Wayne (Canadian) and Christine (American) were both singlehanded sailors in 2013 when they met through a blog post and comment. Wayne was in Fiji aboard his 52-foot Kristen steel motorsailer, Learnativity, and Christine was in Florida aboard her Caliber 33, Talespinner. After a month of emails and Skype calls, Christine flew to Fiji in December 2013 and joined Wayne for their first date—an 1800 nautical mile passage aboard Learnativity from Fiji to Majuro in the Marshall Islands. They have been together ever since…
Some sailing bug apparently bit Wayne when he was in his mid 50’s and after learning as much as he could by reading and researching and crewing for friends, he decided the only way to really answer his curiosity was to buy his own boat. In 2005, he bought a 1994 steel Bruce Roberts designed 52’ motor sailor cutter that was built in Victoria, BC – as his first boat. He sailed Learnativity down to the Bay area and spent two years getting her rigged up for blue water and single-handed sailing. He took off in 2007 down the coast to Ecuador and the Galapagos and across and all around the Pacific.
Christine’s first ocean passage was from Cabo to Long Beach in 1974 aboard a Baltic Trader. With her first husband, she sailed to New Zealand and back to California in 1975-1976 where they built a 55-foot fibreglass boat from a bare hull. They sailed that boat to the Caribbean and worked in the crewed charter boat business for several years, and later sailed the Bahamas and down to Venezuela. When they returned to the USA to refill the cruising kitty, they eventually divorced, and Christine bought her own boat in 2006. Though they came to sailing from different backgrounds, Wayne and Christine recently got the calculator out and concluded they had each sailed at least 50,000 miles by the time they started building Möbius.
A few months their first sail together, Wayne and Christine returned to the US and began their first research trip through Europe and Turkey where Christine was gaining material for her book Knight’s Cross, which she wrote when they returned to Learnativity in the Marshall Islands. Soon, Talespinner was sold, and after one year of living and cruising together, Wayne and Christine were married aboard a harbour cruise in San Diego.
When they returned to Learnativity, the newly married couple sailed back down to Fiji where they cruised and hauled the boat and completed a major refit. It was during their time in Fiji, that Wayne and Christine reached the decision to build a new power passagemaker. Serendipity played a part and they thoroughly enjoyed what might be their last passage under sail by delivering Learnativity to the perfect sailing couple who would be her new caretakers in New Zealand.
After a year as homeless and boatless nomads as they continued to work with Dennis Harjamaa of Artnautica Yachts, NZ on the design of their Extreme PassageMaker, Wayne and Christine have finally settled in Antalya, Turkey. There they are working with Naval Yachts on the construction of their new boat Möbius. Find their current location on the map below.
About battery management with solar panels, have you seen these http://fireflyenergy.com
We considered the FireFly carbon foam batteries and I’m keeping a close eye on them and hoping that other manufacturers start making them too. I think these “hybrid” combinations offer a tremendous possibility with seemingly most of the benefits of lead acid and lithium characteristics. However right now the limited size options and that they are so new and only available from one supplier have kept them out of the running for us on the XPMs
I wasn’t aware of their BMS and the web page is still not up yet on their site so I’ll keep watching for that. Battery Monitoring Systems, not to be confused with Battery MANAGEMENT Systems are another area that is getting a lot of attention and new offerings in the past few months. The new Balmar SG2000 seems very promising and I talked with them at METS quite a bit, and Simarine is offering some beautiful monitoring systems with a lot of flexibility and expandability and I spent a good time with them at METS as well. Right now the lack of CANbus/NMEA 2k comms are keeping them off our list and I think the SG2000 may have finally developed a BMS that takes most of the frustrating and time consuming setup and ongoing maintenance to get accurate readings on battery SoC over time and the added benefit of getting a SoH (State of Health) would be very valuable. The SG2000 also does coulomb counting and other readouts and puts everything on the NMEA2k bus so that’s the winning combination for me so far. We have about another year before we will need to be ordering most of our instruments and so we will hold off as long as possible with ordering these kinds of equipment to be able to get the most benefit of the typically exponential price/performance curves over time and to have the newest versions possible onboard when we splash. My sense of this timing for us is very good right now so here’s hoping.
