Date: Wed Apr 11, 2001 3:43 pm

We have a 51 watt solar made by Kyocera Corporation rated at 16.9 volts and 3.02 amps. We have used it for over 10 years and been very happy with the product. Its small, lightweight and we installed it on top of the Bimini so that we can remove it when not using the boat for long voyages. We installed it using a common industrial extension cord, an outdoor outlet and ran it to the splitter so it charges both battery banks. My wife built a small box with an ammeter, on/off switch and fuse so we can monitor the unit output and shut it off at night. No regulator is necessary if the output of the solar does not exceed 10% of your battery bank. Our bank is 400 amps, so if the solar puts out 3 amps for ten hours, that 30 amps, less than the 10%, thus eliminating a regulator. We had planned to purchase another but never found a need, our batteries are always fully charged and at times showing 15 volts or more, so we chose not to add another.

We also carry a wind charger and water charger, the wind charger is a RedWing made in California is stainless steel, heavy and has a two blade propeller blade of 4' or more in length. We raise it between the two masts, and use a single line going through the sheet line blocks to the winches. A snatch block is located at the bottom of the wind generator which is where the line holds the lower unit steady. We have used it for months at a time in winds up to 35 knots and find it satisfactory. It takes 20 minutes to raise and or lower, but that is not a problem if anchored at one spot for some weeks. We have never had a need to use the water generator but then most of our voyages are between 200 to 400 miles nonstop, and that may be why we have not used it more..


Date: Mon Apr 16, 2001 8:41 pm

I have rwo Siemens SP75 on one Steca Regulator serving my 400 AH AGM housebank and my Optima starting battery.

Schedule 10 cables are long enough to move the panels up to the bow for best orientation in all docking configuration and daytime hours, but the offshore location is forward of the dodger: either on the south side when crossing the Atlantic on the 40th or the 18th parallel, or one flat on top of the lifeboat and the other on either side.

Cables go through two small slots on either side of the top hatch board to allow locking up the cabin from inside or outside, with two outside 3-prong plugs connected to the busbar.

This has worked well, and has helped to reduce or eliminate engine charging despite autopilot and refrigeration usage: Adler Barbour Supercold machine, but no use yet for the water-cooling option even in the Caribbean, so you can do it with a simple Cold Machine, as long as you take air directly from the bilge bottom and ensure a good exhaust path for the compressor. Beneteau has proved it workable for demanding charter boats!