Portable Power Sources Options for Boating

Sailing is one of the great ways to spend your time on the water. You spend hours on the boat exploring and enjoying the view. Sometimes you would go boating with your family or friends, and sometimes you would sail alone. To go sailing with the people dearest to you is a way of destressing and escaping the chaos of the city, which is beneficial to the mind and body. 

For someone who loves sailing and fishing, you want it to be comfortable and convenient. You want to be able to use your electrical devices like the refrigerator and lights. And to be able to charge your mobile phone or laptop. You will need a portable power source for your boat to power up your electronics while onboard.

What is a portable power source? A portable generator is a machine that supplies power to electrical appliances. It powers up the lights and other electronics you need on the boat. And it provides you with convenience and ease while boating.

Types of Portable Generators

We have listed the three types of generators to help you choose the right one.

Conventional Generators

Conventional generators function through fuel like gasoline and diesel. These generators provide a stable and higher power output and are cheaper than inverter generators. They are ideal for powering up heavy electric appliances like refrigerators. However, they produce a loud noise while working, like the sound of the motor.

Due to their higher power output, consumers opt for conventional generators. They can power up different devices at the same time. And they are also cheaper compared to the inverter and solar generators. If you are a person who is on a budget and wants to use appliances and devices at the same time, then a conventional generator is for you.

Inverter Generators 

Inverter generators use liquid fuel as power in the same way as conventional generators. They can automatically control their engine according to the required load size, which makes them fuel-efficient. And because they can adjust their engine’s speed, the noise level is low. They also emit lesser fuel compared to conventional generators.

These types of generators are more expensive than conventional generators. Inverter generators produce less power. If you are annoyed by the loud noises, opt for inverter generators.

Solar and Electric Generators

Young couple in love on sail boat having fun with tablet

Solar and electric generators are an eco-friendly alternative to conventional and inverter generators. They can supply energy to various devices. They are a good investment because you don’t have to worry about refilling gas when they run out of fuel.

Solar and electric generators are a bit pricey. They are ideal for low-consuming electrical devices because they have a limited power supply. And they also have slow charging time.

Features to Consider in a Portable Power Source  

Size and Weight

A portable generator should be handy and easy to transport from one place to another. It should not be heavy enough to carry to and from your boat. 

The size of the generator should be compact. It should not take up so much space on the boat.

Power and Output

The power output of the generator is critical. You have to consider the devices and appliances that would run on it. This way, you would choose the right generator for your boat.

When choosing a portable generator, pick the generator that would provide enough power for your electronics. The applicable generator’s wattage should be between 1500 to 2400 watts.

Noise Level

The noise level a generator produces is vital when picking out a machine for you. If you can’t tolerate the loud noise that a conventional generator produces, you opt for an inverter generator that makes lesser noise. You can also choose a solar generator that has zero noise.

A loud noise from a generator can get in the way, especially when having fun conversations with your peers. And it can distract you when you want peace. But whatever generator you choose for your boat, consider the noise level you can tolerate.  


Generators for boats should come with safety features such as automatic shutoff when the oil level is low. That is to ensure that the generator will not blow off and endanger the people onboard. 

Always ask what safety features a generator provides before purchasing one. And consider the things you need in a generator. A generator should be safe to use and easy to operate when sailing.


Happy family with adorable daughter and son resting on a big yacht

One of the factors to consider is how many hours the generator can provide power to your electric devices. Running time between 10 to 12 hours is appropriate for your boating needs. Make sure you won’t go past that hours because the generator will run out of fuel to power your devices.

If you spend more than 12 hours on the water, bring an extra generator to extend the electric supply for your appliances and devices.


The price is a factor to consider when purchasing a product, including a generator. Some generators are cheaper than others, depending on the brand and features. If you want a high-performing and high-quality generator, choose a high-end brand. But if you are on a budget, pick the one that is within your budget; it will still do its job.

Choose a generator within your budget that could power up different electric devices on your boat and would satisfy your needs.

In conclusion, portable generators are significant when boating. When sailing or fishing with your friends or family, it is nice to enjoy and use electric devices. A generator could charge your phone and laptop when they run out of battery. And could also power up the lights when it’s dark.

The three types of generators are the conventional, inverter, and solar or electric. Each one has its pros and cons that you should consider before purchasing one. The traditional generator is cheaper, but it makes a loud noise. The inverter generator is a bit pricey but produces lesser noise. And the solar generator is an eco-friendly option but is more expensive and has zero noise level. These are some advantages and disadvantages of portable generators. It is up to you which would you prefer.

Portable generators provide comfort and convenience for you and the people onboard. And it offers a fun and memorable experience for your family and friends while sailing. You will be happy and relaxed after boating.