Posted by: oldsalt1942 | May 26, 2009

Neat Off-the-Grid Gadgets

Unless you’re going to be living in a marina (and most marinas aren’t going to let a shantyboat in let alone allow you to live aboard) you’re going to be strapped for electrical power. You have three options: Solar, wind, a generator which requires the burning of fossil fuels to keep your batteries charged. In the last couple of days I’ve found some really neat stuff that would be of great value anywhere…at home on land or a home on the water.

There are several lighting devices. If you buy this BOGO solar flashlight for $25 one will also be given to someone in a developing country. BOGO stands for Buy One Give One.


There are dozens of solar powered flashlights available, several are multi-purpose, i.e. having a radio included and an additional charging option…a hand crank. Some even will recharge USB devices like cell phones. But BOGO is the only one where your purchase helps someone other than yourself. Simply Google “solar flashlights” and you’ll get all you can handle.

Need a gadget that will give power to a variety of items? Look into the Brunton SolarRoll. It’s not cheap; retailing between $199 to $499 depending on the model but it will handle such things as your cell phone



If you can spring for $500 there’s the Earthech Solar Laptop Charger. It has a 300W power pack where you can plug your notebook or netbook into it just like a wall outlet and it will up to 6 hours of runtime for a 25 Watt Laptop Computeryhst-99239380869547_2051_109797173

One the go where there’s no place to plug in your computer and you can’t afford the Brunton or Earthtech panels? How about the iUnika solar-powered netbook?


It retails for $180. But don’t expect a whole lot of bells and whistles, and it’s not going to replace your regular computer but it’s a great option for on-the-go computing. The Gyy features a tiny 8-inch screen and retains its low price point with a bare-bones set of specs (400mhz processor, 128MB of RAM). The netbook comes with solar panels mounted on the back of the display, making it ideal for developing countries that lack grid power. iUnika’s netbook will be on store shelves in June or July.

I think this next one is ultra cool. Want to bottle sunlight? The grab one of Tobias Wong’s Sun Jars.It provides up to five hours of light on each charge.



I haven’t been able to find a price on this, but you can be sure it isn’t cheap. . .Sharp’s 26″ LCD solar-powered t.v.


At nearly 8 feet tall this is a pretty much useless for shantyboat living it’s still pretty cool.


More neat stuff as I find it.


  1. I used these 12v flourescents in the trailer:
    They seem expensive, but these bulbs are running strong after two years. They pull very little juice off the battery and give a strong light. I highly recommend them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: