Now the next big thing I would like is 12v power - preferably generated by using the pedals - or at least using the pedals to assist in the power generation - which could be stored in a small battery. I would also like solar power.
This is interesting to me. I like the idea of having power available for some of my longer trips, but don't really need it on a quicker sail or just a trip out around the cottage or regular campsite.
The concern I have with the pedals generating power is that we'd be asking a sailboat company to engineer an electronic device. That seems kind of like ordering a striploin steak at McDonalds. It's not something that Hobie has shown expertise in doing, so how reliable will it be? You'd want to make sure Hobie contracts out, but then again, you're creating a device to work with a patented device (the mirage drive) which operates much differently than a bicycle pedal crank which always operates in the same direction and at a relatively constant speed.
Also, how much am I going to have to pedal to get the power I need? It might work well on a kayaking expedition, but on an AI, the pedaling is going to be much more sporadic. Adding complexity to a system, or a boat that I rely on for overnight trips in the wilderness concerns me. Often times the simpler that something is, the more reliable it is.
Solar is far more intriguing to me, (or an accessory wind generator). I'm one of those tech-savy nerds that you talk about. Why not take advantage of the sun while it's out, or the constant wind that is present while sailing? Many day sailors are using wind powered generators to store power for on-board use. But again, I'd want an accessory windmill generator that isn't hardwired into the boat. Something that I can quickly plug into the boat, or remove to use on a campsite.
I bought a great little solar system from a company called Goal Zero. It's basically a solar panel that charges 4 AA rechargeable batteries. It's fantastic. The battery pack has a USB output to charge a cell phone, camera, video camera or other similar device, and the rechargeable batteries can be popped into my GPS if need be. What I like about this system is that it doesn't add any complexity to the boat. I can take it with me on the boat, or if I stop to hike somewhere, it's light enough that it's not a problem to strap to a backpack and take with me there also. It can keep a SPOT powered if you're stuck somewhere, and it's portable and rugged.