The future of diesel inboards in an all electric future

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,094
404
Yorkshire
So I was reading an article today about the upcoming bans on combustion engines in new cars and it got me thinking about inboards.
The EU are saying all new sales must be electric from 2035, the UK before that at 2030.

Now this doesn't apply to boats yet (as far as I'm aware), but it can't be too long before legislators turn their eyes towards leisure boating and the emissions we produce, naturally we're in a better position than power boaters, but I'm sure all of us have plugged away for hours under engine to make a tidal gate / make progress when there's no wind, or just to get back in time for work.

The 45 litre tank on my small 27'er will keep me going for at least 40 hours steaming, at a weight of just 45kg.
As far as I'm aware, even the best battery techs aren't close to that yet, and they come with some pretty big safety concerns. LifeP04 I'd probably need close to 500kg of batteries to get the same performance.
For lake sailors and day sailors it's probably an easy switch, for coastal sailors less so.

I'm wondering what people think is going to be the future of the inboard? Better as yet not released battery tech? Hydrogen? Biofuels?
 

AnIdiot

Member
325
219
Second Drawer
We're a corner case. Usage is so small that an exception is warranted, and that's where efforts should be focussed, for now. If and when technology improves to meet requirements, inboard diesels will fall out of use naturally.
For most sailors an auxiliary engine is a necessary evil and would be replaced with something quieter and cleaner at the first practical opportunity. As soon as a safe, reliable and capable alternative is available, the diesel's days will be numbered... arguably, they are already, we just don't know the number yet.
 

Livia

Super Anarchist
3,951
1,018
Southern Ocean
Fuckwits at Aust Sailing have already made the call on this saying they are giving effect to WS Regulations on green virtual signalling.

You no longer have to motor to safety.
Wait for it, you have to be able to motor towards safety for about 4 hours.
Presumably the helicopter arrives by then!
Not good in the Tasman Sea As safe havens can be a very long way apart and 24-36 hours not uncommon In not very extreme conditions
It used to be a point of pride that you got yourself to safety and you never expected rescue.
This is a major philosophical shift.
Of course if anyone has real world not theoretical evidence on 24-36 hours in a proper gale with electric sent it through.
Not diesel electric of course which is likely to be the future.
Some of the new gearboxes that are mechanical and electric are really interesting And easy to retrofit.
Having large displacement power boat having looked at electric drives for weekend use say 35 miles from home port, at 6 knots it worked plugging into the shore power when you got back. Marina does not meter electricity separately either.
Normal ocean range with oil at 8 knots is 2000 nm.
 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
9,660
3,042
Tasmania, Australia
Having large displacement power boat having looked at electric drives for weekend use say 35 miles from home port, at 6 knots it worked plugging into the shore power when you got back. Marina does not meter electricity separately either.
Not yet, it doesn't, but that's because the number of electric drives is vanishingly small. I can't see not metering lasting very long once there's significant uptake.

FKT
 

Coastal_Fox

Member
106
47
New England
For most, pleasure boating is a hobby not a necessity, so if they are practical about it, there probably wont be regulations concerning the emissions given off by something used a few weekends a year by a minority as strict as something used 3 or 4 times a day by a majority.
Probably higher taxes on the fuel is more likely in the near future for boaters.
Also, boats last for decades so it would put a lot of people out of it to force a retro fit of evey vessel that currently runs a combustion engine to go to electric. There would be a lot of new artificial reefs and insurance claims right quick haha.
On top of that, its a unique safety issue. If you're stuck in a storm on the road and you run out of batt, you call a tow truck, if that happens at sea, you may very well die.
So i doubt the marine use of internal combustion will regulate as rapidly as the personal vehicle use.

That all being said, I've been thinking about if i should refit to something hybrid electric myself. Part of the allure of sailing to me is sustainability, and they do make inboard replacements that are on par with a decent 12hp diesel. They run cleaner, and take much less work to maintain.
The range issue is the hurdle, but, that could be solved with the use of a generator, in theory, much like a plug in hybrid automobile.
 
