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BlueWaterWannaBe 02-23-2007 09:00 PM

Solar Panels
Anyone have experience with solar panels? Are they recommended? If so, what kind and what is the cost?

Thanks in advance,


BlueWaterWannaBe 02-23-2007 09:13 PM

Thanks anyway, but nevermind. I just ran across They seem to have everything available as well as going into details.


sailingdog 02-23-2007 11:36 PM

To answer your questions... Yes, yes, and it depends.....

I use solar panels on my boat, to extend the amount of time that I can operate without using shorepower or running the engine to recharge the batteries. Are you looking to use solar power to keep your batteries topped off, re-charge your batteries when anchored out, or to provide you a way to be essentially independent in terms of electrical power. The three goals will have different needs in terms of panel type, size and configuration.

Again... asking a very vague question isn't all that useful. Garbage in--->garbage out...

camaraderie 02-24-2007 12:40 AM

SD...perhaps you didn't see the NEVERMIND????

BlueWaterWannaBe 02-24-2007 08:14 PM

Nevermind the nevermind. Thanks Sailingdog! I don't know exactly what the purpose would be, but since a minimul output panel is relatively inexpensive, I can "test the waters" so to speak and if I decide my ultimate goal, then upgrade from there or remain with what I have. I just think logic says it's a good idea to have one to begin with.

Thanks again!

cpcohen 02-25-2007 01:00 AM


You won't learn much from a single, small panel "under test".

You really need more information -- ultimately, an "energy budget" for the boat. Then, you figure out how much of that budget can be supplied by the biggest solar array you can mount.

I remember that Calder's "Boat Owner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual" goes through the details.

The planning is important. "Upgrading" is more expensive than doing it right the first time.


sailingdog 02-26-2007 10:43 AM

A small panel may well work for keeping the batteries topped off when the boat is just sitting at the dock or on the mooring, and not a bad investment. However, if you're idea is to extend the period of time you can go without running the engine or hooking up to shorepower, doing an "energy budget" for the boat, and then figuring out how much solar energy you would need to become self-sufficient is a good way to start. BTW, the best "on-the-hook" solutions will generally include wind and solar...since it is often windy when it isn't sunny and so on..

BlueWaterWannaBe 02-26-2007 05:08 PM

Good advice, I appreciate it! The more I think about it, the more I'd like to look into the long term usage of it. I think in the long run, it'll be more efficent.

On another note....anyone ever hear of Acosta Creek Harbor on the St. Johns River? They have a slip available now for a 33' er, but I won't be ready until August. They said to check back early July.

Thanks again!


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