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Old 20-03-2016, 19:54   #1
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Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

We're planning to install a small 50 watt solar panel onto our stern pulpit. Where have you purchased your hardware for a similar project (rail mounts, deck hinges, etc.)? I've found some items on the Sailrite website, but not exactly what I'm looking for so I was wondering where else I could look.

Thanks.
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Old 20-03-2016, 19:57   #2
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Onlinemetals.com for the metal and marinepartdepot.com for the fittings.
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Old 20-03-2016, 22:03   #3
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Bought some plastic clam shell rail clamps from West Marine. They let the panel pivot down when needed and can remove the panel by unscrewing a knob that holds the two sides of the clamp together. These are similar to but not the ones I bought. They have a screw instead of the knurled knob that mine has to hold the clamp on:
WEST MARINE Plastic Rail Clamps | West Marine

Bought two pieces of square stock aluminum from Lowes/Depot. Through bolted these across the long sides of the panel. Bolted the rail clamps to them about 2/3rds biased to the top side. When the panels are deployed they stick 8" or so inboard. Had to do it this way because the panel width would have had the bottom hanging below the deck edge when pivoted down. Got another 'C' shaped piece and bolted it to the middle of the panel with a through bolt as a stop for the stick that holds the panel up when deployed. It works a charm and big expense was just the clamps.
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Old 21-03-2016, 12:34   #4
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

If your using bimini rail parts (tube rail mounts) you can try Overtons and Cabelas. Just search for Bimini top parts.
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Old 21-03-2016, 12:38   #5
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Just noticed your in Groton, I know Defender stocks SS tubing and some fittings as well.
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Old 21-03-2016, 13:28   #6
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

I used these for mounting the panels to a rail.
Bit pricey, but good quality and versatile.

DRB Innovators - High Quality Stainless Steel Boat Products
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Old 21-03-2016, 13:41   #7
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Installing A Small Marine Solar System Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 22-03-2016, 10:18   #8
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

On our Westerly Corsair (36') we installed two 100 W panels on the stern rail, one each side, using the hardware we purchased from the Swedish company
NOA. Their site is:

http://www.noa.se/en/battillbehor/battillbehor

We have been very happy with this hardware.
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Old 22-03-2016, 12:10   #9
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

I used clamps for my barque stainless at West Marine works great
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Old 22-03-2016, 14:33   #10
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

A great source for solar panel mounting gadgets is svHotWire | Energy for Home, Boat, and RV. Prices are usually good, and they always include free consultation with experts. My only relationship is as a satisfied customer.
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Old 22-03-2016, 14:55   #11
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

SVB used to sell neat alloy brackets and supports.

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Old 22-03-2016, 18:09   #12
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
We're planning to install a small 50 watt solar panel onto our stern pulpit. Where have you purchased your hardware for a similar project (rail mounts, deck hinges, etc.)? I've found some items on the Sailrite website, but not exactly what I'm looking for so I was wondering where else I could look.

Thanks.
We commissioned a custom mount for our large array and built much myself in the shop. For a smaller system look at Marine Parts Depot. Marine Part Depot for all things SS but affordable. I use their stuff for lots of non-critically loaded items.
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Old 22-03-2016, 18:29   #13
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

Haven't tried them yet but prices look good.

Stainless Steel Marine Hardware - Boat Top Hardware - Pontoon Hardware | Save at D&D Threads Plus
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Old 22-03-2016, 22:28   #14
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

I use Magma bbq mounts. They allow the panels to be locked in any position easily.
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Old 23-03-2016, 18:33   #15
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Re: Where to source hardware for solar panel rail mount

i made the mounts for all of my panels and was able to source metal clamps made from aluminum and some from stainless steel by using clamps that normally hold stage lighting-- worked great and will last forever- idid replace the regular metal pins in the clamshell portion with a stainless steel bolt and nut.
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