Smart Charging

Choose an alternator and smart charger to fit your battery bank (published November 2016) Marine engines come with an alternator rated between 50 and 70 amps as standard equipment. This is spec’d to charge the starting battery and does double duty to also charge your house batteries. For most owners

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Energy Independence

(published November 2015) It was 5:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning in early August when I heard the pitter-patter of rain on deck above our bunk. The prediction of precipitation had finally come to fruition and the day would be rainy and cloudy until the early evening when the sun

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Water Power

Let your boat's speed through the water charge your battery bank  (published November 2015) Water powered the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when inventors and entrepreneurs discovered that a turning water wheel could be used to drive the machines that can mill lumber, weave cloth and turn lathes. Water power

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Fuel Cell Basics

The future of onboard energy production is here  (published November 2015) Alternative energy sources used to keep our batteries topped up and our amenities running have long been a hot topic amongst cruisers—with almost everyone staunchly defending their own version of what works for them. But as we all know,

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Get the Most from the Sun and Wind

A quick guide to maximizing your energy independence  (published June 2014) For decades now, solar and wind power have reliably provided inexpensive energy to cruisers. It’s not simply that the concept of harnessing power from the elements is inherent to the concept of cruising on a sailboat, it’s that these

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Energy Saving Tips

As Ben Franklin might say, an amp-hour saved is an amp-hour earned  (published November 2013) Modern cruising boats tend to be well equipped with refrigeration, marine electronics, computers, home entertainment systems, and energy gobbling options like electric winches, watermakers and more. If you are not careful, the daily onboard energy

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How to Choose a Genset

An energy audit will tell you how much power you really need  (November 2012) Nearly since its invention, the reciprocating piston engine has been used aboard almost all offshore-capable vessels as a double-duty workhorse, both powering the vessel via propeller and generating electricity to recharge the battery banks. It’s become

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Monitors, Smart Chargers and Inverters

How to keep your battery bank charged and appliances running  (published November 2012) Keeping your battery bank charged and in good condition so you always have enough 12 volt and 120 volt power is a key element of modern cruising. Without question, the energy system designed to provide modern cruising

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