Sailboat Solar Systems and How-To

Sunshine on a Sailboat - Solar Energy Solar Panels

Solar on a sailboat goes together like hands and gloves, but sailboat solar systems can be installed in a variety of ways. The solar components themselves create an infinite combination of possibilities for off-grid sailing. Victron Energy chargers, Renogy Panels, Sunpower Yachts, BlueSea Systems, and many more brands have entered the marketplace, and that’s not including the lithium battery companies.

To simplify things, we’ve compiled three sailboat solar systems videos to give you an overview of what’s possible. And to help you decide on your own simple solar panel setup for sailing.

How-To Install Solar Panels on Your Sailboat

This system from Zingaro shows flexible panels summing 300w of power on a 38′ catamaran.

Zingaro doesn’t advocate any particular brand of solar in this installation.

300W Solar System:

  • Three 100w solar flexible panels
  • 1 MPPT Solar charger controller
100w Flexible Solar Panel
100w Flexible Solar Panel

Simple Sunpower Solar System

This simple solar system from The Fosters shows a quick and easy setup with limited space on top of a bimini.

Getting Started with Sailboat Solar

Sunpower Solar Panels are considered by most in the industry as the gold standard. They use the highest-efficiency solar cells and have top-notch build quality. In this simple installation, three 50w panels are just enough to get you started. Plus, it’s the most affordable installation!

150w Starter Solar System

  • Three 50w Flexible Solar Panels
  • A Single 15amp solar charge controller
Victron Energy Smart Solar Charge Controller
Victron Energy Smart Solar Charge Controller

Off-Grid on a DIY Solar Powered Sailboat

Here’s a special installation that turned a derelict sailboat into an off-grid sailing machine!

Living Off-Grid on a Solar Sailboat

Simon has transformed this derelict sailboat into an epic off-grid solar-powered and fossil-fuel-free cruising catamaran. He’s been living aboard and renovating the boat for the past 3.5 years We’re excited to show you the transformation as well as how he plans to propel the boat without the use of diesel or fossil fuels!

5280w Solar System for Electric Powered Catamaran

  • 16 Rigid solar panels (330w each)
  • 20kwh of Lithium Batteries

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240W Rigid Solar Panels $250-$300

200AH Lithium 4d Battery $1200-$1200

100Amp Hour Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

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