Author Topic: Weight Issues  (Read 303 times)

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Offline Owly055

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Weight Issues
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:47:21 PM »
     The boat I've been looking at is a Searunner 31 trimaran.  Light and nimble, and reasonably quick for a cruising / voyaging boat..... The problem is payload.  1500 pounds. Take two people and their basic gear....... let's say 600 pounds, a suitable amount of water for a long passage.... let's say 6 weeks worth including a healthy safety margin.  That would be 21 gallons at half a gallon per person per day.... another probably 200 pounds including container weight.  Right there we have half of the payload.   A bottle of propane (20 pound bottle), is another 50 pounds....... 850.   Let's say 6 pounds of food a day total... or another 250 lbs.  We're up to 1100 ...... That leaves 400 pounds for everything else.  10 gallons of gas at 6 pounds per gallon....... 60 pounds.. We're down to 340 pounds.   50 pounds for two folding bicycles.... down to 290, let's say 80 pounds for a dinghy and oars.... down to 210.  Now we have to fit tools and spares, and everything else within that limit.... Oops, I forgot the outboard, and the batteries and solar panels, electronics, charge controllers, etc.    I'm sure I've forgotten plenty of other things.......
     "Realistically", on a long ocean passage, it isn't enough boat for two people............. At least without being overloaded.     The challenge is in weight reduction.  Items that can be reduced are water weight.   It would not be difficult to build a pedal powered watermaker, and my calculations show that one person could produce a surprising amount of water in a very short time.   A folding bike could be the foundation of a watermaker........ but the pump and filters are weight...... though not a lot.   And you still have to carry water, though not as much.  Propane is another biggie......... Coleman fuel or white gas (if you can find it), have far more energy than propane, and don't require a heavy bottle.   Canned foods with all the liquids are heavy.  Dried foods and retort bags, can result in a lot of weight savings.   Batteries....... Two strategies for reducing battery weight are possible.   One is to reduce the number of batteries and draw them down further.  Drawing a lead acid battery down to 20% charge instead of down to 80% charge, results in 4 times as much capacity..... or 1/4 the number of batteries.  The penalty is more frequent replacement.  An over all loss of battery life of 18% approximately.   The result being that you replace ONE battery every 9 months approximately, instead of 4 batteries every 4 years..........an 18%  cost penalty for a savings of perhaps 300 lbs.   Assuming 400 dollars for 4 batteries, that amounts to 72 dollars per four years, or $18 per year............. for an extra 300 pounds capacity.   That's a "no-brainer".    The other alternative is lithium batteries...... About the same over all cost of ownership over time as lead acid, and 1/5 the weight....... a savings of 320 pounds, but a higher up front and higher replacement cost.     Engines....... A two cycle outboard is far lighter than a 4 cycle outboard  or inboard, but there's a hefty fuel penalty.  The direct injection two cycles eliminate the fuel penalty.........almost, but at a cost of some weight, and a higher up front cost.   I'm thinking Etech or Optimax, or something of that sort.   The problem of course is where to mount it so it isn't coming in and out of the water.   The transom is the worst place, and obviously a long leg and a track are mandatory.   

     I'm pretty solitary by nature, but a partner / crew, can be a great asset.   I do like tools and equipment......they are my life.   The idea of being stranded somewhere and dependent on "local talent", cuts deeply against the grain.  I'm used to being able to fix anything, and solve any problem with what I have. Such simple things as a cordless drill and grinder, a small vice, drill press stand that will receive my cordless drill, files, hack saws, wrenches and sockets, metal and wood stock, adhesives & paint, wire, fuses, basic test tools, soldering gun / iron, nuts and bolts, etc, are bare minimum stuff, and quickly add up.   You can do a LOT with some very basic stuff....... if you have patience.   

