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The low price per watt for that 240w panel will quickly jump once you factor in the costs of shipping, mounting, and the MPPT controller it will most likely require.

My initial thinking was that I'd go with 2 x190 watt rigid panels but the the weight with mounting hardware would have been over 75lbs and the cost of building a support frame above the bimini would have been over $500 by the time I built something sturdy enough and that looked aesthetically pleasing. That framing cost really changes the value proposition of the rigid panel unless you already have an arch, davits, or a hard top.

Also the larger "grid tie" panels (usually those larger than 200 watts fall into this category) typically have a high nominal voltage that pushes you into using more expensive MPPT controllers versus the cheaper PWM with the 12 volt nominal panels. While I don't want to reignite the MPPT vs. PWM debate that has been discussed to death on this and other forums, it is important to consider total system design when making equipment selections.
 

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For these cheaper panels, how important is the warranty anyway? After the first few months, how many people are really going to submit a warranty claim on a $100-200 panel? Unless the warranty covers two way shipping from anywhere, the shipping could be more costly than replacing the panel. Not to mention the time spent waiting without the panel. I think especially if I were “out there” I’d sooner try to repair the panel myself or junk it and replace it before attempting a warranty claim.
 

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Outside of a panel that is DOA or otherwise defective out of the box, I’m not sure a lot of boaters would file a warranty claim on a panel once it is installed and in use anyway. By the time you demount the panel, ship it back (probably on your own dime), wait for it to be repaired or replaced, wait for return shipping (possibly again on your own dime), and finally remount it you may be looking at several months downtime and some hefty shipping charges not covered under the warranty. At today’s panel prices, one may conclude it’s not worth the hassle and potential expense, especially if in a situation where extended downtime is not acceptable.
 
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