Category: Green Boating

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Winter boat, with help from Victron, Maretron, and FloatHub

Ben Stein is already in Miami working as an Innovations Award judge and I look forward to his reporting as I man the news desk here in Maine. Today, though, I’ll discuss some of the monitoring tools helping to keep Gizmo safe in winter conditions like the easterly gale that blew about ten inches of snow onto Camden last night…

2

E-Tech electric boat motors, used and distributed by Maine Cat

When the Maine Cat MC 38 came out in 2016, the lightweight, low drag 38 design seemed perfect for ever-improving electric propulsion. So I’ve followed closely as builder/designer Dick Vermeulen pursued an electric solution, and there are now two interesting stories in progress:  Maine Cat recently became the E-Tech distributor for North America and several MC 38 LS-E sailing cats will launch this spring with E-Tech outboards, hydro generation included.

9

Testing the Efoy Comfort fuel cell, and the value of premium amp hours

For almost a year I hardly used this little control and monitoring panel because the attached EFOY fuel cell was already flawlessly performing its duty:  If engine alternator, solar panels, and/or shore power were not keeping Gizmo’s main battery bank at the voltage parameters I’d configured, the EFOY automatically and quietly charged the bank for a variable period also configured. While the amp hours are expensive, I’m convinced that an EFOY Comfort could be a very pleasing addition to many cruising sailboats and trawlers…

0

Eco bottom paint testing, back to copper and Irgarol

I did hire a diver to clean Gizmo’s bottom last September, but he said he found very little hard growth. So it seems fair to say that the water-based copper-free Pettit Hydrocoat Eco did well in that department…But I’m sorry to report that even the extra Zinc Omadine biocide did not prevent the brown slime from growing fairly thick at Gizmo’s waterline just a month or so after launch…

26

Ode to hydronic boat heating, and Sure Marine Service

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It seems appropiate to kick off 2018 with a discussion of heating technology, specifically the diesel-fired hydronic system I installed on Gizmo last year. It was a significant purchase and a major install, but the 66 degree pilothouse temperature seen above certainly made my early December ICW trip a lot more pleasant. I’ll explain why I chose hydronic, detail how the system went together, and profusely praise Sure Marine Service, a marine heating equipment distributor par excellence…

1

IBEX Winners: Lumitec PLI and Power-Pole Vision

IBEX_winner_Lumitec_Power_Line_Instructions_cPanbo.jpgWhat’s amazing and IBEX award worthy about the Lumitec demo board above is that while all those light fixtures are only connected to the same simple two-wire 12v power circuit, each can be switched, dimmed, strobed, color-changed and more, individually or as virtual groups. Lumitec calls the protocol Power Line Instructions (PLI), and, as innovative as it is, it had to share top honors in the electronics category with another new-protocol-based product, and we judges wished we could give out more awards. The boats of the future may be emerging from the fog…

26

Simarine Pico: Good ideas in battery monitoring & more

Simarine_Pico+_battery_monitoring_sleep_screen_aPanbo.jpgWhile this boat’s main battery bank is at 73% state of charge (SOC) — a near minimum for the long term health of many battery types — the lightning icon and blue up-arrow indicate that the charging sources exceed the loads and, in fact, a 100% SOC is expected in 9.5 hours at current rates. The 3.5-inch touchscreen is also displaying time and barometric pressure with trend, and this is just the sleep screen of what seems to be a very modern family of reasonable-cost monitoring products. Say hello to Simarine…

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Ebikes for boats, learning from a Sondors

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Folding bikes seem great for cruising boats. You can extend your sightseeing, fetch supplies, or simply get some rolling excercise. But I’ve wondered if a compactable electric bike could be even better and more fun. While that manly beast above is certainly unfit for stowing on even a mid-sized trawler, it’s led me to love the ebike concept and taught me what a good one may look like for my cruising situation…