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Old 10-01-2016, 15:08   #16
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
hmmm... I don't know.. do you think more than maybe 5% of boats actually go cruising....? other than a yearly vacation for a week or two?
Well what boaters do and what they think they would like to do is often very different. Having said that if the demand for cruising is really around 5% then you bring up a great point. Either way. Since solar is still a not very well thought about tech for today's boat manufacturers I am sure I will have to custom make for my catamaran. I do know of two cat manufacturers (could be more) that are optioning solar installs on their new boats. Problem is that both of these manufacturers are using low power panels and both are putting them directly under the boom. It tells me they have no idea at all about solar. But it also shows that there is a demand.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:11   #17
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Sorry. I didn't mean to be personal by saying you probably don't know much about the boat buyer. Shouldn't have said that. I will just say that while logic and all kinds of rationalizations come into the purchasing decision so does emotions. The biggest is they are buying into a dream. Whatever that dream is.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:14   #18
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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all kinds of rationalizations come into the purchasing decision so does emotions.
I seriously doubt 'going green' is something many buyers feel emotional about.

As to why so little, if any, attention for solar: supply and demand.
Only a very small % of buyers need / want solar panels, so it's simply not worth it.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:29   #19
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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I seriously doubt 'going green' is something many buyers feel emotional about.

As to why so little, if any, attention for solar: supply and demand.
Only a very small % of buyers need / want solar panels, so it's simply not worth it.
I don't want to get into an argument on this point but I would suggest you consider the mind set of the people that are buying electric cars. Doesn't matter that the carbon energy that goes into everything such as batteries etc is significant they believe/feel they are helping to save the planet. This is a highly emotional position for these people. As far as supply/demand I would suggest have a look at this site and the popularity and interest in all things solar including batteries. I would also point to what I mentioned earlier. 2015 cat manufacturers are optioning solar instals. There is a demand.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:31   #20
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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I don't want to get into an argument on this point
I am sorry, I wasn't aware that responding equals getting into an argument.
I'll skip this topic.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:37   #21
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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It has been well over 15 years now since sailors have been using solar panels on their sailboats. I am mystified as to why manufacturers are either not building to accommodate solar properly or not building to accommodate solar at all.

This runs true for both mono as well as multihulls. In the mono world you don't have any thought put into offering stylish solar arches let alone not wiring for solar and or Lithium but the lithium battery set up is another issue that should also be being offered.

I'm in the market for with a recent new or new catamaran. Here we are in 2016 and not one cat manufacturer has come up with a solar arch addition. You do have one or two cat manufacturers who are now offering solar. But these geniuses are using low power flex panels and placing them under the boom. Just proving that solar is an afterthought and that they have no real idea what they are doing.

Shading is the biggest enemy of solar. Any type of shading at all over even one panel causes a huge reduction in solar power production. So what do they do. They go ahead and put the panels under booms or the shadow of sails.

Why haven't they come up with stern arches that are built into the design? Why does a manufacturer like Lagoon have their booms on the new 52 and 56 models protruding so far astern that if you want to instal solar panels you would need to have arches well over the dinghy davits. And again why don't they make cockpit coverings or stylish arches for solar that also allow for non shading of the panels?

In my opinion solar is no longer a fringe sport. It is an integral part of sailing and it mystifies me why it is not treated as such by boat manufacturers.

Chaya
You mean like these - the first boat is a 20 year old design the second 10. Or like the third which is about 5. I had one of the boats in the first picture, In 5 years I never connected to the world, I never had a gen set and I never turned the fridge and Freezer off other than to clean them, I didn't have air con but. For 5 Years I lived on the solar output alone. Of course we are in a part of the world that gets a goodly amount of sun year round. The first two boats have what you see as a part of the standard build.

There are manufacturers doing it.

Also Boats which are designed to be more "luxurious" invariably have more complex and power hungry systems, e.g. Air Con, No amount of solar is going to run that effectively with the amount of Batteries that a boat can reasonably carry, hence they invariably have a gen set, hence far less need for solar or wind.
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:44   #22
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
I am sorry, I wasn't aware that responding equals getting into an argument.
I'll skip this topic.
Not argument. Kust a difference of opinion. I am sure there are many opinions regarding the question I've asked. I just don't agree with the thought that there isn't a demand for cruising sailboat manufacturers to build properly engineered solar into their models. I would think a solar model would be just as appealing as the sport top or on top helm versions being offered now.

