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HopYacht off the grid!

"Having electric propulsion on a yacht is fine as long as I can get into a marina each night to plug into shore power and recharge the batteries, but what if I want to anchor in a quiet bay for a couple of nights?"

At the recent Cape Town boat show this was a question we got asked frequently. Several visitors who have experienced chartering yachts in the Mediterranean also pointed out that many of the Municipal harbours don’t yet have shore power available.

In theory, we had more than enough battery capacity and solar recharging capability on our HopYacht 30 to sustain several hours of motoring during the day and continue to run all the house systems overnight. However, this needed to be tested in real life.

At the end of each day of sea-trials and test sails with prospective clients, when we return to our marina berth, we have deliberately left the boat unplugged!

Our all-electric HopYacht 30 has been off the grid now for over 2 months relying on the solar panels to recharge the batteries. The fridge freezer and other systems run 24-hours a day. Actually, we have yet to unwrap the shore power cable and the marina berth we currently occupy doesn’t even have an electrical supply!

Yes it’s been sunny in Cape Town and our solar panels have performed well, but we’ve also had a fair amount of cloud cover. As I write, the forecast is for unseasonal rain over the next few days.

Our theory has become a happy reality. With an electric propulsion HopYacht you don’t have to find a marina every night to be able to to plug into shore power. Instead, you can enjoy the freedom of being unplugged, off the grid, in your own secluded bay.

Paul Tomes

Here’s a brief run down of how the HopYacht electrics are configured

1. 4 x 400 Watt Sunpower Maxeon 3 solar panels

2. 4 x Victron Smart Solar MPPT 100/20-48V solar controllers

3. Victron MultiPlus-II 48/5000/70-100 230V inverter/charger

4. 2 x Victron 48V Lynx distributors

5. 2 x Victron 48|12 DC-DC converters

6. 2x 14.4 kWh Lithium Ferro Phosphate Batteries with built in battery management and data communication.

More information on Sunpower Maxeon 3 solar panels ...


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