Southern Cross 28 restoration and possibly going ENGINELESS

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Patrick Iacullo, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Patrick Iacullo
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    Patrick Iacullo New Member

    A few years ago I bought a 1970s Southern Cross 28 for next to nothing. It was originally purchased as a bare hull, and remained bare for its first 30 years of life while its owner went through the alcoholic phase of life. Once he sobered up, he decided to go ahead and build the interior and rigging. It was built mainly to sit at the dock in Port Jefferson, therefore there are a lot of loose ends, and attention was not paid to the seaworthiness an sail-ability. Well, not long after finishing his project and getting to enjoy the fruits of his labor for his last couple years of life, he passed on and his son-in-law inherited the boat. It sat on the hard for the next 4 years in the backyard, uncovered, without a bilge pump or drain plug, and collected every bit of water that Hurricanes Irene and Sandy brought our way. Now, it comes time to move and they have to get rid of the neglected boat, with seized Volvo diesel and rotted interior. Now I have the boat on the hard on the side of my parents house. Last month, I pulled the shrink wrap off, removed the engine, and gutted the majority of the interior, minus the v-berth (which probably has mold underneath). Before going back to sea on a ship last week, I bought a car port to put over it for the duration of the interior restoration.

    I'm currently on a ship in South Korea and going through the brainstorming process. I am 90% sure I want to go engineless, but alway open to discussion. And I am in serious need of some guidelines to point me in the right direction. I know I want to keep it simple, with minimal electrics. I intend to do some long distance Bluewater sailing. I want an open layout with a head, galley, nav station, etc. Most of the cruising will be with a crew of two. No V-berth necessary. forward part of the interior could be sectioned off for storage, and forward head.

    Now, where do I start? What are some valuable resources? Going engineless ... I think I should think systems first followed by layout and design.

    Pictures below:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Those are nice boats. Thanks for saving her from going to the landfill.

    Engineless in 28 ft of boat is a PITA. Sure its a challenge but sometimes you just want to get where you're going and set anchor without being at the mercy of wind and tide. What about electric drive , or I guess hybrid with a genset since you don't want ruin her lines with a forest of solar panels? The beauty of it is that you can stash the components (motor, batteries, charging, conroller, etc) separately rather than needing them in one big lump of an engine bay.
     
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  3. Patrick Iacullo
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    Patrick Iacullo New Member

    I think I may live in a fantasy world of keeping it old school. That, along with the fact that the thought of properly installing a new engine daunts me, and I read too many of Lin and Larry Pardey's books. My previous boat was an Irwin 28 with an Atomic4 gas engine. More than half the time I couldn't get the thing to start when I needed it, and ended up sailing up the canal and docking with wind alone, which not only instilled a sense of caution to the unreliableness of engines, but gives me more confidence now to be thinking about going engineless. I also don't have a lot of money to be paying a professional to do the install for me. I currently don't even own a car because of how much I dislike engines.

    I did give some thought into electric drives. Not only will I be peering through a sea of solar panels on deck, but, from what little I read, the battery bank takes up a considerable amount of room below deck. If you have any input on that, I would appreciate it.

    In the future, when I raise enough money to purchase a turn-key cruiser, I will have no problem going with a boat that has a working diesel. But, right now I have a bare hull, and am open to any suggestions.

    So, what do you think?
     
  4. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    You seen to understand what you are getting into, so yeah, it could be an interesting challenge. But I would do at least a token electric drive capable of a few knots for an hour or two for maneuvering around a marina or if you get into trouble downwind. The beauty of batteries is that they come in little blocks you can arrange into different shapes. And they are good ballast.

    One thing to consider though on this project is re-saleability. It doesn't matter how good a restoration you do, if you eliminate the motor, you will be hard pressed to find a buyer much less get a fair price for it.
     
  5. Patrick Iacullo
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Long Island, NY

    Patrick Iacullo New Member

    Now that is very true, and definitely a game changing thought ... re-saleability. I am going to start really digging deep on information for electric propulsion conversions, if you know of any valuable sources of information, please pass them my way ... books, blogs, websites, electric motor companies, etc.
     
