Saturday, July 03, 2010


Things happen when sailing. Things fail, break,  fall apart etc... The mariner always tries to minimize these failures still they do occur and one has to deal with them. Such as when I was attempting to join the Reid Stowe flotilla and a loose reefing line caught the edge of a solar panel and broke parts of the frame holding the panel. Happily, the solar panel was not carried over the side. But, I had some sharp jagged pieces of the metal frame moving about. Not to mention a loose solar panel to deal with. I needed to secure them fast. There are a number of ways to do this. I could have used line and I do have various lengths and sizes around the boat to use. That is when I have time to find and sort through them. But, for emergency situations I also like to use  Ty Wraps aka cable ties. They come in various lengths are pretty strong and are easily wrapped around what you need to secure and can be cinched down tight rapidly so you can get back to the helm and continue on until things are calm enough so you can make a proper repair.


Anonymous said...

Got to love cable ties! Tracking an exhaust leak on my HP27 and spent a wonderful rainy afternoon reading your adventures.
What is your crusing speed with the Thoossa 9000 and how many hours can you run?
Putting up two 210Watt solar panels on my Islander 36 and was planning on using the old bimini supports. How did you minimize the side-to-side swing?
Never at the dock for long.

Tom Handwerker
Thar be Dragons

Capt. Mike said...


Thanks for dropping by the blog. The original solar panel installation had been fine for at least eight years. Actually attaching the solar panels to the frame helps to make the frame more rigid. Never noticed a problem with side to side motion. Fittings showed no stress. You could probably add straps to each side if you are concerned though. In my new design I'm changing the location of the two 75 watt solar panels for the house bank to just below (almost flush) with the existing bimini frame instead of above. I'm also adding two 48 volt solar panels (for the electric propulsion system)extending the bimini further back over the cockpit. I'll be adding a 1" arch frame that will be secured to the deck that will I believe will add additional rigidity to the entire frame when done. Of course I'll post about this project in the near future.

Capt. Mike said...

Sorry forgot about the Thoosa question. I shoot for a cruising speed of about 4 knots using electric. I could go higher but, I lean on the conservative side. For example on a recent cruise I motored about four hours before the winds picked up. I ran under battery electric alone for a little over an hour. I then fired up the generator and set the throttle until I was doing four knots. As a favoring current helped I throttled back. I was still doing four knots SOG but, was now also charging about 5 amps into the 48 volt battery bank (plus also charging my 12 volt house bank too). As soon as the wind picked up I shutdown the generator and let the solar and wind generator take over. It is first and foremost a sailboat after all.