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Old 06-12-2014, 20:58   #1
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Cost of Solar Panel Arch

Hi,
I'm planning to install an arch to the stern of my HR 36 for 300 W solar panels. I'd also like to include arms for lifting up the dinghy. My boat is currently in Greece so does anyone have information how much I should expect this to cost? Would be great to get some rough estimate.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2014, 04:52   #2
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Mine were $5,000. Quote from other place was $11,000 to $12,000 USD.

So not cheap! But my davits are made to cross oceans with.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:21   #3
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

These are davits I had made about 3 years ago. The solar panels mount on the cross brace between the two davits. Not shown in the first pictures are the wire stays I fitted between the top of the davits and the outboard sides of the transom to make the arrangement a bit more secure.

They were made by a stainless steel fabricator who works 40 miles from the coast, never been on a yacht in his life, and the cost was about $1200.

They have not crossed oceans, but have been across the Irish sea a few times in force 8 and 9's.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:38   #4
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Here's my arch. I specified an arch when I ordered my boat. This came from Beneteau under $2000 when I got the boat (2004).





The arch was made in Florida and some members of the 393 Group were getting together to order some as Beneteau has sold all theirs.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:00   #5
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Check out Atlantic Towers. They'll ship you an "arch in a box" and you install it yourself.
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Old 07-12-2014, 06:23   #6
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Mine were $5,000. Quote from other place was $11,000 to $12,000 USD.

So not cheap! But my davits are made to cross oceans with.
Does that mean you hang your dinghy on the davits when you cross oceans?

Brave man.

To the OP, for a custom designed fully welded SS arch with mounts for the panels and a lift for your outboard you'd be looking at >$10k for a quality job in the US. But there are plenty of shops abroad that do superlative work at much more affordable prices. My only advice is to work with someone local, wherever you are, that has access to the boat to ensure a good solution and fit.

The "arches in a box" are a compromise between strength/aesthetics/longevity and price. They basically are like lego sets with mechanical joints between the parts. Atlantic Towers' sail arch is a bit different, with a width-adjustable joiner in the middle, but it's made of aluminum and has no provision for an outboard lift.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:24   #7
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Here's my arch. I specified an arch when I ordered my boat. This came from Beneteau under $2000 when I got the boat (2004).



The arch was made in Florida and some members of the 393 Group were getting together to order some as Beneteau has sold all theirs.
I bought a used ss 1"(1.25"?) arch pretty much what you have on your Bene at a boat junkyard for $150. It was a steal as most sellers on c-list wanted $300 and up for theirs. And they are snapped up quickly. Paid $150 to a boat yard guy for installation. We bolted the arch to the strern rail as my rail has strong backing plates and is good and strong overall. Not a factory-pretty result but does what supposed to do. Not sure if it'll be good enough for offshore sailing but for my current needs (day sails and coastal) it is perfect. And the price is low enough so that if I have to strengthen it or re-do it completely for offshore I'm fine with it and will worry about it then. Was told by my twice circumnavigating marine pro buddy that it's good enough for offshore as is.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:29   #8
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
These are davits I had made about 3 years ago. The solar panels mount on the cross brace between the two davits. Not shown in the first pictures are the wire stays I fitted between the top of the davits and the outboard sides of the transom to make the arrangement a bit more secure.

They were made by a stainless steel fabricator who works 40 miles from the coast, never been on a yacht in his life, and the cost was about $1200.

They have not crossed oceans, but have been across the Irish sea a few times in force 8 and 9's.
Nigel, Those davits look very nice. I am looking at similar for a B423 and am based in UK on the South Coast. Can you give details of the fabricator ? Do they make the stern "squat " at all when loaded with the dinghy ?
Thanks
Keith
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:17   #9
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Does that mean you hang your dinghy on the davits when you cross oceans?

Brave man.
Not at all. Its a stupid man who crosses oceans with it on the foredeck where he could not get to the genoa furler at all, and could get to the anchor only by lifting the dink!

Apart from that I feel its vital to have the dink ready in an emergency. With a liferaft its a better deal to save mah butt.

Thats why the davits are 2 inch SS.

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Old 07-12-2014, 14:31   #10
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Hi Mark,
I agree with you. We kept our dinghy on the aft platform of our cat and cruised for ten years. We did have a dinghy cover with supports in case of pooping - to shed the water rather than collect it. I like the concept of using our dinghy in an emergency rather than trusting in a liferaft. I agree with you.Our goal post arrangement was constructed in Durban - it was 75mm (3") 316L and very highly polished and was very good compared to what I have read today. We had extra loops welded in during construction for lashing various items down as well. We also had loops fitted for hanging multipart tackle for lifting our RIB aboard with the outboard attached.
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Old 07-12-2014, 14:52   #11
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Re: Cost of solar panel arch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post

The "arches in a box" are a compromise between strength/aesthetics/longevity and price. They basically are like lego sets with mechanical joints between the parts. Atlantic Towers' sail arch is a bit different, with a width-adjustable joiner in the middle, but it's made of aluminum and has no provision for an outboard lift.
Intesting opinions. Have you ever seen either a Lego set or one of their products? I see no similarities at all. The arches come in three pieces, which is not exactly the impression you seem to have about them. Those three pieces do slip together with pipe inside pipe, and the majority of the parts are in fact welded. As for strength, the schedule 80 aluminum arch is rated to support 400 lbs. Put that on your stainless arch and watch it bend. Some of us consider aluminum to be superior to stainless for arches and t-tops, etc. Stainless is heavy, springy, and lets face it, it's steel. It eventually will rust.

And you are wrong that Atlantic Towers don't offer a provision for an outboard lift, as well.
They do. Along with a few other options. And they'll build you anything you want.
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Old 07-12-2014, 15:18   #12
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Re: Cost of Solar Panel Arch

If you are on the Ionian side of Greece, contact this company

S-D Engl. Stainless Steel

It's run by an Austrian guy. He does fantastic welding.
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Old 07-12-2014, 17:34   #13
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Re: Cost of Solar Panel Arch

I'm with the guy who suggested Atlantic towers. I have been looking to do this on my Beneteau 382 and the price from Atlantic Towers "Arch in a box" is under $2000. The arches are aluminium though and I am not sure of the shipping cost and tax to ship to Greece. I did see one on a boat that moved into my Marina and it is really well built (but aluminum, but then so is your mast)
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Old 07-12-2014, 18:38   #14
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Re: Cost of Solar Panel Arch

We have an Atlantic Towers 'Arch in a Box' on our Beneteau 473. We installed it two years ago and love it. Cost us less than $2000 with shipping to Puerto Rico.


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Old 07-12-2014, 19:47   #15
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Re: Cost of Solar Panel Arch

We are having a custom aluminum arch built for us in the Keys. Price is $2,250 but very basic. This will be our third aluminum arch, both light weight and strong.
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