Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
Bill, good sense as always. For me the solar and wind options were fitted because I was not willing to commit to major ocean crossings without an alternative to diesel engines. too many boats (of all sorts) have got into strife over the years losing battery power when an engine fails for whatever reason. It would be a naked feeling to see your battery power ebb away and your lifeline radio and intsrumentation die. We had days of no wind (no boat movement) and days of no sun, but only occasionally no wind and no sun.. When I am potentially weeks from landfall I want more than one option. If I turned off the refrigeration I could be reasonably confident of running radios and instruments without the engines. When we were coming down from Tonga to NZ we heard one very distressed skipper relate that he was running out of battery power as his engine had failed. (he did get it going again)
Far from land I like the belt and braces methods and not too much reliance on the mechanical. At the end of our 16000 miles we were happy
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
From: Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe <yahoogroups@...>
Sent: Thursday, 21 July 2011 7:59 AM
Subject: [Amel] Re: Maramu prop shaft alternator
Thanks for the invitation, David. Judy and I have watched this thread and wondered where the heck it was going to wind up.
Our thoughts are not as complicated as this discussion has been. And, our thoughts are limited to what we are doing, which is slowly sailing around the world and stopping to visit the wide variety of people, history and cultures.
When we started we gave a lot of thought to energy and it was easy for us to focus on simple solutions like adding a wind generator or buying solar panels. As a retired CFO, it was fairly simple to build a financial model on the solar panels assuming that we owned a Super Maramu. The bottom line is that the payback on the investment exceeded five years including fuel, maintenance and depreciation. Most of the folks that I have met that invested in wind generators say that they wish they had put their money into solar. And all that I have met that say their wind generator is silent, are hard of hearing.
If you are a Super Maramu owner, you own a very good large generator, charger(s) and have a house battery alternator on the main engine. You are going to maintain your main engine and generator, so the only additional thing you need is diesel. Judy and I are power-using-fools averaging about 150 amps @ 24 volts per day. Since our total fuel costs are less than $2,000USD/year and less than 3% of our total cruising costs, we choose to focus elsewhere when trying to save some money.
With regard to the availability of diesel, we have found it available everywhere. We carried an extra 200 liters on ocean crossings, but never needed it. We have never had to haul jerry-jugs to fuel BeBe.. In out-of-the-way places we have always found an entrepreneur to delver fuel to us. We have bought diesel around the world in various colors and grades. Our choices were limited to what was there and we have not really focused on what we could have bought if we were elsewhere. It has cost us what it was selling for where we bought it. We checked and/or filtered it before it went into the tank and have not used any biocide...but recently started using StarTron Enzyme Fuel Treatment and seem to have a lot less smudge on the port side.
Regarding the shaft alternator, it falls into a category that "sounds good, but." The "but" is that we find it rare to go for 24 hours without running the main engine for an hour or so. So, why would I risk potential problems and 500 - $1,000 to install a shaft alternator. Frankly it will not give us enough amps to offset having to listen to the noise.
Hope this helps.
BeBe, SM2k, #387
Currently the Greek Islands
--- In amelyachtowners@..., David Mackintosh <sv.highland.fling@...> wrote:
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