by Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder is an author and expert on boat systems and diesel engines

I just read Nigel Calder’s article on the costs of generating energy (“The Cost of Energy,” Dec. 2012) and found it fascinating. I understand there is a high cost for generating energy at anchor by running an engine, but is there an additional cost to generating energy while underway? If my engine is running the alternator to recharge the batteries, as well as moving the boat, surely it must add to the load and increase my fuel consumption. Is the increase significant, miniscule or somewhere in between?

Create Power from Tides?

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 12, 2013
The government has, for a decade, studied the possibility of generating electric power from the tides. Because a sailboat on a mooring is subject to tidal flow, why can’t we use this method to help generate power? Sailboats sit on moorings for long periods, sometimes for weeks, and even a trickle charge would be beneficial.
when first pushing the start button, I sometimes get no response. Releasing and pushing the button a couple of times finally engages the starter.
I own a 1987 Catalina 27 with a Universal M18 diesel engine. I’ve had the boat for just over two years, but because the hour meter is broken, I don’t know how many hours are on the engine.
"Can you give me some ideas on what might cause excessive white smoke in the exhaust of a 2-year-old Yanmar diesel?" Nigel Calder replies.
A dinosaur of an engine that is over 70 years old can push a much larger boat than ours, weighing eight times as much, at similar speeds with more-or-less the same fuel consumption!

Ask Sail: A Faltering Start

by Nigel Calder, Posted January 25, 2013
My Yanmar 3GM30F diesel engine has about 650 hours on it, and this season, it’s been a little hard to start it. Are injectors or compression the problem?
When the engine is under load and moving the boat at a decent speed, the voltmeter is pegged past 16 volts, and after a little while the wires (which are appropriately sized) running to the battery switch from the engine get pretty hot. Am I hurting my batteries?
I have a Soverel with a small diesel engine that has sat idle for a couple of years without fuel stabilizer. The engine starts, but runs rough. There is also no discharge from the exhaust line.
How can I stop the galvanic action I suspect is causing the delignification of the surrounding wood? More zincs, or no zincs?
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