     The SR31 is the minimum boat for me......... the next step up is the Sea Runner 37, but instead of a 35' mast, it has 45'.  That's a LOT more rig........ I'm talking about free standing mast and junk rig.   Much larger dimensions and more weight to the rig.   6 feet more lenght, more width, more displacement, more surface area to maintain.  In reality it's probably twice the boat in terms of upkeep.......... for 1000 pounds more payload.  The interior space increases significantly, as does the cockpit.  The extra wing berths...........which I don't need for bodies, can be a work space, and a growing space.  Aft of the galley with full standing head room, could be a shop area on one side.  Forward of the cockpit, one side could be a growing area .... a small garden, hydroponic or soil, protected by the dodger.   To me a far more functional craft.   1000 pounds is consumed very quickly......... I know from experience.  The inboard diesel offers greater reliability, and lower fuel consumption.     In addition the longer & wider platform offers greater seaworthiness and stability.   

    More than one wise man has written that you should by the smallest boat that will do the job.........not the largest one you can afford...... The former is my guide here.... The smallest that will do the job.    The important issue here is that I plan on living aboard more or less permanently, while voyaging.  I hope to dispense entirely with a "home base".     That clearly changes the equation.   My funds are finite, and I do not want to be "driven ashore" because they are exhausted.    I want to circle the globe and visit far away and exotic places.   I hope never to "come back".......... At 62, that is not unrealistic......... I'll slip overboard 20+ years in the future, rather than be confined to one of those warehouses for the elderly.   


                                                                                               H.W.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 04:59:16 PM »
Well, Scrimshaw (Searunner 31) served Jim and Joanna quite well while they cruised.

And the next Searunner up is the 34, not the 37. I've sailed on one  a quite nice boat

Edited to add-

Totally agree on the sailing alone. MUCH nicer with a mate. Having no wdone several thousand miles single hand, including a partial  gulf crossing, I have come to find I do not enjoy singlehanding. While I have always admired the lone voyagers, I'm not one of them.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 06:01:22 PM by CharlieJ »
Charlie J
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Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

ralay

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 08:12:44 PM »
I would give up just about anything else on that list to be able to carry more than 21 gallons of water.  1.9L per day for drinking, cooking, and bathing sounds brutal as soon as one leaves northern latitudes. 


Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 10:10:03 PM »
Rach. I carry 34 gallons in Tehanis tanks plus 5-6 gallons in jugs. nona should be able to do the same

Of course I seldom use the 15 gallons in the bow tank. tehani likes it full
Charlie J
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Offline Norman

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 10:41:48 AM »
I am with Ralay on the water use in hot climates.  In Italy, winter, our 5 man radio team used just under half a gallon per man per day.  Hot humid 90's drove up use to a gallon each per day, and we quit washing everything but our faces on our daily wash and shave.

Sailing on the Potomac River in high 90's, light wind, I have drunk over a gallon a day on two consecutive days, including V8 and orange juices.  In those two days I only peed once, a modest amount.  Half the food I ate was canned, so it was also a source of hydration.  Personal hygiene was not part of that water use.

Properly designed rain catching accessories for the sails should be an inportant source of water on an inter island sail, and the first gallons should be separated from later gallons, as they will have variable salt content, and may be un useable for anything but washing salty clothes.

I am not inclined to avoid canned foods as the extra weight is needed water, and the flavor can't be beat.  On later portions of a voyage, a water maker and freeze dried are unavoidable, of course.

As Charlie points out the next size Searunner is a 34, and as you plan a custom rig, you could go with the same size as you planned for the 31, at a modest cost in light wind performance and a gain in ease of sailing in storms.  That will also reduce the cost in dollars.  Once you are in the Pacific Island world, most of the passages are of moderate length, so maximum speed is less important.  In the next 20 years, as you age, the smaller rig will become increasingly desirable.

I am 83, and would not attempt an off shore passage without a much younger companion on board, and both Charlie and I can assure you that such people are very hard to find.  The difficulty of picking one up enroute is substantial.

Realistically, I think you should scale down the expensive comfort features that you plan, and go sooner, to assure that at the end of 20 years, you will stil be enjoying the sailing.  Then anchor in a quiet lagoon in the islands that is frequented by cruisers and swap tales of the sea, letting the people and vessels change, not the island.

The unrest in the African region wipes out my desire to go there but I think that Australia, New Zealand, and the  Pacific islands would keep me pretty well amused for at least 20 years.

