SAIL - - On Deck Boat Prep -

When in­stalling any gen­er­at­ing equip­ment on the boat, it pays to do your sums first. Work out how much power you con­sume at an­chor and un­der way in a kind of power “bud­get.” There are the ob­vi­ous things, like fridges, plot­ters and in­te­rior lights. But re­mem­ber nav­i­ga­tion lights at night, wa­ter­mak­ers, pumps and “in­vis­i­ble” con­sumers such as gas alarms, en­gine mon­i­tors, al­ways-on en­ter­tain­ment sys­tems. If you have hy­draulics or elec­tric winches on the boat, make sure you in­clude a hefty mar­gin in case of emer­gency. If you plan to use air con­di­tion­ing, it’s un­likely that re­new­able power sources will be able to cover de­mand, so you’ll need to think about a diesel genset or fuel cell.

Then look at the type of sail­ing you’re plan­ning to do: what is your av­er­age boat speed and do you ex­pect to be do­ing plenty of up­wind sail­ing, or are you stick­ing to tradewind routes? Fi­nally, take ac­count of any other gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity you have on board: so­lar, hy­dro­gen­er­a­tor and good old-fash­ioned en­gine power.

It is re­ally worth putting the time in here, so you come out of this process with a clear and ac­cu­rate idea of how much power you need to gen­er­ate.

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