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drew.ward 08-06-2009 19:18

Why No Solar?
Last night I watched a show on travel channel about the world's best mega yachts. I've seen such shows before and occasionally look through some of the impossibly expensive yacht magazines for ideas on systems and such for my one day not-so-mega yacht.

One thing I noticed last night is that none of the vessels shown had solar panels. Then it occurred to me that none of the ones in the schmancy dance magazine have them either.

Now I realize that the people buying such vessels are less than worried about the cost of fuel, but I can't help but wonder, why would you forgo free electricity?

Most of these boats have huge swaths of flat roof space that is unusable for anything else, so it seems strange not to get something out of it, especially considering the mass of electronics and toys on board.

For me I would look at it if anything else as a survival issue -- even if I'm in the middle of the Atlantic and ever other mechanical stopped at least I'd be able to have radio, radar, and bilge pumps until help or a tow arrived.

Nk235 08-06-2009 19:27

Because they all have generators that run non stop when not at the dock to provide power. These generators are built to cope with the high demands of electricity that these mega yachts consume. The Solar panels would be very insignificant compared to what the generators do and they would also add a ton of clutter to the clean looking decks.

SouthernComfort 08-06-2009 20:04

These are large motor yachts that must have the engine/generator running to move, thus charging all the time. If you are travelling 500 miles in a motor yacht, you will have to have the motor running for obvious reasons, thus generating power.

Sailboats do not have a motor running full time to move, and because of such, don't get their batteries recharged unless there is another source such as solar or wind.

captain58sailin 08-06-2009 20:13

When making a crossing from Hawaii to Alaska, we were 150 miles offshore from Kodiak, and our batteries went dead, so were unable to start the engine and the only thing that was working was a solar powered SSB, with that we were able to radio for someone to catch us at the harbor entrance for a tow into the dock. This was in the days before wind generators, and solar panels were being used on sailing vessels. Anymore, I don't leave home without solar panels. And I am definitely in the market for a wind generator.

s/v Jedi 08-06-2009 20:23


Originally Posted by SouthernComfort (Post 290857)
If you are travelling 500 miles in a motor yacht, you will have to have the motor running for obvious reasons, thus generating power.

Not exactly... their engines aren't used for energy needs so they run their generators in addition to engines. We met a captain of one of those once who told me that in the 6 years he is aboard, they always had at least 1 generator running... every second of those 6 years. If the owners aren't there (which is most of the time) only 1 generator is needed (3 available) and they switch to the another one weekly, doing maintenance on the standby set after it's turn plus oil/filter change every week. That is 312 oil changes and filters in 6 years. During a re-build/overhaul of a genset it's crisis aboard because there's only two left and the owners can't come because there isn't enough power for their needs.


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