Having bought my panels and controller, I'm now turning my attention to the design of a mount to be placed on top of my existing dinghy davits
. My thoughts so far are:
- construct an aluminum
frame from 1-1/2 X 2 inch angle such that two panels drop into it oriented end-to-end and placed athwartship on top of dinghy davits
. Overall size will be 116" X 39"
- build a support structure from 1" OD stainless tubing that creates a horizontal tube 67" long in the athwart ship direction and approximately 20" above the dinghy davits. The shape will be that of an inverted 'U' with right angle corners to maximize width. This height will minimize shading from bimini
and provide clearance to raise and lower outboard
from its mount.
- attach the frame to the tube using 2 or 3 of those plastic rail clamps available from West Marine
(can't find them anywhere else). This allows panels to be tilted in the fore and aft direction and isolates aluminum
frame from stainless tube.
- weld a perforated aluminum semi-circle to underside of frame just outside the 1" stainless support structure. A tab on stainless tube will allow the panel to be locked at the desired angle. Use a stainless aircraft pin to lock.
My concerns at this point is:
1. the amount of overhand of the panels which amounts to 24-1/2 inches on either end. The frame will have to be stiff enough to support this. If the boat is pitching in heavy seas this could cause considerable flexing.
2. I'm hoping that the simple tilt lock mechanism will be stiff enough.
I've attached a crude hand-drawn sketch which hopefully will be worth a 1000 words! Comments and suggestions appreciated.