Thanks for the link and suggestions, please keep them coming.
I see the benefits promised by carbon foam and they are great on paper and by reading the reviews at least partly proven also in practise, but I fear they are coming a bit late to the show – unfortunately. For battery development with relevant to capacities needed onboard – as opposed to mobile/wearable devices – I would closely monitor the EV space. That is where the economies of (huge) scale and product maturity happens in coming years. And by EV I mean all vehicles, cars and trucks and heavy machinery and bicycles and boats and ferries and planes and everything moving seems to be moving to be battery electric and moving there very fast. I have not observed much carbon foam batteries on that space, at least not today. But we will see.
Anyways on the battery monitoring, Victron BMV-700 series has everything you need, coulomb counting and accurate SOC-metering, except no NMEA2K today right (not 100% sure on this)? I am pretty sure if you wait a year they will have it, most likely? Would keep everything simple to have it from the same supplier, and Victron is hard to beat on this front…
My interest in the FireFly and Carbon Foam technology is purely selfish and self centered in terms of its fit to our use case for a large house battery bank on our XPM78-01 Möbius. On the larger scale you are referencing and interested in I would agree with your perspective that CF is not likely to deliver sufficient gains to make it a longer term choice into the future of EV. But for the use case we have, where weight for example is a feature rather than a bug, and with the price/performance curves for the OPzV batteries and possibly the 2v CF cells, there is a very good fit and so that’s what I’ve designed for on XPM78-01.
I’ve used Victron BMV’s in the past, though not the latest 712 version that has Bluetooth built in and like them a lot. And as you noted having more equipment from the same supplier is a plus and we will have quite a bit of Victron onboard.
However I am also keeping my eye on some of the recent (past few years) developments of a better battery monitor such as what Balmar has done with the SG2000 and the Simarine Pico. All of this has been generating some great discussions on forums such as Panbo and the Trawler Forum. The new ability I am interested in is to have a “smart” battery monitor that can accurately keep up with the battery “state of health” as it is now referred to and the SoC over time. With the large investment that battery banks represent in our boats it is critical to be able to have accurate monitoring of these batteries “health” over time as well as the day to day data on the whole battery/charging system. To date this has required a huge amount of time and you still never get it quite right so these new developments of algorithms which are able to learn about your system as it watches it and to do the calculations that take into account the true SoC of the battery, the cumulative Peukert effects over time and the declining battery output numbers over time is a big deal to me and it seems like these newer battery monitor systems are getting there or at least much closer. So I will continue to keep an eye on them all and choose what seems to be the best choice for us in about a year from now when we are ready to put in the instruments on Möbius.
Putting ALL the boat’s data on the N2K network is also a requirement for me and some of these units are not quite there yet. Victron and Balmar support N2K now and Pico says they will have a “bidirectional module” in Q1 2019 so I think by the time we are ready to order they will all be able to connect into our N2K network. They all have mobile apps via Bluetooth so this offers an additional way to get the data out where we can use it but is not a replacement per se for having it on the N2K network where amongst other things I can track it all with our data logger.
Quick update for those interested in this area of “smart” battery monitors, Ben Ellison over on his excellent site Panbo.com, has just added (Nov 21, 2018) two more systems capable of monitoring battery systems over time, learning their SoH (State of Health) and other measurements and those are:
One is a Scheiber Intelligent Battery Monitor kit now being sold in the U.S. by MarineBeam, who also explain it well:
The other is not yet described online but Sentinel Marine Solutions has new IBS (Intelligent Battery Sensor) that can output results over NMEA 2000 as well as off boat:
So far I’m very pleased with the direction all these aspects of the battery, charging and monitoring systems are going and I think we will end up with a great system that is easy to monitor and maintain by the time we launch.
If you need weight, ton of any battery will weight the same right?