Ive found these panels which are a huge power increase for flexible/semi flexible panels. Huge advances still coming out. 300W flexible panels.

etfe flexible solar panel 300w, View solar panel, SHINE SOLAR OR OEM Product Details from Shenzhen Shine Solar Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com!
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Old 10-01-2016, 15:53   #23
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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You mean like these - the first boat is a 20 year old design the second 10. Or like the third which is about 5. I had one of the boats in the first picture, In 5 years I never connected to the world, I never had a gen set and I never turned the fridge and Freezer off other than to clean them, I didn't have air con but. For 5 Years I lived on the solar output alone. Of course we are in a part of the world that gets a goodly amount of sun year round. The first two boats have what you see as a part of the standard build.

There are manufacturers doing it.

Also Boats which are designed to be more "luxurious" invariably have more complex and power hungry systems, e.g. Air Con, No amount of solar is going to run that effectively with the amount of Batteries that a boat can reasonably carry, hence they invariably have a gen set, hence far less need for solar or wind.
The first cat looks really nice. I like the look of the arch in the second pic.

With the huge increase in power per panel and being easily able to mount 6 to 8 panels on the stern of a cat I think I could look at running even AC off of solar. At least that would be my objective.

Thanks,
Chaya
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Old 10-01-2016, 19:55   #24
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?



This is a 2016 model with factory installed solar panels. Problem is these panels will operate probably at less than 30% to 40% of their rated power. Perfect example of a manufacturer not understanding the huge loss of power due to shading over solar panels. But does show the public must be wanting solar if they are coming out with new models with the panels installed.

http://www.leopardcatamarans.com/cat...a#&gid=1&pid=3
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Old 10-01-2016, 20:00   #25
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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It couldn't be that hard for boat mfr's to add some decent sized conduits during construction.
The lack of the above is my major peeve for my boat. Adding ANY wiring has always been a major PITA.
It's like the major PITA of installing AC throughout if it wasn't first installed at build. Quadruple this difficulty if your talking about a cat.
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Old 10-01-2016, 20:13   #26
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

I thought the OP had a great question. Yes, it is pretty common for builders to be out of touch.

What surprised me is the emotional response to the question. Some folks really hate solar, as near as I can tell. Is it the way the panels look, hanging off after market arches, the arches themselves, or the appearance of cruising boats with "stuff" hanging on them? I get disliking of clutter. On the other hand, forward thinking can design panels into the boats at an earlier stage, avoiding the add on look. And some have such strong feeling about how a boat should look that anything new is an abomination.

Personally, I think a cruising boat without davits and solar looks dysfunctional. In the first matter, they either marina hop, tow, or haul the dingy on-deck. In the second they must be running a generator or motoring a lot. All of these strike me as avoiding obvious solutions.

A real hot button.
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Old 10-01-2016, 21:29   #27
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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I thought the OP had a great question. Yes, it is pretty common for builders to be out of touch.

What surprised me is the emotional response to the question. Some folks really hate solar, as near as I can tell. Is it the way the panels look, hanging off after market arches, the arches themselves, or the appearance of cruising boats with "stuff" hanging on them? I get disliking of clutter. On the other hand, forward thinking can design panels into the boats at an earlier stage, avoiding the add on look. And some have such strong feeling about how a boat should look that anything new is an abomination.

Personally, I think a cruising boat without davits and solar looks dysfunctional. In the first matter, they either marina hop, tow, or haul the dingy on-deck. In the second they must be running a generator or motoring a lot. All of these strike me as avoiding obvious solutions.

A real hot button.
I agree with you about how touchy some people are over solar. I don't understand it at all. If I have to I'll put metal up. However looking at how much I will be spending on the catamaran I would prefer those big metal arms I've seen on some boats for the Davits and a fiberglass add on at the stern for the panels. Probably and extension of aft cockpit roof with two fiber glassed stylish supports attaching at the rear sides of the boat. I've found a company that does a lot of fiberglass arches for cruisers. They say their design department can come up with concept drawings. None the less I still think my original question holds. Why aren't the manufacturers designing for solar?

Regards,
Chaya
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Old 10-01-2016, 22:22   #28
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

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None the less I still think my original question holds. Why aren't the manufacturers designing for solar?

Regards,
Chaya
Some are - see my earlier post
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Old 10-01-2016, 22:49   #29
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

There appears to be no standard sizes for panels, I have had three different support structures in the 20 odd years I have been using panels because they keep changing the dimensions of the panels. How would the builders design for this situation?
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Old 10-01-2016, 22:52   #30
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Re: Why Don't Manufacturers Build For Solar?

Boat buyers who want solar are in the extreme minority as in less than 5%. Nobody makes money catering to 5% of the market.
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