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If you have a large Wharram with outboards, what do you do for heated water and electrical generation?

On of the advantages of some the diesel engine systems some have used on Tike 46's and other larger Wharrams is that diesels produce a lot of waste heat which you can capture for heating water with a heat exchanger, and you can easily put large alternators on diesels to produce electrical power, but outboards have much smaller alternators and no water heating capability. 

So we're curious what alternatives those of you with outboards use, how well they work, and if they supply adequate power and HW?

Thanks - Rusty & Taunya

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We are thinking about 2 x yanmar diesel 3ym30 each 30 hp with Sonic sillette cat leg's in Order to produce hot water and Loading the batteries with 2 x 80 A for our Tiki 46 Project. Moana ( Pahi 63) has this System on Board.

Hi Rusty,

Once we had a solar shower.  On my old boat long ago, I kept some fresh water warming in the sun while I swam overboard and then used it for my final rinse before going below to put on dry clothing.  

These days I just heat some water and put it in a bowl and go outside at night and have a quick wash with a very wet face cloth letting the excess water run off my skin.  Works for me.  Nev likes to stand in front of the sink with his wash cloth.  

We do like to keep things simple but some folks have fancy hot water systems and make their lives really complicated.  Everybody does it differently and whatever works for you is ok.  It will be your boat so you can get what you want.  Plenty of room on a Tiki 46.

Ann and NEv

For their longest leg, 1200mm, their drawings show that the bottom of the pod would only be 620mm (~24") above the waterline. You might be able to squeeze that down to 560mm (~22"). That's a pretty big protrusion below the deck and beams on the Tiki 46.  Instead of a large engine pod protruding that low, I suppose you could mount the engine higher with CV joints and an angled driveshaft sloping down to a smaller pod in which the Sillette leg would be mounted.  

Aside from that issue, it seems like a good solution. 

 - Rusty

Instead of heating water via the engines, you could just have some solar heated water. Even a dark colored hose left on deck will heat water. IF you leave it on top of the bimini, then the water will flow down to the cockpit and you can shower there.
After almost 30 years on the water, I now believe fully that the simple solutions are the easiest solutions to live with at sea.

I have to agree that favoring simplicity is smart, but I like to explore all options too, and we don't want to be constrained to sailing only warm areas, so we might encounter conditions where solar water heating won't suffice. 

Slightly of the topic I started here, but another concern I have with outboards is gasoline versus diesel. Gasoline is highly flammable while you can douse a match in diesel without it catching fire. I've also read that gasoline availability is sometimes less dependable than diesel in remote locations. 

Thanks - Rusty

rusty.... i see you are planing the future... i though about this hot water etc a lot... in NZ it is in the winter quiet cold. we add to 15 liter of water in a jurry can 5 liter boiling water and the temperature is perfect... heatexchanger etc... all a lot to take care of. look around  at the RV industry. they have very easy and smal LPG gas water heater. your can get them for houshold too.. one box of metal, one gas bottle (you have anyway) and a water hose running thrue it... that it... i will tell tell you... exept you sail in alaska, you will never use or need it. and if you are in a area like this, you will find a very easy and cheep way to get hot water on board.  don't spend the money at westmarine and get stuff which will not last till you use it... think smart , think simple... listen to Ann and Neville .... spend you money for solar enegy. that the way to go.... we have 5 panels and 450 watt solar... that plenty.... we have 450amphour batteriy and never run the engy to make power... no noise, the solar last for 20 years and it is enegy for free... have fun

The little islands all have fishermen and they all have outboards these days.  We made boxes out of the seats in the Tiki 46 design.  The port side has jerry cans with gasoline and the starboard has jerry cans of water.  All these cans are well vented, and have shade.  The cans are not too heavy to move around even by us old folks.  It is nice to be able to take the outboards off the boat to get them serviced.  It is nice if you hit something you did not see in the water and the prop is damaged, you can tilt the engine and replace the prop from the dinghy.  We carry two spare props.  We take our engines to the dealer each year for servicing.  Nev takes care of them the rest of the year.  Our engines are mostly used to manouver in harbor or if we take the ICW to go south when the wind is going north and maybe it is so cold we need to get warmer fast.  That was the way it happened this year.  We motored all day because there was ice on deck and we knew it would be warm in Bahamas.  


Just try to keep things simple.  Complicated things break and you must wait for parts that get lost in the mail.  Try to have stuff that can be fixed by you or by the locals.  You will be on a sailboat and not in a New York apartment (God forbid!).  

Simple.    Safe.   Strong.   

Ann and NEv

I have used multiple methods over the years and with various boats for heating water:

• '60's sloop; engineless: Solar shower bag (least favorite)

• Tangaroa; outboard: Solar shower bag

• Colvin Gazelle; diesel inboard: 2.5 gallon bug sprayer - fill with 3 quarts boiling water from the stove then top off with tap water. This gave pressure water shower for two, including hair washing and shaving (man and woman) (favorite system)

• Tiki 30; outboard: electric water heater with pressure water - this was a 4 gallon Isotemp electric water heater with a 750W element. We used a Honda EU1000i gas generator for a 120V electrical supply. It took about 20 minutes of generator run time to heat the water. We had it set to 190 degrees and could get four showers from a single heat cycle.

The most simple, easy, and inexpensive solution we have found is the bug sprayer method. Eventually we learned to fill the container and strap it on the sunny side of the deck. By sunset the water was perfectly warm for showering. Heating the water on the stove was the fall back method during cloudy or winter days. We also used the pressurized bug sprayer to pressure wash our dishes, which further conserved water. Two quarts would usually do the job.

We have also used various methods for generating electricity:

• '60's sloop; engineless: Wind generator (least favorite, but it worked)

• Tangaroa; outboard: Two 50W solar panels ( adequate) - we only used electricity for fans, a couple of lights, and navigation lights at night. We had no instruments or electronics of any kind, with the exception of a wheel pilot which was rarely used.

• Colvin Gazelle; diesel inboard: engine's alternator, 450W solar, and wind generator. We were never lacking for power.

• Tiki 30; outboard: Three 75W solar panels, Honda EU1000i generator connected to a battery charger. This boat had a Spectra Watermaker, computers, radar, electric refrigeration, first generation LED lighting, fans, water pumps, electric autopilot etc. - basically all of the systems that a much larger cruising boat would have. It was common to for us to need to run the generator for about an hour per day to keep up with the load. Three more panels would have been a less expensive solution, but we needed the generator to heat water.

For central latitudes, I always recommend solar (as much as you can fit on your boat). For tropical latitudes I would recommend adding a wind generator in addition to solar (not in lieu of.) It is impossible to have too much power.

Your battery bank should be four times larger than your maximum daily average load +20%. Your charging capability should be 1/4 of your battery bank size +20%. These are considered MINIMUMS.

I.E.: If you calculate that your daily average electrical usage is 100Ah (which seems to be average on today's cruising boats), you would want a 480Ah battery bank, and the ability to put 120Ah back into that bank in a day. Anything less and you will start running electrical deficits that will severely shorten the life of your battery bank. Most people never account for charge/discharge loss or proper charging voltage, which leads to poor system performance and long-term battery bank damage.

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