Gas power for sail

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by ErikG, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. ErikG
    Joined: Feb 2002
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    Location: Stockholm, Sweden

    ErikG Senior Member

    Well perhaps gasoline is not the ultimate powersource for longrange cruisers... But diesels are heavy and expensive. And for boats that race a lot but still want the increased efficiency in a seaway with an inboard but cant pay for a diesel or a Honda, it looks like a nice idea.

    Sportboatz.com [aus] sells a modified tohatsu (if I remeber correctly) that is used on the Thompson 870. It is a "powerhead" direcly connected to a small saildrive. Sounds like an inexpensive and clever solution at a low price. But Spoboatz are in Aus and it wont make any sense shipping one to sweden as guarantees and such will probably be useless, so...

    Anyone have any kind of idea what kind of saildrive that they are using and who might make it?
    I know its a bit smaller than most saildrives.

    I know diesel is safer but I have an outboard with a standard plastic tank today so it won't be worse than that anyhow.

    A sibling to it seems to be the more widely used Honda derivative http://www.saildrive280.com, but it's to big and way more expensive than the aus version.
    Maybe I should start bringing the aus ones to sweden...
     
  2. maggot909
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    maggot909 New Member

  3. FAST FRED
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    A standard stuffing box and prop are far less costly than any leg deive , and will be far more reliable.

    For engines a yard rototiller engine may have a 4-1 or more usual 6-1 gear reduction built in.Rated for cont duty it should push a 20 ft boat to hull speed very inexpensivly.

    For more push the Onan opposed twins are rated at 18 hp and could probably do 10 to 12hp (one Gal per hour ) "for ever".

    The Wisconson V twins are good for 25hp rated and will run 20, 2gph for "ever".

    That would be enough to get a 30ft wl to speed.

    The Onan & Wisconson will need a chain or belt reduction, one wide V belt can handle about 10 hp each, so 3 would be really low maint.

    FAST FRED
     
  4. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    I'm with Fred
    Sail drives are a poor option. An outboard well is a better option.

    Petroleum/Gas powered boats are safe if installed properly and everything is rated accordingly, and kept well maintained.
     
  5. Peter sk

    Peter sk Guest

    saildrives

    I have had nothing but trouble from sail drives over the years, corrosion is one big problem, collision damage is another . Mike Johns opinion on the outboard well being better I would concur with.

    I have had a petrol engine on a sailboat and had no problems but the tanks were large outboard tanks and we had them in special lockers in the cockpit. Then we had a bilge blower/sucker and a gas alarm. The range was not so great but if its only an auxiliary.
     
  6. FAST FRED
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    IF someone is willing to accept the added expense and complexity , an outboard in a well answers most inexpensive propulsion problems.

    Stored mounted inside , ready to use after opening lower doors , it would be easy to maintain , not pitch out of the water in rough going , and be easily replaceable or repairable at a shop.Lobster pot lines would be no problem to clear!

    Might not be best choice for Round the World cruiser , but should be fine for costal work.

    FAST FRED
     
  7. SeaDrive
    Joined: Feb 2004
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    SeaDrive Senior Member

    I think I detect a contradiction here.

    However, I agree that if an outboard will serve, it will probably be the cheapest, unless you are your own installer/mechanic. Unfortunately, most sailboats rigged for outboards either have them on the transom, or in a well where they cannot be retracted. A good transom well, e.g. Pearson 26, seems like the best solution to me. If the ob can retract in the hull, the well takes a lot of space. The Seafarer 29, for example, is really more like a long-tailed 27. Nothing wrong with that, execpt it leads to invidious comparisons.

    Transom mounted outboards drive the boat pretty well, but are ugly and can be awkward to use. On many boats, the bracket has to hold them aft from the transom a little way to give room to swing the rudder.

    By the way, if anyone knows a good way to put power on an H-boat, I would interested to hear.
     
  8. ErikG
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    ErikG Senior Member

    Yes an outboard is a good choice on the right boat. I have one on mine as I race, and the boat itself is only 26ft.

    But there are a number of advantages with small lightweigt cheap gaspowered inboard engines in my mind.

    its cheaper to buy AND service than a diesel, but it costs more to run.
    Its lighter than a diesel
    Any inboard will make any sailboat look better than with an ob.
    Using a well is no fun as it eats up the preciuos space that is already quite limited onboard a small sailingyacht and the lid in the bottom has not worked well on any boat i've seen.
    Manouvering in bad wether will be improved quite a lot.
    Otoh. manouvering in tight spots in marinas will be worse than with an ob

    Im not advocting against using ob mind you, i'm just curious about finding any alterntives and comparing them.

