Project Manaia - a research sailboat

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Manaia, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Manaia
    Joined: Jul 2014
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Hello everyone,
    I am currently looking into getting on with a new project of mine after completely rebuilding a 30ft sailboat in the last two years to being self sustained in the end.

    Now the new project is aiming in a different direction somehow:
    I want to set up a sailboat to accommodate 8 people (minimum) and also have extra space for a laboratory on board and scientific gear as necessary.
    The thought is to provide a platform for motivated scientists working on environmental issues but who are lacking the massive funding to get a hold of the big research ships out there. So basically do their studies on a shoestring budget.
    The boat should in the end be as self sustained as somewhat possible, meaning electric propulsion rather than burning fossil fuels, big battery banks to deal with energy needs, solar arrays to keep the batteries charged and try keep energy consumption own as much as possible by means of using a vane rather than auto pilot or having manual pumps instead of constant pressure, etc.
    Also I want to make sure no grey water goes over the side and it gets collected in tanks instead, just everything to keep the impact of that boat as small as possible for surrounding waters.
    A potential candidate for that boat I just came across is sitting in Hamburg at the moment (without hull and rigging though)
    http://www.ebay.de/itm/Aluminium-Segelbootkasko-/111397345396?pt=Segelboote&hash=item19efcc9874
    but has big potential and the right size for what I want...
    Would be happy for any ideas, critics, suggestions, things to keep in mind, ideas to get additional funding, ...
    whatever comes to mind, please throw it my way!
    All the best, fair winds and calm seas!
    Manuel
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Before you plan on "green and sustainable" do an energy survey. Solar panels, particularly on a sailboat platform, will not produce enough energy to sustain the equipment necessary for research. Also, most researchers will not be happy showering in salt water and keeping the lights off unless absolutely necessary. After all, fossil fuels are the best stored solar energy available.
     
  3. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    I do realise it is a trade off in some ways, but with the right gear and specifications it can work. If for example you use equipment, that is designed to have low energy consumption in ALL corners of the boat, it does have an impact! And as solar panels get more an more efficient you can win a good deal of energy out of them.
    Also when sailing an electric engine turns into a generator and is therefore your best source of energy on the boat...
    So I did do my maths and it all can work out - with small trade offs that I am sure people are ready to make in order to full fill a cause!

    And Yes, I am aware that fossil fuels are a great storage version of energy - I'm not adding a but here because I fear that might lead to a whole different discussion...
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You need to make a realistic account of your needs and assumptions. For example, using your prop to turn an electric propulsion motor as a generator is very inefficient, not to mention this robs a boat that is wanting, in terms of it's modest speeds, in the first place. If you've "done the math" you should have an idea about you needs. What are they in KW's?
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Take into consideration that most research is done at rest of very low speed. The propeller will generate almost no energy when you need it the most. Solar panes that take the whole deck will not let you sail properly or leave enough deck space for the research gear.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The shadow the sails make, will also be an issue on the PV's. Folks have been toying with this idea for some generations now and the same issues crop up, even with storage capacity/weight gains in recent years.
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The storage capacity is a moot point if there isn't enough surplus energy to store.
     
  8. Manaia
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    Manaia Junior Member

    Hello again and sorry for the delay in the answer, was at sea for a bit...
    So: I am in the process of writing the full proposals and they should be done within the week...
    I am aware that regeneration from an electric engine is not the perfect solution, but it is one. One of the hulls I looked at was a Reinke with double keel and layer out to have two engines in there as well, if one of them would be an electric with a speedboat prop it would be a more efficient setup for regenerating already.
    The thing is I am trying to gather ideas. I do appreciate that there is people out there with input and I'm keen to get all that as well. Unfortunately telling me the things that don't work stops me from making mistakes, but it doesn't get me closer to the goal...
    As for solar area: My last thought on those was to go with the Solbian semi flexible, which have very high efficiency and can be stepped on, so basically the whole deck could be solar without interfering.
    The solution I liked better was to have them hanging off the lifelines facing outside. The pure reflection from the water generates quite a bit already and if wanted I could build a support and have them horizontal.
    And there is always wind generators, which I was trying to avoid for noise reasons...
    Multihull would offer more deck space, stability and more options in propulsion since there are two spots for an engine, but it comes with its downsides...
    And of course there has to be unite reasonable battery banks (my last calculation came down to 500AmpH in 48 Volts being sufficient.
    Most of the extra gear can actually be modified or designed to run off 12V systems, so the biggie in the consumption would be computers, which are not avoidable and people like to come with their laptops rather than work with a boat computer running on 12V.

    My mein priority right now is to work out the best solution, the ideal hull to start with and find it. Does it make sense to buy an empty hull and start from there? Is it better to get a used boat in the right size and rebuild the interior, get a different motor etc?
    Open for all suggestions...
    Thanks again and already!
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Try getting a solar panel at 30 degree inclination, wet it and stand on it. You will find it almost impossible. A deck made of solar panels will send the crew overboard the first rough day. Battery calculations are irrelevant unless there is power available to charge them. Goals need to be realistic. The restrains of physical laws are a hard fact you can't get around. New Age notwithstanding, positive thinking does not circumvent them.
     

  10. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    It's only a place or three to start, but Yacht Designer Tom Wylie actually did a fair bit of work on a (smaller version) of a project along these lines. The yacht was/is the "Derek M. Baylis". Do a search on/for her, but also, when I was looking for info, this came up as well http://sealifeconservation.org/sail-with-us/the-derek-m-baylis/

    His website is http://www.wyliedesigngroup.com/wylie_design_group/home.html and if you scroll down, there's even an article by the "Sierra Club" more or less along the same lines as both what you & Tom Wylie are saying.

    Plus, to my edification, there's a prototype vessel for the National Science Foundation on his drawing board. Something bigger, for more scientists & longer trips.
    http://www.wyliedesigngroup.com/wyl..._board/Pages/National_Science_Foundation.html

    Odds are there are plenty of others out there. Designers who've sketched out similar skunkworks projects. I know that there are a fair number of aluminum, power catamarans out there doing oceanographic research. Their designers would likely be good candidates. Smaller cats that is, as, for example, Kurt Hughes, well known for his High Performance multihulls, had one of his 36' cruising cats built out of aluminum.

    Just do a bit o' Googlefu, & good luck.
    Andy
     
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