Back in the good old days - you know, when we had to walk barefoot through 8' snow drifts just to get to our boats (maybe they were sand drifts?) - anyone who wanted reasonable levels of electrical
power either ran their engine every day to charge batteries or had a water
. Some things don’t change. If your electrical
demands are similar to S/V Illusion’s, you need a generator and I doubt that a portable will suffice.
In 2 ½ years of cruising the Bahamas/Caribbean our needs were about 50-80 amps per day and they were more or less exclusively provided by solar
via a large AGM battery
bank and a good marine inverter
. We had refrigerator/freezer, watermaker, hot water
(20 min. per day), VHF
, 2 computers
, coffeemaker, microwave, hairdryer, CD player, TV, VCR, lights, etc. Some of these things were rarely used, but I thought we had more amenities than most and we almost never ran the engine (yes, we had a high output alternator) except to move the boat. It had nothing to do with cost effectiveness or being green. It was all about self sufficiency, convenience, and comfort - and well, some nonnegotiable demands from the Admiral: "It’s a sailboat - we are not going to run that engine or a generator every day BUT I am not going camping either AND I am going to have a hot water shower
AND you’re going to make it happen, Captain
." About $10,000 later I made it so.