Re: Soler Panel help how many watts?
Definetly go with a deep cycle. I just posted on another discussion about what we did with the electrical system on our old Macgregor. BTW the PERFECT place to mount the solar panel is on a bracket and then on a stainless pole (You'll have to buy and cut to size) and then use the brackets for the mast crutch at the back, use a 2 prong through hull electrical plug and go though the engine well. I'll post my previous post here to maybe give you an idea of what we did. Also battery placement...In the V-berth I installed a large hinged hatch in there I placed and strapped down the batteries, the Perko switch was also in this location. I'll see if I still have the pictures of my modifications and post them here. The Macgregor is a FINE boat! We loved ours, we had so much fun with that boat but the 6 footitus bit into us so we sold her last Summer and bought our Catalina 320 shortly thereafter.
Here is the post I mentioned...
Back when we had our Macgregor I rigged up a 17" x 17" solar panel (Forgot the wattage) I purchased off ebay, wired it to a solar panel regulator and ran it to a set of bus bars (+ and -). The + bus bar then was connected to a Perko switch (OFF, 1, 2, BOTH). #1 battery was a series 27 deep cycle and #2 battery was a larger lawn equipment battery for back up. Our electical system was mainly for lights and the stereo, and a few 12VDC cigarette lighter type plugs for 12 volt accessories. The engine was a pull start 8HP Nissan that I installed an under the flywheel alternator on and ran to the bus bars. (I was VERY PROUD of this system which from stock was only a single toggle switch and a lawnmower battery). Although we carried an extension chord I only used it to run the vacuum cleaner and maybe once or twice to top off one of the batteries that was at the end of it's life cycle. This system worked fine for us but we didn't have refridgeration or any other large current needs. If your needs are minimal I'd try to convince the wife to try relying on DC as an experiment and if succussful ditch the AC altogether. I even had a reversable 12VDC computor muffin fan ($15 online computor store) mounted to a clam shell vent in the engine well that could run continuously to circulate the cabin air. A sweet system indeed!
2000 Catalina 320
1993 Macgregor 26S
1981 Hobie H16
19?? Sol Cat
Many, many power boats
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