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The Q

Super Anarchist
Here on the Norfolk Broads, there are about 20 places where there are electric charging posts available for public use.

Each place has between 1 and half a dozen posts.

There are 42,000 boats on the broads boat database, ok that's over the last 30 years so maybe a third are no longer here, of those remaining probably half are sailing boats...
800 are hire motorboats in use 2/3of the year every day..

So what occupies the charging posts...
Mostly the hire boats so the holiday makers can run hair curlers/ straighteners, charge laptops and have every electronic convenience..

That's why my electric boat has a diesel generator, supplemented by solar panels.
 

Talchotali

Capt. Marvel's Wise Friend
We're a corner case. Usage is so small that an exception is warranted, and that's where efforts should be focused, for now. If and when technology improves to meet requirements, inboard diesels will fall out of use naturally.
For most sailors an auxiliary engine is a necessary evil and would be replaced with something quieter and cleaner at the first practical opportunity. As soon as a safe, reliable and capable alternative is available, the diesel's days will be numbered... arguably, they are already, we just don't know the number yet.

Most aspects of sail-boating will always need compact, reliable power, powered by an efficiently packaged fuel source for safety reasons. Some missions (example: the doldrums on the way to Hawai'i) are best done with ICE/diesel as you will never beat the energy efficiency of a gallon of diesel. Other shorter duration missions can be accomplished with electric and battery technology available now.

As pointed out above, when the capability/efficiency/cost of alternate solutions become available, diesel will fall by the way side (like steam and inboard petrol engines). When will that be? Not soon. Still waiting for my flying car.

Fully electronic engine management, "AdBlue" urea injection and particulate filters will likely filter down into newly-installed small marine diesel units. Grandfather clauses will keep the existing fleet diesel running as is. The price of diesel will go up with the need of certain shareholders to line their pockets.

Politicians mandating a drop dead date never works - the technology, infrastructure and a reasonable economic incentive has to be there. (California once outlawed ICE cars by 1970 - how did that work out for them?)

Cars and trucks use the vast amount of ICE engines currently. The impact of an electric fleet here is still not well understood. Electricity does not grow on trees, it has to come from somewhere. Electric cars powered by coal, natural gas, or nuclear power (as the majority of the current e-car fleet are) is not efficient. The exotic elements and materials required for batteries (and motors) have to come from somewhere. Expired batteries have to be disposed of somewhere. Is your backyard available?

As was said above, small marine engines are a corner case (compared to the automotive fleet) so there are better pickings for efficiencies elsewhere.

Then we get the ridiculousness of carbon offset credits. Here, a sailboat, by the nature of its primary propulsion (wind), is nothing more than a carbon offset generation machine. If you cooked the formula correctly, a small sailboat could offset the energy use of a 1000' container ship without planting a single tree. It's all how you game the system.
 
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fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,878
2,562
We're a corner case. Usage is so small that an exception is warranted, and that's where efforts should be focussed, for now. If and when technology improves to meet requirements, inboard diesels will fall out of use naturally.
For most sailors an auxiliary engine is a necessary evil and would be replaced with something quieter and cleaner at the first practical opportunity. As soon as a safe, reliable and capable alternative is available, the diesel's days will be numbered... arguably, they are already, we just don't know the number yet.
It doesn't matter being a "corner case." The bans will come.
As for something to replace diesel: a battery is not a replacement. Not even an alternative. As the OP pointed out, you have a 10:1 mass ratio and less range. WTF?
 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,878
2,562
Most aspects of sail-boating will always need compact, reliable power, powered by an efficiently packaged fuel source for safety reasons. Some missions (example: the doldrums on the way to Hawai'i) are best done with ICE/diesel as you will never beat the energy efficiency of a gallon of diesel. Other shorter duration missions can be accomplished with electric and battery technology available now.

As pointed out above, when the capability/efficiency/cost of alternate solutions become available, diesel will fall by the way side (like steam and inboard petrol engines). When will that be? Not soon. Still waiting for my flying car.

Fully electronic engine management, "AdBlue" urea injection and particulate filters will likely filter down into newly-installed small marine diesel units. Grandfather clauses will keep the existing fleet diesel running as is. The price of diesel will go up with the need of certain shareholders to line their pockets.

