Has anyone else pondered this question ? Even better have they come with a solution ?
P235 No 36 "Juicy Blue"
I replaced my solar panel about 2 years ago. I figured that there was little point having a permanently mounted panel as it most likely would always be in the way wherever I put it.
I went for a freestanding (and much cheaper) panel and controller bought from our beloved retailer; details below:
I had to add some additional rubber feet but it works fine. When I have finished for the day I simply leave it on the seat in the cockpit and connect. When I sail, it just sits below. I tend to sail every couple of days in the summer and it provides enough juice to power 2 radios, 2 instruments and the occasional use of the auto tiller – but I also get a little juice from the outboard.
Hope this helps
I had a solar panel fitted by Parkers on the coach roof forward of the hatch, it was about 2 foot square. That was over 10 years ago and solar panels no doubt improved since then. It powered two 85 Ah batteries in the starboard internal locker under the bench seat. The panel appeared to work well and a NASA battery monitor let me see how the batteries were doing. I just had to remember to pull the hatch back when using the boat which was not a big problem.
A shadow caused by the boom no doubt reduced the efficiency however the batteries always appeared to be fully charged when we went to the boat.
I have also seen a simple solution on other yachts of a fly lead and attaching a removable solar panel when the boat is not in use.
I sold Tarka in August after many years of happy ownership and she now resides in Rutland water, the new owner has joined the association.
I have a small solar panel (i.e. one not needing a controller) mounted on a (cheap) monopod camera pole attached to the aft starboard pushpit corner. The pole has a universal joint on the top so I can point the panel as I like. My battery is also on the starboard side, so it was relatively simple to fit a waterproof socket near the pushpit, and lead a wire to the battery above the aft berth. This arrangement has lasted quite a few years, and keeps the battery topped up between sails. I don't unship it when sailing as it doesn't appear to get in the way.