Where we spent all our savings

Next week we will finally be installing the DC-AC convertor that we bought last year with the last of our budget. So we thought that this would be a great opportunity to discuss our budget for buying Salty Lass and the kind of things that we bought with it.

The philosophy of boat buying

When we bought Salty Lass, we believed that you could buy cheap and then spend money doing it up, or you could buy a more expensive boat and have slightly less upgrades to do. Now, that the dust has settled and we have seen lots of other people buy boats, that were cheaper, we have seen them spend more money in the long run because they found a lot of extra bills that they were not aware of.

The break down

We had a budget of £60,000 of which we spent 75% of our budget on the boat, which is £45,000 and £15,000 for the upgrades and other stuff. So in brief these were

  • Travel costs - Its very rare that you can buy a boat locally, so you need to factor in travel costs
  • Boat Survey - These can help you in the end because it will point out issues that you are not aware of. When you do get the survey, do read it because it will give you the list of all the work you need to do to maintain your boat
  • Things that you need - These are things that the survey will point out, like standing rigging, seacocks and our exhaust elbow
  • Things that just crop up - For us this was a new dinghy, ropes and all sorts of small stuff that it is impossible to forsee at the start
  • Things that you want - These are things that you want like a new auto pilot, new chart plotter, AIS and Solar panels

Mentioning Solar Panels brought us to our question of the week which was a review of our solar panels

Review on our Solar Panels

  • Design - We designed our solar arch using match sticks and the only issue is that our side struts are in line this means that the solar arch screws from side to side. To combat this I would splay the sides
  • Durability - The solar panels have endured through several storms and the fact that they flex slightly is probably what saves them
  • Maintenance - They do need maintaining, keeping them clean, so we wash them down on a regular basis. While with the solar panel arch we clean that and inspect things like the grub screws
  • Roofing material - When we put in our panels we choose a transparent roofing material as our base, we used that because it was cheap and it was light, but one of the great advantages of using the material that we have is the fact that it keeps the panels cool so the efficiency that the panels have is much higher than other panels
  • Serial or Parallel - We wired our panels both ways, to see what would happen and what we found was that the power out was exactly the same for either configuration. However, if you had a shadow, if the panels were in series then both panels would be affected, while when they are in parallel then only the one panel was affected.
  • Needing more power - We can run just on our solar panels pretty much all summer, but when it comes to September then we do need to consider running the engine to keep the batteries in good condition
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