Politicians mandating a drop dead date never works - the technology, infrastructure and a reasonable economic incentive has to be there. (California once outlawed ICE cars by 1970 - how did that work out for them?)

Cars and trucks use the vast amount of ICE engines currently. The impact of an electric fleet here is still not well understood. Electricity does not grow on trees, it has to come from somewhere. Electric cars powered by coal, natural gas, or nuclear power (as the majority of the current e-car fleet are) is not efficient. The exotic elements and materials required for batteries (and motors) have to come from somewhere. Expired batteries have to be disposed of somewhere. Is your backyard available?

As was said above, small marine engines are a corner case (compared to the automotive fleet) so there are better pickings for efficiencies elsewhere.

Then we get the ridiculousness of carbon offset credits. Here, a sailboat, by the nature of its primary propulsion (wind), is nothing more than a carbon offset generation machine. If you cooked the formula correctly, a small sailboat could offset the energy use of a 1000' container ship without planting a single tree. It's all how you game the system.
Someone will find a way to show sailboats as not green at all. It is pretty easy to do actually.
Construction:
Raw materials
Getting workers to work
Ownership:
Getting owner to/from boat
New sails
Carbon cost of sailmaker's employees getting to work
Paint for the bottom
How many miles per carbon footprint do sails go?

Believe figures don't lie but liars figure--and there are plenty of liars out there in regulatory land
 

steele

Super Anarchist
1,682
204
Land of the locks
Keep in mind regulating leisure industries is often a political win. We suffered through the US luxury tax in the early 90’s that contributed signifcanlty to the contraction of the marine industry, even though it was a tiny part of the GDP. We have very strict black water rules that apply to pleasure boats, while my local city has pumped millions of gallons of untreated sewage into local waters because of human error and poor maintenece of equipment. We have significant bottom paint restrictions, that do not apply to huge ships that ply the same waters. Not all of this applies to boats, our city council seriously considered closing municipal golf courses to make room for homeless camps.

I do think the enviromental rules make sense, but beware of the idea that just because we use a minniscule amount of fossil fuel that we will be exempt from ICE restrictions. Pleasure boats are seen as a luxury which can make them a target.
 

Coastal_Fox

Member
106
47
New England
Keep in mind regulating leisure industries is often a political win. We suffered through the US luxury tax in the early 90’s that contributed signifcanlty to the contraction of the marine industry, even though it was a tiny part of the GDP. We have very strict black water rules that apply to pleasure boats, while my local city has pumped millions of gallons of untreated sewage into local waters because of human error and poor maintenece of equipment. We have significant bottom paint restrictions, that do not apply to huge ships that ply the same waters. Not all of this applies to boats, our city council seriously considered closing municipal golf courses to make room for homeless camps.

I do think the enviromental rules make sense, but beware of the idea that just because we use a minniscule amount of fossil fuel that we will be exempt from ICE restrictions. Pleasure boats are seen as a luxury which can make them a target.
I think if you took the total surface area of pleasure boats vs commercial vessels like container ships, the bottom paint thing would make more sense as to why one has restrictions and the other doesn't. Not to mention the economics, and the greased pockets, but at least there is some logic to be found haha.

There are plenty of examples of exemptions, for instance, 2 stroke motors are banned from public roads, but are fine for dirt bikes and small outboards.
You're right about being an easy target though. You piss off less constituents and look like your "eating the rich" if you throw some fines and penalties at a "pleasure" industry (forgetting that some people use their vessel as a primary residence too) and you can put it in your newsletter come midterms, even if it really didnt accomplish anything.

But, i think rather than a complete ban, it would be more in the form of exorbitant taxes on sales at the fuel dock. Ensuring that only people who dont have money to donate are priced out of the activity haha.
 

Meat Wad

Super Anarchist
We try never to use the engine In or outboard. I get so tired of having to make sure all the crappy fuel is out of the carb so it does not gum up.
I understand the company that was making the cng/propane OB's went out of business. Too bad it was not pushed more.
 

