Water, Wind, Solar and Diesel power……..
Save me from these green landlubbers load of bollocks!!!
Running a sailboat is like running a mobile home – but on water.
It’s a small home but nevertheless – a home with conveniences.
The most obvious fact of life is – somewhere you are going to use energy.
OK – sailing can use the wind and you can obviously move many miles FREE.
If you live in a warm climate you will have to keep food cold/chilled/frozen.
On a boat in the Caribbean the sea can be 85degees, the nights can be in the 70’s
You have to use electronics, you have to use lights – to read and to navigate.
The fridge/freezer on ‘Daze Off’ used (average) 48watt/hour all day every day 24/365.
The GPS, Steering, lights use 100’s of watts.
The wind from the open sea can average 15-20 knots, 35-40kn in a blow.
One of the best wind generators costs $1050, it needs mounting ($225), it needs to put power into batteries ($2000) via a smart regulator ($250) after all that – it gives out just 6 amps at 20 knots. The best British marine wind generator costs £600, the six blades catch a lot of wind but on average it produces just 4 amps (50watt) at 20knots of wind – 6 amps in a really good blow.
3 Solar panels were fitted to ‘Daze Off’ and the contribution was about 10% of power actually used. With wind and solar, the contribution could not keep up with the fridge alone!!!!! never mind running lights to navigate and to read a book by!!!!
HOUSE MOUNTED WIND GENERATORS AND SOLAR PANELS IN THE UK ARE USELESS AND WILL NEVER PAY FOR THEMSELVES BEFORE THEY WEAR OUT!!!!!!
The only way I could run my sail-boat (my house) – with all mod’ con’s – was to run the engine, 1 hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. The engine was fitted with a huge 140 amp alternator and a programmable regulator designed to do the job efficiently – but that could only match 60% efficiency, heat is a by-product, exhaust fumes are emitted, noise is generated, maintenance is needed and the energy has to be stored in huge heavy batteries…….not cheap, not efficient, not convenient – but ESSENTIAL.
It rains in the Caribbean. Most island houses catch rain-water and store it in Cisterns (huge concrete tanks under the house) so the economics of water catchment and management is crucial. Catching the rain has been used for decades and you never hear of people in the islands suffering ‘hose pipe bans’ – they just don’t use it if it is not abundant.
‘Daze Off’ had five different types of ‘rain-catchers’, they evolved from canvas sheets strung out but torn down in the squalls to become efficient and reliable, the best catcher ended up a simple deck gulley system of dams allowing clean rainwater to drain directly into the 80 gallon storage tanks.
Fresh Drinking Water is a god-given life requirement, we should conserve it.
Electricity is as efficient a method of using power to light, heat, freeze and run pumps – In the UK, we should not be paying fat salaries to fat cats making a huge profit from a water system we all once owned. We should not be paying fat cats to charge us over-the-odds prices for electricity to pay shareholders a profit.
In Britain and the US, it should be unthinkable to have to pour fresh clean drinking water down the toilet. What is wrong with the roof guttering diverting clean(ish) rainwater into storage tanks? and simply use the ‘mains’ water to drink and cook by?
We have it all going wrong in our lifetime………..