Here at Battle Born Batteries, our LiFePO4 technology powers rigs big and small— just ask Mark and Jennifer Prince of Sailing Luna Sea! They’ve been busy hitting the road and setting sail on the waters of the Caribbean, and we love to hear when people use our products and write their own experiences.
Meet Sailing Luna Sea:
Mark and Jennifer Prince first realized a minimalist travel life was possible in 2009 when Mark visited Europe on an extended business trip. They enjoyed being able to have a great experience and realized that they could do it with only 2 suitcases between them. Mark worked in the aviation industry for 20 years and Jennifer has a fine arts degree with a background in rental properties.
When they came back home, the Princes felt the burden of American homeownership. Chores like maintaining a pool, insuring cars and their house, and keeping it all going were becoming too much for them. As someone who grew up around workboats in Southern Louisiana, Mark knew living at sea was a viable option. But first, the couple hit the road and ventured into the nomadic lifestyle in a Class B Econoline van. They made the most of the rig’s small space, deemed “Creepy Van” by their friends.
“It consisted of not much more than a bed, loose camping equipment, and as much of our stuff that we needed to live,” said Mark. “Even though it was a blast and we made the most of it, we vowed to never try small-camper living again.”
For the most part, the Princes stuck to that principle, but then when they sold their first sailboat, they needed mobile accommodations for their time on land in the States. The couple then refit and modified their rig, a 1999 VW Rialta known as Lolo. They were looking into lithium batteries after originally selecting a manufacturer that wasn’t accommodating to their sailboat system. Describing it as a “trial by fire,” they admit that there were a few close calls with the electrical system such as blown fuses, and the added hassle of trying to source the correct parts on remote islands. When they eventually got the system figured out, Mark and Jennifer admit it was a lesson learned the hard way.
They caught up with our team at the 2020 Miami Boat Show event while looking for a lithium supplier, and it was a stroke of luck! They enjoyed how our team was able to assist and set them up.
“Quite frankly, we were exhausted and tired of talking about batteries, power curves, and charge cycles,” Mark said. “It was immediately apparent that these folks from Battle Born were different. Their enthusiasm for their product, their interest in our project, and their knowledge of our somewhat rare coach all re-energized us.”
Mark and Jennifer use the following in their RV:
- 2 BB10012 Battle Born batteries
- 200 watt solar panel
- Multiplus Compact Inverter/Charger 12/2000/80-50 120v
- Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Bluetooth
- Victron Digital Multi Control 200/200A
- Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30A (360W) Isolated DC-DC Charger
- SmartSolar MPPT 100/20 Solar Charge Controller
You can find a van bundle like their setup in our newly restructured Battle Born Energy section on our online store.
In their time on the road in Lolo, they covered 10,000 miles and felt their system ran perfectly without any issue. That’s why they continued to partner with Battle Born for their newest rig.
Here’s what Mark and Jennifer are currently running in their new vessel, a 2010 Leopard 38 Catamaran which they named Luna Sea:
- SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 Solar Charge Controller
- SmartSolar MPPT 150/85 Solar Charge Controller
- 6 BB10012 Battle Born Batteries
“We have complete faith in the team at Battle Born, their experience, and know that we’ll leave the dock with a solid layout that works for us,” said Mark. “We can’t recommend it enough.”
Mark and Jennifer also love having appliances such as a water kettle, rice cooker, and freezer. As a chef, Jennifer is constantly meal prepping for when they’re out on the water.
“It’s always a relief to get back to our boat after a long period of time and now that we’re back on the water, there’s no rush to leave,” Jennifer said.
While it’s hard to narrow down a favorite location in their journeys, the islands they enjoy visiting the most are the Bahamas, the Grenadines, Grenada and Antigua. Being able to “hide from civilization” and be on the water with only 2 or 3 other vessels is important to them for helping to connect with nature. Now, they note, there are about 200 boats around them where they’re currently moored – so they look forward to the time when there’s fewer COVID restrictions.
Their system is working fantastically, and the two are relieved to have not experienced any issues. They currently describe themselves as self-sustained and ready to get back to actively sailing on the water. We’re ready to see the awesome adventures they have next!
Future Plans for Sailing Luna Sea:
Their upcoming trip is 400+ miles away from the Virgin Islands to Grenada to feel safer during hurricane season. In September, they’ll also be back in their RV on land to travel and visit family.
Mark and Jennifer always suggest that the best way to live this type of lifestyle is simply to “stop buying “stuff”, sell your things, and just go do it.”
“We ask a lot of people if they can give up vices such as cable television and Starbucks, and then gauge what the average person says,” said Mark. “We also like to suggest the ‘FIRE’ acronym, which is ‘Financial Independence, Retire Early’.”
Right now, Mark enjoys his three-partner pop-up marine business in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a project he describes as being formed due to the lockdown.