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Extreme Green - Solar Powered Houseboats

by Roger
(Somewhere, FL)

Wind & Solar Power options for Houseboats

Wind & Solar Power options for Houseboats

Houseboat living allows you a chance to become extreme green with Solar Powered Houseboats. My houseboat has no generator, however I do have to buy fuel for the engine.

There are five solar panels providing all the electricity that I need to run the refrigerator, high def TV, stereos, lights, water pumps, computer, and "in motion" satellite system. This was a dockside boat, but after a years work it is totally independent of shore power.

I have built in a rain collector that in normal times keeps water tanks full. A Norcold dual electric fridge keeps everything cold, and the freezer keeps everything frozen and has been running over year with just an a few defrosts.

A composting toilet makes life great. I do purchase some propane for the water heater and marine stove oven. The cooling is done with fans only, and the heating is with wood burning stove, however where I am at, the stove isn't used much.

I don't spend time or money staying at marinas, I just go in to get fuel, groceries, and the rest of time I travel and "on hook" in some bay somewhere.

I've done all work myself including removal and replacement of sterndrive and engine while in water. If you would like to know how anything was done
or what I used please feel free to email me, waterman rog

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Reply - Answer
Well Roger, I can totally understand your point, and I agree that houseboat living, especially out "on the hook" brings out a new perspective on "power consumption".

You may find the following article Wind & Solar Powered Houseboats of interest to you since it discusses "green renewable energy".

Again, a big thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their Wind & Solar houseboat experiences.

Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Extreme Green - Solar Powered Houseboats

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Total houseboat renovation
by: Cate

I have 1978 steel hull houseboat, 400 sq ft ( inside) with upper deck ( blank slate). I have gutted her completely inside, replaced the floor and added a jot 602 wood stove.

I am adding solar and wind power as my sole energy sources. I would like to remove the Merccruiser engine to make room for a clean storage area for my batteries, pumps, inverters etc.

Is it possible after draining all the fluids in the engine to take it apart piece by piece rather than hiring an expensive service to haul it out?

I would appreciate some advice ..... maybe waterman Rog knows .... More questions to follow .... and some photos

Water is life, Cate

Need info regarding solar panels in 1970's
by: E J

I'm a writer and need information regarding the use of solar panels on a stationary houseboat in the 1970's. I believe it's important to represent this industry correctly.

My questions are:

1. Could an older houseboat be fitted with solar panels to run a freezer and fridge, plus some lighting in the 1970's?

2. How would the owner dismantle these panels before a hurricane hits, then replace them? And is this possible?

Thank you very much!

Houseboat Clean Energy - solar power on boats
by: Solar On Boats

The sun is an abundant source of energy. Today with the help of cutting edge photo-volatic technology it is possible to harness more of this energy than ever before. This is made possible by efficient solar panels that convert the sun?s energy into electricity.

Start with Solar Powered Houseboats
by: Kristin Center

Does anyone know how to get in touch with waterman rog- the starter of this blog post (extreme green solar powered houseboat)?

I am new to the houseboat scene and would like to start this way! Thank you, Kristin

Houseboat Alternatives - are you a closet sailboater?
by: Solarpoweredboat@yahoo

Roger - great job on green boat! I think you are a perfect candidate for a sailboat, probably a nice liveaboard catamaran. Then you can drop your hook anywhere in the world with NO fuel either.

I lived on my 20 foot sailboat for five years totally off solar panels for electric and used ony about 10 gal diesel per year. Traveled Bahamas, Cuba, Caymans , Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico.

Fair winds, Dennis

Solar article in Houseboat Mag
by: Anonymous

Be sure to get a copy of the March 2010 issue of Houseboat Magazine where you will find my article on adding solar power to a houseboat.

For about 7-8 months a year we need very little power from the dock or generators, but here in the Pacific Northwest the sun gets pretty low in winter and the clouds hide the sun so much it's hard to live on solar.

Nonetheless, those summer months are fantastic, we spent 95 days away from the slip last year, either on the hook (4-6 usually but that is a different topic) or at a public free dock. We hardly ever run the generator and when we do we get by with our little Honda EU200i generator.

A wood burning stove fireplace on a houseboat!
by: gordon from ohio

Roger, I would love to see some pictures of the wood burning stove fireplace setup you have on your houseboat. Here in NW Ohio, a few times it got down to zero, and with an abundance of fire wood, this would work out great for my future project.

If you could post them somehow, it would be great to see

This site is great, thanks again, Gordon

Need help with going Green!
by: Anonymous

I am about to live on the Hook (houseboat living on a anchor). I have been searching for some answers or websites of what I will need to be green out there.

The only energy zapper will be my refrigerator. The rest is TV & lights. The question is, what do I need to achieve this?

A basic system is fine and as we go we will upgrade to bigger system. Can anyone help me?

If anyone can direct me to the sun I would appreciate it. Thanks, Perry.

Reply - Answer
Well Perry, congratulations on your decision to go houseboat living out on the "hook".

If I was in your shoes, the first place I would start on going "green" is Real Goods Solar Living, which is full of information and "green energy products" to help you become energy self sufficient.

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their "green houseboat" experiences.

IAN - from

Houseboat needs to go Green, because I have no Green
by: Mo

I have a 31ft houseboat that I'm going to be living on down on the coast of TX.
I need all the information I can get on the best solar panels, wind generators and composting toilets.

Thank you, Mo

Great idea for Greener Houseboats
by: Jo

Hopefully this'll encourage people to go that little bit greener and save money in the long run too! I've seen solar powered light kits in some supermarkets (Tescos' is one, there'll be others but I can't remember off the top of my head) that come with a small panel, light fitting, wires and bulb that looks pretty simple to fit and doesn't cost the earth- literally.

Once I get my liveaboard, hopefully at the end of this year, I want to follow what you've been doing to see how much I can do.

Please keep us posted on what's a very good idea!


Help on Solar Powered Houseboats
by: Mark Kilgus

I myself am doing the solar powered houseboat thing, and sure would like to see what you've done, and maybe get any ideas that you'd like to share.

Thank you.

Green & Solar Powered Houseboats
by: IAN - from

Many people are curious about extreme Green & Solar Powered Houseboats. I'm sure many of our readers would love to hear and read about how you went about building a self sufficient solar powered houseboat!

If you get the opportunity, please feel free to tell us more about it all at our houseboat plans & building section.

I personally thank you for the excellent post about the Green & Solar Houseboat possibilities.

IAN - from

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