We started our cruise two years ago with pretty much what was on the boat and functioning, so we had old Grunert refrigeration, a generator, typical 12 volt lighting, and an inverter. We changed a bunch of lights to LED, added a watermaker and off we went.
Over the months, being only at anchor, we ran the generator every day for the refrigeration and occasionally ran the watermaker at the same time. Since we came back from California in May the generator hasn't run and we are still in the middle of the longest generator rebuild in history thanks to Westerbeke's lackluster service.
With no generator we have no refrigeration, no battery charging, and no watermaker, but we are surviving by getting ice daily, running the main engine, and going to the fuel dock for water.
We decided we needed another energy source so we ordered solar panels the other day. They arrived yesterday and we played with them a bit this morning.
We are impressed. In full sun one 22" x 44" panel puts out 19.7 volts. And even with the shadow of the boom blocking almost half of the panel it still puts out 18.9 volts. It's magic! We are excited about these and will keep you posted on the installation.