Power: We do use extension cords throughout the boat at times to reach media, outside lightening etc. I wish there was an easier way around the problem, but in order to get adequate power we have to go through the inverter, or we can plug things into receptacles only if using shore power or the generator. Using an extension cord does cause a cluster at night while using devices or media players. I hope to use some of those handy toilet paper rolls to keep the cords in line. We installed a small solar panel, but it really doesn’t do much except possibly keeping the batteries charged during winter storage. We keep a number of outdoor extension cords on the boat, including a shore power cord. These are stowed under the dog’s side of the v-berth.
It is a power struggle sometimes just to find adequate sockets to plug in the cooler, computer, iPad, DVD player, and recharging phones. We purchased a power inverter and wired it directly to the battery. I don’t do any of this, so can’t really comment on the complexity of the job, but it worked fine until we blew out the fan. It did last a number of years and didn’t entirely die. It just started to get cranky because of the load (with extension cords) we were demanding. Late in the season last year, we purchased a larger inverter from The Source which seems to work well. I don’t like it as much, because the smaller one used to beep once battery power got low. Since it still works, we installed it to use as a warning alarm closer to the battery inside the locker in the cockpit. The new one has a larger capacity, has two outlets (less need for extension cords) but did cost more.
This boat didn’t come with a 12-volt cigarette lighter. Michael installed one in 2014. At the same time we found an extension to insert in the lighter socket which mounted to the wall giving an additional 4 sockets. Each of those sockets had an on/off toggle switch with an “on” light. It gives me more of a variety of what I can plug in and how long we use it, with the light as a reminder to turn off the device. We use the boat’s motor as our generator and with the small alternator we have to be careful not to put too much of a load on the system. Now I can plug the electric cooler directly into the 12-volt rather than through the inverter. This seems to draw less on the motor and works more efficiently.
Water: It should be second nature for those on a boat to conserve water. I always keep a dish pan in the galley sink and a small round plastic bowl in the bathroom sink. Running the tap never results in water going directly down the drain. This extra bit of water is useful for hand washing and spot cleaning. Hot water can be added to the dish pan to existing cold water to wash dishes. The cold water can be used for a pre rinse prior to the wash. The water is dumped from the bowls, when necessary. I usually take charge of that duty. Most water used has been used twice for some reason or another. We purchased a small water hose for the boat, in case we need one at a dock.