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Old 03-09-2012, 23:53   #16
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

keep it simple.

if you're heading south, ventilation should be a big consideration. at anchor you will usually face into the wind, so arrange to have as many forward facing opening hatches and ports you can fit. get or make windscoops too. and screens of course. we are fortunate that our boat, a csy 37, was designed for caribbean cruising - it has six overhead hatches and nine opening ports.

skip the watermaker. we cruise the east coast and the bahamas and have never been in a situation where we were running out of water. it's widely available and not that expensive; i think we paid twenty cents a gallon last summer in the abacos. a lot cheaper than buying, installing, and maintaining a watermaker. and you may not want to run the watermaker some places because of water quality issues.

spend the money on solar panels. we have one 135 watt kyocera and it provides about half the electricity we need; when i get around to installing a second panel i have never have to run the gen again. if you're in the buying mood, get lead acid golf cart batteries. simple to use and maintain. we have four.

for an anchor light i suggest the bebi owl. (google it). it's an led array that's incredibly bright (my boat always stands out in the anchorage) and uses almost no power at all. also much more reliable than my old davis anchor light.

and of course, if you're anchoring out, don't forget EXCELLENT, not just GOOD, anchoring gear. all chain and big anchors. on your boat i would recommend no less than 120 feet of 5/16" high test chain and a 35lb manson supreme. in our neck of the woods most anchoring is in less than fifteen feet of water so 120 feet should be enough for an all chain rode. don't be one of those guys who uses clothesline and a walmart anchor and then drags all over the harbor.

solar shower bags are good and simple, although we elected to modify a garden sprayer instead.

we have a small propane heater that runs on one pound cans. we fill the cans from the 20lb bottle with a little device that costs about twenty bucks. after you've filled a dozen cans the device will have paid for itself. it takes the chill out of the room but on cold nights we find a sleeping bag is still best.

wind vane self steering is expensive and a pain to use. any good wheelpilot should do well on your long keeled boat. a friend of mine with a similar boat uses the raymarine x-5 wheelpilot which he's pretty happy with. i use the cpt autopilot.

dinghy of course. nice to have a small outboard too. bicycles are not a necessity and can be a pain in the neck. most cruisers i know who started out with bikes got rid of them early on.

just keep it simple. the less you have the less you will fix. for instance, i don't have an onboard gps plotter. i use a simple handheld gps - no charting. got three of them now, bought for under fifty bucks apiece from people who just had to upgrade to the latest and the greatest.

one more thing to get. cruising guides. nothing like reading up on the places you want to go way in advance of actually going. it will give you some encouragement to go ahead with your plans and you won't feel like a stranger when you get there...
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:14   #17
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

The biggest power draw for most of those living on the hook is the refrigerator/freezer. Any of the small "bar refrigerators", as mentioned above, will be useless. The best option will be a small, well insulated, top loading box that uses a 12VDC fan for heat exchange by air. It takes far more energy to pump water than moving air for heat exchange. Any of the efficient marine units that are built with the Danfloss compressor unit will be able to work full time with no more than 2 amps and this can be supplied with solar and wind power.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:44   #18
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Originally Posted by Rakuflames
Solar showers are cheap. Throw the funky one out and get a fresh one.
Yeah, I just looked at it again. In the bin it goes. Time for a new one.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:01   #19
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

Cpt Force, Looking at Danfoss compressors, they don't seem very inexpensive, just a valve was about 800 bucks for the 800-1000 dollar unit without other parts or box, but who said boating was cheap...

I did find an Isotherm (a Danfoss system) on E-Bay, it's missing an electrical connector (probably could be a simple fix with some soldering) starting bid 99 bucks. It appears to be a very small unit for mobile use, no freezer, it's smaller than the small bar fridges sold at Wallyworld for 100 bucks.

Are these the same units you can buy at auto stores that are about the size of a truck console, it keeps a 6 pack cool, not cold and that depends on the air temp.

