Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome back Dickinson, and Energy Usage for the year.

The past few days it had been unseasonably warm here due to what is called the Pineapple Express - where the Jet Stream over the eastern Pacific dips way down towards the equator, and then turns and points right at the Pacific Northwest!   Warm (high 50’s, even touching 60!) and LOTS of rain!   It had been warm enough that even with the Dickinson stove turned all the way down, we still had to open doors to keep the main cabin in the low 80’s.   So I turned off the stove and we relied on a single electric space heater.

Kristi was not totally happy; she has gotten to enjoy the benefits of the Stove.  And yesterday was noting that with it off for just a couple of days the moisture was starting to show in the boat (windows fogging from showers and cooking, sweat showing on surfaces in the lower / cooler areas).  Well, today we are into the high 40’s, with the trend towards mid.  So time to light the stove again!

This, plus a conversation with Dan, got me to thinking about Viking Star's overall energy usage.  How much have we used?  What has been our cost (for a POWER boat vs. a ’proper’ cruising Sail boat J ), and perhaps how does this compare with our energy usage in our past life?

Overall Energy usage.  From December 24, 2009 and December 13, 2010 we put on 501 gallons of Diesel at an average cost per Gal of $2.82, per the Ships Log.  This was almost a full year, but we did do a few more days of Christmas Ships, plus 9 more days of heating to get a 24th to 24th range.  Bumping the actual fuel usage by 2 gal/day for heater, and 1.5 GPH for motor brings our estimated totally 2010 Diesel usage to 579 gallons.  Figuring in estimates for the Generator, this yearly total breaks down to:

Dickinson Stove:  154 Gals
Generator:            35 Gals   (est 140 hours using 0.25 GPH)
Main Motor:         390 Gals  (300 Hours gives 1.3 GPH)

We moved Viking Star a lot more this year than prior years.  That is not really unexpected given we stated our Full Time Cruising life style.  Saying that, we also did not start moving until May.  So we can ‘expect’ our total motor usage to go up to perhaps 450 hr/year in the future.   Am pleased to see us come in under the 1.5 GPH estimate for the main motor I have been using.  But then a large part of the trip to the Snake was around 5.5 to 6 kts, as opposed to our normal 7 kts cruise speed.  Finally, we took on 10 gals of Gas for the Dinghy and Honda generator. And filled the propane bottles once.

So, what does this all mean?   Well, directly we used $1,633 of Diesel (estimated for the whole year), $40 of Gas, perhaps $40 of Propane,  and $160 of electricity (for those months we were still at the Dock) giving us a total estimated Energy Cost for 2010 of $1,873.   Bumping up for a Full year of Cruising, we are looking at $2,000, or even $2,5000 - $3,000 with tomorrow’s cost of Energy. 

How does this compare to what we used to pay when being Land Dwellers?  Well, in 2008 (last full year we were in the house in Oregon) we paid $1,952.74 in Natural Gas and Electricity.  About what it cost us on the Boat in 2010.  However, remember that we did not often have an opportunity to move our house from one place to another ;-) 

Note that I am not including Automobile usage in any of this.   Auto gas usage varied on where we were currently located, and how many Grand Kid trips were made.  Going forward this will be reduced greatly when we sell the car, I it is MUCH less then what we use to pay when in the Real World.

Energy is expensive.  And it is clear that creating Energy on the Boat is costly – Energy and Water are two VERY precious resources we watch closely (that would be on the Suck side of the F2S ratio).  In a future post perhaps will break this down some.   Till then, the Stove is starting to feel WARM and it is time for Breakfast.

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