Date: 7 October 2021. Power, Initial
Purchases (#1 in series)
As described in the
Power to Obtain Freedom (penguin
adding power production to Seaweed has been a priority as the budget
cooperated. Although I have now reached a point where power is readily
available for needs while off-grid, I've made some mistakes along
the way. Here is the litany of steps forward, and backward, involved in making
Seaweed self-sufficient off-grid as far as power is concerned.
Initially I purchased a second hand 75 watt solar panel with a
MorningStar10 solar regulator. That provided about 25aH (amps) to
use per day at the Florida/Georgia border, latitude 30 north.
The buoys at the top of this print show the St. Marys
Channel which feeds into the river system.
St. Marys is at the demarcation line between Georgia to
the north and Florida on the south side.
of the initial solar panel and regulator purchase:
St. Marys, Georgia is at
the border of Florida and Georgia on the Atlantic Ocean. Each
year at Thanksgiving the locals put on a pot luck celebration
for boaters. Of course boaters contribute side dishes however
most of us have no means of baking a turkey so there the town
folks step in.
Locals also create and bring a myriad of side
dishes that are both delicious and beautiful. Truly I feel
blessed to have attended. It is
a favorite memory.
friendships are started, while others are renewed at the
harbor anchorage each year.
Plans are made for meeting up
later further south and/or in the Bahamas.
Additionally, a nautical
flea market/exchange is held on property near the cemetery the
Friday after Thanksgiving. In
2010 I found myself at both the holiday celebration and
the flea market. There I scored, and big!!!
At the nautical exchange
I met a couple from S/V Tsamaya who had upgraded to larger
solar panels. They were selling their 75 watt panel, and also
had available the regulator. A solar regulator takes the 17
volt power from the solar panel and converts it into a lower
voltage that can be accepted by my standard 12-v batteries. I
swapped boat cards, and I paid the $150 in cash. After the
sale was completed the couple was
kind enough to deliver directly to the cockpit of my boat at
the end of the day.
How nice that was!!!
Before you get all
impressed by the fact that I know what happened eleven years
ago, please note the back of their boat card. I had taken
notes so that I would remember.
cards are incredibly useful for cruisers. Taking notes on the
back of cards enables me to recall details that would normally have been erased by
the sands of time.
Details about boat cards can be found in the
Intriguing Possibilities (boat cards)
After that first solar panel was installed I was delighted. Finally
I had reliable power. On average I was getting 25aH per day. Twenty-five
amps enabled me to use my netbook, monitor the VHF radio 24/7, power
my anchor light, and actually live life more fully.
At about the
same time I upped my battery bank from two to four batteries while
in St. Marys. S/V I Wanda passed along two great batteries which I
installed in a separate bank. They enabled me to double my battery
capacity. Those batteries continued to serve me for several more
years. Thank you again Christian and Mary.
All boats always have project lists. This is
Christian ↓ working on I Wanda.
This photograph was taken by our friend Cap'n Bob
Winter. You met him in the
Power for Seaweed has two components. The first is generation of
power. Along with that is storage of same. The solar panel purchased
from Tsamaya nicely bundled with the batteries from I Wanda. I was
on my way to power self-sufficiency.
often refer to each other by the name of our boats, especially if
the boat has a unique name. If you live aboard a Dove, or a Wind
Dancer it is likely that you will be known by a nickname.
solar panel began my quest to have "enough" power generating
ability. Newsflash: There's always another product that
requires power, thus the ever expanding "need" for same. I'm STILL
not there yet, though I can manage all of my needs at present, more
than ten years after starting the quest for power. Wants are another
The next part of this series brings generators into the equation. More on that
tomorrow. This article became massive. Thus I am splitting it into
smaller portions. It is far easier to download a smaller webpage
especially when the internet connection is iffy at best. This is Part One.
Thank you for reading.
I am curious as to what others have added first for
power... generator, wind genny or solar?
And, which do you find as the most value added component of your system?
Regarding the Comments Section,
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Power to Obtain Freedom (penguin
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