Outremer Catamaran Owners (September 13 2022)
Experiences with energy needs on passages and with Watt &Sea hydrogeneratos?
We plan our first Atlantic crossing. So far we are happy on our 45#66 with our 1350 Watt solar power and 600 Ah LI- batteries but somewhat unsure if that will be enough on longer crossings with lots of electronics on for 24h.
What are your real life experiences here? It is sufficient to top of the produced amount of power with some hours of engine running time? Especially on cloudy days? How much fuel did you take on in extra canisters for an atlantic crossing (the 45 carries only 336 liters), if any? Or would you recommend an additional hydrogenerator like from Watt & Sea? Do they work properly on a outremer? What kind of energy output is realistic?
Any other thoughts, things to consider?
- On Le voyage de Saga we chose to invest into more solar panels and one more battery rather than in a hydrogenerator. On passage, when it is cloudy, we sometimes have to run one engine for an hour, but 80% of the time at anchor we are good!
Per La Vagabonde
- I really don’t like the Watt’N’Sea. It’s finicky to deploy and retrieve, vibrates when the powers full and is dangerous to pull up on passage. I stopped using it entirely and use the engines for extra power when required.
Per Crazy Flavour
- With our 051 Crazy Flavour, we only needed to charge our batteries with the engine during 6/7 hours during our Atlantic crossing with watt and sea and 1100 solar panels. But in the Pacific we did not use the Watt and sea. I believe you can do without. And no need of extra fuel.
Per O45 #58
- We have 045 no 58 with identical solar/lithium. We used 60 liter diesel during our 10 day Atlantic crossing (approx 3 hours battery charging per day). We used also 60 liter diesel during our 15 day pacific crossing. The difference is turning off the inverter if not in use.
Per Vast Floatings
- Jan/Feb 22, O51/53 Vast Floating≈, crossing from Tenerife to Martinique. 800W solar on davits, Watt&Sea (racing version), no generator, 3x 180Ah lithium. B&G navi, autopilot always on, Radar at night, sat (Fleet One) every other hour at daytime, standard Isotherm fridge/freezer combi, watermaker... We started with 2x 275 plus 80l spare diesel. We ran 5 of 18 full days under engine(s), mostly due to lack of wind plus partly shaded solar plus Sargassum blocking W&S.
- The W&S is expensive and fails easily (when blocked for example). It helped us through a lot of long nights, though. And we would miss it on passages.
- O45#32 Ningyo has done Atlantic & Pacific with standard WS. It is not perfect but suitable for our needs, constant, free and fossil free energy! Love the noise. Use engines only on anchor during longer rain periods.
Per Piment Rouge
- Nous avons effectué 2 traversées sur pimentrouge. Outremer 51. Étape à Gibraltar. Puis canaries et cap vert pour une arrivée à grenade. Retour nassau- Bermudes- açores et Gibraltar. Pas de carburant supplémentaire que la contenance des réservoirs. En panneaux solaires. Nous en avons 7 avec 3 batteries lithium. Nous avons du faire certains jours 2 heures de moteur pour les charger et faire de l eau.
- WATT & SEA RACING (ALUMINIUM)
- RACING - ALU
- GENERAL VIEW - OUTREMER
- TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
- OUTPUT CURVES
- LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES WITH CONVERTER
- SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE ENGINE?
- HYDROGENERATOR IN THE WATER WHEN THE BATTERIES ARE FULL?
WATT & SEA RACING (ALUMINIUM)
RACING Aluminium Hydrogenerator - Watt and Sea
Watt and Sea, naviguez à bord de voiliers de croisière ou de course avec les hydrogénérateurs. Watt and Sea est présent sur le Vendée Globe.
RACING - ALU
The Racing Aluminium hydrogenerator is designed for high or very high speed sailing boats.
It is equipped with a controlled pitch propeller, functioning electronically with an hydraulic pump. The propeller pitch is setting automatically depending on the boat speed, ensuring a minimal drag and an optimal energy output. This model is functional for a speed range from 5 to 30 knots (Multihulls, Class40, Imoca…)
The Racing Aluminium hydrogenerator has satisfied the energy needs for 95 % of the 2020 Vendée Globe fleet.
Reference : PK-610-600-PV
- Minimal Drag
- Automatic adjustment of the blades
- Racing hydrogenerators are equipped with a controlled pitch propeller, such as an “aeroplane propeller”. High speed launch is possible, putting the blades in the feathered position.
- Optimal energy efficiency
- Energy source for all range of speeds
- 2 years warranty
Price: 7,900 € HT (website)
GENERAL VIEW - OUTREMER
- The hydrogenerator should not be in the rudder blade axis to avoid water perturbations. 10 or 20 cm aside from this axis will be fine.
- The leg must be vertical in the lowered position for the production to be optimized : the propeller axis must be horizontal, aligned with the water flow.
- The recommended depth between the surface and the propeller axis is 300 mm (12 inches), even when the boat heels.
- Watt&Sea recommends servicing every 2 years or every 10 000 miles. It should be noted that, regularly, you can :
- remove the propeller and clean the conical fitting
- check all the cables, to be sure it’s not cut , spoilt or pinched (what could damage the energy output, and generate some noise)
- check the good condition of the plugs (corrosion can damage/stop the power passage and the energy production)
LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES WITH CONVERTER
- Yes you can. Actually there is no need to set it up especially. However we suggest you to check in the battery manual that the recommended voltages are not under Watt&Sea’s converter (i.e. 14,3V / 28,6V) In case there is a difference between the two voltages, you can set it up with the free software available in the download section (homepage menu).
- Lithium-Ion battery management system’s often requires to be able to stop the production sources, for safety reasons. Then, the relay (see « accessories » in the homepage menu) has to be used to short-break the hydrogenerator when you need to stop the production.
SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH THE ENGINE?
(engine alternator load at the same time with the hydrogenerator’s one)
- No. The Watt&Sea converter will consider that the batteries are full, and stop the hydrogenerator production. It is better to lift the hydrogenerator up when you use the engine.
- If it is not possible, then you have to use an ON/OFF relay (see « accessories » in the menu), to be able to cut the power easily.
HYDROGENERATOR IN THE WATER WHEN THE BATTERIES ARE FULL?
- No, except for the 600W POD. We recommend to lift the hydrogenerator up when the batteries are fully loaded, as the generator will be on freewheel generating some more noise and giving more possibilities to meet an UFO.
- If you wish to let the hydrogenerator in the water, then you can set up an ON/OFF relay (available in « accessories »), to be able to cut the power easily.