Re: Self sufficent energy
Simple set ups with 2 300w panels and a MPPT controller to charge a 4 pack of 6v batteries are easy (or at least not difficult) to set up and install.
Total cost - about 1500 for the panels and MPPT, and 2200 for the arch to mount it on.
The batteries add about 600 more for a total of 4300 or so bucks. Round that up to 5k just because it's a boat and things always cost more.
That's the current plan on my 38 footer. My calculations say I can expect to make between 140ah and 250+ ah of charge depending on where we are (more the further south we go). Those calculations are backed up by my buddy, he designs power systems for NASA satellites.
I'm space constrained on batteries or I'd add more as 4 6v's (type GC) 'only' give me 460ah of battery capacity, or 230ah usable. During the day time I'll be shoving in more than I use..
Since my daily calculated usage is less than/about 150ah I'm self sufficient.
If for some reason I come up short, I'll add a panel and a pair of 6v's (somewhere) and use that to power the fridge on a the big bank, since that's the biggest user. I'll then run house (lights and such) off the smaller bank.
That's just solar, a wind gen can add to or double that.
Katadyne's are indeed wonderful - 8 amps a hour for 3 gallons, two hours a day for 6 gal (all two reasonable people need) and 16ah of 'free' water. Of course that's 5,000 bucks to buy and install - which buys a LOT of water off the pier.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.