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Date: 16 July 2018. Generating Power (#2 in reefer series)



This is a three-part series about decadence, focusing on using refrigeration off-the-grid. It encompasses what you need to know to have it all even while anchored in remote coves. This is the second article, entitled Generating Power


Clicking through is not a favorite of mine. I want all the information on one page. Thus I put the three decadence afloat articles together. They detail how to have refrigeration off-the-grid. The complete series with all the information contained in the three articles here:

Powering the Refrigerator (complete series)


#2) To run my life of decadence I need
to generate power. Here's how I do it:

Aboard Seaweed I have two ways of creating power. Having more than one method means that I have contingencies in place. If the wind blows my batteries are charged. When the sun shines, I get still more power.


Information on my Wind Generator and Solar Panels:

Newest model I have an older Air Breeze.

Primus Wind Power Air Breeze Turbine Generator

Renogy 100 watt panels

A wind generator was my first purchase for life at anchor. It powered my off-grid power needs. On the east coast that was an okay decision. Here the morning sea breezes simply don't happen. Now don't let yourself think I would not buy one again. I would because at night or during thunderstorms (cloudy weather) the wind blows.

In retrospect, I should have started with solar panels.

Renogy is my choice for solar panels. Aboard Seaweed I have one 75 watt panel ($150 in 2010), two Renogy 100 watt panels from Amazon ($330 in 2013) and two 85 watt panels gifted to me by Larry and Eva. That totals 445 watts of solar. Unless there is a long stretch of overcast days, I should be okay.


Two Renogy 100 watt panels on pilothouse, two 85 watt panels over galley and one 75 watt panel above cockpit.

An Air-Breeze wind generator is mounted on strong thick-walled stainless pipe over the cockpit.

When underway every engine I know has an alternator. Seaweed is no exception. Except mine does not do anything. The alternator is not wired up (at all) thus I get no benefit from the power made by said alternator. Argh.

At the St. Pete Boat Show I spoke with Rick of Beta Marine.

Beta is the marinized version of my Kubota.

One of the best parts about attending a boat show is meeting the vendors. Rick was in the booth representing Beta Marine engines. Because Betas are built on a Kubota base I was hoping I could utilize his expertise.

To his credit Rick of Beta Marine did attempt to help me understand how those wires attach. It all seemed so simple at the time. Then I got home my mind drew a complete blank. What is particularly frustrating is that I know that at one time I would have comprehended it all with ease.

Such is life. Getting old is not for sissies!

I have a great engine. She starts every time. That makes me happy. It is such a blessing to be able to start the engine and know all will be well. I can be underway in just a few minutes. I am very fortunate.

Gulfport at dusk... the anchorage is just off the pier.

Unfortunately the alternator currently on my Kubota does not charge the batteries. I do not know how to set that up. Yes it has been explained to me. More than twice. And no, I still fail to havee a clear understanding. Thus, when I am underway I am not charging my batteries.

I told you about the alternator fiascos in the Upsizing the Alternator - My Mistake article.


The 15 amp alternator was originally mounted to the engine
 with a single bolt. Then I improved things until I broke the system.

Because I do not know how or where the wires from the original alternator attach, they aren't hooked up to anything. Instead the alternator is mounted so the fan belt will drive the raw water cooling pump. This is of course not ideal. But it works.

Were money no object I would opt for a serpentine belt too...

Yes, life is truly wonderful aboard Seaweed.

I went over to the Madeira Beach American Legion to enjoy the sunset.


Though I wish the alternator was wired, I do have both wind and solar power charging my batteries. Life aboard Seaweed truly is wonderful.

Thanks for reading.

Part Three is posted: Storing the Power (battery charts)

I'd love to know the charging methods you utilize.
And, what would you change/improve?


2018, 2023

Categories: Characters, Gear, Locations,

Refrigerator Power Requirements (#1 in the reefer series) ~ Previous Post ...   
Next Post ~ Storing the Power (battery charts) (#3 in the reefer series)


The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

A favorite aphorism:  A man's intelligence does not increase as he acquires power. What does increase is the difficulty in telling him that. Ronald Reagan in 1983.

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