Sunday, October 27, 2013

Let There be Light

Finally got these bad boys installed. We had previously been living with a small flexible solar panel that we usually lay across the cabin top. It worked well enough to keep our start battery and radio running but not much else. We have been living at the dock for so long now that I almost forgot how to live off the grid. Almost. When we got here two years ago one of our dock neighbors was nice enough to give  us these two 80watt panels. (Thanks Craig and Jill!!) Since we had been living literally under cover for over a year they never got installed until now. 

Matt fabricated the mounts so that the panels swivel up and down. This is necessary for us since we don't have an arch or hard dodger, and to be honest, I think it preserves the classic lines of the boat to mount them this way. Not to mention the fact that we didn't need to purchase anything by doing it this way. Matt used some scraps and short pieces of stainless tubing for the mount. For the wiring, he drilled holes in the side of the stanchions on each side. Then drilled 5" deep holes through the covering board so that the wires wouldn't be led across the deck.

We haven't figured out how to prop them up yet to take advantage of sunlight directly from above but we will soon. Depending on how much time we have left after everything else we may end up installing some sort of gas struts... knowing us through, we will run out of time and money and just jam a piece of wood with a dove tails at the ends to hold it up. Ha.

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