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Old 06-12-2011, 22:04   #2341
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
As one who fully supports "go now, go cheap" the continuing dichotomy in this thread for me is whether the boat cost is included in the 500 a month.

Even a cheap, small, simple system boat needs basic sails, gear, sound hull and safety equipment. Sure you can lash together pet bottles and make a raft, people have done that, but where is the cutoff on hardship and frankly safety? And no I am not saying a small boat is unsafe but really, in big seas and big winds who wouldn't prefer to be on a bigger boat?

I agree that you might get a boat and get it ready for $10k but according to the "boat cost included" crowd this would eat up 20 months of budget.

I can get onboard with simple systems, small living space, extra skill needed to navigate a small boat on a big ocean, cheap food, free anchorages, paddling the dinghy etc. etc. etc.

If someone said, "can I buy and prep a boat for $20k, and then live on a budget of $500 a month for two or three years?" I am sold. I can't reconcile it otherwise.

Imagine you have zero net worth (i.e. no boat) and a cash flow of $500 a month. Seriously, no one in that situation is ever going cruising. Even with the average boat that you could get for free.

Now when someone says, "How about a 40 foot cat with gps, chartplotter, watermaker, inverters and all the big boats systems, for $300k, then 500 a month?" my answer is, "not if you want to keep all those systems working."

Reid Stowe spent 1000 days at sea and didn't spend a nickel. He was pretty well provisioned to start and at the end was pretty much drifting and avoiding any stress on sails and rig. Anything can be pretty much done to prove a point...

The boundary conditions of the exercise are most important. Having said that this thread has produced tons of ideas to keep costs down and is very useful in many regards. Take want you want, leave what you don't. Decide what levels of simplicity (hardship?) you can bear and get out there..
We are not conducting an exercise here. You obviously thought you didn't need to read pp 28-37. Had you done so, you'd know that we budgeted $25,000 for a ready to go boat, and the crusing budget was organized to keep that boat in good condition, care for her crew, and provide funds for excursions and such.

CallMeCrazy, pointed out that due to the depression, boats of appropriate size can be had for $5000, and necessary parts and fittings for much less than I budgeted, bringing the cruise ready cost to $10,000

INDY
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Old 06-12-2011, 22:07   #2342
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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We are not conducting an exercise here. You obviously thought you didn't need to read pp 28-37. Had you done so, you'd know that we budgeted $25,000 for a ready to go boat, and the crusing budget was organized to keep that boat in good condition, care for her crew, and provide funds for excursions and such.

CallMeCrazy, pointed out that due to the depression, boats of appropriate size can be had for $5000, and necessary parts and fittings for much less than I budgeted, bringing the cruise ready cost to $10,000

INDY
I helped Dan get himself a job fixing a boat so he had a place to stay. He is handy with tools, works day labor 3 days a week.

Dan is looking for a cheap boat to buy. He has $500. He wants a fixer-upper.

Would CallMeCrazy please email me info on a boat for Dan. I'm at goprisko@publicresearchinstitute.org

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Old 06-12-2011, 22:46   #2343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goprisko

We are not conducting an exercise here. You obviously thought you didn't need to read pp 28-37. Had you done so, you'd know that we budgeted $25,000 for a ready to go boat, and the crusing budget was organized to keep that boat in good condition, care for her crew, and provide funds for excursions and such.

CallMeCrazy, pointed out that due to the depression, boats of appropriate size can be had for $5000, and necessary parts and fittings for much less than I budgeted, bringing the cruise ready cost to $10,000

INDY
Indy - please look at my join date and post count. Please dont fall into the trap you accuse others of and that is not reading. I have read every post on this thread, more than once. I support the idea and concept.

You posted long ago some stuff about how this was "your thread" and you make the rules. I hope that even at your age you have not given up the ability to learn. I don't think you have but once you launched this thread it became public with a life of its own.

With thousands of posts the boundary conditions, i.e. your $25k starting point has continued to get nudged around by all the people posting on this thread. No problem with that but when someone says, "can't be done", we can't doggedly say, "read pages 28-37 as it has all been said." the posts since page 37 pretty much prove that not all is said. We must explore what the poster means, underestand their assumptions and fill in their understanding or misunderstanding with up to date and current facts.

I have little doubt that you cruised. The continuing question I have is when? When you give a specific example of something it would be great if you included a date stamp. Hence my question about free health care in China. When was that and is the information up to date? Surely you want all your "students" to be armed with the latest information so as not to be stranded and die in China with kidney failure while looking for free health care.

(I am finally reading Joshua Slocum's book. Certainly he had the low budget spirit. I am struck firstly by the fact that at each port of call so far, the British admiralty keeps berthing and fixing his boat for free and the American consul keeps inviting him for dinner, and all kinds of people are giving him free stores and supplies for his next leg. To say this was how the modern budget cruiser will be hosted, may be a little out of date - LOL)

You have a lot of knowledge but tend to present as an expert in all regions of the globe discounting, at times, other maybe more learned and recent opinions. I have been living in Asia for 25+ years. I have a pretty good handle on things in general but would never make a specific recommendation to bet on cruising in Asia for $500 a month if the cruiser expected free health care as part of that plan.

BTW - your boundary conditions as set forth in the holy pages is pretty clear and are worth a read to anyone coming late to the party - particularly to get an idea where you specifically are coming from. Just don't expect our 50,000(?) members to doggedly agree that this is the way to go. The mosaic of discussion and each one's ability to take what they want and leave the rest is the power of this media.

On a broader scale one could argue that with the hundreds of thousands of posts here, "everything" has been said at least once and all one needs to do is read the archives. Fortunately that is not how it works. Rehashing everything is fun - especially anchoring!
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:04   #2344
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Old 07-12-2011, 05:37   #2345
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I keep reading here about a "simple" boat with no refrigation as being needed to cruise on the goldern $500/mo.

How does not having refrigation on your boat save you cruising money (once you already have it on the boat)? Is it because you only get to eat canned and dried food unless you are in port and can get fresh food everyday?

If the answer is ice I already know that for me ice costs more than the diesel I need to charge the batteries and of course once I have solar it doesn't matter.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:51   #2346
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I keep reading here about a "simple" boat with no refrigation as being needed to cruise on the goldern $500/mo.

How does not having refrigation on your boat save you cruising money (once you already have it on the boat)? Is it because you only get to eat canned and dried food unless you are in port and can get fresh food everyday?

If the answer is ice I already know that for me ice costs more than the diesel I need to charge the batteries and of course once I have solar it doesn't matter.
I want refrigeration. Ice costs too much. The cheapest solution I've found is to get a used Engel. Still gonna run around $500 or so.

But here's the thing. It's Not gonna happen! (at least not this year) That whole "once you already have it" thing simply doesn't work when you don't have the money to begin with (as I've tried to explain). When I have $500 in the bank, I can come with 10 other things for the boat that are far more important. And if I already had everything else, then that would be a good start to the cruising funds. ****, that's 1 month in a marina. With $500 I could sail to any port in the US territories, find a job, and THEN save up the kitty

It's all about living within your means. Ever noticed those people who drive $500 cars, but they put $3000 worth of chrome rims and stereo equipment in them? Yeah, it doesn't make any sense, does it? If you can only afford to cruise on $500 a month, you simply cannot afford to spend "Excess" money on expensive things that are not necessary. You have to take care of all the necessities first, which usually turns out to be a never ending process.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:09   #2347
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I keep reading here about a "simple" boat with no refrigation as being needed to cruise on the goldern $500/mo.

How does not having refrigation on your boat save you cruising money (once you already have it on the boat)? Is it because you only get to eat canned and dried food unless you are in port and can get fresh food everyday?

If the answer is ice I already know that for me ice costs more than the diesel I need to charge the batteries and of course once I have solar it doesn't matter.
I think it may be to do with the cost of maintanence (bad past experiance(s) with DIY / bodged up installations?) plus the cost of power (solar installation etc)......or it may be some count a fridge / freezer as a new fangled technology yet to prove itself

But FWIW, although I probably could live without at least a fridge, I would much prefer not to (expands my menu - I need all the help I can get ). I have my eyes on a portable Engel , that will move around the boat according to what the boat is being used for (on passage / moored).

And just because one has Refrigeration does not mean it has to be switched on.

Big downside is cost ($$$) for an Engel (cheaper stuff available), upside is a helluva reputation (1/2 a chance of outliving me ), low power consumption.....and IMO particularly relevent to the low budget cruiser is that can be taken onto the next boat - when you happen accross a "steal" by chance.

Indeed, on that latter point - I would add to my consideration when updating / refurbing / outfitting a low value boat whether the boat would still be "Good" without the stuff added (or replaced by cheap) for a future sale (odds are good that where cheap = small that a bigger boat will be on the horizon, sooner or later)......being able to remove stuff like a Fridge / autopilot / cooker and even the solar (without leaving obvious gaps or requiring an angle grinder ) may mean that the next boat is a lot cheaper (for you).
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:28   #2348
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I think it may be to do with the cost of maintanence (bad past experiance(s) with DIY / bodged up installations?) plus the cost of power (solar installation etc)......or it may be some count a fridge / freezer as a new fangled technology yet to prove itself

But FWIW, although I probably could live without at least a fridge, I would much prefer not to (expands my menu - I need all the help I can get ). I have my eyes on a portable Engel , that will move around the boat according to what the boat is being used for (on passage / moored).

And just because one has Refrigeration does not mean it has to be switched on.

Big downside is cost ($$$) for an Engel (cheaper stuff available), upside is a helluva reputation (1/2 a chance of outliving me ), low power consumption.....and IMO particularly relevent to the low budget cruiser is that can be taken onto the next boat - when you happen accross a "steal" by chance.

Indeed, on that latter point - I would add to my consideration when updating / refurbing / outfitting a low value boat whether the boat would still be "Good" without the stuff added (or replaced by cheap) for a future sale (odds are good that where cheap = small that a bigger boat will be on the horizon, sooner or later)......being able to remove stuff like a Fridge / autopilot / cooker and even the solar (without leaving obvious gaps or requiring an angle grinder ) may mean that the next boat is a lot cheaper (for you).
Regarding the bigger boat on the horizon.

I think if you launch with your 24 foot boat and your $500 a month budget your boateonomic station in life is pretty set. Unless in that $500 you've budgeted lottery tickets. - LOL

If you launch and then find the secret to being fabulously wealthy I am sure you will, like all the other guys who have done it, keep the secret closely guarded as you sail off in your 50 foot cat, leaving your eco-cruiser on a beach...
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:33   #2349
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pirate Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

One can live without a fridge... did it for four years in the W.Med... and also US/N.Europe... Caribbean too...
I will say however... if you can get one its fantastic...
I had a big icebox with a simple spillover system fitted on one boat I bought...
Suddenly I could keep fresh fruit and veg (not supermarket stuff) much longer... some I'd buy green and have to ripen them out of the fridge...
Meats I could semi freeze if I stored em right under the spill...
Man I ate well on that crossing... hate most tinned/processed food...
refined palate problems..
So... if you can convert your icebox by adding an old spill system cheaply.. do it, its worth the effort..
Many places have a weekly farmers market where you can do the shopping for a week dead cheap...
saves a lot of shopping trips if its a one time and in the fridge..
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:41   #2350
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Also, if you're living on $500 a month, you're probably not buying a whole lot of meats and dairy products, and beer... So you really don't need refrigeration. It's a nicety. The serious budget cruiser will be supplementing that stuff with fresh fish and seafood caught by hand on a daily basis. The priority of refrigeration falls far behind other important things, like say, $500 for an emergency medical visit, or a plain ticket home for an emergency, or emergency repair, Or an extra month cruising, or about 20 fuel fillups, or....
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:43   #2351
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post

That whole "once you already have it" thing simply doesn't work when you don't have the money to begin with (as I've tried to explain). When I have $500 in the bank, I can come with 10 other things for the boat that are far more important. And if I already had everything else, then that would be a good start to the cruising funds. ****, that's 1 month in a marina. With $500 I could sail to any port in the US territories, find a job, and THEN save up the kitty

.
My problem with this thread is that to me it drifted from the first post.

I thought it was about how to cruise on $500/mo. But it seems everyone wants to agrue about how to buy a boat, outfit it, and cruise on a total of $500/mo.

As far as oufitting and buying a boat on the cheap is there really that much discussion needed that one can not have all new equipment.

Guess I would suggest that if someone is not doing the last sentence that that would be a good start.

PS - guess I still don't know how not aving refrigation would save me money each month cruising.
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:48   #2352
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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I want refrigeration. Ice costs too much. The cheapest solution I've found is to get a used Engel. Still gonna run around $500 or so.

But here's the thing. It's Not gonna happen! (at least not this year) That whole "once you already have it" thing simply doesn't work when you don't have the money to begin with (as I've tried to explain). When I have $500 in the bank, I can come with 10 other things for the boat that are far more important. And if I already had everything else, then that would be a good start to the cruising funds. ****, that's 1 month in a marina. With $500 I could sail to any port in the US territories, find a job, and THEN save up the kitty

It's all about living within your means. Ever noticed those people who drive $500 cars, but they put $3000 worth of chrome rims and stereo equipment in them? Yeah, it doesn't make any sense, does it? If you can only afford to cruise on $500 a month, you simply cannot afford to spend "Excess" money on expensive things that are not necessary. You have to take care of all the necessities first, which usually turns out to be a never ending process.
I wrote my post below before seeing this.

Classic catch 22 Can't afford to do now what will save money (and repay itself) over the longer term - not just from "free" ice, but also by extending the life of food, allowing more variation in the menu and freeing up time for other things (like earning money? or simply more refurbing) by being able to cook ahead. and a cold beer / coke is always better

I do get confused about who (on CF) is doing what / how etc But in your shoes if living aboard already (?), if power available to run (Dock / Solar) and the $500 would not make the difference between going or not - then I would get the Engel. Probably won't notice the difference ($$$) a fridge makes day to day in dropping your living costs, but over time the money will be recouped. But if not living aboard would keep it on my "wish list".

There is a reason why for poor folk in the 3rd world the acquisition of a Fridge (and power to run it ) is so high on the wish list (along with a mobile phone and a motorbike).

Of course I am not saying that folk can't live without a Fridge (plenty have and do - very happily) - just that it does require more effort and time, which is the low budgeteer's main asset

In any event, I can't see too many folk on a $500 budget saving up more than a year ($6k) or 2 ahead ($12K) - even if intending to be on an endless adventure (otherwise, allowing for inflation, would be looking at a couple of hundred K ) ........and indeed IMO not really neccessary, someone living on $500 a month will need to be working (at least now and again) and have the wit about them to find (and exploit) opportunities as they arise...........I would personally be happy to set off with only $12k in the bank (for 2 years).......and be very dissapointed (in myself) if I came back with much less.......but I would be "cheating" by having a (very) well sorted boat to start with (albeit won't be maintanence free - no boat is).
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:03   #2353
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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I wrote my post below before seeing this.

Classic catch 22 Can't afford to do now what will save money (and repay itself) over the longer term - not just from "free" ice, but also by extending the life of food, allowing more variation in the menu and freeing up time for other things (like earning money? or simply more refurbing) by being able to cook ahead. and a cold beer / coke is always better

I do get confused about who (on CF) is doing what / how etc But in your shoes if living aboard already (?), if power available to run (Dock / Solar) and the $500 would not make the difference between going or not - then I would get the Engel. Probably won't notice the difference ($$$) a fridge makes day to day in dropping your living costs, but over time the money will be recouped. But if not living aboard would keep it on my "wish list".

There is a reason why for poor folk in the 3rd world the acquisition of a Fridge (and power to run it ) is so high on the wish list (along with a mobile phone and a motorbike).

Of course I am not saying that folk can't live without a Fridge (plenty have and do - very happily) - just that it does require more effort and time, which is the low budgeteer's main asset

In any event, I can't see too many folk on a $500 budget saving up more than a year ($6k) or 2 ahead ($12K) - even if intending to be on an endless adventure (otherwise, allowing for inflation, would be looking at a couple of hundred K ) ........and indeed IMO not really neccessary, someone living on $500 a month will need to be working (at least now and again) and have the wit about them to find (and exploit) opportunities as they arise...........I would personally be happy to set off with only $12k in the bank (for 2 years).......and be very dissapointed (in myself) if I came back with much less.......but I would be "cheating" by having a (very) well sorted boat to start with (albeit won't be maintanence free - no boat is).
The only problem is that I have a tentative deadline to go south. The end of hurricane season next year. That gives about 10 more months. I already have that 10 months of finances budgeted out in order to make a successful getaway, and a fridge didn't fit I'll see how it goes though, if I find a really good deal I one, I probably won't pass it up. If i happen to make a some extra money, (key work is Extra, because it goes above what I've already budgeted), then a frige is probably what I'd spend it on.

I am plugged into the dock now, but I try to keep it a minimum, only charging the batteries and running the heater when it gets below 40F. My 40 watt solar panel doesn't keep up in the winter months, which has prompted me to upgrade my solar system. This is going to eat up a good chunk of the budget, but will allow me to run an Engel at some point in the future. It's just not gonna be this year, and it definitely won't stop me from leaving
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:04   #2354
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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Regarding the bigger boat on the horizon.

I think if you launch with your 24 foot boat and your $500 a month budget your boateonomic station in life is pretty set. Unless in that $500 you've budgeted lottery tickets. - LOL

If you launch and then find the secret to being fabulously wealthy I am sure you will, like all the other guys who have done it, keep the secret closely guarded as you sail off in your 50 foot cat, leaving your eco-cruiser on a beach...
The secret to being wealthy (so I am told ) is work (hard or smart) - usually over a number of years.....the cheat is having forebears who never liked selling property and being the last of the Mohicans.........

As per the last para of my previpus post (below):-

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
In any event, I can't see too many folk on a $500 budget saving up more than a year ($6k) or 2 ahead ($12K) - even if intending to be on an endless adventure (otherwise, allowing for inflation, would be looking at a couple of hundred K ) ........and indeed IMO not really neccessary, someone living on $500 a month will need to be working (at least now and again) and have the wit about them to find (and exploit) opportunities as they arise...........I would personally be happy to set off with only $12k in the bank (for 2 years).......and be very dissapointed (in myself) if I came back with much less.......but I would be "cheating" by having a (very) well sorted boat to start with (albeit won't be maintanence free - no boat is).
Just realised that some folk may be talking about a $500 income from Social Security / Benefits (pension / disability / unemployment? etc) - with no intention of ever working.........so will likely have no / little cash in a boat fund.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:06   #2355
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Quote:
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I keep reading here about a "simple" boat with no refrigation as being needed to cruise on the goldern $500/mo.

How does not having refrigation on your boat save you cruising money (once you already have it on the boat)? Is it because you only get to eat canned and dried food unless you are in port and can get fresh food everyday?

If the answer is ice I already know that for me ice costs more than the diesel I need to charge the batteries and of course once I have solar it doesn't matter.
Once you have the equipment it doesn't with many caveats.

Therre are many boat skills and when you get to "cruising" level one skill that I think is vitally important is DC electrics skills followed by ac electrics skills. This is because when you pull the plug you become and island and much of what we deem as comfort becomes a power management exercise.

Time over time people have posted how to make a DC power budget. It is not rocket science at all and very simple to do. Once you do a power budget you must simply make a system that supplies that budget day in and day out. If you used 20 amps an hour all day every day with no variation one solution would be a generator producing 20 amps an hour. Theoretically you wouldn't need batteries.

But no one runs everything all day every day. Everything has a duty cycle, lights at night, pumps when they cycle, nav eqiupment underway but not parked, even the fridge is not running all the time.

So you get an average daily consumption. Now you need a charging system that supplies this average over time. How much time? That's where a battery comes in.

Lets say my average is 100 amps a day. If I install 200ah battery usable capacity I could not charge them for 2 days. But at the end of that 2 days I better be generating power and on average I better be generating 100 amps a day. So at the end of this two days I have a 200 amp deficit. In the next two days I better generate 400 amps, and so on...

How you charge has options. The engine alternator, solar, wind, towed generators and gensets. Nuclear power has not yet reached pleasure boating.

Each generating source has benefits and drawbacks. So multiple generating sources are usually desirable. However in most all cases where high power items are desired, aircon, refrigeration, electric propulsion, electric heating of water and cabin, cruisers flock to the genset. 2-3kva seems the sweet spot.

The fridge is probably not the holy grail of pleasure boating. It is probably aircon or electric propulsion.

So the original question. A fridge generally draws 4 amps on a 50% duty cycle. If you want one you simply have to generate 48-50 (4x24x.5) amps of power for it, every day.

The equipment to generate 50 amps is readily available but not cheap. A failure of a charger, inverter, solar power controller could consume several months of the $500 a month sailors total budget to fix.

One reesson battery banks are sized the way they are is to allow some set time between need to charge. A system reliant totally on solar as a minimum must serve the needs overnight as solar wont charge at night. Also in many places the sun doesnt shine every day and there is seasonal variation on how much energy can be harvested from a given array.

So anytime someone says, "I'd like to add XYZ electrical service to my boat" there are rreally only two questions. Can you generate its daily consumption and does the daily consumption impact your "mean time between mandatory charging" based on the current battery bank size.

The reason the 2-3kva generator is the magic is because it generally will supply enough power to run anything the boater wants as long as it is running - i.e. aircon - without consideration of the need to store the power for this utmost of power hungry services.
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