For going on decades, I’ve been an advocate for electric propulsion. While I’m enthused that electric propulsion is no longer a freak show, I do have some reservations about an all-electric boat.
I grew up at a time where if you were on a boat, electricity was hard to come by and something of a luxury. I still tend to think of electrics on boats being somewhat ‘iffy’.
Sure, we can now throw money at a bunch of solar, install a shitload of lithium batteries, and have an electrical system that will support a medium-sized village but, the question remains do we really want to?
Take a look at this solar array…
Having had electric propulsion on a similar sized boat (34-feet) I grok that the array is just about big enough for someone’s idea of what normal power consumption should be for a modern convenience based lifestyle. The problem arises by the simple fact that a 34-foot boat is just not designed to carry a thousand watt array. Sure, it’s possible but I shudder to think about sitting out a hurricane or big squall with that kind of windage over my head.
Then there’s the vicious consumption spiral of adding an air fryer or whatever is the current must-have-amp-hungry-appliance on the must have list which requires even more solar. Which, as we all know, is the gateway drug to a bigger boat.
Throw in my general distrust of anything electrical on a cruising boat and you can see why I seldom think the answer to any issue on a boat is more power of the electrical sort.
Which is all a roundabout way of saying I’m currently considering adding Starlink to the boat but jumping through all sorts of hoops to justify it in our energy budget. Since I really don’t have room for another 200-watts of solar it would seem the most obvious solution is to use less amps elsewhere and tighten the belt energy wise.
I expect I’ll be moaning more about the process in the not too distant future.