Course How To

Solar Power for Electricity for Houseboats

by Stacey Shapiro
(Key West, FL)

Solar Power Panels for Houseboats.

Solar Power Panels for Houseboats.

What do I need for Solar Panels on a Houseboat? I am going to be living on a 38 foot houseboat in Key West, out in the Gulf. I'm wondering about solar power for electricity, cable and internet. Is this possible?

Do you know how many panels I would need for a houseboat like this? I have been researching online, but I can't seem to get an answer. Any answers would be most appreciated, and would give me a starting point.

Thank you, Stacey.

Advertise Houseboat Business Advertising
You can advertise here for pennies a day!
Are you a boating related business and want to
increase sales and profits with targeted traffic?
Act now to get our 1/2 price sale, limited offer

Reply - Answer
Well Stacey, that's a great question since many houseboats are using solar panels for power. There are either using solar panels as their sole source of power, or to using them to augment their "anchor out time".

Many houseboaters also have a small generator for times when solar panels are not generating as much as possible because of cloudy days.

The two words that are important to understand and figure out are consumption & generating capacity. In other words, in simpler terms it's the "in & out" or available power coming in, and your power demands going out.

You have to calculate the consumption needs of your equipment and houseboat, and match that with an appropriate amount of solar generating capacity.

Once you calculate and figure out your needs, and you want to look at some good solar panels, you will find these of interest.

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

Here are two interesting solar power articles from our readers.

Solar Houseboat Plans

Solar Powered Houseboats

IAN from all-about-houseboats

Free Bonus Offer

To show our deep appreciation to all of our readers and visitors, here is the link to our free houseboat magazine, the INSIDER. Go ahead click the book and sign-up, it's free and filled with great articles, tips, information and website updates.

free Houseboat Magazine - The Houseboat Insider

Comments for Solar Power for Electricity for Houseboats

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Solar Panels, Batteries and Refrigerators
by: roger

Stacey, I think this is a question a lot of houseboaters should be asking because running a generator is expensive and annoying.

Refrigeration is your #1 user of electricity so chose wisely when selecting one. The chest types are best but are a pain. Freezers use less but freeze everything. If you must have a/c it just doesn't workout with solar panels, it consumes far too much power.

Now to your question, if you get 4 x 130 watt solar panels and at least 4 deep-cycle batteries, you will run most of everything [or 8 golf cart batteries which I prefer] you'll have a good start.

My houseboat is totally self sustaining outside of the engine. I have written a few articles which you can find on this site about my experience with them.

Hope this helps, Roger, Somewhere,FL.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Houseboat Parts and Accessories Reviews.

Continue Reading Our Popular Pages

Our collection of houseboat ebooks

Ebook Boats Collection on Houseboat Books

We just love houseboats, do you?
Join our monthly HB Insider for free

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.