Sunday, February 5, 2012

Boat Solar

This small 30 watt solar panel keeps my boat’s battery topped off. Mounting a solar panel on a small boat can be difficult. There are commercially available panel mounts, but they cost a lot more than what I paid for the solar panel. This is my low cost solution.

In this position, I can catch the sun low on the horizon, but the main advantage of is that the panel is totally clear of the cockpit. I have room to run the outboard.

It’s easy to change its position to catch the sun from different angles. Here it’s set to catch the sun from off the bow. It can be flipped over easily should the sun come from the stern.

Looking at the underside of the panel shows my mounting hardware. The aluminum frame comes from discarded golf cart parts. It’s pretty simple. All hardware is either aluminum or stainless steel.

The panel can be completely removed from the boat. This is a fishing rod holder that I installed to hold the short support rod. With the solar panel removed, it could still hold a fishing rod.

The whole solar project cost about $150. The solar panel and charge controller came from Amazon and cost about $120. There’s another $30 or so for the fishing rod holder and the mounting hardware.



  1. Now that looks a plan that came together. Like Craig said, nice work. Do you fish any?

  2. could you let John know that Arthur Leclare died this past Sunday from services..I spoke to Rose and she is doing fine...

  3. You surely have great ideas to have the solar panels installed. I like what you did with the panel mount. Its movable joints made it easier for the panel to chase the sunlight. And it can be reattach, making it back to its good condition when there is a terrible weather and you’d think the panel won’t hold. Anyway, it is great that the installation of all of it only cost about $300. Now, you can save again as the solar panel can help in cutting your gasoline consumption.

  4. It's worked out very well, and yes, it has saved gasoline. No more running the motor just to charge the battery.