This gave me a nightmare, mainstream bat-shit crazy viewed from abroad, and in the “Just what we don’t need or want” department…
Some while back, I had a couple of 50-watt solar panels fail. What can I say but shit happens. As the seller of the solar panels refused to honor their warranty as, apparently, they defined “Lifetime Warranty” as being until the panels died.
I’m still pissed off.
Anyway, since I planned to try and fix the panels but never quite got around to doing it, our electrical budget has been a bit compromised. Not an overly problematic state of affairs as we just cut back a kiss on our consumption.
Which, I’ll point out, is not all that hard. We’ve been doing the boat ting since the days before solar panels when 99% of our power aboard was produced by an Ampair Aquair water/air unit like this.
It worked just fine.
That said, in those days we didn’t have anything electrical on board except for instruments, a few meager interior lights, and navigation lights. Our VHF radio and our RDF at the time operated on AA batteries. Still, it worked pretty well while sailing in the Med, Africa and over to the Caribbean.
These days, we’re still a 12-volt boat where electrics are concerned. I’ll admit we do have an immersion blender that operates with a 300-watt inverter but I think it’s been about five years since it’s been used. Which, I suppose, makes me the last person anyone should seek guidance from on an integrated solar/diesel system that would power a large village or a couple on a catamaran who wants to be comfortable and sail with all mod cons.
I mention all this as the next up project is redoing the solar mounting aboard “So It Goes” and part of that is to redo some of the wiring into a more cohesive (dare I say elegant?) loom. Hopefully it will make a bit more sense than the ad hoc assemblage that has somehow grown into a 10-gauge spiderweb which lays in wait for the unprepared.
The thing is, that 12 volts makes sense for folks who don’t want to complicate their lives to the extent that it gets in the way of the simpler life some of us were hoping to find in sailing.
Oh yeah, if anyone sees an Aquair in good shape selling for cheap drop me a line…
Listening to St. Paul & The Broken Bones
So it goes…