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Old 08-05-2018, 17:26   #211
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Originally Posted by bcboomer View Post
Awesome!

This is much better looking than the rigid panel bimini I've been considering.
Are your panels aluminium backed?
No - just the normal PE or whatever the flexible panels are made from.

It would be more robust if I added Ali strips under the panels, and even more so if I added ali channel between the bimini bows. Idea would be to have shallow ali channel - maybe 25ish wide by 20 deep - with holes at each end that align with the grommets. Glue the panels to the channel and it would both take the tension off the panels and ensure that they were unable to flap.

But I didn't do it - in part to see if this simple setup would work, in part because I ran out of time.

I can take the panels down in about 5 minutes each, but it takes a good hour or so to set them up again and get all the tension even. And it took about 4 hours of assembly and disassembly to get the height right, cutting the bows a little bit shorter each time.

Note that if you go this route that it doesn't do a great job of keeping water off the helmsman. The gap between the panels seems to let a whole lot of rain fall on my head

Mike
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Old 08-05-2018, 18:40   #212
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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Note that if you go this route that it doesn't do a great job of keeping water off the helmsman. The gap between the panels seems to let a whole lot of rain fall on my head

Mike
That was my first thought as well Mike, but a nice lightweight installation.

Have you thought about modifying the tubing with additional rail so that you can stretch a watertight Bimini cloth under the solar panels?
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Old 08-05-2018, 19:31   #213
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Re: Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

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That was my first thought as well Mike, but a nice lightweight installation.

Have you thought about modifying the tubing with additional rail so that you can stretch a watertight Bimini cloth under the solar panels?
Nope. I don't dissolve in water, I've tested that thoroughly

Besides, as you can see from the photo, we have a Golem that does all the driving anyway. Anytime we are driving, it's because we want to, or because Golem has given up... which it has been my experience only happens when it's bumpy and the rain is coming in sideways and the sea coming across the bow anyway. When I've paid any attention to rain coming between the panels, it has been light rain in warm conditions, and I've just moved sideways a bit. Mostly I've been driving for fun, if it actually annoyed me I could put on waterproofs, shorten sail, put on the autopilot, or all of the above.

Where we have cruised I care a heap more about keeping the sun off, which this does. If I was sailing somewhere I wanted a bimini to keep the rain off, I'd want to go the whole way to a pilothouse design. Or move somewhere warmer.

Mike
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