Originally Posted by Paul Elliott
This is very similar to the arrangement on my boat: three 100W rigid panels on top of the dodger
. They are wired in parallel and arranged port to starboard. I typically get 2/3 power, unless the boom shadow falls across two panels. I sometimes use the preventer to haul the boom way over so none of the panels are shaded.
This is far from optimal, but it works well enough for me. To my eyes a stern arch, while it would be better for the panels, would spoil the lines of the boat.
There are a lot of different options out there, and some I have to say are at best, 'functional' at the expense of aesthetics. We spent quite a bit of time looking at various options that would work for us, and in the end went for an arch. The day came when we were committed - the angle grinder had attacked our pushpit and we just had to hope the end result was going to at least be 'OK'.
The final design I came up with was an arch curved (both X and Y) to match the curvature of our bimini supports and the 'targa' arch our boat comes with. On this, I mounted three semi-flexible 40W panels (looking down on them they curve aft as well as vertically i.e X-Y).
When finished, to us the aesthetics were enhanced (others may consider otherwise, but that's fine - we each have our views
), so we were much relieved about that.
Frankly, we love our arch - does so much more than hold panels (120w is all we need to keep things topped up when we are away - especially during winter storage). Our NAVTEX, WiFi
, and 4G antennas all have a home now, and soon there will be a slim floodlight under there aimed aft in case of any 'issues' at night (a sonic cannon could be handy too
The below images
show with and without canvas
. If not for the OP, this might be useful for someone else attracted to this thread, who is considering options for their panels, antennas etc.
If you have a close look, we have also included davits
as part of the arch. For our Zodiac
(Fastroller 320) with outboard
, this works beautifully, although for me, when we head
off, I consider it needs to be lashed down on deck
. Great however for quickly getting out of the water
at the end of the day for security
, when we are anchored.
Hope that helps someone,