Easy Go has minimal electrical
needs. We have recently put a small (40 watt) flexible solar
panel on board which we put on deck
while at anchor
. We need this to charge the new computer.
Previously we used AA batteries in the hand held VHF
along with a couple of flashlights. Now we should be able to use rechargable batteries.
are with kerosene. Nav lights are also kerosene and work extremely well. The cooker is a pressure kerosene stove and only uses one gallon a month cruising full time making it more cost effective than propane
has not been a priority for us in the past twelve years of cruising and we have managed to get along quite well without. That said, I understand the need to have refrigeration for storage
supplies for example.
We have looked at two systems that may be of benefit.
We met a couple in the Azores
who had very good refrigeration without a motor. Their motor had packed it in while cruising the Bra d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton Island. On board they had a wind generator
that could be converted to a towing generator
in a few minutes. Towing the generator
first to Newfoundland
and then on to the Azores
they had all lights and refrigeration performing at one hundred percent. Ice in the sundowners every night! Once at anchor
they reverted to the wind generator
. Quite impressive!
The second system was home built with a 100 amp alternator
turned by a propeller
through a gearing system. We did not get to see it in action but the owner indicated that he was quite happy with it.
Cruising with minimal systems will give more time to enjoy the cruise and less time maintaining the systems. On a previous boat we had, the electrical systems tended to deteriorate with the damp salt
and eventually need a rebuild
. Refrigeration that is medically necessary should have a number of systems on board to ensure that it is operative all the time.