21 February 2021
18 April 2011 | Alexandria, VA
11 May 2010
31 July 2009
26 April 2009
24 January 2009 | Cadle Creek
27 December 2008 | Chesapeake Bay
09 November 2008
13 October 2008
30 September 2008
13 July 2008 | Warehouse Creek
30 May 2008 | St. Mary's River
26 May 2008 | Rhode River & Chesapeake Bay
24 May 2008 | Chesapeake Bay
04 May 2008 | Chesapeake Bay
29 April 2008

Project: Solar Panel Installation

03 May 2008
I finally installed my solar panel today. I initially ordered a panel over a year ago, turns out it was back ordered, and then canceled. Shortly after, I was then laid off my job, so this project got deferred to another time. Well, that time has come. This Kyocera 43 watt panel measures only about 26" by 20". Originally I was planning to buy a 20 watt panel, but for not much more money and space, this 43 watt seemed ideal.

I created a bracket to mount the rail clamps from a 2" by 36" piece of aluminum. Since the rail clamps need to be angled on the brackets due to the very slight curve of the stern rail, I test fit them while only screwed with one bolt. I then marked their angle and drilled the holes. Once the brackets were attached to the clamps, I then bolted that assembly to the panel frame. I didn't take that many pictures, but these give you an idea.

Assembling the brackets:

Brackets mounted:

Solar panel installed:

One thing I need to figure out is a way to cushion the sharp corners of the panel. The panel will typically be tilted aft, the opposite of the above photo due to the suns position in relation to my slip. When sitting near the stern rail, those corners are then level with your head. I need to look around for some kind of rubber bumper. Other than that, it is out of the way since it was unused space behind the backstay.

I ran 14 AWG wire through the transom where the outboard wires enter, back around through the locker. I mounted the charge controller inside the locker on the side against the fuel locker.

I then placed a fuse in line between the controller and the power switch. As you can see, it turns out the fuse I bought is too long for the holder, so I am going to find a shorter one to fit. To charge a battery, I select the battery with the switch and leave it on. I just make sure all the panel switches are off when I leave the boat.
Vessel Name: Sapphire Breeze
Vessel Make/Model: 1982 Catalina 25 SK/SR
Hailing Port: Mayo, MD
Crew: Justin
Extra: This site is all about my experiences with my first boat; from restoring it, to my sailing adventures. I enjoy hearing from my readers, so feel free to send me an email. I'm also interested in meeting new people in the area, especially people in my age range since I hardly know any that sail.
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Sapphire Breeze's Photos -

Who: Justin
Port: Mayo, MD