Engines part V: Lessons Learned - The Trial

This will be the last blog on engines for a while.  We know that we have inundated you with engine informatio, but hope the information is helpful to you.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us or write questions in the comments.  We will either answer your question in a separate blog or right on the thread.

As a recap, we have discussed several aspects of engines:  fuel efficiency, fuel type, engine type, and calculations.  But one thing we discovered during engine trials are the lessons that we learned.

One of the most fun and truly challenging parts of building the Grampstr's Pride was the Trial phase.  What made this fun was that we had some really cool experts on our boat to show us how to run the equipment and do some fine tuning.  During this process we had the opportunity to watch the experts at Endeavour, Cummins, and Twin Disk make the Grampstr's Pride ready and sea-worthy.  While working on the vessel we learned a few things that affect the engine - what, you ask? Efficiency!

This is where we learned about the sweet spots for running the motor, prop size and pitch, and most importantly how much horse power was too much.  This is what made these trials so fascinating to us as owners and captains. The experts worked out kinks: such as propeller pitch, transmission controls, and jet thruster conversions.  In the end the issues were totally worth it and we are so excited to have had everyone on the Trawler at once. 

Although this is the last blog on the engine series, you can look forward to future blog posts when we will talk about all of the great technology on the Trawler.

 

Ask the Capt: Why do you stay at Yacht Clubs as Instead of Dropping Anchor

This post is to answer a question written on the adventures page about why we stay at Yacht Clubs instead of just dropping anchor. 

First, we want to thank Felix for asking this excellent question. The answer to this question is really not all that difficult, but we thought it would be worth a blog post nonetheless.  The answer is YES, we can absolutely drop anchor out on the water and spend the night or even a week. 

The choice to drop anchor or spend the night out on the water is really up to our clients.  In this case, our clients desired to spend the nights at some great Yacht Clubs. The great thing with choosing to charter is that as a client you get to choose how your experience is shaped.  We do our best to please our clients and give them a great experience.   

If you choose to start out on the water we have state of the art equipment on the Grampstr's Pride to provide some extra comfort while staying out on the open ocean.  The first is our Anchor.  We choose to outfit our boat with an Ultra Anchor. Our anchor has several great features that are exceptional for the seas and bays alike.  The second is our Twin Disc propulsion system, which ensure the boat rests nicely in the waves and gives our clients the peace of mind and comfort they deserve.

We make two promises to our clients: the first is that you will have a unique charter experience; and, the second is the promise that you have the ability to plan your trip.

Engines IV: Yanmar V Cummins Marine Engines

As some of you may have realized we used to own the Grampstr's Endeavour a 38ft TrawlerCat, which was a beautiful trawler and in the future we will discuss our transition to the Grampstr's Pride, a 48ft TrawlerCat, but for now we are going to discuss one big difference -the engines. 

The Grampstr's Endeavour had two Yanmar Diesel engines.  Whereas, the Grampstr's Pride  has two tier 3 Cummins QSB 6.7ltr Turbo marine Diesel engines.  So the question you may be wondering is why the change in engines?

 

 
Engines.jpeg
 

Lets first discuss the reasons why we did not go with another type of engine. It was not because there were issues with the Yanmar Diesel engines.  Yanmar has a great Marine reputation and has an excellent product.  It was also not because they did not have an engine that would propel the larger boat.  Yanmar has an excellent series of engines for most size watercraft.

The reason we went with the Cummins engines over the Yanmar was fuel efficiency.  After lots of research it turned out that Cummins Tier 3 engine was going to deliver a lot more efficiency and power for the size and type of trawler we were building.  After lots of discussion with Endeavour it was decided that this would be a good way to go.

As we have discussed there are a lot of things that go into choosing an engine.  If you have any questions on why we choose the engine we did please reach out to us.

 

We hope you will charter with us soon!

Engines Part III: Why Diesel

Right up front as the title of this blogs states we went with a diesel engine.  As promised we thought that we would do our best to explain why we chose diesel over other available engine options.  We will mention that we are not engineers nor mechanics, however, our decisions were not made in a vacuum.  We had the help of many experts and did lots of research to come to the conclusions that we did.  Nonetheless we are going to try to explain our decision making process the best we can.

Although there are a few options out there that allow you to go fuel-less - like going solar or using wind technology - with trawlers the technology is not yet existent, especially for anything that can be defined as "sea worthy".  There are really only two types of fuel for trawlers - gas and diesel.

Gas

As we all know gasoline is a relatively cheap fuel that is available pretty much everywhere on the highway and this remains true at most marinas and fuel docks.  Gas marine motors are generally used for greater speed and a class of craft referred to as sport craft; however, some trawlers are equipped with gas engines.  Gas engines use spark plugs to ignite the fuel for combustion.  Gas engines are known to be quiet and efficient and in modern era are well engineered.

Diesel:

Diesel on the other hand is  slightly more limited on the road, but is growing. It is mandatory at pretty much any marina along the ocean, especially the inter-coastal water way. Diesel as a fuel burns for a longer period of time than gas and uses compression to produce combustion, thus no need for spark plugs.  Diesel engines are known to generate high amounts of torque and are known for their efficiency.  Diesel engines are typically louder than gas engines.

 

Gas V Diesel:

As just discussed the use of either fuel is perfectly acceptable out on the water.   Gas and diesel are equally available at marinas and are perfectly acceptable out on the water. The question that came up in our mind was, "Okay, so what's the difference?"

