Reflections on the types of engines for sailboats
What is the best engine to put on a small sailing sailboat ? Petrol, diesel, electric? Stationary or mounted? I will try to answer this question in this article.
So, in short, there is no universal answer to this question, but you can choose the option that is most suitable for how the sailboat will be used.
For myself, I divide the use of sailboats into the following categories:
1) Daysailer - sailboats for one day cruising, usually on weekends. In the morning we went to the river, in the evening we returned to the pier. For this type of sailboat it is important to have an engine in order to move away from the pier, return to the pier and motor for a while (not for long) when there is no wind. There are no special requirements for the weight or power of the motor, the price comes to the fore.
2) Sports sailboats - sailboats for regattas. This type of sailboat needs to have a light engine, sufficient to get to the starting line and return from the regatta to the pier, i.e. its use is minimal. These sailboats usually sail very well.
3) Cruisers - for multi-day voyages. For this type of sailboats, the main thing is reliability, the possibility of long-term operation, the ability to deal with wind and waves.
Conventionally, in Ukraine 45% of sailing sailboats are used as daysailers, another 45% as sports sailboats and the remaining 10% are cruisers for multi-day voyages. Very often daysaler is temporarily used as a sports sailboat and vice versa. But long cruising voyages are a rarity in our area.
Now about the types of engines.
1) Outboard gasoline engines .
Usually, universal and is in the greatest demand and these engines are just universal. They are easy to put on, easy to remove to take for repairs, they are not very expensive. They are suitable for all types of sailboats, but for long voyages you will have to stock up on a lot of fuel. For example, to cross the Black Sea, it would be good to have 100-200 liters of fuel on board.
Electric outboard motors .
They can be divided into two categories: trolling and powerful.
The first category is powered by a 12V on-board network and is able to slowly move the sailboat through calm water, moreover, for a short time. Usually such motors are used in tandem with heavy lead batteries, which is why they are useless for sports sailboats. For cruising sailboats, they have too little power and limited run time. For day-sailers - with a big stretch is suitable.
The second category is powerful motors from famous European brands like torqeedo . These motors have a built-in lithium battery, which means they do not weigh much, and they are also powerful enough for sports sailboats and day sailers. For cruisers, they have too little operating time.
Stationary petrol engines .
This is a rarity for small sailing sailboats. Marine low-power gasoline engines are practically not produced, however, craftsmen adapt engines for agricultural machinery to sailboats or engines from old cars. This is a budget version of the engine, it does not differ in particular reliability. Most often, such engines are put on boats or motor sailboats - where high speed is needed with a low engine weight. It is not suitable for sports sailboats, more or less for day-sailers, rather less for cruisers, due to low reliability.
Stationary diesel engines .
Expensive and heavy engines, but economical and capable of long work. A good option for cruisers, but useless for sports sailboats. For day-sailers - too expensive.
Stationary electric motors .
If you google about them, you can read a lot of holivars on the topic of whether this type of engine will replace all the others. In the future, perhaps. The engines themselves are very good - they respond responsively to control, quickly switch to reverse, almost do not break down and are quite powerful. However, the problem of storing electricity on board is now acute: the available options are lead and> lithium batteries. The first are cheap, but very heavy, the second are expensive and lighter. Whatever type of battery is used, it will not work as long as a diesel engine - too little energy is stored in batteries compared to diesel fuel. Yes, there are solar panels , however, in order to fully power the engine, it will be necessary to cover the entire deck with them. There are wind turbines - the same story with them as with solar panelsnelami. Finally, there are gasoline and diesel generators - they allow you to walk far, but level out the main advantages of electric motors - quiet operation and reliability. This option is for those who are used to sailing and if there is no wind, they will wait until it appears.
For my sailboat, I chose a stationary electric motor mainly as an experiment. The second no less important reason is that marine diesel simply will not fit on my sailboat. I plan to use my sailboat as a daysailer for the first time, so this option suits me. And later we'll see. For multi-day sailingroiaht" target="_blank">put generator .
PS Although the electric propulsion system loses to the diesel one in terms of range on a single charge, but having solar panels on board, you can slowly but gradually charge the batteries without using an outlet.