Here’s the new solar mounted on the arch. The panels were not the same size as my previous ones, so the process was a little complex. Hell, it took a full day to find stainless hardware to mount the panels. And it took another full day to cut the teak supports that we needed to mount the new panels. On the side of the side of S/V NOMAD, I’m mounting two more 85W solar panels to the lifelines. There will be a total of 730W of solar onboard. That’s a fair amount of solar.
While we’re talking about it – that arch is a nifty addition. I run two trolling rods off of it, it has a fish-cleaning table, it has lights mounted under it, it houses my solar, we hang gear and people in the hammock under it, and it has antennas for my AIS, VHF, WiFi, SSB. Super useful. By far one of my favorite things onboard.
Back to power: you can make wind into power as well, but for the cost and complexity of wind-power, you can buy and install quite a bit of no-maintenance solar. Solar doesn’t make noise. Solar doesn’t require maintenance. And solar doesn’t pose safety hazards in high wind. I’m sticking with solar.
We’ve also installed a new fridge to replace the old, non-working unit in the galley. It’s a large front-opening fridge, so it won’t be the most efficient unit – but it’ll be damn nice to grab cold water or cold beer from the galley without heading downstairs to my under-bunk freezer.
With all of this, we’re slowly chipping away at things that dramatically improve my ability to take my sailing house around the world. It’s taking time, but I’m getting there. It also appears that we’ll have a new crew member shortly, and if she can handle boat-life we’ll have all of the major roles filled: captain, cook, and mechanic.
Thinking back to my time before this adventure in the States, and I realize I’ve come pretty far already. And with the boat tightened down, we’ll be off sailing and diving around the world in no time. On a well-designed, well-equipped, and well-crewed boat. How’s that for changing your life?