It has been interesting to note how we manage the boat (specifically power) in British Columbia vs the tropics.
In the tropics, Deb and I were quite happy at anchor at night with the salon door and the master stateroom hatch open while at anchor. Normally, the breeze was enough to keep things comfortable. On nights that were a bit still, we fired up a small fan to keep the air moving and we were quite happy. Unfortunately, not so for the guests aft – no airflow due to blockage from the house made things hot and sticky. The unfortunate solution was to run the genset and aircon (which meant the genset ran at very low loading which is not good for its health not to met mention expensive in terms of diesel burn) to keep everyone happy. That also was not real good for the battery bank which likes to see a good solid rate and depth of discharge to keep it happy and healthy.
Here in the Pac Northwest, we are moving every few days and our big alternators are more then enough to keep up with things. At night, we do not need aircon and if things get too chilly, we fire up the Kabola (diesel fired heater) to heat the boat and give us lots of hot water for showers in the morning. Again, a low amp draw. So our bigger issue has been keeping the genset healthy by running it now and again.
Our drill tonight was to turn on the genset during dinner to cook, make a bit of water from our reverse osmosis water maker, run the dryer and a bit of aircon.
None of this was really necessary as we could have done the same while underway using the big alternators/rectifiers powered by the main engine. Just the same – we need to keep stuff healthy by using it so the genset got run for an hour.
On the 78, with a bigger battery bank, bigger alternators, power ventilation in all living spaces, and a beefy solar panel bank, it is hoped that the genset will become even more of less required item.
Time will tell but it is really nice to sit in a quiet anchorage, have full use of all the amenities and not need a genset that burns diesel.
Oh – BTW – our flopper stoppers were an essential in NZ and the tropics. Not so here (so far) – we have been quite happy at anchor without anything.