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Andrewcook

Hybrid Boats

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Even now the page on The Broads Authority website is entitled Electric boat charging points!!!

https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/facilities/electric-boat-charging-points

Worth a read of the text as well. That was my understanding of their original purpose and if I recall the cost of the original posts was covered by some sort of green grant. Later ones seem to have come from the toll account and off course with no real policy to back up their designated usage they are now used by all and sundry. Off course it would have been simple to police as all they needed to do was ask for a copy of your boat registration document prior to selling you the electric cards. Registered electric boats pay a lower toll so this document could have been used to control the supply of cards to genuine electric boaters. Now the genie is well and truly out of the bottle and they would face a huge backlash if trying to restrict the sale of cards, or designate certain mooring spots purely for electric boaters. However with out the guarantee, or at least a reasonable chance of getting connected I cannot see how pure electric boating can work.

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A electric powered boat can be fully charged overnight that's why the the posts have a 32 amp socket if each post had a different socket/plug they could easily be reserved for electric boats or evan all 32 amp outlets reserved for electric tolled boats . nonetheless i think a all electric boat isn't a good idea at the moment unless you can guarantee a charging point every two to three days a hybrid is much safer as you have the ability to recharge any time, panda do a very good generator its small but has a high constant charge rate which gives you the best of both worlds ablett at a cost, you would also be entitled to red diesel at full rebate. John

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For the 1995 season Woods built Quiet Light which advertised electric cruising with a generator backup. They claimed it would only need recharging once a week at any of six charging points around the system.

Don't know if it ever went into hire as an electric boat but in the 1996 brochure it didn't mention electric except for a 240volt hook up.

 

 

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Quiet Light did, indeed, go into the hire fleet as an electric cruiser.  I took her through THAT bridge, but I wasn't aware that she had generator back-up.

Colin Facey, at about the same time, had Silent Poppy.  Silent, she was not.  I believe she may now be in private hands and no longer electric.  I stand to be corrected.

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6 hours ago, EastCoastIPA said:

Off course it should be remembered that the electric posts were originally installed as electric boat charging points. The original use has now well and truly been hijacked by anybody with a shore power connection, myself included. If the BA want to get serious about green boating then they would need to readdress the designation of the electric posts, including reserving, or giving priority to electric boaters needing the posts to recharge.

The new emission testing standards seem to have done for a lot of the older style hybrid cars with many manufacturers now opting for electric only cars.

NOT strictly true. When the pylons were first introduced, they had 2 16 amp small sockets for general domestic use, an a larger and more powerful 32 amp socket for recharging electric boats. A lot of the larger sockets have since been replaced with smaller 16 amp ones due to the lack of purely electrically propelled boats. Yes there are still some left, but not as many as there used to be, and as regulo says above, you have no chance of a full recharge overnight on a 16 amp socket. In fact, it could even be dangerous through overloading the unit and possibly causing serious damage or even a fire. 

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4 hours ago, annv said:

i think a all electric boat isn't a good idea at the moment unless you can guarantee a charging point every two to three days

Its chicken & egg. There aren't enough charging points for most people to justify an all electric boat. There aren't enough all electric boats on the broads to justify installing lots of charging points. 

However, that's where shore power comes in. There are enough people wanting shore power to install electric points and as they grow in number some people will be tempted to go all electric, which will put pressure on the electric posts which in turn will encourage more to be installed and before you know it electric becomes the norm.

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One thing I would like to know is about an electrically driven propeller not having enough torque to deal with a small amount of weed. The electric day boats from Potter H and Martham are not allowed to go to west Somerton when it"s weedy, as the motors are not powerful enough to cut through weeds, yet it doesn't mention that on diesel powered ones, is that correct?. I'm sure I got that from this forum somewhere, but not 100%. 

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12 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

One thing I would like to know is about an electrically driven propeller not having enough torque to deal with a small amount of weed.

Generally electric motors have greater torque than an equivalent internal combustion engines. Just think how much faster an electric train can accelerate compared to diesel, or Tesla's 'Ludicrous Speed' mode. It is possible because of this that a smaller electric motor is used than the equivalent diesel so may have less torque as installed. Alternatively as it would use more power, it could be restricted.

