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Old 11-08-2020, 04:57   #1
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Flip Up Solar Panel?

I have inherited a rigid solar panel (135 watt) and am looking for install advice. I have no arch, no bimini, and a small soft-top dodger. On a recent voyage I saw one mounted (?) on the starboard rail with what looked like a pivot/arm to raise it to a horizontal position. Given the current configuration of my boat this is appealing to me. Also given that I’ve not seen this before maybe there are pitfalls to this setup?

Initial thoughts: Probably used primarily at anchor/on mooring. More exposure to “traffic”. More moving parts to maintain. Does anyone have experience with this?
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Old 11-08-2020, 05:06   #2
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Re: Flip Up Solar Panel?

We see this arrangement frequently in the Caribbean. Seems OK. Sometimes shading happens. Your intended cruising area or marina dock orientation may dictate which side to mount.
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Old 11-08-2020, 13:13   #3
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Re: Flip Up Solar Panel?

I've got a home brewed system with a outboard flip up panel on each side attached just forward of the stern. My super simple home made brake-clamp system with hardwood block brakes can hold them in any position without the need for a supporting strut, which makes setting them to any angle very quick and easy. They are subject to shade from the cockpit bimini but when compared to the arch mounted panels, they don't fare to badly in the power generation stakes. It's totally feasible to uses them when sailing on my setup, but this might necessarily apply to other setups.



The other thing I have that may be of interest for use solely at anchor is a solar blanket. Those things rock!
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Old 11-08-2020, 13:45   #4
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Re: Flip Up Solar Panel?

I used these clamps to mount 100 watt panels on the stern rails. Works pretty good plus you can easily remove the panels if the need arises.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUNSR9Y..._klWmFbWW4DZ23
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Old 12-08-2020, 02:18   #5
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Re: Flip Up Solar Panel?

I too have a 100W panel that I've been moving around the cockpit and stern rail. With a BBQ grill, horseshoe, stern boarding ladder and motor mount already taking up space, the panel seems to be in the way no matter where I put it.
I think the solution is to get rid of the large panel and get 2 smaller 40W or 50W panels and mount one on either side of the pushpit.
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