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Old 24-09-2010, 15:45   #31
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sded

you must not be able to sail more than 2 knots with all that netting causing wind resistance
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Old 24-09-2010, 15:50   #32
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Keeps the lines, some other gear (and the cat) onboard. Not too good for small tools though.
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Old 24-09-2010, 17:48   #33
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I doubt if any solar panel mounted on a rail would survive a hit by solid water. I've reinforced my sternpulpit with cross bracing but it's still flexible to grabbing it. I know if the panel took a solid hit, the pulpit is going to pretzel. I've set it up so I'll just cut the wire leads, take them off the rail and store them against the side of the cockpit footwell if I ever get in really nasty conditions. Other than that, they seem to be doing just fine as mounted. Took a few sloppy waves in the cockpit on my TransPac that knocked the support sticks out from under the panel. The panels just pivoted down so they were vertical against the pulpit but no damage. I've got the support sticks tethered so just pushed the panels up and put the supports back in place.

Solar panels have just much area to resist being torn off unless mounted to something that is capable of sustaining the weight of the boat. About the only way I see to have panels mounted that would survive a wave is bolted on deck or high on an arch. Mounted on deck, hopefully they would be so secure that a wave wouldn't rip them off. Have heard of many instances of boats having everything tied on deck cleaned off when hit by solid water, however. If you get green water against panels mounted on an arch, you've got serious problems and your panels are probably going to be the least of it.
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Old 24-09-2010, 17:51   #34
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Run the tube completely around the boat, and minimize the movement and loads on stanchion bases. Get rid of those goofy wire "lifelines".I've been doing lifelines that way for over 35 year, with no problems.
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Old 24-09-2010, 18:33   #35
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You can simply connect two neighbouring stanchions with some SS tube and bimini fittings. Then there are inexpensive solar panel supports that grab the pipe. They are alloy and the sleeve is plastic.

Easy, inexpensive, neat.

And it can be designed the way to be quick to dismount and place elsewhere - which is a good idea if you happen to anchor / moor in various spots that get sun from different angle. In such a case make your panels re-connectable with waterproof plugs.

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Old 25-09-2010, 02:08   #36
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Meanwhile my mounts keep cranking away after a trip to Mexico and a couple of Gales. U-bolts hold bar stock to the stanchions, other U-bolts hold the SS rails to the bar stock above the lifelines, turning the panels edge on minimizes the problems of winds and seas hitting them. Rail clamps hold the panels to the the rails. And the panels can go below if things really get hairy.
that's really neat. and simple

and as you say, totally removable in the event of hairiness
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Old 25-09-2010, 13:22   #37
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I use 80W flexible panels that can easily be positioned for good sun and just as easily removed in heavy weather
Please elaborate on these flexible panels.
Brand?
Do they put out as advertised?
How flexible are they?
Are they significantly lighter than rigid panels?

Thanks
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Old 25-09-2010, 20:57   #38
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Flexible solar:

I think monocrystalline panels are the way to go. Much smaller in size than the amorphous per watt. Price per watt is much higher for any of the flexible panels.

Yes, they can put out what they claim but only under perfect conditions and like poly hard panels will decrease output in high ambient. While the amorphous rolls up the mono can be bent about 30 degrees long axis.

Store them like a deck of cards behind a cushion. You can walk on them all day and not hurt the panel but you could kink the substrate if the panel was not positioned flat on something and you put too much weight against it.

I think my 80 watt panels will output comparable watt-hours of a much larger solid panel because I can nearly always keep at least one or two panels in the best light conditions even when sailing.

They weigh very little compared to hard panels as they are applied to a stainless steel substrate and of course, have no glass or frame.

I purchased direct from a factory in Mainland China and they are made to my specs. I could not find a product either made in the states or dealing with a foreign company through a middleman that was good enough for me to put my money on it.

You can do the same thing with a little searching and be willing to send your money to China on a promise that the product will arrive as specified or even arrive at all. That part was a little scary but I think I found a good company to do business with.

I will not refer anyone to the company right now as I do not fee I have enough data to endorse any particular company.
 
um saudade
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Old 26-09-2010, 18:28   #39
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I think monocrystalline panels are the way to go.

While the amorphous rolls up the mono can be bent about 30 degrees long axis.
Re statement 1 - sometimes they are at other times they are not. E.g. the only are you can populate is the deck, or the cabin top - angled, angular, shaded, etc..

Re statement 2 - possibly, but the only ones that bend (I seen) were always polycrystallines.

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Old 27-09-2010, 16:23   #40
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Flexible solar panels have a short lifespan, before the plastic becomes to foggy to let light thru.
A friend found a lot of buses being dismantled ina scrapyard. He used the many handrail fittings for lifelines, and spent an hour on his boat with a hacksaw and a drill, before he had solid lifelines all around his boat.
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Old 28-09-2010, 04:38   #41
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Fogging of solar panels sounds serious. Do you have more info on this?
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Old 28-09-2010, 15:06   #42
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"solid lifelines" Liferails are certainly more robust than flexible lifelines, but they also will cause greater injury to any crew thrown against them.

A flexible lifeline will yield somewhat under impact, causing less injury to anyone that is thrown against them.

A solid liferail is like the chassis on an old car: It resists accident damage very nicely, but wreaks hell on the occupant by transmitting the full impact, instead of absorbing it the way "wimpy" new cars with crumple zones do.
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Old 28-09-2010, 19:46   #43
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PerfectFit.com

We did replace the top lifeline from the gate back to the pulpit with SS tubing using T-fittings. We'd originally thought to use the tubing for panels like what Simon has on GOODONYA (formerly Pacifica) but have since decided to put the panels on top of the bimini instead. Still, we really like the solid feel of the tubing so we'd do it again even if we weren't thinking of mounting panels.

However, the reason for this post is to suggest you look at perfectfit.com for the fittings. It was our canvas guy who suggested them after he'd done all the canvas and tubing for us. We have bought quite a few fittings from them since then and they are as high quality as we've found anywhere else for a fraction of the cost, literally. Double set screws, no corrosion problems, high quality polish. I have no idea why they are so affordable but they sure have served us well.

I have no affiliation at all with the company and just hope they stay in business.



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Old 02-10-2010, 14:47   #44
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"solid lifelines" Liferails are certainly more robust than flexible lifelines, but they also will cause greater injury to any crew thrown against them.

A flexible lifeline will yield somewhat under impact, causing less injury to anyone that is thrown against them.

A solid liferail is like the chassis on an old car: It resists accident damage very nicely, but wreaks hell on the occupant by transmitting the full impact, instead of absorbing it the way "wimpy" new cars with crumple zones do.
In 35 years of sailing with solid lifelines, I've never been injured in any way from them, in 8 Pacific crossings and 9 trips to Haida Gwai and back, as well as 35 years of cruising 11 months a year.
However, stanchions with only wire across the top are like spears to land on, which the wire does little to protect you from.
A single hander overboard promises far more severe injuries than solid lifelines could ever do.
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Old 02-10-2010, 14:48   #45
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Any flexible solar panels over three years old that I've seen, were completely fogged up.
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