You plan to carry far more tools than the Pardy's, and that in itself is a large part of the weight challenge.  A battery powered drill is a major convenience, but the electronics in it are not likely to be mil spec for corrosion resistance, and I have been amazed at the amount of corrosion that occurs in marine electronics that are never out of the cabin, and they are supposed to a higher standard than consumer goods.  The charger for the drill will be even more likely to be suitable only for dry indoor environments.  I often worked in power plants on brackish water, and the rate of corrosion of equipment subject to moist air off the river caused much of the electrical equipment to be replaced with mil spec to reduce failures.


Remember, a guy sailed a Flicka to the south seas solo, sailed back, and went again with his girl friend for company the second time.  A Lange amount of space is not essential.  The Flicka is not as stable as the vessel you plan to use, but it will survive, and other modest cost vessels will too.  Mono hulls, having all ther space in one place are much more efficient containers of gear, and what you need right now is in the same hull as you are.  That can be important when waves are rolling all across your deck, and something needs fixed now.


Offline Owly055

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 11:04:51 AM »
Well, Scrimshaw (Searunner 31) served Jim and Joanna quite well while they cruised.

And the next Searunner up is the 34, not the 37. I've sailed on one  a quite nice boat

Edited to add-

Totally agree on the sailing alone. MUCH nicer with a mate. Having no wdone several thousand miles single hand, including a partial  gulf crossing, I have come to find I do not enjoy singlehanding. While I have always admired the lone voyagers, I'm not one of them.

As I'm looking in the used market, I've nixed the 34 from my list......... they basically are not available.   Few built, and almost never available.   It would however be my preference, probably the most ideal for my use.

     Single handing a junk rig involves very little work.  That's one of the main reasons, along with minimal maintenance.   No standing rigging is HUGE.  No running backstays, preventers, cunningham, vang, traveler.  No real need for winches, no foresails...jib, genoa, spinnaker, drifter.  Self tacking more or less.  It's far less dangerous, as the boom will not come swinging wildly across the cockpit with great force, due to balance area.   We all know that the fewer the systems, the lower the maintenance.  With wind vane steering, the workload is virtually non-existent on a passage.   Reefing is virtually instant, without having to head up into the wind, or to tie in reefs.
     A good companion / crewmember can make a voyage very pleasant............ a bad one can make it a misery.     I've lived alone most of my life, and worked alone, and am probably far better equipped to single hand than those who have surrounded themselves with people all their lives.   Technology such as radar and AIS, are not the answer to everything, but they can allow one to get some sleep, or relax and read....... or cook a meal without the ever present need to take a gander outside.   The biggest concern I have is coral and other under water obstacles, making an approach to places like the Line Islands / Kirabiti, the Taumotus, Not to mention Tonga and Fiji, and the Torres Strait.  Without someone to stand on the bow pulpit or in the rigging to spot underwater obstacles, there is a LOT of risk.    Fortunately there are a couple of tech solutions.  One is video cameras, and another is the remote controlled autohelm.     As was mentioned about salt corrosion by someone, I've thought long and hard about this issue.  There are no real "solutions" I know of.......... In a perfect world..... and we obviously don't live in one of those, we would be able to keep our electronics in a low humidity / dessicated environment.  Temp changes are the greatest issue that I've seen.    The heat of the day followed by the cool of night creates a "breathing effect" that draws air in and exhausts it, and the dew point changes with temp.  I've seen fuel tanks end up with shocking amounts of water from this.... which is often unfairly blamed on the fuel supplier. 


                                                                                    H.W.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:27:28 AM by Owly055 »

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 11:38:28 AM »
" A battery powered drill is a major convenience, but the electronics in it are not likely to be mil spec for corrosion resistance, "

What I did was solder in a wire, with a cigarette lighter plug on the end. Worked very well and no need to either carry or recharge batteries- ran off ships charging system. On Tehani off the solar panel,  on my tri, off the wind generator

Oh and Norm is ahead of me- I'm just 76 :)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:40:07 AM by CharlieJ »
Charlie J
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Offline Owly055

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 01:40:50 PM »
" A battery powered drill is a major convenience, but the electronics in it are not likely to be mil spec for corrosion resistance, "

What I did was solder in a wire, with a cigarette lighter plug on the end. Worked very well and no need to either carry or recharge batteries- ran off ships charging system. On Tehani off the solar panel,  on my tri, off the wind generator

Oh and Norm is ahead of me- I'm just 76 :)

