First, let me provide some context. I'm considering having a customised Neel 45 built for my future long distance cruising, which should eventually include Europe
to West coast
US via the Northwest Passage
. The choice of boat is not the point of this post.
I'm seriously considering having an electric saildrive engine
(15 kW Oceanvolt) instead of a diesel engine
(not too radical so far), but also not to have a diesel generator
at all. Thus, I will be entirely reliant on energy being generated by the 2x wind
generators, 2kW solar panels
and 2x hydro generator
The weight saving by not having a diesel engine (200kg), diesel generator (100kg) or diesel & tank (350kg) allows me to have 400ah 48Vdedicated battery
bank for the propulsion
and a 1000 aH 12V battery
bank for the household items and still be 200kg lighter. With an inverter
, I can run AC, dive compressor
With this set up, the only time I can not generate power to recharge batteries is on windless nights, foggy days, either at anchor
or if the vessel can not go at least 3 knots (which a trimaran
will easily do in a 6kt wind).
A slightly less radical approach would be to have a diesel generator to have instant power if needed, but negates the objectives, or to have a methanol fuel cell
as an option.
The up front cost is considerably higher, mainly due to the cost of Lithium batteries, which are not coming down as fast as predicted. But, for being totally energy independent, and thus avoiding very expensive marina fees
just to plug
in to recharge, as well as hardly any maintenance
costs (compared to diesel), this in the long term should reduce the total cost difference.
So, the feedback I'm looking for from the forum members, especially the experienced long distance cruisers, is the pros/cons/challenges that will come with this type of system.