In Europe, we used one bottle of gas per month (5 kg of propane or 6 kg of
butane), and reviewing what the gas is used for - one discovers that this is
boiling water for most of the time. For coffee, tea, washing the dishes...
That is why we bought a water boiler, and an electric cooking plate as well,
so in marina's we cook "for free".
We don't do this to save money, but more because we don't want the hassle
with the gas bottles, and the question if they can be filled at all...
Impossible in most European countries (U.K., France and Spain). In Portugal
you can fill up at some road gas stations, but this is dangerous as the
quantities are not controlled. You will be succesfull again oy on the Canary
islands, the Cape-Verdians and in the Caribbean. By the way, once arrived in
the tropics, gas consumption lowers drastic. Cooking results into more heat
in the boat, so you'll eat out more often. And in the tropics, this costs
next to nothing; in fact eating out is often cheaper than to cook by
If you have enough money to
spend (and if you feel like it!), you can spend your nights in marina's
where electricity is the most important shore line to many sailors: the
plug into the electricity unit on the pontoon.
Initially we thought that we would spend maximum 5 nights per month in a
marina, but for instance on the Canary islands one is obliged to spend
more time there. It is not too bad, you have to be selective and the big
advantage is: electricity is included!
Where do we
We try to keep our energy
stocks high by using the following equipment:
- a generator on the engine, supplying 90 Ah (so when we use the
"iron mainsail" we top up our batteries in no time)
- a solar panel (brand: BP); this one generates ca 55Wh, almost 5 Ah
- a towable generator; generates 5 Ah at a boat speed of 5 knots
- wind propellor conected to the generator of the towing unit; to be
hoisted in the fore triangle but is only productive as of 15 kts of wind.
|Anchoring on solar energy
For a long time we used a simple garden lantern as an anchorlight. It contained a white
LED and a solar cell on top which charges two AA-batteries.
You take it
easy for the price of 12 euro's because you hoist the lantern in a sunny
spot, switch the lantern "on" and when it gets dark you have a
nice anchor light. At sundawn, the lamp switches itself automatically off.