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Old 27-01-2009, 08:15   #46
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and my power consumption will be relatively low for a 27' boat.
By which I mean, even at night, with all lights, laptop, and small fridge running my maximum power usage will not be more than 130-140w/hour.
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Old 27-01-2009, 08:40   #47
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That seems to be the consensus... please... advise me!
My budget is around $1200-1500... I will probably not be going not be going much further north or south of 40 degree's. I plan to have 3 Deep cycle (120 aH+ each) batteries, and my power consumption will be relatively low for a 27' boat.
Should I go solar only?
If there is mot much wind in your area forget about a wind generator, stick to solar and a Honda EU2000i. If you can get a steady 15 knots every other day or so I'd get a KISS, about $1000 and one of the best wind generators on the market. It is only good above 10 knots, 15 to 20 and you'll never need anything else.
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Old 27-01-2009, 09:46   #48
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Say what?

Hey Jaz,

I'm wondering where you heard that we all take our wind generators down when the wind gets up to 30 kts or so? I can't speak for cruising in the UK or the Caribe, but here in the south Pacific nearly every cruising boat that you see has some form of permanently mounted wind gen, and they stay up in all conditions save cyclones. One can usually shut them down electrically from inside the boat if they are annoying you, and some of them are noisy in strong winds, but no one seems to take them down... ever!

In our case, we've had an Air-X for about 5 years now, and find it fairly useful in some areas, but unless you habitually anchor in really windy spots they don't add very much to your batteries. At sea they help a lot upwind, but when sailing off the wind in normal conditions their output isn't so great either (due to the reduced apparent wind strength). For us solar panels are the greatest source of energy, but we spend most of our time in the tropics. If you plan to cruise in higher latitudes as you mention, the lower sun angles reduce the panels output considerably.

And finally, I agree with several earlier posts: a windgen that only puts out one amp at 20 kts is a total waste of time for a liveaboard.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insaiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz
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Old 27-01-2009, 09:56   #49
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Well thats good to know, I guess when I've been studying, I haven't always paid attention to the dates of the accounts, and maybe the people that had problems were dealing with older technology. Alot of my reading was done here - The Mother of All Maritime Links: Page 14 of 47
And I also have a small library of books, so I couldn't say for certain, but I read more than a couple of bad accounts... But as I say, these may of been before advancements in wind technology.
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:01   #50
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I think this guy was one of the main sources of my worries(though not the only one) - http://www.arachnoid.com/lutusp/sailbook.html
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:05   #51
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Jaz,

Yep, things do change in the hardware department. Back 20+ years ago we had a home made wind gen with a 5 foot diam. timber blade that we hung in the fore-triangle whilst at anchor. It put out a lot of power,but indeed, when the squalls came through there was a fire-drill getting it down before it self-destructed (or decapitated one of us).

But, the comments about real-life wind situations that you are likely to experience as a live-aboard cruiser still apply...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:38   #52
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Solar panels here seem to be reasonable Sun Electronics, When the power goes down, the Sun comes up!
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Old 27-01-2009, 10:40   #53
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Jaz,

The Rutland 503 (and new 504) is designed for the weekend sailor not serious liveaboard.

The Rutland 916 is a reasonable middle entry system. One good thing about it is that it is feasible to buy two for the price of one of the higher output machines, and thus you have redundancy - however, this tales up a lot of real estate and doubles the noise.

If you are trying to make the decision on solar/wind/generator, you need first to do the calculations to discover what you need as an average input, then look at how much space is available for wind/solar, then look at the outputs for the type of sailing and area in order to establish what can be achieved for the price.
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Old 27-01-2009, 11:09   #54
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Cheers Talbot, fitting 2 solar panels may well be an issue as far as space is concerned, and I think that the combination of wind/solar is my best bet. I've done some calculations and figured that I can get away with 80-100w panel and a Rutland 503 or simlilar, but that would only really work with getting the 3rd deep cycle battery (my boat currently only has 2 and I can't vouch for their condition) so that I can make the most of when conditions are good. But with so much I need to do to the boats, a few compromises have to be made in most areas. I should be able to find any problems in my designs before I get to Panama and sort them out before heading in to the Pacific. Ideally, I'm thinking the larger Rutland (916) and a 100w panel. We'll have to see how my budgetting goes...
Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old 27-01-2009, 11:12   #55
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My fridge and laptop are the biggest user's at 40w each, but neither has to be on all the time, I really only need the fridge for when I want a cold beer, which will mostly be when its sunny anyway... Though I'd like a little ice for my rum, I ruled out the possibility of a freezer long ago... and replacing mast and nav lights with the equvilant LED's reduces their consumption from 60w to 18w. Also, I have no problem with going 'low-tech' for my cabin lighting, tho I will also have led's there too.
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Old 27-01-2009, 11:34   #56
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If you're boat is in the US, don't buy anything here (except maybe a Lavac and some Perkins parts) all the good quality cruising parts are much, much cheaper there. I wish I had bought more while I was there. The link to Sun Electronics earlier on was a good one, also try defender.com , riggingonly.com and I'm sure there would be plenty of others. No, I have nothing to do with Aire and Solar, just trying to buy stuff as cheap as I can here, although I have had to resort to shipping some gear in from the US.
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Old 27-01-2009, 12:23   #57
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Cheers Marno!
Yea, I've been researching this for awhile now, and nearly everything I need would still be cheaper to get from the UK even with shipping!!
The only things I've found to be cheaper there are the sailboats themselves!
I guess alot of yank's love their power boats more!!
lol
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Old 27-01-2009, 12:50   #58
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Ah, sorry Marno, were you saying that stuff is cheaper in the US?
It certainly was when the exchange was 1 pound to 1.9 $us... but I'm not finding thats the case anymore....
Though being in the UK, my search engine does link me to UK site first, and I have to search hard to find any US sites at all.... The marina where my boat is has WiFi though, so I can continue my research there before I buy. Though if anyone knows of and US companies doing solar and wind power cheaper than in the UK please link me up.
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Old 27-01-2009, 13:05   #59
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Solar panels here seem to be reasonable Sun Electronics, When the power goes down, the Sun comes up!
I missed this link earlier, but looks like a good option....
Thanks Martinini.
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Old 27-01-2009, 13:18   #60
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This is the best for my needs and price range that i've found in the US so far - Kyocera KC-50-T [KC-50-T] - $286.00 : Sun Electronics, When the power goes down, the Sun comes up!

The minimum order from these guys is 2 units, so anything bigger than this is out of the question for me. Their wind generators aren't as good value, so i'm still looking for those.
As always, any links for either wind or solar will be appreciated. I'm still liking the Rutland 504 so far, even though I can't find a supplier for them in the US...
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