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Old 15-05-2024, 18:46   #1
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Solar on a ketch

Hi all I'm looking at fitting solar on our ketch . It's not that easy we already have very strong I beam davits built into the push pit . Our mizzen boom traveler is incorporated into the davits & the boom hangs over them . I have room for 1 panel on the roof of the saloon. Possibly 1 panel over the rear of the davits. I would like to see other similar ketch owners solutions .
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Old 15-05-2024, 19:52   #2
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Re: Solar on a ketch

Two panels on the Bimini one on the davits. Need a controller per panel as they are all in quite different shade
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Old 15-05-2024, 20:53   #3
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Re: Solar on a ketch

I've been poindering the same. I don't want davits, and the mizzen boom slighly overhangs the stern rail. I haven't done it yet, but I'm planning to change the lifelines aft of the cockpit to a hard top rail, then hinge panels on that on both sides. I should be able to fit (2) 130-150W panels per side. Yeah, it'll screw with the airflow to the windvane air paddle, but I had a similar setup on our previous boat (CSY44, not a ketch) and it seemed to work pretty well. I'd made adjustable length prop-rods out of 1/2" inside of 3/4" PVC pipe. Outer pipe slit and a hose clamp to adjust friction. This allowed easy tool-less adjustment of panel angle, and easy to "stow" them by rotating to vertical when docking or rafting, and when vertical they could be lashed to the lower lifeline to secure them if/when in a big blow.
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Old 17-05-2024, 19:22   #4
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Re: Solar on a ketch

We have 2 170watt flexible panels on the Bimin running fore and aft. Works well for us. The trick to mounting panels this way is to mount them atop a thin sheet of aluminum. The aluminum supports the panels without weighting down the canvas. It protects the panels from over bending across the frame and it acts as a heat sink. I especially like that they aren't noticable except from above.
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Old 18-05-2024, 12:21   #5
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Location: Meandering about the Gulf of Alaska coast [NNE Pacific]— where the internet doesn't always shine... [Even Elon's...] Homeport: Wrangell Island
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Re: Solar on a ketch

We have 3 rigid panels: 2-165w panels over the davits, and 1-135w panel [came with the boat] on top of the bimini.

All are independently regulated w/ Victron MPPT smart controllers.

All are mounted on 1” SS tubing structures made for the panels.

In case this offers any applicable ideas for you.

Cheers, Bill

A couple of photos from this blog post:

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Old 29-05-2024, 11:31   #6
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Re: Solar on a ketch

We have 2x180w rigid panels mounted in the guardrails on each side. So 720w in total. In addition, we have 4x50w flexible solar panels thst are mounted on a piece of canvas. These are currently on the foredeck at anchor. They fold away so can be easily stored. We just crossed thr Atlantic and fixed the flexi panels to the upturned hard dinghy stowed on deck so under way and at anchor we have 920w of solar. The panels on the guardrails are tiltable so we get lots of performance from them whilst sailing.
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ketch, solar

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