     Back before I began acquiring my large collection of 18V Dewalt tools, I had a 9.6V Milwaukee drill.  When the battery died, I  modified the works so I could run it from a 12 volt car battery.   I carried it with me on several road trips for various reasons such as the need to fabricate a structure on the back of my pickup to support the far end of a wing I was hauling after purchasing it a thousand miles or so from home, and also to access a plywood storage box in the back of the pickup that I built and simply screwed shut......... no hinges or latches, or any access at all except unscrewing the top.   I used "clutch head" (hour glass shaped) screws, so ordinary Joe thief couldn't easily find a tool to open it up, as with phillips or torx.    I still have the drill, and on occasion when I have to do a lot of screwing, I'll grab a car battery and take it along in preference to my Dewalt.
     Thanks for reminding me of that.......... drill, though it's been a number of years since I've used or even thought of it.   

                                                                         H.W.

Offline Owly055

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 01:50:04 PM »
A few interesting numbers on human powered watermakers.   The average human can easily produce 100 watts, or about .13 horsepower for an extended period of time.

Watermakers take about 1000 PSI.      ( Gallons per minute * PSI ) / 1710 = horsepower   

Lets say that we are going for 5 gallons per hour.    That would be (.083 gallons per minute * 1000 psi) / 1710    That equals .04 horsepower

That tells me that a healthy person should be able to produce around 15 gallons of fresh water in an hour of pedaling....... provided the filter is large enough to handle water at that rate without driving the pressure up.

We all need exercise on a sailing trip......... this hardly enough to be worthwhile for a good work out............   But every little bit helps.

How about a generous fresh water shower EVERY DAY after a nice workout!!!

                                             H.W.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 01:51:54 PM by Owly055 »

ralay

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 05:27:03 PM »
@ Charlie: I was expressing my thoughts on the water supply on Owl's hypothetical boat, not on my actual boat.  Mona has 100 gallons of fresh water tankage.

ralay

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 05:44:40 PM »
Where will you put a pedal powered watermaker?  On deck?  Down below?  I have also sorts of pedal powered schemes I'd like to try if we had shantyboat with a big flat roof or porch, but I'm stumped on where to put them on a sailboat.  Just moving our (folded) bikes around down below usually involves swearing and banged up bulkheads.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 08:09:12 PM »
 ;D ;D

i was wondering. :)
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

ralay

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 08:45:46 AM »
This post had me thinking how much fresh water we burn through because our tanks are large and the raw water pump in our galley froze up and was removed long ago. 

This morning I took a jug to the raw water pump in the head sink and filled it up to do dishes.  I poured a big wad of goo onto my sponge.  I went ahead and did the dishes anyway, but I suppose raw water pumps work est where there aren't a lot of jellyfish to suck up.  ;D

Offline Owly055

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 09:06:23 AM »
Where will you put a pedal powered watermaker?  On deck?  Down below?  I have also sorts of pedal powered schemes I'd like to try if we had shantyboat with a big flat roof or porch, but I'm stumped on where to put them on a sailboat.  Just moving our (folded) bikes around down below usually involves swearing and banged up bulkheads.