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38 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

NOT strictly true. When the pylons were first introduced, they had 2 16 amp small sockets for general domestic use, an a larger and more powerful 32 amp socket for recharging electric boats. A lot of the larger sockets have since been replaced with smaller 16 amp ones due to the lack of purely electrically propelled boats. Yes there are still some left, but not as many as there used to be, and as regulo says above, you have no chance of a full recharge overnight on a 16 amp socket. In fact, it could even be dangerous through overloading the unit and possibly causing serious damage or even a fire. 

Even today the BA still refer to them as Electric Boat charging points. No where are any outlets referred to as general domestic use. 16 amp or otherwise.

https://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/boating/facilities/electric-boat-charging-points

As for charging from a 16 amp socket being dangerous, that is absolute nonsense. That is why the posts are fused and have trips for over load and short circuit to earth, and all electrical installations on boats should be properly installed and checked for the BSS.

I can plug my boat into the 16 amp outlet or the 32 amp outlet. I have made sure that my installation meets or exceeds all current regulations and is entirely safe which ever outlet I use. 

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36 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

One thing I would like to know is about an electrically driven propeller not having enough torque to deal with a small amount of weed. The electric day boats from Potter H and Martham are not allowed to go to west Somerton when it"s weedy, as the motors are not powerful enough to cut through weeds, yet it doesn't mention that on diesel powered ones, is that correct?. I'm sure I got that from this forum somewhere, but not 100%. 

It would depend on the setup. Electric motors do exist with very high amounts of torque, but this all comes at the price of high current consumption. I think the problem with weed is that it may not be immediately noticeable, but could load up the motor and therefore the helm increases the throttle to maintain the speed and before long they are using the battery capacity at a much higher rate and run out of juice before making it back to the yard. I also believe that motor and battery technology have moved on a long way since Phoenix first implemented their electric boats. Motors are prone to overheating and therefore being current limited if placed under heavy load for too long.

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My only experience of electric cruising was on a hired narrowboat on the Mon & Brec canal.

The company had had installed their own electric points at various points along the canal.

The Mon & Brec is a very shallow, 'V' sided canal and I doubt you could attain 3 miles an hour. The canal is of a length that you can comfortably do an end to end return trip in a week at about 2mph. Unfortunately the motor on our boat had a really annoying whine at 2mph so 1.5 mph was our usual cruising speed.

It is a really beautiful contour canal which for most of its route is on a hillside above the Usk valley. Fair amount of pubs on the way and a few, but not many, lift bridges and locks.

I don't think the motor set up would really suit the Broads though:

DSC00588.jpg

DSC00644.JPG

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2 hours ago, EastCoastIPA said:

 As for charging from a 16 amp socket being dangerous, that is absolute nonsense. That is why the posts are fused and have trips for over load and short circuit to earth, and all electrical installations on boats should be properly installed and checked for the BSS.

Yes, i`m well aware that things are fused, well, actually they`re not. They have trips which are not fuses, though they do the same job.   If you re-read my post, you will see at NO time did i say it WILL happen, i said COULD, which i stand by.  No matter if a system is installed properly, unusual occurances do happen, and we`ve all heard about systems failing, it DOES happen, and when it does, it could have catastrophic consequences, remember Grenfell tower?, where a fridge caused the complete distruction and many deaths by an inferno due to a fault that developed in a fridge, which was sold and complied to all regulations etc.  As i said, overloading a 16 amp pylon socket COULD be dangerous.  Absolute nonsense?, i think not.

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21 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Yes, i`m well aware that things are fused, well, actually they`re not. They have trips which are not fuses, though they do the same job.   If you re-read my post, you will see at NO time did i say it WILL happen, i said COULD, which i stand by.  No matter if a system is installed properly, unusual occurances do happen, and we`ve all heard about systems failing, it DOES happen, and when it does, it could have catastrophic consequences, remember Grenfell tower?, where a fridge caused the complete distruction and many deaths by an inferno due to a fault that developed in a fridge, which was sold and complied to all regulations etc.  As i said, overloading a 16 amp pylon socket COULD be dangerous.  Absolute nonsense?, i think not.

The fridge caught fire due to an inherent design flaw, not because it overloaded the rated supply. Totally different scenario and not in the least relevant to this discussion. Put a load of plastic insulation around a boat charger and there will also be a danger of a fire at way less than a 16 amp draw.

