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Almost as timeless as the debate over which came first, the chicken or the egg, is the debate over which is more valuable on a cruising sailboat, solar panels or wind generators. I can’t believe I’m still talking about this but I really find it interesting just how resolute some people are on the subject!

Obviously a combination of both would be best, and no doubt the cruising grounds one was spending their time in would affect the results obtained from the devices. What will be best for us is of course, the question! From a dollars-to-spend point of view, I think they will end up being pretty much equal. For ease of installation I think I would give the nod to solar.

At this moment I am leaning towards increasing the solar capacity on board Katana first. The final decision on this will be made once the snow goes away and we can get back on our boat. I’ll really be happy to be done with this debate!

Now, chicken or egg?

10 Comments

  1. I think that more solar is the way to go for your intended cruising grounds. We cruise southern Florida and the Keys and there is enough consistent sun throughout the year to meet our energy needs with panels alone.

    If you were going to be in an area with less consistent sun and more consistent wind (or had a boat with less deck space), the calculus would change, but I think you’ll be very happy with more solar panels. They are low maintenance, scare-free (I, perhaps irrationally, worry about bumping my head on a moving blade while I am near a wind generator), and silent.

    • Thanks for the vote Eric! The ease of install of solar is also a big plus for me but I think you are dead on with everything you said.

      • My vote would definitely be more solar before wind. Having now some experience with wind added to solar, it’s kind of like adding another “Pip” to Gladys Knight’s back-up singers. Solar, especially if placed where it is not getting a lot of shade is hands down the better choice.

        Fair Winds,
        Mike

  2. We are about to pull the trigger on a single Kyocera 215W panel which fits on top of the bimini.

    • I saw your post about this on the SSCA forum (I think that’s where it was) where you were debating between this and two 135s. Can I ask where you are going to get the panel from? Do you have a link?

      • I’m still comparison shopping but when we purchase I’ll definitely be posting about it so I’ll let you know.

        We would love the additional 30 or so amps but we really can’t fit the 2 130/5s without the panels hanging over on 3 of 4 sides and we don’t like the idea of banging our head and creating extra windage and turbulence for the windvane so we are sticking with the one larger panel.

  3. Sorry to leave this on an unrelated post but we just posted the medical kit list and wanted to be sure to tell you:

    http://thegiddyupplan.blogspot.com/2010/02/offshore-medical-kit.html

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