     A very good point indeed...........  the key of course is modularity.  A watermaker is generally a "unit", all in one place.  While the filters probably need to be stationary, the remainder is a set of pedals, and a small high pressure pump....... a pressure washer pump.   essentially.   2.5 gallons per minute, at 1000 psi, 1725 RPM might a typical el-cheapo Harbor Freight. That represents a pretty simple challenge....... that's 90 GPH....... Probably about 1/10 of what we are realisically looking at.  Now I can't pedal 172 rpm, but the difference between that and what I CAN pedal is in the single digits, making a reduction simple.  Imagine a quick connect in the cockpit, and a bracket to mount the pedal / pump assy and pump..............A "creative" seating arrangement, perhaps part of your folding bicycle, or perhaps the actual cockpit seating. While you are doing your "trick", you set up the assembly, and dip out a 5 gallon bucket of sea water to draw from (via a prefilter).  The wind vane is doing the steering, and it is 11:00 PM.  You lean back and enjoy the vast panorama of the Milky Way, while pedaling up some fresh water..............
     This obviously is NOT intended to be a "blueprint"........ Some of us have the ability to fill in the blanks, and take an idea into reality........ I'm one of those, and that is not a "brag"........ It's my nature.  I've done it all my life.   Others need a "canned" product....... something someone else has designed and marketed.  That's OK too.  Your skills are best directed for best effect.  You may be a painter, and author, an actor, a businessman.........You can direct those skills to generating income to buy the creations of others.    I have none of those skills.  I have zero artistic ability, I handle the English language poorly / write and communicate poorly, I'm a failure at business..... something I realized only after 35 years as a businessman.   The ONLY thing I am really good at is creating and inventing things, building things with my hands, in metal, wood, electronics, hydraulics.   I can take an engine apart and fix it.......or a transmission, etc.  I'm just now completing an irrigation project, that I conceived, designed, and built with my own hands....It'll save tens of thousands of dollars every year for my customer..... My skills aren't worth much in this world.   It seems that the less you actually "do" the greater your worth to society.  Many schools don't even offer shop classes anymore.  It's the opposite of the way I was raised.  My folks were both highly educated professionals, but they also were extremely capable and knowledgeable as far as being able to build and fix and create things.   It seems that these days people are expected to be able to do one thing, and hire people to do everything else.   I guess I'm from a bygone era.............  I've built boats and and airplanes, buildings, machinery, etc.   I had my own darkroom assembled from cast off equipment, when I was 12 (converted from a closet), and did photography using a 4x5 Speedgraphic with sheet film.   (mid 60's), hunted, fished, swam in the rivers and lakes, hiked far back in the mountains, rode  horses like I was born on one, spent part of my summers in the high mountain sheep camp, brewed beer and wine (on the sly), rode a bicycle that I had mounted a chainsaw engine to, and countless other things................  We didn't have TV where I lived, and I've never had one.   We actually did things.   

                                                                                                              H.W.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 10:50:40 AM »
When I was building my Cross 35, back in the late  70's, my neighbor in the boatyard was building a Piver A 36

In one of his outer hulls, he installed a bicycle frame with a generator attached.

He and his wife lived aboard and cruised for several years after launch, and he'd get on the bike and pedal, for exercise, and to top up batteries. Was a good deal, because when cruising, the legs are one part that gets little daily exercise. Could also be hooked up to a watermaker, particularly on board a multihull
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Owly055

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 01:58:57 PM »
That's the kind of "Yankee Ingenuity" I love!!!

Last Saturday, we lost power here for 21 hours due to a plane striking a power line across the river...... a minor local transmission line.    Ten years ago, before our power company sold out to a large interstate corporation, this would have been at most an 6-8 hour outage.   The river was not in flood stage, but high.  Two crews went out and could not get a line across the river to pull the power lines across.  They tried repeatedly with a jet boat, and failed each time.    There is a highway bridge 3 miles upstream........ I could have walked one end of a "communication line" down there in about an hour.  There were also dozens of boats floating the river, yet they repeated the same foolish attempt to haul their large rope across with a jet boat, each time being swept past due to current drag.   With 12 men on scene, nobody had the imagination to devise a solution, and there were many possible solutions.   Hand a nylon line to two floaters at the bridge for example, and send each to the opposite bank.  Even send a light communication line (nylon) with the jet boat.     Finally the next day they brought a helicopter........ a stupidly expensive solution for stupid men.   
     I was completely disgusted................  What happened to that famous Yankee Ingenuity??  Is this what we've come to?

                                                                     H.W.


When I was building my Cross 35, back in the late  70's, my neighbor in the boatyard was building a Piver A 36

In one of his outer hulls, he installed a bicycle frame with a generator attached.

He and his wife lived aboard and cruised for several years after launch, and he'd get on the bike and pedal, for exercise, and to top up batteries. Was a good deal, because when cruising, the legs are one part that gets little daily exercise. Could also be hooked up to a watermaker, particularly on board a multihull

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Weight Issues
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 05:16:29 PM »
lol- something similar happened recently some where this way. Floods took out a bridge and power lines, and the river was still running too high. Five hours later, the lines were across and reconnected.

How?

 A drone carried a light line across, which was used to eventually haul the electric wires across.

There is still SOME common sense in this country :)
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera