Not to interrupt a good thread drift but I was asked to repost a bit of information as it relates to the original topic. I've sort of steered clear of this thread as anything with over 1,000 posts should have already figured most of the topic out and if not than it would prolly be so full as to make finding the info near impossible to anyone looking for a quick answer (ie. Anyone looking for anything on the internet).....Well here goes any way... Sorry if the tone comes off a bit preachy, most of it was originally addressed to a fairly new person to sailing.
. As much as you can afford/fit. It's the best investment you can make in a liveaboard
. I have Kerosene lamps too, but you need something to run your running and anchor
lights from, and you'll use as much gas charging
batteries in a month as you'll spend on solar
in 20 years. Cheapest I've ever found is on Amazon, 160watt 12v panel for about 160$ including cables
and PWM, last time I checked.
On that note, if you manage to get decent solar and a few batteries (cheapest Ive found is either Costco/Sams club 6v golf cart or DC29 everstarts from Walmart) you can do what I did on my Grampian
, insulate the ice box for about 20$ to 40$ of ridged foam and a liner of shiney metallic bubble insulation
car windshield screen
cut to size, get your hands on a dorm fridge off Craig's list for next to nothing, cut out all the guts as a single
sealed unit and install it all in the box with the compressor
on a simple swing in the hatch
next to it. Run the whole thing on an inexpensive invertor (I recommend harbor freight) for another 30$ and you've got yourself real creature comforts for next to nothing.
, get your hands on a Kyocera
Hydro from boost for about 20$. It's waterproof and has a good GPS
chip inside. You don't even have to activate the phone
, go someplace with free Wi-Fi access, and download Marine
Navigator. The free version works okay, but the 10$ version includes automatic map switching and a bunch of other really useful things, it's worth it. You can also get several free anchor
alarms, a good tide app, as well as weather
grib apps provided you occasionally get to a Wi-Fi spot to download new grib files . As a final touch, a suction cup holder cost about 8$ from target and holds well to fiberglass
... Full waterproof nav setup for around 30$. Can't beat that.
While we're on the subject of simple and cheap
, you can buy all sorts of water
resistant 12volt lighting
fixtures from Lowes and home depot for between 9$ and 20$.
Most automotive stores (seen them in walmart recently too) now sell LED bulbs to fit wedge and single
contact bayonet style bulbs for between 5$ and 15$ in either the cool white or warm light option. You could also go with automotive stick on led strips for around 20$, but you'd be stuck with cool white/nifty colors and the lifetime of the LEDs are typically poor.
As another note, go to your local savers/goodwill/salvation army and look for small alcohaul stoves for whatever reason these things have been turning up regularly around here. I've got three now. They can run off either grain(liquor store), methyl (yellow bottles of Heet used for cars during winter), or wood alcohaul (found at Lowes or Home Depot). A 35$ solar vent with internal battery
and switch from Amazon above the cook space does wonders for ventilation.
For decent water
and holding tanks
, the best rout I've found is to source HDPE sheets
, usually some digging will reveal a local supplier. You can form tanks
with nothing but a soldiering iron but it takes forever and you'll have to be excruciating thorough. A better bet is to spend the 40$ and get a plastic welder from harbor freight. If you're really on a tight budget
source your tanks from old campers. My water tankage came from a huge tank out of a late 70's 26' camper, recut into several smaller tanks through the boat. It came with a jabsco
on demand 12v water pump, extra fittings to run a dock
hose direct for a pressurized system and was all free.
There are about a hundred good possible uses for a nicopress style swagger on a boat, the whole rig can be built from one if the loads are acceptably low enough for stainless or galvi line under 1/4", also jib
, jury rigs, etc. You can pick one up from Lowes for 18$. Usually there's a pile of them near where they sell chain, although most of the employees don't know what they are for. If you look online thoroughly you'll eventually find acceptable tolerance sizes and can adjust the tool easily. No go gauges work too but I prefer more exacting measurements with a pair of calipers.
Watch Craigslist like a hawk and know the measurements of your boat cold. I have two mainsails and five different jibs for my boat, all in good shape for a total cost of less than 400$. I got a nearly new West Marine
VHF500 for about 30$ plus I got to meet and talk with a former sailor with 60 years of boating
stories.and experiences from the area I sail in. My outboard
was practically free and I got to go on a car ride to visit Newport
Marine junk yards.... are amazing. Meet the guys working the yard. Don't make a mess or break anything, pick for yourself, and be as damn charming as you can be while you negotiate prices. Most things will start costing about 1/2 what you'll pay anywhere else, build a relationship with the people there and most thingsll end up being between 5$ to 50$.
There's a simple formula for determining if you can use a permanent magnet motor
(most often found in treadmills these days ) as either a drag or wind
turbine. Divide the voltage of the motor
(higher is better) into the RPM
of the motor (lower is better) this gives you the required rpm
count per volt. You want the rpm count to stay as low as possible to achieve 14 volts. I like to see an RPM / volt ratio of less than 300RPM to 14v, or 6 rotations per second. Add either a long braided line to a length of PVC pipe attached to a prop for a drag turbine, or learn the physics of rotor to tip speed ratios and build your own turbine blades from PVC. Either way add a blocking diode. For wide turbine, learn how to shunt power to a resource load(ie, hot water element after the batteries are full).
Keep a lost
of what you need/want and never stop researching, gathering knowledge and understanding people opinions on the task at hand. More importantly, always try to keep the difference between knowledge and people's opinions straight in your head
. Usually knowledge is about a way to do something, and a persons opinion is usually a way/reason to NOT do something. They both sound similar when people are talking but it's an important difference.
That's my take on things. Good luck to you.
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