Buying the weird-ass boat posed a few, let’s call them, challenges. First, we had to pick all of the options. Solar was a must because we don’t have power at camp and no power means no electric backup. No electric backup means more pedaling for me. Solar was a necessity!
Upon further research, it became apparent that the solar backup was not going to provide enough power to keep the boat going without charging via electricity. Damn! This meant I had to get creative. Bill’s no-gas rule was really putting a crimp in my style. I was not looking forward to hauling batteries back and forth to charge them, either. What to do? What to do?
Maybe I could set up a solar array on the shore and it would provide enough power to charge the batteries? Hmmm… I started to look into wattages and voltages and amperages. My head was spinning. It was time to bring in an expert.
We have a merchant marine friend who is an engineer. Mike knows boats and electrical stuff and I was sure he would know how to make this work. Or at the very least, come up with an alternate plan that would work. I called him up and he was so intrigued with the weird-assedness of the boat, he came over to look at the specs and see the pics. After he stopped laughing, we talked about options.
Mike checked everything out. Being a guy who likes his motorized toys, he thought this was a pretty cool boat. Once that was ascertained, it was time to ask him what he thought about my solar idea. I couldn’t quite figure out how the voltage put out by the solar panels would work with the voltage needed by the boat. If it could work, Mike would know how to do it.
I told him my thoughts and posed the question. Now, let me just preface this by saying that Mike has no filter when it comes to what comes out of his mouth. Political correctness is not on his radar at all so his response to didn’t surprise me. He listened to my idea, and with an incredulous look on his face, said: “That’s retarded!” All I could say was: “I KNOW!!!”
He tried to explain why it would be improbable by throwing electrical terms at me that went over my spinning head. I finally had to tell him that he was explaining how to make a watch when I merely asked what time it was. Hell, when it came to this, I didn’t even know what day it was. At the end of it all, it was obvious that charging the electrical part of this boat was going to be impossible without hauling batteries back and forth to charge them.
It was then that Mike asked why we didn’t just get a generator. When Bill realized that he meant a gas-powered generator, he didn’t want anything to do with it. Mike went on to explain how easy it would be. Bill was unmoved. His vision of a gas-less lifestyle at camp was going up in smoke.
By the end of the evening, Mike had me looking up generators online and had Bill convinced that it would be insanely simple to run. Then he sweetened the pot by telling us that we could use it as a backup in case we lost power at the house. After a lot of hemming and hawing, Bill agreed.
So that is how we ended up buying a gas-less boat that will be partially powered by a generator that takes gas. Poor Bill just bought a new gas can. He just can’t win.