The posts have both trips, or as they are better known, circuit breakers, which replace fuses and are resettable, as well as earth leakage protection or as they are better known RCD's. Circuit breakers will pass up to the rated current, and rely on the downstream equipment being able to handle that current without catching fire or that equipment being surrounded by flammable material. For the purpose of this discussion being connected to a lower rated outlet, i.e. 16 amp means more chance of the circuit breaker tripping before any incorrect installation can catch fire. RCD's will trip the moment a short to earth occurs to stop a faulty installation causing someone to have a fatal electric shock.

Plug a kettle into a 3 amp supply and a fuse or trip will go. Plug a small electric soldering iron into a 13 amp supply and leave it resting on a settee and there will be a fire caused by the soldering iron resting on the settee, not because of an overloaded electric supply. In short if a load connected to a 16 amp supply causes a fire due to a faulty piece of equipment on the boat or faulty installation, it has a far better chance of causing a fire on a 32 amp supply, not the other way around.

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A electric powered boat can be fully charged overnight that's why the the posts have a 32 amp socket if each post had a different socket/plug they could easily be reserved for electric boats or evan all 32 amp outlets reserved for electric tolled boats . nonetheless i think a all electric boat isn't a good idea at the moment unless you can guarantee a charging point every two to three days a hybrid is much safer as you have the ability to recharge any time, panda do a very good generator its small but has a high constant charge rate which gives you the best of both worlds ablett at a cost, you would also be entitled to red diesel at full rebate. John

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You can't over load a 16 amp out or a 32 amp outlet as the MCB will trip, you could over load the cable if not large enough for the load being passed and if it burns/shorts the RCD will cut the currant in 30 milliseconds. John

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6 minutes ago, KaptinKev said:

A batteries weight in fuel will always go a lot further than sulphuric acid!

Once maybe!! however once burnt the fuel is gone, but batteries can be recharged. The average leisure battery weighs 21Kg or approx. 46Lb. A litre of diesel weighs 1.88 Lb or in other words a leisure battery is equal to 24.57 litres of diesel. My boat does approx. 2.5 mile to the litre so the weight of a battery is equal to 61.43 miles once. The power from a battery will take you way less than 61 miles, but it can be recharged on average 200 - 300 times depending on how well you look after them.

Off course a boat with a full diesel tank weighs more than one with an empty fuel tank, and therefore will be less fuel efficient when full. Whereas a boat with full batteries weighs the same full or empty. :default_beerchug::default_smiley-taunt014: 

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In theory there is no reason why you cannot take a boat, replace it's diesel engine and gearbox with a genset, be it diesel, petrol or even LPG fuelled. Add a battery bank, some clever charging circuitry and controllers, perhaps a solar panel or two to maintain the charge when the boat is laid up and away you go. Charge your batteries from shore power and if you run out of amps on comes the genny. 

The real question is would you want to? The cost is not cheap. I have a friend who did just that on his narrowboat on the nearby Ashby canal, though he worked for Brush Switchgear as an electrical engineer which no doubt helped. He even fitted remote control so he could manouever the boat in and out of locks when cruising single handed (before anyone tells me, yes I know there are no locks on the Ashby, but he does venture further afield). He used a shaft driven generator linked to a Renault 1.5 dci 90hp engine which he marinised himself and it worked really well.  But it cost him in excess of 50k, albeit using all new components. 

I know I'm going to get shot down now but Electric cars make no sense in the majority of cases, even with the unfathomable support of governments who see them as a means to meeting their emissions targets. They're fine maybe as a second car, used for commuting or shopping when fossil fuelled cars perform very badly but they take too long to charge and have too little range for most applications. A friend of mine has a Leaf, which cost him 36k, twice what a comparible petrol or diesel car would have, His batteries, which he owns not leases, are warranted for 100k. Even of the car completes 200k which few do, without any intervention or additional cost that's 9p per mile just in intital outlay. Then he has to deal with range anxiety. I believe the official figure for his car is "upto 230 miles" but he has never managed more than 160, perhaps he's a bit heavy on the gas, or whatever the "e" equivalent is. So from here in the East Mids he has to stop each time he goes to Cornwall and recharge. Now Nissan say it can recharge in 45 minutes using the appropriate fast charger but that is not a full charge, it's 75% and the range he gets after such a charge is only 120 miles. The last time they went down (the charger is at The Mall in Bristol) his wife went on a shopping spree and spent 200 on a new outfit and shoes. How many pence per mile that adds up to I don't want to work out. 

