Putting this out there for discussion (livaboard river boat propulsion)

Discussion in 'Propulsion' started by Timetogo, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Timetogo
    Joined: Feb 2017
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canberra

    Timetogo New Member

    Now im nearing the cemetary at a great rate its time to do my thing, i love the murray river and this is where i wish to retire, im going to build my own livaboard river boat, propulsion ideas sees me throw this idea out there among the gannets to pick apart or offer other ideas, i did see a mundoo with an ellectric engine, i like this idea as one, the other idea is hydrogen, could a four stroke outboard run on hydrogen? Is hydrogen safe? Thinking of the old hydrogen bomb here lol, electric seems to be the method of choice, perhaps with outboard back up, dieso outboards dont seem to be popular here yet, or a small diesel engine running recycled cooking oil? If your going to chuff down the river you may as well do it in a boat stinking of fish n chips and chiko rolls lol, sail no good i imagine, think ive pretty much covered the propulsion ideas, any other ideas?
  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,227
    Likes: 310, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    There's no escaping hydrocarbons, if you want a river boat, which can go when you want it to, and buck a river current.

    You need power for that, and it needs to have an ample supply of stored energy to back it up.

    That being said, you could go for an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)/electric combination, with a good battery bank, the cabin top decked out with solar panels, and a diesel or gasoline gen set.

    The gen set aught to have enough kw to power the boat all by itself, with the solar panels there to add to the chorus. This way there could be days you don't have to even fire the gen set up, but most of the time the solar panels will just carry some of the load.

    Still, it would be more eco-friendly than an ICE only system, and far, far more practical than an all alternative energy one.
  3. sailhand
    Joined: Jan 2017
    Posts: 137
    Likes: 35, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 29
    Location: australia

    sailhand Senior Member

    hi timetogo I just saw this thread after posting my reply on your other thread, so it narrows it down a little more. I have just been involved in the design of an electric boat 60 foot long and it posed some interesting problems. in saying that I have relatives in Mildura and spend a lot of time there. the one thing they have plenty of is sun, lots and lots of sun. Solar is the way to go, but it has some serious limits. shaft drive or modified outboard are the way to go if you can. I am going with a minn kota I pilot. "why" you say, because they are very good trolling motors, they run well at the speeds I want to do, around 3 knots, and they have gps, autopilot and remote control all built in for a little over 2k. they are refined and developed in the recreational fishing market which is huge. something you can raise out of the water is always handy. It keeps your prop clean no electrolysis, easy to remove rope snags etc. I can buy parts for it cheaply and they are available everywhere even in Weipa last time I was there. Power will be from lithium batteries, they are great and contrary to Mr Turnbull/Abbott and co I have lived very comfortably for many years on the free sunlight that they havent figured out how to tax yet. I will back this up with a small four stroke outboard for cloudy weather or to extend range/increase speed if required. I have lived on a 44 ft sailing catamaran for the last thirteen years and I am considering selling it and moving on. you only live once and there is so much to do and so many places to see. I am looking at a canal boat in Europe and a small boat/caravan in Australia. this will suit my new lifestyle I think, Ill see how it pans out and adapt to suit. I still want to be able to go out to the great barrier reef in it and tow it to the Northern Territory which is where I lived until I was 40 years old. I also want it to be cheap to store when not in use. Marina fees even on the Murray are out of control and slipping costs are likewise expensive, something you should investigate before your purchase/build it could save you a lot of money/heartache. If I was going to get something larger on the Murray I would go with an ex charter boat. They are generally well designed for the task at hand as they have evolved in the business of cruising the Murray and you dont make money if you spend your profits on repairs and maintenance. Dont do aluminium I dont think its even good for tinnies and it is one of my pet hates, and I used to sell them. The mate is putting the fourth set of hulls on his aluminium catamaran as I write this and its 60ft long and 30 years old. Not all aluminium boats are like this but many are. Statements like this create outrage especially amongst those that enjoy floating around in recycled beer cans, but go and have a look at a marina at what most boats are made out of and its mainly glass for a multitude of reasons not just because they pop them out of a mold. dont say you havent been warned!!!! Good luck with whatever you decide to do, life on the water is fantastic and there is not many lifestyles that I have experienced that compare to sitting on a remote barrier reef island on a beautiful pristine beach eating the freshest seafood money can't buy watching a beautiful sunset in good company. mix that up with some world travel and you have a pretty dandy recipe for a great life!
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.