Self-sufficient life | #1 The preparation

In 2012 it was finally time. The purchase of our Trintella IV was completed! The ship was affordable, because a lot had to be done on the boat. An additional advantage of the ship is that it consists of a fore and aft cabin. For example, we lived together on a 12.20 meter ship, but we didn’t have to share our bedroom. Very nice for our privacy as students. In November we sailed the ship from Workum to Groningen, with Reitdiep as its final destination. Here we started a sailing school and the cockpit served as a clubhouse every Saturday for four years. In this way we could earn extra money for the renovation of the ship.

The last two years before our departure in September 2017, our lives consisted mainly of odd jobs. The list of things we had to do before leaving was unbelievably long and the next one was hidden behind every job. We quickly became handy and learned a lot from the people around us. For example, we had to provide the entire teak deck with new sealants. The ship has been re-painted and provided with a “wrap”, a self-adhesive film. In addition, a new set of sails from Maritiem de Vries has been installed. Inside, a new, insulated ceiling has been installed and we have sanded and varnished for hours.

While studying Mechanical Engineering, I learned what “energy” is and how we could handle it on board. With the Wubbo Ockels boat in the back of my mind, I sat and wrote in the evening hours. It soon seemed like a great challenge to make the ship fully self-sufficient. Now that we were busy rebuilding, why not immediately with this challenge? In order not to decide everything in a hurry, I decided to devote my graduation project to designing a fully self-sufficient sailing ship.

For this research we conducted tensile and strength tests with the ship in the Reitdiep, the entire ship was drawn in 3D and all scenarios were calculated for on-board energy use. After my studies, the time had come. We could start building!

We bought various energy generators, an electric motor and efficient energy consumers. I also built an energy management system with Envitron to map everything. The diesel tanks disappeared and the space that was created with this was used for new batteries and storage cupboards for supplies. In total, it took us a year and a half to make the ship fully self-sufficient. So far we are satisfied with many things, but things are also falling apart or disappointing. In the coming weeks we will tell what we have encountered …

Until next week!

Klussen aan het teakdekSchip uit het water in WorkumEerst prototype van het monitoringsysteem aan boord.Eerste winter in 2012 in de ReitdiephavenDe 3D tekening met verschillende opties om zelfvoorzienend te gaan varenNieuwe wraplaag om de boot heenSteunbalken op maat maken voor de elektrische motorProefvaren door het ReitdiepkanaalFlexibele zonnepanelen op het achterdekZeilschool aan boord van het schip