Boatworks

Create Power from Tides?

by Nigel Calder, Posted August 12, 2013

The government has, for a decade, studied the possibility of generating electric power from the tides. Because a sailboat on a mooring is subject to tidal flow, why can’t we use this method to help generate power? Sailboats sit on moorings for long periods, sometimes for weeks, and even a trickle charge would be beneficial.


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As sailors, we carry pyrotechnics on board—per U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS regulations—and hope we’ll never have to use them. In fact, it’s illegal to use them, unless you’re experiencing an actual emergency or have received permission from the proper local authorities.


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Beat the Heat: Retrofit an A/C System

by Bob Bell, Posted July 23, 2013

I will not sleep on this boat. I’m going home–NOW!” said my overheated sailing mate and spouse, Monica.  


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My pre-sail checklist is pretty basic. Bilge sump empty? Phew. Mainsail cover off, halyard on? Yep. Battery switched on? Check. Engine intake seacock open? Check. Engine starts? Yippee. 


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When I moved my new Nicholson 32 sloop, Alibi of Bridham, from a marina to a mooring this summer I also had to rethink my power requirements, since the change meant severing my umbilical to the grid. Although I had a powerful (read: noisy) wind generator as an alternative power source, along with a small photovoltaic (PV) solar array to keep the engine’s cranking battery topped up when the wind dies, I’ve since decided to lose the noisy windmill and go wholly solar.


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