RELiON Batteries Power Sailing Adventures Around the World

Posted July 30, 2020

Which vegetables will last the longest? What if our navigation system fails while we’re in the middle of the ocean? Will we make it back to land after 90 days of sailing? These are the types of questions husband and wife, Wes and Savana Watts, asked themselves as they prepared for their first multiple month journey throughout the Sea of Cortez on their family’s new catamaran. Wes and Savana are entrepreneurs and former van lifers who recently made the switch to living fully off-grid on their boat to further maximize family time, adventuring, greater work-life balance, and being closer to nature.

No strangers to the ocean, Savana spent the first six years of her life on a sailboat with her parents and her younger sister and Wes grew up sailing in Santa Cruz, California. They therefore knew that the reliability of their electrical system would be of utmost importance, especially when they’re in the middle of the ocean for weeks or months on end. They needed an energy storage system that was compact and energy dense as well as safe to sleep next to so as to not pose a fire risk while at sea. They also sought a battery system that was lightweight to ensure faster sailing and greater fuel efficiency.

They decided to pair their solar array with three RELiON RB200 12V 200 Ah energy storage solutions due to the fact that they knew they could count on these systems to be long-lasting, failure-free, as well as not pose a hazard of thermal runaway or fire like many other, cobalt-based, lithium battery chemistries. Wes and Savana have installed countless RELiON energy storage solutions with solar power for years without issue through their business, Tiny Watts Solar, which sells solar power kits with RELiON batteries for off grid vehicles and boats.

Tiny Watts RELiON

What were the most important factors when it came to choosing an energy storage system for your boat?

Wes: “We didn’t want to have electrical paranoia when we were 1,000 miles from anywhere, in the middle of the ocean. That was huge: The reliability and performance aspects. We could not lose our navigation. We just felt much safer going with RELiON. We can also now use high powered electrical appliances because of this system, which enables us to be completely self-reliant. We don’t have to hunt for propane in foreign countries and can produce our own water through a high pressure pump as a result of our solar power and RELiON battery system, for example. We are now traveling the world on this 100% independent vessel with the utmost reliability, thanks to our RELiON battery bank.”

Tiny Watts Sailing

Wes and Savana’s solar-plus-storage system consists of 1080 Watts of Sunpower solar panels, three RELiON RB200 Ah 12V batteries for a total of 7.7 kWh or 600 Ah, a Victron 3000 Watt Multiplus inverter, and three Victron 30 amp MPPT charge controllers to allow for one dedicated charger per solar panel. In addition to their solar array, they also produce 2000 Watts of power from their alternators. The two motors on either side of their catamaran both have dedicated Victron 100 amp DC to DC chargers in order to safely charge their RELiON battery bank.

What has been your favorite part of your RELiON energy storage solution and why?

Wes: “The space and weight savings while still having high performance. The fact that we can fit such a large amount of storage capacity into such a small space is very important for sailing. The 7.7 kWh we have is a ton of energy storage for a boat, which directly increases our days of autonomy. Also, our RELiON battery bank weighs five times less than the lead-acid battery bank that was previously installed on our boat while offering triple the energy storage capacity. With less weight, we can sail faster to get where we’re going in less time, which is important from a safety standpoint, as we have to be cognizant of how much food we have left and avoid storms that might surprise us. RELiON was one of the first in the game for lithium batteries for mobile markets and it shows in how robust and well designed their products are.”

Tiny Watts Sailing

From California to Mexico to Hawaii and beyond, the crew has already successfully completed several multi-month sailing trips without issue. They’re now confident and prepared to embark on one of their longest journeys on their catamaran yet, 90 days in the South Pacific Ocean, thanks to solar power and reliable, safe and lightweight RELiON energy storage solutions.

To learn more about how to calculate your energy needs and find the optimal battery for your application and usage, visit our Lithium Battery Selector Tool.

To follow them on their journey via Instagram: @sailingswell, @our_landyacht & @tinywattssolar.

Tiny Watts Adventure
Tiny Watts Living