Houseboat motors - How to calculate?
Typical Houseboat Sterndrive Engine Motor.
How do I find out how big a motor a houseboat needs? Are there any electric motors for houseboats?
Just wondering what I need to do to set it all up.
Sincerely, Charlotte. Reply - Answer
Well Charlotte, that's a good question, since for example, if you were to build a houseboat, how would you calculate, or figure out what size engine or motors to put in.
If we use a 45 foot houseboat for this example.
You're common choices for houseboat propulsion
would be either Outboards, Inboards, I/O Inboard/Outboards (Sterndrives), or possibly Electric Motors.
Your fuel choices would be commonly either Gasoline or Diesel, and both have their "pros & cons".
Next you would have to decide whether you want to cruise a hull speed (displacement hull), or if you want to plane on top of the water (at 2 or 3 times hull speed).
I have seen 45 foot houseboats (@ 10,000 lbs) that have had a single outboard (@ 50 hp) that will run at 5-6 knots (6-7 MPH).
The same houseboat with twin V8 engines (@ 260hp each) & sterndrives, will plane at @ 15-18 knots ( @ 17-21 MPH) and will probably reach a maximum of 20-22 knots.
As to electric motors as a primary propulsion choice, I have read about some prototype models. They used a diesel generator to provide power to two huge electric motors and they had good results. However the price is prohibitive and not readily available.
As to being able to calculate how much power a houseboat requires, I have not seen a chart or spreadsheet to calculate this. Possibly one of our readers knows of a method?
Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat propulsion or calculation experiences.
IAN from all-about-houseboats
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