Charge your Sailboat Battery with WaterLily

June 25, 2019

"Can you charge your Sailboat’s 12V Lead Acid Battery with WaterLily?" YES!

"Can you charge your power bank and personal electronics by towing a WaterLily behind your sailboat?" YES!

Last week we had the opportunity to go for an exhilarating spin on a J/29 sailboat around CBS to view some icebergs close up. Naturally we took a Waterlily along to see how it performs when towed behind a sailboat! Several customers have bought a Waterlily for this purpose, and many more have inquired about it. We can confirm it works very well! At a speed of 5.5 knots, the waterlily was putting out 18W! Check out the video below to see for yourself:

Here are some tips for towing your WaterLily behind any kind of watercraft:

  • Attach something for floatation. This will keep the waterlily up at the surface while you aren’t moving, but most importantly, the off center float will prevent the turbine from spinning due to the reaction torque from the generator. The WaterLily Float Accessory is perfectly designed for this use, however, you can use your own floatation as well. About 1L is perfect. You may need a little more volume at higher speeds. Your float doesn’t need to be fancy!  Any kind of bottle will due such as an empty bleach or soda bottle. In the video above we used a 1L water bottle for testing.
  • Make sure the WaterLily towing rope tied off at a shorter length than the power cable! Avoid putting strain on the power cable.
  • If you plan to charge you boat’s 12V battery you may need some accessories like an extension cable and alligator clips. If your power demands are high, remember, you can use multiple Waterlily 12V turbines together.
  • We recommend using floating line.
  • If you’re using WaterLily in the ocean, we recommend you rinse it off with fresh water after you are done charging to prevent corrosion. Do not leave it in salt water while not in use.

The sailors who were kind enough to take us out for a spin were really impressed with Waterlily, especially given the affordability compared to accessories and add ons for their boats. They noted:

“The speed of the boat was not impacted by towing the Waterlily.”
“Setup is easy and requires no modifications to the boat.”
“The Waterlily does not change to the look of the boat.”
“The WaterLily could allows boat owners to keep their electrical systems charged without using noisy generators, running their engines” and, 
“it’s a must have for emergency situations / loss of power at sea.”

Be sure to pick up a hand crank accessory too, so you can generate power even without a sail.

Do you have any questions or suggestions related to towing the WaterLily behind your water craft? Let us know in the comments!

Copyright Seaformatics Systems Inc. 2021