Q1: What do you do for food aboard a boat?

A1: We cook and eat out just like you do at home. Our galley has a 3 burner propane stove and oven. We have a fairly large refrigerator and freezer. I am able to freeze enough meats and protein to last us for several months without needing to buy more. I generally vacuum seal everything that goes in the freezer to avoid freezer burn and keep things in good shape. Our freezer is different than your home freezer in that I have to defrost the freezer about once a month or so. Our fridge and freezer run on our 12 volt batteries and is one of our largest draws of energy on the boat. I have a well stocked pantry with lots of dry goods and canned goods to last several months. Generally we hit up a grocery store about once a month or so for fresh produce and restocking items we have used. We also eat out a fair amount since we like to explore towns that we stop at and that generally includes checking out the local restaurants.

Q2: What do you do for energy or to top off your batteries aboard the boat?

A2: Our house battery bank includes 6 Lifeline AGM group 30 batteries that provide a total of 600 amp hours of battery power. We have a separate engine starting battery. On a daily basis we generally use about 150 to 200 amp hours of battery power in a 24 hour period. The biggest draw on our electrical power is the fridge and freezer followed by our autopilot and instruments when we are underway. We charge our batteries in several ways 1) if we are in a marina, we plug into shore power and can have full use of all things electric including running our A/C. 2) we recharge our batteries when not plugged into shore power with 395 watts of solar panels. We have 3 solar panels, one hard panel that is 200 watts and two flexible panels that are 95 watts each. 3) we have a wind generator that can produce up to 90 amp hours in a 24 hour period assuming a 12 mph wind. 4) we also have a 4.2 kilowatt diesel generator that we can run to top off the batteries and we can also use to run our A/C when we are away from a dock and shore power. 5) our batteries also recharge via the alternator when we are running our engine. With this set up we can generally stay away from a dock and still have enough energy for days, weeks at a time. We do have a few small electrical appliances such as a food processor, vacuum, mixer and blender that we can run for short periods of time. These types of appliances consume a great deal of energy when used and therefore we have to watch our use of 110 volt electrical items. So, no crockpots, microwave, etc.

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