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THE SOLAR PANELS DILEMMA

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SAILING by KRISS on 08 june 2018

THE SOLAR PANELS DILEMMA One of the beauty of living on a sailboat is that you can be independent including on energy and water.
Well almost, some do the whole thing (sailing Uma).
In our case, right now we are very dependent on outside provision of fuel, water and electricity.
And because we start sailing out in a month we definitely need to set up solar panels to provide us with electricity.
Note that on a boat, electricity is not only a luxury to have light at night or a fridge but all the electronics that assure your safety and the battery that start the engine depend on it.

So this is something we’ve been looking into for months and that we’ve been very bad at scoring any solution.
Wanting to make economies and still getting the best most productive possible panels got us to actually loose money and this is the situation today :

- we have 2 enormous panels we have bought and no structure for them.
- we have tried all possible options to get a structure and none of them is working (welder is busy and does not care, DIY is dodgy at best, cost is a big concern).

So yesterday after a last unfruitful attempt at buying stainless steel to make a structure we gave up and I decided to listen to my wife who hammered me with “I told you so from the beginning”.
We’re going to sell the panels we have and go flexible !

We won’t be able to afford as much watts as we would have had with fixed panels but because we won’t need a structure this will actually be cheaper at the end.

So the idea is to get 6 x 50W or 3 x 100W flexible panels that we can fit on our bimini rooftop thingy.
That’s an existing structure and won’t require huge transformations to our boat.

More new about that in a future post !

Oh and for those interested in getting rightly priced stainless steel in the area of Malaga I can recommend Zavala who have all you can imagine and if you’re lucky (I wasn’t) the secretary might even be nice ! There are too shops, one in the city center, one outside, the one on Calle San Quentin is the one that has all nautical things (and a nicer staff).

Photo credit to modernize website although I am not sure it's theirs (sorry couldn't be bothered to take a pitiful picture of our current set up - that will come along the way though).

#boatlife #energy #sailboat

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