The size of the vessel matters when discussing the type of engine. Gas as described above is known for its performance and sport craft, while diesel is known for larger trawler and work vessels.  A vessel 40ft or smaller may do fine with a gas engine but the owner really has to look at the overall gallon per hour ratio and weight of the vessel.  While larger and heavier boats lose performance while using the gas combustion engines. 

Although performance is a good reason to make decisions, as we have discussed in other posts, we have found the most important reason to make decisions is efficiency and cost.  

The first thing when deciding an engine is cost.  In this there are two different types of cost: their is the "original" cost of the engine and then their is the "long term" cost of the engine. However, beyond these two types of costs, we also need to understand the efficiency over the "long haul."  When it comes to this point the experts over at powerproductsystems.com had to say:

"(A) major different between a marine gas engine and a marine diesel engine is the cost. Marine diesel engines cost much more upfront than marine gas engines. A boat with a diesel engine can add tens of thousands of dollars to the purchase price of your boat. However, a boat with a marine diesel engine will have a longer engine life and retain its value."

This is a common theme around most of experts... we did our research by speaking to several experts, which included the builder of Endeavour Trawler Cats, read magazines, and conducted internet research and we came to the same conclusion.

After looking at several engines and analyzing the different types of fuel we made the decision to use the Cummins Turbo Diesel.

If you have questions about our decisions please post onto comments or send us an email.  We hope you will check out our other adventure blog, and charter with us soon.

Engines Part II: The Need For Speed?

Briefly, in the last post we discussed the basic concept of efficiency, particularly that efficiency in trawlers is measured in Gal/Hour.  When it comes to boating in general the efficiency of a vessel is measured in Gal/hour, or as stated Gallons per hour.  The reason for this is that distance and speed is not an effective measure of engine performance.  The pros over at boatingmag.com have this to say:

"You measure fuel efficiency in pounds of fuel used per horsepower developed per hour. The pros call it 'brake-specific fuel consumption.' This makes it important to know that gasoline weighs about 6.1 pounds per gallon and diesel fuel 7.2 pounds per gallon."

As indicated by the equation for gal/per hour this calculation allows you to determine fuel burn for both stopping and while in idol.  This model also allows you to measure your efficiency at different speeds/rpm.  We are very happy with our diesel Cummins engines.

The Grampstr's Pride operates at  5.9 Gal/Hour at 8 Knots/Hour (approx. 10 MPH), which is our recommended cruising speed. While at full speed of 19 Knots/Hour (22 MPH) the vessel operates at 38 Gal/Hour.

However, we should mention that there are two cruise "sweet spots." The first at 1350 RPM 8Knots (10 MPH), which expends as described above 5.9 Gal/Hr. The second at 2200 RPM when the vessel will travel 15 Knots  (17MPH) for 19 Gal/Hour.

Based on this information it is easily determined that although it is fun to go fast the cost of fuel may outweigh the need for speed! But the moral of the story is also to FIND THE SWEET SPOT!

We hope you will contact us soon and consider chartering.

Engines Part I: What does every boat need? More Power...well maybe

So let's start this blog with one of the most important items on a boat: the engine. When discussing trawler engines, just like with car engines,  the most important factors are type of fuel, efficiency, gallons per hour, and horsepower. In the next several posts we will discuss all of these items and their importance in choosing the best product for your vessel.

The Grampstr's Pride has two Tier 3 Cummins QSB 6.7ltr Turbo marine Diesel engines. In future posts we will discuss the reasons for the Cummins engines, but for today we will focus purely on power.

The Diesel Cummings engines we selected have that original 380 HP and can be boosted to 425HP.

So while on trial with some Cummins Experts on the boat they recommended that we increase from the original factory settings to 380HP which allowed a max output of 1335 LBS of Torque at 2000 RPM.  At this horsepower the props would spin at approximately 2890RPM.  According to the boat experts this was not enough and it should have ran 3000 RPM.  So at the 380HP the boat would not perform to the level of its highest efficiency.  

By raising the horse power to 425HP we were able to get our torque to 1424lbs at 2000 RPM.  This amount of horse power allowed the propeller to spin at the perfect RPM of 3000 RPM at max speed the engine to perform at an optimal performance.

So once we raised to 425 HP we asked the obvious question:

"Should we give it more power?'

The answer was simple: No! The reason being is that it will not at all help with engine performance. In fact, we were told it would actually make the vessel less efficient.  According to the experts, any more horsepower would not result in any more RPM output for the props, which means any extra HP at that point is just overkill and a true waste of fuel.  So we just needed a little more power!

If you would like to learn more or have questions please post your questions or comments in the section below.  We would also love for you to contact us about Chartering the Grampstr's Pride.

The Captain's Blog

As we said on our about page we have two types of blogs. The first:  Adventures. This is all about our travels around Florida.  It encapsulates our favorite part about yachting and the fun parts associated with boating and chartering a beautiful trawler.  The second: The Captain's blog. This will be all about the options available for purchasing a charter, particularly our journey from Grampstr's Endeavour to the Grampstr's Pride.

We will also be discussing the equipment choices associated with the building of Grampstr's pride and all of the fun we had during the process.

Finally, we will also post blogs about different issues that arise with boat ownership.  As we said we want to make this blog a great place for prospective buyers of trawlers.  

We also hope you will take an opportunity to charter with us and learn about the great opportunities and lifestyle yachting has to offer.