Re: Long Weekend Plans???Aug 5th, 2007
I don't think I've got the patience or the energy to do a complete conversion. In my case it would probably be better to flog the present boat and buy one a little closer to what I want. My first boat was a Campion 27. It had a Mercruiser stern drive and a 350 ci V8. It would go very fast but it burned a lot of gas and it was a pig in rough water.
I never thought of getting an expert to look at the prop selection....I guess I thought the manufacturer did that. On the other hand the boat was nine years old when I bought it and who knows what previous owner(s) might have done though the props look like the ones in the manual.
Right now I've got just two batteries but I have a small Onan gen set that will run the fridge, stove, and a bit of extra heating for cold nights. I did buy a gimmicky solar cell array for a hundred bucks that is supposed to charge the batteries. I haven't used it.
One thing I've found is that, as someone said, boats are "a hole in the water where you throw money". There couldn't be a more apt description.
It's different for everyone I'm told. While some enjoy working on the boat even more than getting it in the water and moving it about. I think I want to be the captain that can stand on the bow and know everything about the boat because I personally tended to each bolt in the thing. I want a very long relationship with the boat I get. And I know that sounds a little bit much, but I love the idea that my wife and I can work on it like we would a cottage somewhere. Adding this and that each year, and so on til we've got it just as we like it.
A major refit like that will take some serious time. So I've been looking for the best candidate for that over the past few months and learning about what I need to do to get myself there knowledge wise. Some stuff you just want a pro to do. Like the engine room refitting. Though putting new engines in might cost a lot, and be a can of worms, the benefit of added efficiency, cleaner burning, and meeting the new regs the US is going to be putting on marine engines now and in the future will soon pay for the costs.
The prop is a very important part of the drive train. While some manufacturers do balance and adjust prop to hull and engine specs, plenty don't. They just used to pop the one that came with it on the shaft and that's that. But once someone started looking at pitch and matching thrust to max hull speed and engine rpm they found that the right pitch and size made a huge difference in performance and fuel efficiency.
I haven't really set much thought to the genset yet. I know I want to match it to needs and look to alternative power generation to charge a battery bank, I just don't know how simple or complex I will make that. I know that we don't want to give up on some stuff like a wash and dryer. So a 220 vote system will have to get worked in to the plan. The rest I think I want to look at inverters and keep all I can under a limit of twelve hours of operation from battery power so that we can enjoy the quiet on the hook. Laundry can wait for a marina once or twice a week when we're enroute.
I've seen some liveaboards with a wind generator and a number of solar cells mounted on the unwalkable areas of the boat. So I'll probably go that route too.