Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Solar Skiff Spreads Her Wings...

After much itchy fiberglass work, completion is near. The Solar panels are on and the batteries installed. So far the systems all seem to be working. The Ammeter is still waiting for a power converter, and appears at present to display only energy flow into the batteries. I had hoped it would display both charge and use power flow, but may have ordered the wrong meter. Easily fixed in good time. Today I made and installed fenders and the bow pudding, and the official hull number was assigned by the State. If memory serves, the itch of glass fibers embedded in the skin will linger for a few more days, but if this all works as planned, it will have been worth it.


  1. Woo Hoo! I am anxious for sea trials!

    I don't remember - did you tell us the 'numbers'? How much battery capacity did you provide and what is your expectation for performance in that mode?

    I unfortunately have not had our solar-electric Columbia 36 out, as we spent the summer laying a new teak&holly sole and other upgrades. But we'll make it next year.

    Delighted to find another electric yacht!

    Chris McKesson

  2. Thanks Chris!

    You were instrumental in kicking me into gear on this, so much appreciated!

    230 Amp hours (2 golf cart batteries, 40 lb thrust minnkota (way overkill, but second hand cheap,) and 90 watts of rigid multi crystaline PV panels.

    The whitehall hull was intended to make speed with a rower- figure 15 lbs of thrust, so my hope is to be operating at a pretty low throttle setting most of the time. in theory, given the law of halves, 6 hours run time should be feasible. The recovery rate is another matter- theoretically 48 hours of full sun from dead to full. That's the thesis- correlation between theoretical and actual logged use and charge time.

    Thanks for getting in touch!