Online Book:

Alternative Energy For Voyaging

Colin reveals the challenges and rewards of fitting out an Ovni 435 to be completely dependent on alternative energy generation and how the gear works out over several years of living aboard. This is not some boring text book based on a lot of theory, but real practical advice from an experienced voyager who has walked the walk, not just talked the talk. Solar, wind and and hydro generation, it’s all here.

Table of Contents:


Hydro gen 1  118 F30W8929

People have some strange misconceptions about what you mean when you say that you live on a boat. They seem to either think that you live on baked beans in a floating cave, devoid of light and comfort, or they imagine a miniature cruise liner, with lights ablaze and lobster and chilled champagne on tap. [...]

Wind Generators

24 hour power  119 IMG_3704

In recent years, with more people going ‘off-grid’ in yachts, RV’s and remote cabins, micro wind generation has come a long way, largely through the adoption of new materials and technologies such as neodymium permanent magnets. Some of the latest generation of wind turbines can produce really acceptable amounts of output around the clock in [...]

Solar Power

Solar array  119 IMG_1727

There are very few cruising boats that we see these days that don’t have a solar panel fitted somewhere, and many have some pretty substantial arrays. Our experience over the last five years has been largely positive, and we’re convinced that solar has played a valuable part in our supplementary power installation, wherever we have [...]

Hydro Power

Watt and Sea  120 IMG_1652

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 [...]

What’s New In Alternative Energy?

Mid Atlantic repairs - changing a delaminating solar panel that was shorting to the deck.

Developments in alternative energy systems are coming thick and fast these days, so Colin visited the Southampton Boat Show and has filed this report on the latest in fuel cells, solar panels, and hydro-generators.