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post #15 of Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

structural considerations?

A large, robust, fixed structure attached to structural hardpoints is surely safer than a soft, pliable unit loosely affixed to the deck somewhere?

I presume, from a safety point of view, that anything which is to placed on the exterior surface of the boat would have to be fixed securely, whether the intention is a temporary placement or not. If the weather goes to hell in a hurry, where you're more concerned about sails, helm etc, is it really wise to have attached to the deck or bimini or wherever, a sail like unit (any piece of flexible and light material can harness wind power), loosely affixed with a trailing power line, which given the right combinateion of a broaching wave/gust of wind, could break free and start flapping around?

I would argue that your flexi solar panel is not going to be your first priority when you're below deck, making lunch under sail when the wind picks up... and that it might potentially represent a negative safety factor....

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