    Erik

    -------------------
    A friend of mine just past away a week ago at the age of 32, stress causing heartfailure. Take it easy and try to think of sailing, that should calm you down a a bit at work I hope.
     
  9. ebb
    Joined: May 2005
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    ebb Junior Member

    Tilting OB option in 26 foot Carl Alberg

    Hello ErikG,
    One of your countrymen designed a number of wonderful small boats with incredibly beautyful underbodies beginning in the late '50s in the USA. In 1964 my Pearson Ariel #338 was born in Rhode Island and ended up in San Francisco Bay after many adventures where I bought her a few years ago.

    I've spent much time and effort to integrate a modern 4 stroke into the OB well that was designed into this boat. I call the area between the transom and the cockpit the bustle - on Alberg boats they often have a very large hatch over the locker the Outboard sits in in the bustle.

    As to your first point above, the moter is unseen in this position, while in those models of this boat with the Atomic 4 there are a couple ugly exhaust ports in the shapely transom. Not pretty.

    As to another point: If your auxillary system lives in the bustle, then you have liberated a large space under the cockpit. I would say therefor that more precious space is created than lost with an OB. And more precious because it is absent of noise and smell an inboard would impose in the living area below.

    As to your last points I believe an OB that is itself still maneuverable on the clamp, as it is on 338, with practice will aid in backing and in adverse conditions in tight quarters - doing it better than an inboard.

    On Pearson Ariel 338 the OB will be tilted up to get the prop out of the water and nearly sealed off from following seas. The well seal for when the OB is thus shipped is made so that the weight of the motor contributes to the fairing 'lid' being kept in place. There is however a problem (unknown as yet) with a stern that squats and the water welling up in the well. And there is the subjective opinion as to whether Carl Alberg's really nice transom is spoiled by it being split to allow the shaft of the motor to tilt. When up, only the lower cavitation plate and the prop are seen just under the taff rail.

    An 8/4 Yamaha on paper weighs 110#. 2 stroke motors that were in use when Carl designed the well were 40 to 50# - easy to lift out when underway. Still done during regattas. Modern regs mandate cleaner motors, that's why 338 has this monster AND why it can be electrically tilted in place because there is no way it can be unshipped while underway.

    Altho 338 is not yet active the work in progress can be viewed at http://pearsonariel.org
    Look for the Gallery forum after hitting the "discussion plank", scroll to Ebb's photo etc and check out pages 3,4,9,10,11. Any constructive comments gratefully received! Everybody says this will not work on an offshore cruiser! "Better with a BETA!"
     
  10. mattotoole
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    mattotoole Senior Member

    Some good points have been made here.

    I've always hated outboards, but I must admit the latest 4 stroke Hondas, etc., are pretty darned good. I love diesels but they're expensive and heavy for small boats. That small Honda saildrive looks neat, but it's pricey too, compared to an equivalent outboard. Not to mention the hassle of anything that goes through the hull and into the water. It's probably similar in weight, but the outboard wins in drag, because you can pull it out of the water while sailing. Plus you can take it off the boat and into the shop for maintenance, instead of standing on your head in the bilge, while breathing gasoline fumes. The space under the cockpit is a significant issue for a small sailboat too.

    What I'd really like to see are small diesel outboards, right down to 2 HP for dinghies. It seems stupid to have to track down gasoline for the dinghy when there's a couple hundred gallons of diesel in the bilge! The safer fuel and lower operating costs would be great for small sailboats too.

    Finally, I liked the new Etap 24(?) featured in Sail magazine recently, with the twin rudders on either side of the outboard. With the outboard in the middle like that it can be a lot more accessible than hanging off a bracket, with no need for a well.
     
  11. usa2
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    usa2 Senior Member

    Gasoline engines are not something you want to have on a sailboat in general.
     
  12. ebb
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    ebb Junior Member

    Why? Atomic 4s have been around forever. Some folks live with gasoline just fine. And propane, there is another explosive fuel that folks or fashion find convenient to have on board a sailboat - requiring numerous safequards. And still leading to some fine explosions every year. Personally won't have either aboard mine, but will have gas OUTSIDE in the back! I'm looking for a hydrogen fuel OB. :cool:
     
  13. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    i guess it is a matter of opinion. I dont support the idea of having someting so explosive on board a boat
     
  14. mattotoole
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    mattotoole Senior Member

    I don't like the idea of gasoline aboard either, but how many boat explosions do we hear about, and how many are due to gasoline (or propane)? The few explosions I've been around over the years were fueled by solvents.
     

  15. woodboat
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Baltimore MD, USA

    woodboat Senior Member

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