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Re: [bolger] Re: Electric

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  • Roger Padvorac
    I ve thought some about the combination of a generator, electric boat motor, charge controller, and a small amount of battery capacity for running lights and
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 16, 2011
      I've thought some about the combination of a generator, electric boat motor, charge controller, and a small amount of battery capacity for running lights and occasional short uses of the electric boat motor. Then running the generator if the boat motor is run for extended periods.
      Even if you are anchored, you can be in trouble if you don't have a light at night, and that electricity has to come from somewhere, especially if you are out on the water for a few days. Having lots of light, at the flip of a switch, to easily see what you are doing is nice too.
      What intrigues me about the generator option is the flexibility of its use in other areas of life besides boating.
      Every additional combustion engine you own is more engine maintenance cycles to keep track of and do, and more engine problems if not done correctly in a timely way. There are a lot of gasoline engine powered tools that have electric versions, that you can use if you have electric power. With a generator you do have electric power anyplace you haul your tools.
      Then its always nice to have a generator at home so your frozen food doesn't melt if the power goes out when its warm, and to keep the furnace going so your pipes don't freeze if the power goes out when its cold.
      So I've been thinking about the value of an all-purpose generator, that would power a variety of equipment, and using that same generator to power a small boat too. All that would be needed is to rig the boat and generator so the generator is easy to load and unload, and secure while boating. For a trailered boat, you could just leave the generator in the boat and just run an extension cord from the boat to the house if the power goes out.
      I realize there are situations where a gasoline outboard is more appropriate than an electric motor, but I've been thinking about making do with just sails and oars, and an electric motor is a step up from this. Any boat that can be moved with oars can be really effectively moved by a small electric boat motor.
      The slippery trail is thinking of adding batteries for lights, then thinking about how to charge the batteries and the fact I'd like to have a quiet portable generator anyway - then thinking how easy it would be to add an electric motor if the batteries and generator were already in place. I really don't want to own another special purpose gasoline engine, but would make an exception for a versatile one like a gasoline powered electrical generator.
      I think there is a middle range where the electric boat motor is best suited. The smallest boats don't have room for a generator and batteries, but you can stick a small outboard on the back of them. Then there is some larger size where internal combustion engines are the most appropriate propulsion.
      I'm fascinated by the fact that an electric boat motor has worked well as the motor/engine powered propulsion for a 34 foot sailboat. A large number of Bolger's designs are shorter than this, and still big enough to have a corner to stick a generator and then use the batteries as ballast.
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