A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
It’s been almost exactly a year since we took possession of One Love and if you recall last summer’s posts, most of the months following that delivery were taken up almost entirely by refit projects. On our initial wish list for upgrades was the addition of solar panels but with limited time and budget, that project was put off in lue of more pressing charter-related ones. This summer however, we are definitely planning on upgrading our electrical system which will include, among other things, adding solar panels. This project has a lot of variables though and I’m finding it difficult to come up with a clear plan.
Friends of ours on the charter boat Feel The Magic recently added solar panels to their boat and they were kind enough to share all the details with us. While they opted for the more-commonly-seen rigid panels, I saw yesterday that the guys on Where the Coconuts Grow opted to add the newer semi-flexible panels instead. IMO the latter look better and are perhaps easier to install. They are much more pricey though and from what I have heard, not as efficient. True?
“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.” — Steve Martin
While it may seem that a boat as large as One Love has an almost unlimited amount of real estate to add panels, that is not really the case. I have already spent time with a measuring tape mapping out the available space on our hard bimini and with todays larger wattage hard panels running around 60″ in length, fitting a couple of them up there takes up pretty much all of the room.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. If you have a bunch of knowledge on this subject, feel free to post your thoughts.