How Do We Power Our Yacht While Crossing an Ocean?

Having an electric motor means that we can't fire up the old diesel to charge up the batteries. When we crossed the Atlantic Ocean in July of 2018, we carried with us three methods of charging. The first is our solar panels. We have 200W on the deck and 100W on the stern as fold out wings. We also have a Honda Generator (EU2000i) and lastly we have the electric motor that functions as a hydro generator.

The solar panels started out as a great method of charging when we were anchored, but failed us on the ocean. The deck panels get stepped on accidentally, or things fall on them, or the salt finally kills them. Either way, both 100W flexible panels are dead and not producing any power.

The 100W on the stern is composed of two 50W rigid panels. One works fine, the other panel corroded away at its terminals, literally corroding away to the panel itself with no way of reworking it!

So, our 300W solar system is limping along at 50W.

Thankfully we have the generator! Right?

Actually, the electric motor functioning as a hydro generator has produced all the power we need and fully met our demands. We have yet to turn on the generator and are nearing land after 22 days at sea.

Right now, as I write this, the motor is producing 4.8amps @48vDC. When this is converted to 12vDC with a step down converter, it becomes 19.2amps @12vDC; silently!

Yes, the electric motor that has a very limited range of motoring offers unlimited and quiet electrical production for us as we sail across the vastness of the Atlantic.

We left Bermuda with 15 gallons of gasoline, and it appears that we will arrive with the same amount in the Azores.