Some years ago, while visiting Clearlake in California and watching various crafts cruising the waters, I wondered if solar power could propel a boat. Back-of-the-envelope-calculations indicated it could. Since then the earth has been circumnavigated by solar power – both in flight and by sea. Recently I had the opportunity to return to Clearlake and had access to an old 14 ft Capri sailboat. Using two left over 170W solar panels from a prior project, an off-the-shelf charge controller, Costco RV battery, and 55 lbs trolling motor, I decided to go for a simple proof-of-concept project. Here’s a clip from this last weekend;
There are too many ideas for improvements from this weekend, and I’m sure as we’ll look back at this as old-stuff in ten years, just as we now view an early model Ford. Sailing in a Sunboat is a lot of fun. No exhaust fumes, no noise, and no worries about paying for gas. Just pure silence. Did somebody say silence is golden? This has got to be it!
Cheers – Mogens