electricity on board

heya all,

just joined - recently redundent (after 10 years), change of lifestyle so looking to live-aboard either a Centaur, Vega, Contessa 26 or Cobra 750 and do the circumnavigation thang.

One boat I've been looking at only has an outboard (the previous owners having removed the inboard for reasons unknown). From limited research I have gleaned that an outboard won't be effiecent at re-charging the battteries (have to run for too long too often). Am I correct?

My (other) question is - do you consider an inboard (diesel?) to be a "must have" IF you (I) want to power lights, GPS, stereo, etc etc etc. or is there another option I should consider?

thanks in advance,

Catweasel.
 

DaveS

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Since nobody else has replied, I'll have a go.

An inboard diesel is certainly not essential, but it is convenient. While a diesel is a lot better than an outboard, to properly charge batteries it really needs an advanced "smart" regulator (various makes available) to do so in an acceptable time. However, you mention circumnavigation (Britain or Earth?). Most considering either would probably want multiple energy sources, wind generator and solar panels as well as engine.

FWIW I have neither, and am happy to rely on the engine for my typical 2 - 3 week summer cruises, but I do have shore power for the rest of the year at my normal berth, which makes a big difference.
 

simonfraser

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i does depend on how much money you have available.
o/b much cheaper to buy / service.
wait off shore until you are happy to move your boat with an o/b

solar charge battery in the tropics.
 

Old Troll

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Old Troll

For convenience and economy I would advise on an inboard diesel engine. These engines are relatively cheap to run and maintain. Also will grip the water and be more user friendly when going to windward in a bit of a swell. Hope you find the suitable boat for your seagoing ventures. Good luck.
 

prv

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For stereo, GPS, and (LED) lights, you'd probably get by with an outboard. But an inboard would definitely be more desirable in general, not just from a battery charging perspective.

Pete
 

William_H

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inboard or outboard

A difficult question to answer. Inboard is more expensive ie o/b powered boats are cheaper to buy. Inboard can be more expensive to maintain especially if you get a problem. An inboard takes up a lot of useful; storage room and can be smelly. Certainly an inboard can give better push in a head sea or rough water. An outboard if steerable can give easier management in a tight corner when berthing.

Regarding electrical power. Yes an engine driven alternator can give a lot of battery charge especially with a modern charge controller. But then much depends on how much power you need, Do you want to run a fridge? Do you want to run a TV and or computer or diesel cabin heater. These are things that draw significant current and are used for long periods of time.
A single cylinder diesel is so noisy you would not want to run any longer than necessary. Certainly not for battery charging. A twin cylinder is much better but still very noisy.

Just cabin lights no problem.Solar power can provide for these and other small loads.

For live aboard you really need shore power then of course no problems.

The other alternative is to use a separate petrol driven generator. Use it for battery charging. It will be cheaper but cost a bit more in fuel (and noisy)

So the reality is there is no answer. You can only find by actual experience how much power you need and what suits you, but IMHO a diesel inboard is not vital. An o/b and a petrol generator can do the same thing. olewill
 
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Silent Lady

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Send Nathan a PM

Send Nathanlee a PM he lives in a small space :rolleyes: He has a website with some video on but I cannot remember its name. Sure he will give you a few pointers.
 

lenseman

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. . . . One boat I've been looking at only has an outboard (the previous owners having removed the inboard for reasons unknown). From limited research I have gleaned that an outboard won't be effiecent at re-charging the battteries (have to run for too long too often). Am I correct? . . . . . .

Welcome to the ybw site.

You could retain the O/B and buy a Rutland 913 or 914i. It would be a whole lot cheaper than a re-installed diesel plus costs and it would charge even at night with the wind blowing whereas the diesel running at night would cause folks to have sleepless nights.

Also without an inboard engine with its attendant weight, you could install more batteries. :)

Liveaboard in a marina will incur electrickery bills :mad:

I am liveaboard in Gosport if you are nearby? ;)
 
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reponses are like london buses eh? none ages and then loads arrive at once.

For clarity when i said live-aboard i meant i'm am taking an extended break from landlubbing and intend to sail as far away as i can...starting with some or all of the UK, then to the Med and then Africa...maybe :). As such I hope to be sailing every day stopping somewhere different every night...many's the slip though 'tween lip and cup hence some of my questions.

thanks everyone for replying, some real food for thought.

As for what I will be running, navigation & running lights, a laptop, unsure on the fridge...tempted to rip it as one less thing to go wrong, charging phones and cameras etc, starting the engine and so on.

FYI I am currently based in Budapest (english ex-pat) but will be in the Brighton area next week taking a competent crew course and, I hope, bimbling around the marina trying to spot Contessa 26s and Albin Vegas.
 

V1701

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A lot to think about for extended trips - wind and solar power, windvane self steering, heating for the boat, age & condition of engine, sails and it goes on. I did without a fridge the last year living on a small Jeanneau but would be nice if going somewhere hot, small Waeco compressor fridges are quite economical to run. The Contessa 26 has a lot less room (living and storage) than a Vega, you could also look at others, e.g. Halcyon 27, Invicta 26, Nic 26. How tall are you? From the sounds of it I had similar criteria to you and went for a Vega which I'll be getting in about 3 weeks time, between boats at the moment but in Brighton Marina staying on a friends old boat in return for doing him a web site to sell it. Good luck with it all...:)
 
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For reasons I have never really understood, all boat engines are a PITA with outboards being worse. I have not yet had a boat that hasnt had engine problems in my ownership and it really isnt me at fault. So I would advise a diesel engine but I would also say make sure its a good one and not on its last legs.

The time to first major maintenance of a modern boat diesel seems to be about 10 years - which as it happens is the average age of the boats I feel I can afford. Which is another way of saying it takes me 10 years to get used to current boat price levels by which time they are no longer current
 

Pagetslady

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How about keeping the O/B and having a cheap generator well insulate it and you will have all the power you want where ever you are. These are very cheap these days and output is excellent.
Mike
 
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