I'd much rather have a fridge and small freezer, if the total cost of a larger Danfoss type is 2 grand vs a cheap fridge with a genset, seems you'd have a grand or more for fuel and a genset.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:14   #20
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

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The biggest power draw for most of those living on the hook is the refrigerator/freezer. Any of the small "bar refrigerators", as mentioned above, will be useless.
Actually my 120V fridge uses about 2.5 amps per hour. Sure it uses 14 amps (at 12V DC) when its running, but it only runs 2-2.5 minutes per 12 minutes. That's in the hot delta by the way. While everyone said it would not work, the blonde engineering chic, though otherwise.

Duty cycle is the key. A 12V fridge runs quite a bit, 20 to 40 minutes per hour. A 120V runs only a few minutes at a time and about 10 minutes per hour.

For a given size box the amount of BTU's extracted would be the same. So energy use in watts per hour would be about the same for the standard compressor design.

It works just fine, thank you very much, on the hook. I carry all my electrical loads with two solar panels (130 and 100 watts).
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:20   #21
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It works just fine, thank you very much, on the hook. I carry all my electrical loads with two solar panels (130 and 100 watts).

See, now that's good info. It's a fact. Your 2 panels carry your loads regardless of what they are. From this I take that o really need to get solar panels. I just read an advert for Kyocera 140w panels at $330 a piece. I understand Kyocera is a top line competitor, any thoughts?
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:57   #22
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

kyocera is the recognized standard in solar panels. installed mine three years ago and have had no issues at all. and i don't even use a charge controller - straight into the battery bank with just an on/off switch and a 10 amp fuse.

planning on installing a second 135 watt panel. the prices have really come down in the last few years. but then i'll also have to buy a charge controller.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:08   #23
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

Well Kyocera makes fine panels. You can't go wrong with them. I have one but purchased a Solar Cynergy panel from solar blvd for my second. Looks like the only major difference is the Kyocera frame is a little thicker gauge. Otherwise they have the same features.

Looks like SolarBlvd has the Solar Cynergy 140's for $203 each.

Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers

I also use a standard PWM controller as it works well. The MPPT controllers do give about 10% more power but cost quite a bit more. To me, now a days its better to just add another panel as you'll get more power for the dollar.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:09   #24
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

Mouse, I thought Sailorchick also said she had a generator on board for cloudy days. I would not rely totally on solar pannels. What about the coffee pot, how long will that stay on? Radios, computer and gadgets, I'd think it would all add up.
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Old 04-09-2012, 16:01   #25
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

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Mouse, I thought Sailorchick also said she had a generator on board for cloudy days. I would not rely totally on solar pannels. What about the coffee pot, how long will that stay on? Radios, computer and gadgets, I'd think it would all add up.
While fresh brewed coffee is a must, couldn't an old fashioned perk style pot be used on the stove?
-Bruce
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Old 04-09-2012, 16:38   #26
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

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While fresh brewed coffee is a must, couldn't an old fashioned perk style pot be used on the stove?
-Bruce
Yes, and it'll use a LOT less power. Turning electricity into heat is inefficient.

We heat the water on the stove in a teakettle then use this: GSI Outdoors: Products
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Old 04-09-2012, 16:46   #27
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

Three bucks.

https://shoponline.melitta.com/produ...R#.UEaEMKM1NL8

Cheap, simple, works. Use paper towels if you run out of filters.

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Old 04-09-2012, 16:54   #28
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

I do have a small generator. Though since I've added the second panel, I've not had to run it. Solar does work on cloudy days too, but with a reduced output.
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Old 04-09-2012, 18:51   #29
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I do use the stove to boil water in my kettle and I do see the wisdom in having a modest generator as a back up. I am a firm believer in redundancy. That and I'm a nerd and love my gadgets.
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Old 04-09-2012, 20:42   #30
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Re: Single Handed Live Aboard

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My holding tank is 35g as well is my fuel tank.
If you want to increase your water capacity, ditch the 35g holding tank and either install a 15g holding tank or go with a composting head. Then use the space where the holding tank was to install a second water tank.
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