Anyways, interesting development is new battery from one quite conservative and should I say unexpected manufacturer, Trojan who previously have been almost synonymous to deep discharge capable very heavy golf cart type lead acid batteries:
These are rumored to cost around 650 usd per kWh. What is the current ballpark usd / kWh for OPzV batteries, roughly?
I figure the price for OPzV batteries to be around 250 eur / kWh (+- few tens of euros), is this right ballpark or way unrealistic figure? Considering the figure for DOD allowed regularly, that would land in around the same territory for price per usable kWh as Trojan mentioned.
Hi from Italy and all the best ! Sailing a aluminium boat already, have visited 2 fpb 64 and some dutch steel boats we are also planning to switch to power BUT engines are a problem if the boat shoud be registered in the EU. I like the Gardner but was told it is impossible to install and get it certified in a new built or imported to the EU. Only if it is a home built boat it might be possible. How do you register the Gardner without any exhaust datas as required in US and EU. ? I have a nice Sabb engine now and love these old engines…..As we sail 6 month a year in greece we might meet in future…
Carsten / MarYSol
Carsten wrote, “How do you register the Gardner without any exhaust datas as required in US and EU?”
I would love to know how you have done this, too. Gardners are the best, after all. Best, Kit
Hi Kit (and Carsten), sorry for taking so long to respond to this question about Mr. Gee which I get quite regularly. I wrote a more detailed answer to this quite some time ago but one of the not so great aspects of blogs is being able to find things inside the comment streams so let me give you the high level answers as best I know them. And let me emphasize that last part to be clear that I am only able to report on my understanding of the rules and regulations based on my research and conversations with both officials in different countries and governing bodies as well as other captains and owners of similar boats and their experiences.
I also hesitate to talk too much about our use of a Gardner to power Möbius until after we have launched and get underway and both know for sure that we are fully registered, approved and have this all working. However we do now have Möbius fully registered and flagged in the Baliwick of Jersey so we are now part of the Red Ensign Group or REG and thus we do have that part of the equation completed. BTW, I am very privileged to be able to do this as I’m Canadian so Jersey is an option for me and Möbius that is not available to other owners but many other REG countries are an option for others who might want to have their boat flagged/registered in those countries.
I’ve also learned to distinguish between the rules and regulations for the manufacturers of marine equipment up to and including those who manufacture complete boats, and the rules and regulations which apply to the owners of a new boat and particularly boats which are a “one off” custom build. The differences between what rules are used and under what conditions they apply varies by a huge amount so I can pass on to those interested that you need to research all of this for your situation and your future boat to understand these critical distinctions.
In this regard for Möbius, one of the key factors is that Möbius is under the 24 meter “registered length” limit and is a purely personal, recreational use only boat. Were we to be larger than 24 meters and/or doing any chartering or other such business related things we would need to be registered as a commercial boat and this puts a boat under completely different and much more stringent rules and requirements which would preclude the use of “non-compliant” engines.
Another significant technical factor is that the marine version of the Gardner 6LXB in Continuous Duty rating is 127HP/95kW @1500 RPM which puts it under the 100kW limit and thus not covered by most of the rules and regulations for compliance engines over 100kW. For those not familiar with the broad range of power ratings of a diesel engine, it is very common and the norm for pretty much all marine diesel engines wherein the manufacturers produce the same displacement diesel engine with a considerable range of power ratings AND a similarly broad range from non-compliant up through to the newest Tier IV. For example, the exact same 4.5L four cylinder John Deere engine is available in configurations from as low as 48HP/36kW to as much as 173HP/129kW. So this plays a significant role in determining what rules and regulations that a given engine must meet.
Hopefully this helps to answer some of your questions, at least for now. Let me also say in closing that I tend to follow the “Don’t ask; Don’t tell” approach anytime I am dealing with authorities be it at immigration/customs/passport control when traveling in/out of countries as well as the various authorities involved in registration of our boat. Meaning that I am completely honest and I answer ever single question and fill in ever single box of the forms required for registration and classification of our boat with the absolutely correct numbers and details. BUT I do not provide any additional details above and beyond this, so if they don’t ask, I don’t tell. 😉 Seems to be working well so far in my life so why change course now right?? 🙂