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Old 22-11-2012, 19:23   #1
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Solar Panels & Installation In FL

Hi forum, once again I’m asking for advice… we are scheduled to arrive in FL sometime early December and am wondering who you would suggest installing solar panels for me anywhere between Ft Pierce @ Ft Lauderdale? I’m looking for a good boatyard and might just keep the boat there for the last 3 weeks of December before continuing the journey down to the Keys then over to Bahamas. Also what do you think about Kyrocera PANELS AND blue sky controller? Cheers from s/v Courageous
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Old 22-11-2012, 20:45   #2
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I just spent a week hauled out at St Augustine Marine Center for maintenance after purchasing a 1983 Bayfield 32C. Peter, the manager, is knowledgeable and reasonable. His yard electrician, Dave, rewired some problematic electrical issues and he was great. i can't speak specifically to solar panels, but I found the yard to be reasonable, with a DIY area set aside and I would recommend the place. Also, Rick Hill of Half-Hitch Marine seems to know everyone and is "the go to" engine fellow.
David Hipschman
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St Augustine, FL

p.s. I have no financial relationship with either; just was satisfied after spending lots with each for working on Piper.
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Old 22-11-2012, 21:13   #3
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Re: solar panels & installation in FL

I have 2 Kyocera 135w panels and a Blue Sky MPPT controller. I have seen almost 20 amps input under ideal conditions. We have sailed several thousand miles with no problems and the system has always met or exceeded our needs. We were on the hook in northern Maine in early September for about 10 days, some cloudy and rainy, never needed anything else. I have helped several others with installs and the system performance seems to be directly related to the quality of the install.
Whatever you choose, do a rock solid install and don't get cheap on wire size, it makes a big diff on output.
Good luck
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Old 23-11-2012, 17:53   #4
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

Kyocera and Blue Sky both make excellent products in my experience.
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:04   #5
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

thanks for the feedback
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:05   #6
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

Does anyone have any experience with Riverside boatyard/Marina in Ft Pierce?
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Old 23-11-2012, 18:10   #7
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

We have seven Kyocera Panels (795 Watts) and a Blue Sky 60amp controller on our boat.

On a good sunny day we are making 46 amps per hour during peak sunshine.

They have worked great for three years! They work great and we highly recommend them.
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Old 24-11-2012, 17:44   #8
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

We are also using Blue Sky MPPT controlers on both of our boats and have been happy.

We've also been using panels from SolarBlvd with no problems to this point, but they have been on 2 years on a trailered boat that has only been at sea for 3 months during that time. The ones on the other boat have only been used in the boat yard at this time. They don't have the reputation that Kyocera's do but we have been happy.

Another option is panels from....

Solar Panels, PV Systems and Inverters Distributor

...they have panels that are also about as low in cost as you are going to find and are in Florida (Miami) and I know that a number of Florida boaters have bought panels from them. They might also have a list of installers, but that is just a guess.

We have mounted ours ourselves....

Macgregor 26S Outside Mods page 33

Endeavour 37 Electrical Mods Index

...on both boats. I also agree with the statement of not skimping on wire size and we have our wiring sized for under 2% loses...

AWG by wire length/amps calculator

Good luck,

Sum
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Old 24-11-2012, 23:42   #9
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Purchased my two Kyocera 80 watt panels here about ten or twelve years ago. I think Joe Turner was his name, he was working out of his house in Ft Lauderdale back then. Took the time to show me the installation on his boat.
The Kyocera panels have been great, zero problems.
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Old 28-11-2012, 16:39   #10
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Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

Thanks everyone, i spoke with emarine amongst others and will be buying the equipment from them. Now the challenge is finding a boatyard and a good installer. Does anyone have any experience with Riverside in Ft Pierce or someone in Ft Lauderdale
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Old 28-11-2012, 22:45   #11
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Originally Posted by Courageous View Post
Thanks everyone, i spoke with emarine amongst others and will be buying the equipment from them. Now the challenge is finding a boatyard and a good installer. Does anyone have any experience with Riverside in Ft Pierce or someone in Ft Lauderdale
Install them yourself and save the boat bucks! It is not difficult, just make sure you use the appropriate wire sizes and fuses. You will understand the system, and it will be done right. The hardest part is deciding where to put them.
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:22   #12
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Cool Re: Solar Panels & Installation In FL

Riverside Marine boatyard in Ft Pierce has done an outstanding job for me. The young man named Joe tthere does an expert job of designing and fabricating aluminum hardware. He built large arches for mounting the solar panels on the back of my 2 sailboats. I highly recommend him and will go there again.
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