Solar Panel Lifelines

Finding a place to locate solar panels on a small boat is a challenge. We wanted our two 50-watt panels to be adjustable, but secure. Ultimately, we were able to meet both criteria by mounting them on the lifelines of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Lifeline mounts allow panels to be stowed

Lifeline mounts allow panels to be stowed

Finding a place to locate solar panels on a small boat is a challenge. We wanted our two 50-watt panels to be adjustable, but secure. Ultimately, we were able to meet both criteria by mounting them on the lifelines of Eurisko, our Creekmore 34.

Our panels were not as wide as the distance between our top lifeline and the toerail, so we knew we could stow them there vertically without the panels being crushed. To mount them, we put cushion clamps around the lifelines and screwed them to the panel frames. To make them adjustable, we installed a cockpit dodger hinge in the middle of each frame. On these hinges we mounted short telescoping poles that are also used in boat-canvas installations. The other ends of the poles we secured to dodger hinges with removable pins that we mounted on deck. We had to cut down one end of the poles so we could lower the panels without pulling the pins, but the poles are still long enough that the panels can be angled up when the sun is on the other side of the boat.

When the sun is very low, or when we want to secure a panel inside the rail, we remove the deck pin, releasing one end of the pole, lay the pole flat against the panel, and then lower the panel to a vertical position, hanging from the lifelines. If the wind starts blowing, we use a line to secure the panel to the rail so it doesn’t flip up from its vertical position.

Related

Profurl

Gear: Profurl Motorized Furlers

Profurl NEXe motorized flying-sail furlers make it possible for shorthanded crews and solo sailors to handle large reaching sails, like gennakers, Code 0s and other A-sails, with minimal effort and in safety. Two versions are available, the NEXe 5.0 for boats with LOAs up to ...read more

01-SUGGEST-CROP

Docking with Twin Rudders

Twin-rudder raceboats have been with us since the mid-1980s. In the last 10 years or so, they’ve also become increasingly popular aboard cruising boats, including those available for charter. It is therefore a good idea to be aware of their idiosyncrasies. In some circles, ...read more

11thHourRacing

Video: 11th Hour Racing Returns to America

Newport welcomed America's ocean racing home team, 11th Hour Racing, back to its waters earlier this week for the start of their autumn training season. In the video, which recounts their Atlantic Crossing from France, Charlie Enright, Mark Towhill and their international crew ...read more

AdobeStock_180386204

BVI Sets Date for Re-Opening

The BVI Tourist Board has set December 1st as the date visitors will be allowed to return to their territory, just in time for the winter charter season to kick off. Several charter companies including Horizon Yacht Charters, Dream Yacht Charter, TMM, CYOA and Conch Charters ...read more

DSC_5337-2

Boat Review: X-Yachts X4⁶

The Danish builder X-Yachts does not simply stick taller or shorter rigs and keels on the same hulls to create boats for both cruisers and racers, as some mass-production builders do. Nor is it content to build two distinct lines of cruisers and racers. Instead, the company has ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 1.18.36 PM

Harken Changes Hands, Stays in the Family

. In a video posted yesterday, Peter Harken cheerfully announced that his company, Harken Inc., the trusted hardware brand bearing his last name, which was formerly owned by founders and their families has changed hands. The owners have sold their shares to employees—"passing ...read more