Jambalaya

Super Anarchist
6,527
63
Hamble / Paris
I think it's going to be a long long while before diesel/petrol is outlawed in leisure craft. The ban on car sales is going to slide back when politicians realise how tight will be the supply of batteries and most customers are unable to afford EVs . Big commerical ships and busses & lorries are going to use fuel oil/diesel for a very long time.
 

The Q

Super Anarchist
Is that working well for you? Are you using lithium or lead acid?
It's lead acid batteries the generator I have would need modification to cope with lithium, I didn't have the time to sort that and getting it wrong would have got very expensive.

This system works well for me, the most common trip is from the moorings to the sailing club, as she's often used for accommodation if there's a evening event on.. I can drink what I like and not drive home. Also during two day sailing events and regatta week, we can moor on the club house quay after racing.
For those small trips I don't run the generator, the solar panels will keep the batteries charged.
For longer trips, I'll run up the generator it reduces the number of battery cycles taken and gives a much longer range.
When I have time, the cooking facilities become electric as well, a fridge can be cooled well down with the generator on. heating will be diesel.

Oh the Genny is in a quiet box, it's very much quieter than the old tired engine..
 
pretty much in effect now w gas/fuel prices getting to green huggers liking

people are still consuming But Peter or Paul will soon Not be getting paid

change/crash commin

You MUST pretty much FUCK-Up the earth to get the shit for modern/future Electric Shit

as was the case beginning w the NUKE-Juice

if you can't figure out how to deal with the Spent-Uranium of today

WTF are you going to do with the 100's lbs per-person minimum of Spent-Lithium etc

when all the Batts that didn't catch Fire reach the end

Those Most Green are the ones Harvesting and stocking the Earth with Hazardous Waste that will Fuck-Up the earth for like thousands of years

Let's figure out how to make Spent-Uranium "GREEN" Again as it was Before we made it what it is today

Before Fucking-Up the Earth to StockPile Lithium etc.

ONLY Leaves of Plant & Trees (moss, fglowers etc) are GREEN
 

12 metre

Super Anarchist
3,798
644
English Bay
I have a few questions about electric vehicles.

In our neck of the woods they make sense since the vast majority of electricity is hydro-electric. Which apart from the initial and continuing damage to local eco-systems is a relatively clean source of electricity.

However, roughly 80% of global electricity is sourced from fossil fuels at the present time.

So while a shift to EVs will clean up the air in cities, from a global perspective will it have any net impact on climate change?

Which leads to a follow up question: are more fossil fuels consumed in electricity production to drive an EV one mile than fuel consumed to drive an ICE vehicle one mile (various conversion and transmission losses and all)?

The only sensible solution I see is to vastly increase the amount of electricity generated by renewables - but is this feasible in the next few decades? IDK.
 

Talchotali

Capt. Marvel's Wise Friend
.

Which leads to a follow up question: are more fossil fuels consumed in electricity production to drive an EV one mile than fuel consumed to drive an ICE vehicle one mile (various conversion and transmission losses and all)?
.
Different power is lost at different stages

1-2% of energy is lost during the step-up transformer from when the electricity is generated to when it is transmitted.
2-4% of energy is lost in the transmission lines
1-2% of energy is lost during the step-down of the transform from the transmission line to distribution.
4-6% of energy is lost during the distribution

So, the average loss of power between the power plant and consumers ranges between 8-15%.

Source: https://chintglobal.com/blog/how-much-power-loss-in-transmission-lines/


Electrical (Coulometric) Efficiency

The ratio of the energy required to charge a battery compared to the available energy during discharge is referred to as the efficiency. A typical lithium ion battery will lose only 5% of energy round-trip (95% efficiency), compared to 20-25% losses for lead-acid systems.

Both lead-acid and lithium-ion technologies perform well with regards to self-discharge, with losses of around 5% of capacity per month. In frequent cycling applications this loss is of little consequence.

Source: https://batterytestcentre.com.au/project/lithium-ion/


Add to that the inefficiencies of generation when one energy source has to be turned into another:

Coal/Natural Gas (NG)/Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) electrical generation
 
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