Hello cwjohm, Helia 44 here........
Sorry, with the same boat,
I think you have the importance of solar inappropriately prioritized. Yes the generator
, and BTW have you calculated in the fuel of the genset running that much as my engine consumption
Yes the generator is cheap
and easy, but there will be times in my experience when getting good diesel on board is a bit hard to get to
. Raised solid panels with laminar air flow underneath have a better efficiency IME (In My Experience).
You wrote: "I have just checked and at 11am 480W solar are generating about 12A which is about 25% maximum rating." Something is wrong with that..
Either the panel array is slightly shaded by something, or your battery
voltage is on the higher end. The solar input will go down as the battery
voltage comes up, that is how the systems work. Batteries down under 12 volts, and even this time of year with the solar declination, I would expect about 20 amps out of a 480 watt array.. On a higher solar declination later in the year, possibly in the 24 amps input if the batteries were down to say 11-11.5 volts. Something is wrong or your batteries were not that low. If you tested them with the batteries in the 11-11.5 range, you would have to have one or two panels not working, not hooked up right to get such a poor result IME... I have had solar arrays on yachts since the ARCO solar panel experiments on yachts (mine) in the early 1980's, I can assure you my figures are pretty close with my 40 years experience..
I am going to put portable panels on the trapeze when I am on a pleasant sail or at anchor, even tie them down if it is blowing any.. I have just ordered some multiple folding ones that four fold go to 120 watts and will lay them on the trapeze and plug
them in. I may go to four sets of them... My DC water
maker will work with 18 amps, in the peak of day 10-2 I can generate that on them alone IME...
Diesel is all and good, if you can get it easy enough. I for one do not want to have to go hunting for it.
One more thing, I am going 80 Meters, for the times when I want to anchor out deeper... 20 more Meters at 2 kg a meter is 40 kg or 100 lbs... With the water
maker, I am going to carry 400-500 litres less water, run on 200-300 litres, that gives me a thousand pounds less weight to play with..
Comments on the anchor I agree with..
I held with the same boat in 25 kts gusting 30, with a 20 kg Kobra2... The 33 kg Rocna is TWICE the flukes in area, easy..
Other readers: On my 2013 Helia 44, I have not experienced any deficiencies in the engine hatches. In all fairness this might just be a "batch variation" year to year..
Kind regards to all, a fair Marine Engineer
who used to work in the Industry many years ago, I have no commercial
interests at all with the yachting industry, and I think I have unbiased views to offer help FOC and without commercial
bias of ANY kind, Helia 44....