Interestingly, Toyota/Lexus has recently reaffirmed their long term commitment to fuel cell power units in all but their smallest cars. Even they, who pretty much invented the Hybrid, acknowledge that electric or hybrid cars are merely being produced to make governments think they are doing something about vehicle based carbon emissions. If they really want to tackle that issue then removing heavy freight from the roads and getting it back on railways is the only sensible way forward.

When I changed our main car last year I desperately wanted to go down the plug in hybrid route, but I need the ability to tow, caravan, boat and or trailer. That immediately removed 90% of the hybrid market as their electrics cannot handle towing. It left me only two main options, a Volvo V60 plug in diesel electric which can pull 1800kg or a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV petrol electric which can tow 1500kg, albeit not very well if running on the rather underpowered 2.0l petrol engine only so really leaves just the Volvo which produces much lower MPG when running on diesel than the non hybrid equivalent. When I worked out the running costs neither could get close to the V6 diesel E class convertible I decided upon, which was also cheaper to buy than the Volvo. When I change the CRV later this year, which will be for something smaller then I will look again at hybrids but I still can't work out how it will add up, and as this will be a used purchase I am wary of taking on the potential failure of somebody elses old batteries. 

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There's a certain element of selfishness with so called zero emission cars (mostly through ignorance not genuine selfishness), it's more a case of zero emissions where I am and sod the poor bu55ers that live by the power station (yes I know there's a lot of wind power but not enough).

Same as the BS of carbon neutral companies, just because you've paid for a certificate that promises to not cut down a forest doesn't mean they are not pumping out crud for us all to breathe.

My boat is an absolute stinkpot but at least I have to put up with it as much as everyone else.

Even walking pumps out more co2 than standing still so how can any vehicle ever be zero emission!

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Paul and Smoggy, 

Very well said. I think it's such a shame when people allow themselves to be brainwashed into believing diesel engined vehicals are so dangerous to the environment, yet they get on a diesel powered bus to go to work, and then fly in a plane on holiday. 

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I skipper on a hybrid canal trip boat on the Chesterfield canal. We have had the boat for over 6 years now and to my knowledge we have not yet had to replace the batteries.

I know someone mentioned there might not be enough torque in electric mode but that is not my experience. It manoeuvres 12 ton of steel boat very well in tight spaces. My only reticence with it is that being so used to listening to the pitch of the diesel engine when doing tricky manoeuvres i can control the power without having to check what revs i am at. When in electric mode there is no noise and it is disconcerting as i don't know how much power i have on or not as the case maybe, and i find myself having to look at the amp usage when i really should be looking where i am trying to manoeuvre the boat at all times.

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Surely that depends purely on top speed available if it's more than the tide is doing it should be fine, 

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8 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

How would it fare on breydon against a running spring tide?

To be honest i have never thought about it. My experience is that the engine is just as powerful in electric mode as it is when the diesel engine is running. Would i be happy to take the boat over Breydon the answer is yes. Would i take it over Breydon against a running spring tide i am not so sure, but then again, i would think twice about taking over a hire craft on a diesel engine in that scenario.

I am not saying i wouldn't and i am not saying that the boat would not be capable of making it over but i would want to see how she performed against a running tide before i committed to Breydon.

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The available torque is all down to the size and power of the motor fitted, just like combustion engines. I think the issue with the dayboats and weed up at sommerton is because they are fitted with go kart motors. Many of the worlds biggest cruise liners are electrically driven using aziprops powered by electricity generated by their diesel engines. 

4 hours ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Paul and Smoggy, 

Very well said. I think it's such a shame when people allow themselves to be brainwashed into believing diesel engined vehicals are so dangerous to the environment, yet they get on a diesel powered bus to go to work, and then fly in a plane on holiday. 

Precisely. With it's exhaust after treatment system my V6 3.0 Mercedes emits less particulate matter than most PETROL powered cars. But governments and car makers don't want to talk about particulate emissions in petrol engines, and with 154gkm CO2 it emits less greenhouse gas than a 1.6 petrol Mondeo.

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