Boat Camping Guide: how to go to sea autonomously and safely
Equipping an inflatable boat with the idea of living there for several days means going off the grid and abandoning all the equipment which a RIB is commonly equipped with to enjoy a single day at sea. Energy and water supply are certainly the two elements which you should focus on before dealing with a boat camping experience.
In this case, it is very important to choose the correct batteries, which can be good for both the engine and services, and therefore with slow discharge capacity. The two batteries are independent and must be charged by the alternator depending on which battery is selected.
Personally, I find it very useful to install a 220W charger of at least 30ah since it can be used on the dock and is capable of charging both batteries simultaneously (this is a useful strategy even in winter, when the boat is not used but the batteries need maintenance).
Having the possibility to check the batteries status at any time is very important. That’s why I suggest installing a voltmeter on the console and keeping it always on, always keeping in mind that, when it marks 11.8/12.00v, it is time to start worrying.
Refrigerator, windlass, shower, lighting and USB sockets
The refrigetaror is certainly the appliance that requires most of the energy on board, so it is very important to choose one that can be connected and disconnected once fully operational and possibly with internal light, preferably in the cockpit so as to disperse a less quantity of cold at each opening.
The windlass and the shower autoclave are two other energy-hungry appliances. While the former is mainly used with the engine running, the latter is a luxury on board and must be used carefully in terms of power and water consumption: not everyone realizes that, so it is better to always remember it to the other users.
As for indoor night lighting, today it is possible to choose very low-power led lights.
I always recommend having one or more headlamps, useful wherever you are.
USB sockets and inverter. The possibility to charge smartphones, cameras, drones or a 12V mattress inflator has become indispensable. So, I suggest to equip the console with a good number (more than one) of USB sockets and an inverter of at least 600w to have the 220 one for the laptop.
Boat Camping Guide: water tank, toilet and stove
As for the water tank, it is very likely that you have to replace the standard one because, generally designed for a single day at sea, the latter commonly does not exceed 70-80 liters.
The best water capacity is equal to 100 liters and it is important to have level indicator to monitor the reserve. Please remember that the water on board is used not only for showering, but also for washing dishes.
The question about toilet is the most popular one among women. Today, some RIBs have a WC positioned inside the bridge house where even a small washbasin can be installed. The presence or absence of a WC is almost always a subject of discussion with your travel companion …
We have never had it and use a small portable toilet which could be replaced by a Potti which, however, is heavier and more cumbersome and needs a specific chemical liquid that you will have to discharge on the high seas (and that I’ve always refused to use).
Finally, the stove. Even in this case, there are boats that have the kitchen area (stove and sink) directly under the driver’s seat, which I consider very comfortable and practical.
Even in this case, however, we have opted for a camping stove that we mainly use for breakfast and lunch. For dinner, we usually prefer to enjoy a nice restaurant.
Having no energy and water problems on board will surely make your experience much more pleasant and make everything seem more normal. Seeing is believing.