Discover Why He's Mounting Solar Panels on a Sailboat

by Simplify

Simon has combined his love for the environment with his love of adventurous living by creating a home out of his completely renovated, off-grid sailboat. The boat is also 100% fossil fuel free.

Simon purchased the boat for CAD5,000 (USD3,800) and completely redid it, ripping out the entire deck, replacing the keel, and pulling off hundreds of pounds of paint.

He also uninstalled the diesel engine, as part of his efforts to be sustainable. Instead, he mounted solar panels on the sailboat to create solar-powered electric energy for an electric motor. He has 5,280 watts of solar energy, which is more than enough for his household needs. The solar energy powers a water pump that allows Simon to produce his own water for the boat, maintaining his off-grid lifestyle.

Mounting solar panels on a sailboat

If the day is stormy and solar power is a challenge, Simon also has wind turbines to provide power instead. If that doesn’t work, he does have backup batteries.

Although the boat has lots of solar power, so far it can only move at 7 or 8 horsepower and can go about 3 or 4 knots. So far, Simon is still staying around the area of Gabriola Island in Canada and hasn’t yet tested the boat on an extensive journey.

In the meantime, he feels that being stuck in what he terms “the tropical” part of Canada isn’t a bad place to be stuck while he continues to renovate the boat and get her ready for traveling.

Simon documents his solar sailboat journey on YouTube and also works at a local shipyard and a local food bank, in addition to side projects helping people install solar panels on their own boats. When he’s not doing that, he is still making changes to his sailboat, which he hopes will be ready for a longer journey in a year.

Mounting solar panels on a sailboat

In the meantime, Simon is enjoying the process of creating his environmentally friendly, off-grid houseboat lifestyle.

For more boat living stories, discover how this Paralympian and pro diver couple renovated their sailboat or take a tour of this stunning DIY tiny houseboat.

To see more videos, check out the Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel.

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