The gestation of ‘Drift’ has been quite lengthy, but now the diversion of the boat show is over, the word from up North is a “couple of weeks or so”. Given that the mast wiring is happening and a battery is being added, its all sounding hopeful.
There seems to be two schools of thought regarding electrics on these boats. Either no fixed electrics at all to keep it simple, or rig like a small cruiser. Drift will have a standard battery driving LED cabin lights, an LED masthead tricolour, a fixed VHF and then a single instrument combining Depth, Speed (GPS) and charts. This avoids a paddlewheel through the hull, but gives plenty of information for short cruises all together in a small package.
Having given thought to the charging, the current plan is to use a loose solar panel mounted on a backing board (possibly the NASA 10 Amp), which will generally be left out when moored. There is conflicting advice about the need for a regulator. I have been told that provided that the panel is 1/10th of the amp hours of the battery (100Amh in this case) and provided it has a diode to stop reverse discharge, then there is no need for a regulator, although the advice varies. The panel will be supplemented by a small CTEK charger/conditioner for top ups when marina berthed. I am not adding a charging circuit on the outboard, as its not my intention to motor for long periods and the charge from these is not perhaps as useful as I had first thought.
The great thing about shallow draft boats is how many more creeks can be found around our coasts even in busy areas such as the Solent.
Whilst taking a walk on a particularly gloomy Saturday afternoon this weekend, It was hard to believe that this quiet creek
We will certainly be seeking out some of these quieter local anchorages in the next couple of years.