Electric Solar-Wind 20' Fishing Trimaran Help

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ChapinBuilder, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. ChapinBuilder
    Joined: Apr 2016
    Posts: 1
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    Location: Belize

    ChapinBuilder New Member

    I’d been obsessed, for a few years, with the idea to build an electric boat assisted by solar panels and perhaps wind turbines, to charge up batteries. The problem was that up to a few years ago I didn’t know anything about how to sketch anything in a 3D Software, and then I start playing around with Sketchup and finally I think I can sketch something up and put it together as my boat concept, and for this case the Trimaran configuration turned up to be the best for this particular model.
    But, I in order to bring my idea to reality, If that’s possible, I would need as much help as I can get, criticisms/suggestions etc.
    For what I been reading on this forums, a lot of you guys have a lot of boats practical experience , and in all sort of boats topics. So, any assistance you could give me, with my little project, I will surely appreciated it, especially if you think the project is not realistic.

    The requirements for the boat are.

    1. This particular model would be conceptualize as a fishing boat, suited kind of like for the Belizean waters.
    2. As I stated above, I has to be electric, solar-wind assisted.
    3. Capable to do 8-10 miles x hour.
    4. With a 20 miles range in a single charge (without solar panels or wind assistance).
    5. Capable to take up a crew of 2.
    6. Capable to handle a payload of 1200 pounds after crew and gear/equipment.
    7. Very simple and easy to build.

    My experience on building boats is very limited, the most I had manage to do, is to extract plans from Sketchup to build little boats samples, about 6’ long, mostly just to test out, if it was possible to extract boat plans out of Sketchup, and build something using the Stich & Glue method, and I can tell you one thing, the results of my try outs were kind of promising.

    I been reading about some software’s capable to calculate the Hulls Hydrostatics, but I have no idea how to use them, or which one would be a good one to start up, especially for beginners like me, perhaps you could give me some tips in that direction too.

    The sketch Trimaran characteristics are:

    Length: 20’ (Central Pontoon, 24” wide, at the widest part),
    Length: 12’ (Side Pontoons, 15” wide at the widest part)
    Beam: 8’
    Height: 4’ (Just Pontoons)

    I hope the information I'm given is good enough as to start up this topic and of course I would add more information is requested.

    Thanks everybody, and have a good day.
    20' ELECTRIC TRIMARAN - 1.jpg

    20' ELECTRIC TRIMARAN - 2.jpg

    20' ELECTRIC TRIMARAN - 3.jpg

    20' ELECTRIC TRIMARAN - 5.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Don't worry about the drawings, that is the easy part and get generated by the previous calculations. For example, calculate the weight of the batteries and motor/drive. Calculate the wind resistance of the generator. It will need some kind of system to take it down, or you will use more energy going upwind that it can generate.
  3. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    You are going to need some help, judging by the drawings. That remark is not intended to discourage or demean you in any way. Stay with us.

    For starters, the electric concept is enticing but the state of the art technology is not quite up to our fondest wishes. The reality is that input does not equal output. If you had an output of five horse power at the props, then the input would be on the order of six plus kilowatts. That would demand a lot of solar panels and a substantial bank of batteries just to get a 1700 pound boat to 6 or 8 knots. All those panels, about an acre of them, along with the batteries would weigh a lot and your weight would go up dramatically whereby more HP input would be required to get up to 6 or 8 knots. Vicious circle.

    You might also consider the cost of all those electrical components. I would venture that you can buy at least three gasoline outboard motors of 8 horsepower or so for the price of all those panels and batteries and controllers and motors and such. The outboards will not leave you stranded at night or on an overcast day.
  4. Timothy
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 307
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    Location: canada

    Timothy Senior Member

    I think you are on the right track. and that what appears to be an ultralight stabilized mono hull is indeed the way to go for your application. I think you will need a longer main hull with a length to beam ratio approaching twenty to one and that a 1500 lb payload is problematic. Your batteries and solar panels could weigh half of that. I would suggest to work out your numbers using the specs for a single Torqeedo cruise 4 . Design a hull that has the displacement required for your payload and run it through Michlet and then keep at it. You would only need a 6k solar array if you wanted to run the boat on solar only, with no stored energy. Twenty nautical miles on a single charge with solar assist at 6 maybe 8 knots should be achievable. For propulsive power by wind you can't beat sails.
    I wish you luck.

  5. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    I don't think you can trim solar panels like you show. Any curved shape will have to be filled in like this, thus losing a good percentage of output.

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