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Our globe girdling friends have all opted for the absolute minimisation of power demand - no computers, fridges, or chart plotters, for example.

Our cruising involves shorter passages, and we spend quite a bit of time in harbour, often sheltering from weather. We like our gadgets, but it really is amazing how they all add up. In addition to the usual demands of cabin and navigation lights, there are some other ‘marine’ or ‘domestic’ services, including

 - electric anchor winch

 - deckwash pump

 - cabin fan

 - fridge

 - gas alarm

 - intruder alarm


Then we have a number of ‘IT’ demands including

- Navigation instruments, radar  and plotter

 - weatherfax SSB receiver (since removed)

- on-board laptop mainly for

                           Software on Board chart plotter and AIS

                           weatherfax (not used in Channel)  

                           passage planning,

                           Cruise Log and

                           storage/processing of photographs

 - mobile phone charger

Finally the quality of rechargeable batteries is such that quite a lot of useful equipment can be carried that requires recharging, including

 - hand held VHF

 - digital camera

 - portable radio

 - ‘Power Beam’

 - night vision sight

 - torches

 - anchor light

For all these reasons. I have gone for the option of providing adequate charging capability. If  I started doing longer passages, I would add a towed water charger

In 2014 I replaced the solar panel on the hatch garage with a modern more efficient panel. By paying an extra £30, I was offered a better regulator which increases the output by 40%. It certainly seems to work.The small panel over the garage is rated at 80 ah per week, and certainly maintains the new AGM batteries in peak condition

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