Cam is right... almost.
There is a lengthy discussion on the system over in another forum. Many of the answers that you are looking for can be found HERE.
I highly recommend a visit to that discussion.
Addressing the price
issue... Yes it is expensive, but as anyone who has purchased one (over 70 boat owners) will tell you, it solves many more problems than just "aiming the panels".
It is the only system of its kind and it is designed to support more than just the panels
. Many have added wind
receivers, and even lifting davits
onto the system. When you factor in the "mounting" apparatus for a traditional solar
panel array, wind generator
, or any other additional equipment
that can/should be mounted on the Stik, you will find that the cost is quite reasonable for what you get.
We never recommend purchasing
it only for the ability to pitch
the panels. You CAN do that much cheaper. The Solar
Stik™ is marketed as a multi-tasking solution for the cruiser.
Quoting Cam in a previous forum:
"...I would be most surprised if you got than 40 A/H into your batteries on average sunny days...even making several adjustments daily while at anchor
. Obviously on cloudy days you won't get much at all with these or other solar panels. I would also say that the 40 amps I quote above is 50% more than I would expect out of fixed panel solars of the same wattage rating and the same charge controller. There is no doubt that adjusting the panels can get you more amp hours.
So...the real question for you assuming you get the stik is "will it provide enough power for my needs". Only you can answer that but I would suggest that a wind
power solution may be useful to supplement whatever solar system you end up with since you can't rely on endless sunny days and wind power will work 24x7 when you have a breeze. IMHO...unless you are able to install a massive solar array AND couple it to a massive battery
bank, you can't rely on solar alone for your electrical
...and quoting Practical Sailor:
Based on our experience with the Solar Stik, the manufacturer’s claim of 70 to 80 amp hours per day in optimal conditions is reasonable, but "optimal" is the operative word. Add a wind generator
, and you have a good shot at meeting a 100Ah daily requirement.
It is an investment, and the return is well justified.
...And in the interest of full disclosure, I am a technician for the Solar Stik Company, as well as a cruiser myself.