Sailors know the value of battery charging alternatives. While running the engine is a requirement for getting anywhere on a powerboat, the best days on a sailboat are when the motor remains silent. But that best day won't end well if the engine has to be turned on just to charge the batteries that modern life requires.


Planet Solar is currently halfway across the Atlantic, taking measurements of the Gulf Stream while emitting no carbon.


Most of us need electrical juice to charge batteries, run refrigerators, and power up the laptop that makes it possible to work and stay in touch from anywhere. And boating is best where the sun is shining, making solar panels a great addition to any boat with house batteries. Fortunately solar panels now come in a variety of sizes and shapes, suitable for any boat.  Alex Smith covers how they work and also delves into some of the more popular boat-oriented gadgets on the UK site (read Solar Power: Ingenious Solutions For Boaters).

Even if you can't fit as many panels on your boat as Planet Solar (currently halfway across the Atlantic), one panel can keep your batteries topped up while your boat sits idle during the week.

"There are three basic types of PV panel," Alex explains. Read more

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Have you installed a solar panel on your boat, or do you use a portable solar charger? Let us know how the sun's working for you.