    Fast Fred you are aware of the fact that RO-RO transports are in between containers and yacht transport if the dimensions are keep to below the cutoff. I believe the cutoff is a height of 14' and a width of 12' Per square foot the costs of a RO-RO boat are much closer to container pricing than to yacht transport.

    The cost to cross an ocean on your own bottom in power is not cheap either.
     
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