Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Hydrogen-Electric power on boats

We're building a new boat and looking into various propulsion systems including the possibility of an electric drive.
In Panama we meet the Energy Observer which is travelling around the world demonstrating the possibilities of hydrogen fuel. They are powering all ships systems, including cooking, navigation and even powering the electric motors that drive her through the water with electricity. The electricity is collected in her solar panels which cover every bit of her wide decks. The power is stored in batteries, and also in compressed hydrogen. It's the hydrogen that makes her so interesting.

Energy Observer carries 62 kilograms of hydrogen fuel in carbon fibre wound tanks. This can be run through their fuel cell to produce some 800kwh of electricity. Their solar-panel covered decks produce 31kW peak output which is stored in Lithium batteries of 100kW. And when they have surplus power from the sun they can even produce their own hydrogen to refill the tanks. Add in automatically controlled sails for additional speed. They are doing a promotional world tour showcasing this 100% self-contained no-carbon voyage.

Check out the Energy Observer homepage for more information and to follow their voyage.


KM Yachtbuilders Factory Tour

Ever wondered what it's like to build a custom aluminum cruising boat? Come along for a factory tour of KM Yachtbuilders in the Netherlands where we get an introduction to the aluminium boat building process as well as the many types and models of yachts KM Yachtbuilders manufacture, including custom-built yachts like Skip Novak's new Pelagic 77. We get an up-close look at how aluminum hulls are shaped, see the stages of build and consider the pros and cons of aluminum boats.


Electromagnetic Pulse - EMP

What if lightning strikes near your boat?

Back on board Distant Shores III in Panama, we discover some of the equipment at the top of the mast isn’t working due to a "lightning event" called an electromagnetic pulse. We demonstrate our system for going aloft to remove the gear, then reminisce about Christmas and New Year celebrations in countries we’ve sailed to in years past.