I guess it was bound to happen. Put two millennials on a sailboat with 270 amp hours of battery and you’re going to have a problem. I was seduced slowly – everyone knows running the engine to charge the batteries is terrible for the engine and an extremely expensive way to make power. I find we have to charge the boat every other day, even when we have good sunlight for the 480 watts of solar. Our fridge and freezer are are giant and terribly insulated.
But its beyond that, running the engine while on anchor just plain sucks. Even with the newer, quieter, smoother running engine it still shakes the boat while running. And its loud, and most of all it heats up the entire boat for the rest of the day!
Since adding a generator and battery charger in Key West the stress of keeping the boat charged is gone. I can start up the genset and put it on the after deck, plug it in and charge at 50 amps. It’s so quiet that as I type this from the v-berth the only indication it’s running is the little green fault indicator light on the unit.
I’m a romantic – a year ago I would have turned up my nose at the thought of having a generator on board, but now I care more about creating the most power in the least stressful way. The little Honda is working out fantastically.
And in addition (this helped me rationalize the purchase) I can pick up the Honda and carry it off the boat in the future when we’re not using it. It can be used in future construction projects and can power a future house in the event we lose power. I also take comfort in the fact that it’s a quality piece of kit that I’ll be able to get a good return on for the next 10 years.
On the cruising front: We’ve now done about 550 miles of the ICW and plan do the whole thing. It’s much more planning than I anticipated, especially in the Georgia and South Carolina low country with the 6+ foot tides. The animal watching is the best we’ve seen anywhere, hundreds of dolphins and pelicans put on a show in the evenings as they feed in the creeks and tidal rivers. It’s fantastic. We’ve only been aground once and plowed through the Georgia mud a few times. Active Captain is godsend and having an app that overlays the Active Captain markers is a game changer for parts of the ICW that are constantly shifting. It’s saved us from having to wait for the tide a few times!
This article was syndicated from Cruising – Beautiful Crazy Happiness