Many ship builders are experimenting with fully solar-powered vessels. While that may be in the future for most of us, there are immediate benefits to adding alternative energy systems today.

Alternative energy sources are growing in popularity for a good reason – fuel is always limited to a certain extent, while the sun and wind are abundant at sea. And even if your solar and wind systems are not powering the entire ship, they still can extend your range at sea while offering other benefits. Keeping batteries charged requires you to run the engines, even when stationary. This limits range and increases operating costs. And what if there’s an issue with an engine? A problem with a raw water pump on a diesel engine can leave you with no way to charge all-important battery systems. On sunny days, your batteries can be charged in a few hours. The solar panel starts charging when the sun comes up. You may only have to run the diesel engine to charge the batteries on cloudy days. Or switch to your wind-turbines and make energy on a windy, cloudy day.