Solar Panels on a Boat? Yes!

August 11, 2020. Are they “green,” or just good sense? Both! The new 100-watt solar panels are surprisingly unobtrusive on the aft end of the flybridge. Jeff calls them a “starter kit.” He’s new to solar power and learns from reading boating blogs. I’m new to all boat power. I’m still learning the connections between main engine, generator engine, alternator, batteries, solar panels, inverter — and the knobs, switches, gauges or outlets that connect to each.

I understand this much: The main engine powers the alternator, which charges the batteries, which runs the inverter, which converts 12-volt energy (the kind in cars) to 110-volt (the kind in homes). The generator is a second source of power and the solar panels are a third.

All this to add convenience and freedom. All this to make the boat feel more like a home.

It’s funny…we go to our boats to escape our homes. Then we, sometimes, turn the boat into a home. Jeff is slowly converting the Mainship Many Moons from pleasure cruiser to live-aboard.

And he is starting to actually live on it.

He set this dream in motion a few years ago, and is creating it. There’s a lot to admire in that.

The cost of all of this? Jeff saves a lot through DIY. But it still ain’t cheap.

As boaters like to say … B-O-A-T = Bust Out Another Thousand!

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