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Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

Old 03-28-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

Has anyone mounted a solar panel on their fabric T-Top or frame? I'm looking to add a panel and that's the only convenient (read: flat and not underfoot) place to do so on my center console. I'd like to mount it and leave it, so it would have to be mounted pretty secure when running.

Any advice, pics, etc. is much appreciated.

Thanks!
Old 04-02-2007, 10:15 AM
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Default Re: Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

60+ views and no replies...anyone out there? Bueller?...Bueller?
Old 04-02-2007, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

vhf2, I dont know the answer to your question but maybe you can help me since I noticed you have the same engine as me? What is your water PSI at idle(if you have a guage), your max RPM and MPH, and what Prop are you using?
Thanks.
Old 04-02-2007, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

Well, since no one has an answer for my question, I may as well answer yours...right?

The same engine will perform differently based on the hull it is pushing, so I'm not sure if my data will help you in regards to speed and rpm. The PSI answer should be comparable as I don't think the hull would affect this unless the motor is rigged too high. Water PSI at idle hovers just above 0. When running, the PSI increases to 10-15 depending on speed and how the outboard is trimmed. Others have told me this is normal as the PSI guage is to make sure you have good water pressure through the system when running. If you are worried about idle, as long as you have the "pee stream" your are OK.

I'm running the Yamaha stainless prop, it's a 17 I believe. I haven't looked at the spec as I've only had the boat a short time and it came fully rigged. Pushing my Wellcraft 25, which is between 6,000 to 7,000 lbs with gear, gas, water, driver and 3 passengers, I've hit 47mph at 5550 rpm based on the Yamaha gauges, GPS SOG is about 44mph. This is with about 12 hours on the motor. I'm happy with that fully loaded. If was just me and one other going to the stream, I bet we'd get a bit more. Yamaha max rpm for this motor is 5650 in the book, so my boat is propped about right.

I'm no sage on any of this, I'm sure one of the more educated or experienced around here may have a better answer.

Good luck!
Old 04-03-2007, 09:02 AM
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Default Re: Solar Charger for Fabric T-Top

I wish I knew you last year. I assumed 0-PSI at idle and only 8-12 running was bad. I brought the boat to a dealer and was told my PSI gauge was no good and I should intall a temp gauge and high speed pickup. The boat and motor was only 3 weeks old with 10 hours on it. $800 dollars later(including 10hr service) I still had the same problem( I thought it was a problem). Yamaha couldnt give me a straight answer either. The mechanic (yamaha certified) told me as long as it doesnt overheat its fine. Basically I spent the extra time & money for nothing but now I feel much better since I no longer have any doubt about having issues with my motor. I always had the water PSI issue in the back of my mind until now.
Its kind of sad that yamaha couldnt give me a staright answer about normal PSI ratings.

I have a 14.25 x 19 LH stainless prop that peshes 5400rpm at about 52mph by GPS. I think my prop should be a 17 like yours to achieve the correct RPM's. My boat is similia to your in weight and size. 24ft Sea Chaser Center console with 140gallon fuel tank. Fully loaded and with 4 guys I push about 47-49mph. Alone and 1/2 tank I get 52mph.

After thinking a while I forgot that I was thinking about installing a solar panel on my T-Top last year but didnt work out because I have a large canvas cover that covers the entire boat(including t-top) and would defeat the purpose. BUt, I was thinking of installing it on top of my engine(while on trailer only) with suction cups. SInce its not needed while using the boat I figured thats the only open and good place to install it. I never got around to it.

If you are set on installing it on the T-Top I would devise a way to use snaps so it can be removed easily. And since your canvas will outlast the solar panel you wont have screw holes left in the canvas which will become a tearing point eventually(you will just have extra snaps remaining in canvas).

Thanks for the information. It really boosted my confidence with the motor.

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