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Power is always a problem on a sailboat. At least when talking about boats that travel far by sail. Many choose to start their engine after a couple of days, or every other day, just to recharge the batteries. And I see a lot of people make the mistake of running the(ir) engine at a high idle speed without (any) load rate. This is a big mistake. During normal use a diesel engine will throw 5 % of its fuel directly into the exhaust. At a low load rate this will blacken and ruin the oil and combust even less fuel. (A gas-powered engine throws 8-10 % uncombusted fuel in the exhaust). So for God's sake (and your engine's) go by your propeller.

Many boat owners have bought solar panels. In most cases, though, these make only a small contribution. My boat simply isn't big enough to generate e.g. 20-25 amps/day if solar panels should be the sole provider. I invested in a wind generator that charges at all times and that's enough for me. Ideally, the perfect setup would probably be a combination of solar panels and wind generator. Especially when you're at anchor somewhere with no wind.


Let me confess here that I am sailing at night without lights. And I'm not the only one if I may add. It sounds stupid and reckless, but we are all basically going in the same direction. Of course, I always talk to other single-handed sailors, and most of them are (both) sailing and sleeping without lights. I'm sure I know what viewpoint my association, Danish Ocean Cruising Association, has on this issue. I'll probably get excluded (if I survive he-he). From time to time I use an oil lamp suspended on the deck. And when I am in the open sea with no lights at all.


On board Trojka things are so stupidly arranged that the red navigation light on port side (left), green on starboard (right) and white astern are three separate lights. Unlike most newer boats that have a tricolour mast light with only one light bulb. This means that I consume three times as much power. That is something I will need to change once I get the mast down. I actually considered buying a rotating blue light. It might very well be illegal, and people passing would think I'm a fool. But if I could get them to mistake me for a submarine, I am pretty sure they will steer clear of me.



En route

En route

To Page 10

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22