  6. JamesG123
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Years of reading/watching are pretty easy to web search for. The Youtubers "Sailing Uma" have an amusing series of videos of their attempts to convert their boat to electric drive. There's gotta be a bunch of threads here and on epower forums.

    Sorry for derailing you from "pure sail". lol
     
  7. Matunucktuna
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Narragansett, RI

    Matunucktuna New Member

    Hi Pat,
    I have a 1981 Southern Cross 28 on the hard in Rhode Island. It would take a lot less effort to restore this one. It's been stored shrink wrapped for about 20 years. I'm listing it firm at $2k only because I recently came the the realization that I will never find the time to work on it. It is complete with all standing rigging, sails, and an 11 HP Universal Atomic (engine has been stored inside garage following rebuild.). If interested, respond to my email; matunucktuna@gmail.com
     
  8. baeckmo
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Sweden

    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    On the engine issue:
    From the pics it seems to be one of the 2000-series engines. Its a dead simple engine to work on, spares available and reasonably cheap. Before scrapping it, open up and check. What kills them is often corrosion in the cooling water channels; the outside can look terrible, but they still run. If drowned, starter and generator are gone, but that's not a fortune either. Good luck!
     
  9. Sejler
    Joined: Jul 2018
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    Location: Denmark

    Sejler New Member

    Why do you want to sail this boat without engine?
    It is already there..
    A well cared engine is always ready to run.
    Especially diesel engines are stable workhorses..

    If you prefer sailing by the wind simply don't start the engine..

    You sound pretty inexperienced heading out with no 'backup'..?

    I've sailed anything between 9'-35' (0.5-7 tons) hulls only depending on sail..
    Laying 'dead' some 6 hours in dull sea state in the middle of nowhere has its own charm..
    Are you sure you have the mindset for that experience?

    It's more than a idealistic issue.
    How about the surrounding sailors/traffic?
    Will they acknowledge you, or maybe run your little boat down, unaware of your presence?

    How about fog & no wind in a busy area?
     
  10. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Absolutely true.

    If the OP thinks that Diesel is complicated, wait till you try Electric. Double the cost in time and installation for 1/3 the performance and usability.

    Going sail less on anything over 18ft is asking for major trauma.
    If you cant build it yourself, just get an expert like you do with your car.
     
  11. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    The technology is getting much better and cheaper every day. And I don't see how you can say its more complicated than having to worry about oil, fuel, AND electrics. Electric propulsion is just having a beefed up version of any boat's electrical system.

    I believe OP is a professional mariner... I don't think he can't, simply does not want to.
     
  12. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    This show me how very little you know of electric power systems on boats.

    I have been connected with an amateur small boat organisation for many years, and the time and trouble and cost they have had running one 18ft launch with 100% electrical has been 3 times the same effort in maintaining the four outboard engines on other boats.

    There are 20 marine mechanics for every marine power specialist ( NOT just an Electrician), and when it comes to getting the performance, reliability and cost factors sorted out in Marine Electric power systems, you do need a specialist. Batteries alone are a major issue.
     
  13. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    And you are showing how much your opinion is biased.
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Go down to any Marina with 100+ boats.

    See if you can spot more than 2 with Electric Propulsion Systems.

    Now, name any boats YOU have powered up from scratch, or been involved in.

    Its not BIAS.
     

  15. Dolfiman
    Joined: Aug 2017
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    Location: NICE (France)

    Dolfiman Senior Member

    I am not expert in the electrical propulsion issue, but as regard the in situ production of kWh I know that a lot of progress was done recently thanks to companies like Watt and Sea proposing efficient and reliable hydrogenerators, used and validated by quite all Vendée Globe sailors in particular. So providing your sailing boat is fast enough and a sailing programme with a sufficient % at sea ... , may be you can have the necessary kWh when arriving at the harbour. Some catamaran builders are working on this "zero drop of fuel" issue :
    Watt and Sea, energy independence for your yacht! https://www.wattandsea.com/en/
     
    Doug Lord likes this.
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