Members' Online Book: Alternative Energy For Voyaging, Chapter 4 of 6

Hydro Power

Could this be the future? A Watt and Sea transom mounted hydro-generator unit being installed.

So far we’ve looked at how to deliver supplementary power when at rest, a difficult enough challenge with today’s complicated boats, but one which pales into insignificance when underway 24 hours a day, when many other ‘hungry’ devices are factored in – the autopilot, navigation lights, instruments, etc.

This was our stumbling block, as whilst we’ve always been able to meet our daily needs with wind and solar when at anchor, we’ve struggled when passage making, and had, on occasion, to run the engine for a couple of hours a day to generate electricity. And this despite the fact that we use our windvane over our autopilot, use only an LED navigation light, and shut down our navigation system to the bare essentials when offshore. Solar can only do so much, and wind generators are at their least effective downwind – and who likes to go upwind?

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Meet the Author

Colin Speedie

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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