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Solar without the panels:

Discussion in 'Catalina 22' started by pclarksurf, Aug 10, 2018 at 12:53 PM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. pclarksurf

    pclarksurf

    Joined Jul 13, 2015
    485 posts, 219 likes
    Catalina 22 #2552
    US Kennewick, WA
    Thought I would share a positive experience with a few gadgets: I am planning our first overnight on S/V MaryAnn and electrical is not in the cards this season. No worries as nav lights will not be required but we would like some juice for cell phone charging and ambient light.
    Not sure I will ever need a full solar panel installation, but this little bad boy from Goal Zero is really impressive. (no skin in the game, just saw it at REI and gave it a swing)

    Ruggedized panel folds in two (magnetic clasps) and is about the size of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper when closed. Open you see below and it directly charges the venture 30 storage bank -- (3.7V, 7800mAh) and has usb and micro usb outputs to charge whatever you need juice for.

    Pretty dang slick for a portable rig that can go from boat to car to campsite and back.

    goal zero.jpg goal zero2.jpg
     


    w4swk and Will Gilmore like this.
  2. thinwater

    thinwater

    Joined Mar 26, 2011
    1,948 posts, 368 likes
    Corsair F-24 MK I
    US Deale, MD
    Neat. But with today's cheap parts, you could install 50 watts with a controller for the same $150 price. That's enough to actually run a small boat. About 2 hours labor, start to finish. Subscribe to Good Old Boat magazine and you'll see more projects like this.

    As for camping, if I have the car I don't need it, and if I'm backpacking I don't want a phone. Really.

    [50-watt panel on Corsair F-24. It was clean....]
    [​IMG]
     


    Leeward Rail and Pearson 39-II like this.
  3. Benny17441

    Benny17441

    Joined May 24, 2004
    5,455 posts, 325 likes
    CC 30
    US South Florida
    You may need an anchor light and an LED lamp powered by AA batteries may do the trick.
     


  4. w4swk

    w4swk

    Joined Mar 23, 2015
    123 posts, 46 likes
    1991 Catalina 22 Wing Keel
    15202 US Nocona
    Pretty neat! Until you get your electrical in, you can just run a light up the jib halyard to act as an anchor light. I like seeing ANY innovative ideas one comes up with! Have fun!!!
     


  5. svchickadee

    svchickadee

    Joined May 8, 2011
    172 posts, 20 likes
    ODay 25
    US Cambridge
    Better to get a battery pack from Amazon/Costco/et al and charge it at home, then take it on the boat for the night. The pack can be used to charge a cell phone, etc when not needed on the boat.
     


  6. Leeward Rail

    Leeward Rail

    Joined Mar 20, 2015
    1,474 posts, 302 likes
    Catalina 22 New Style
    CA SHYC, Lake Winnipeg
    That's a good idea if you don't need a complete power setup. :D

    Compared to "Goal Zero" hardware, there are lots of cheaper alternatives to do the exact same thing. (panel and small battery pack)

    For spending $150, I can confirm what @thinwater says. My 40W panel and a controller cost me $130.
    The solar controller has 2 USB ports.
    We have 2 phones, a 9" waterproof tablet running navionics, a lowrance mark 4 gps/depth/chart unit, a VHF radio, and 2 e-ink readers, in addition to the normal lights onboard.
    We just got back from a mostly sunny week on the boat and it kept the batteries full, even though we still have the original power hungry incandescent bulbs in the cabin.
    (we didn't sail at night and we were tied to a dock each night so we didn't use our LED nav lights)
     


    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018 at 11:43 AM
    w4swk likes this.

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