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Boating during COVID19

Graham Balch
Posted by Graham Balch on May 29, 2020 11:06:20 AM

At Green Yachts, we have heard many stories about boating during Covid19 and wow is it a tale of two different worlds.

Boaters with diesel engines have told stories of having to sit off the coast of Spain and have boats come out to deliver diesel because they couldn’t go into port. In Croatia, boaters were able to enter the ports, but not leave until restrictions were lifted. Megayachters have been shamed for taking so much fuel from island nations around the world with short supply driving up the price for locals who need fuel to go fishing.

One crazy story is of a one-armed sailor from Ireland stuck in the Caribbean. Due to 14-day quarantines and local restrictions, he couldn’t make it work because of his need for fuel, water and food. He said “there were far more boats stranded in the Caribbean than normal.” He and other boaters faced the challenge of running their engine enough to power the systems on their boat and watching their dwindling fuel supply that they may need to outrun a storm or motor to a port with fuel. The one-armed sailor decided his best option was to sail solo back to Ireland because he couldn’t make it work to stay in the Caribbean with a diesel boat and he couldn’t find any crew, giving a whole new meaning to single-handed sailing across the Atlantic!

This is not the idyllic kind of boating experience anyone wants. We boaters want to enjoy the peacefulness and relaxation of being out on the water, even in uncertain times.

On the other hand, boaters who have an electric motor, solar panels and a watermaker, told very different stories. Another boater in the Caribbean, one with an electric boat, told us how his solar panels charged up his battery banks and he never worried about having enough energy to motor or to run his systems onboard. His shelter-in-place experience was relaxing. Other than food, which he could get a couple months supply of, he and his wife were self-sufficient.

The sun gave them all the power he needed.

They never had to go into port for fuel or water.

While they were concerned about everything happening in the world, they could enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets anchored off remote islands without any worry about where and if they could get into port to find fuel.

Electric boats with solar power and a watermaker are far more self-reliant than boats without the trifecta of this combination. With an electric sailboat, you have a better boating experience in normal times. But when the excrement hits the fan, you have a self-reliant safety valve for you and your family that will allow you to live off the grid for months at a time.

If you are investing tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions in a boat, don’t you want it to be exactly what you need in the best of times and the worst of times? By becoming one of the increasing number of boaters going electric, you can greatly increase the utility of your boat no matter what is happening in the world. It’s the smart way to go in normal times and a gamechanger in bad times.

In 2019, none of us could have predicted what 2020 would look like. Covid19 has changed the way we work, shop and relax. Boating is no different. Going forward, how will you adapt your boat setup to be ready no matter whether times are normal or far from it?

Topics: BoatingStories

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