We put our solar panels
on the bimini
because we already had one. The panels
are aft of the boom, and shading is only created by the mast
. It works well. They can be removed in about 15-20 minutes for hauling, a storm, or offshore
sailing. The wiring
takes most of the time - the clamps release in a jiffy, and then you stow the panels
below on the aft bunk. There's a photo
in my gallery.
For cost and simplicity I might consider a bimimi / arch made of solar panels
if starting from scratch. I recently saw such an installation
on a Bowman 40, with 4-5 narrow, rectangular panels oriented fore and aft over the cockpit
, their sides flush with each other, in a slight arch. It provided decent shade, and with a little attention to the seams between the panels it might even provide protection from the rain.
In sketching your plan, account for the backstay, which moves slightly, especially if it's adjustable. Also, decide if you want to be able to look up at your mainsail
from the helm
as you're driving, in which case you'll need a gap between the panels.