I added Solar Panels late in 2009.
Two panels each of 205 watts, total 410watts!
I think that I have the biggest power station on any boat under 40′.
I added a MPPT controller. See future posts and tutorial at http://www.greatboatgear.com/index.php/MPPT
My wife Rani’s website www.greatboatgear.com now sells them. Like many things we found she makes these products available at cost effective prices and with EXCELLENT support.
Simply put, you lose 30% + of your panel’s capacity especially in the northern climes without a MPPT controller.
I designed an arch made from 1″ stainless steel piping and standard fittings. The design does not require cutting the pushpit (railings) or making holes in the boat. It also provides for dismantling if trucking the boat.
The panels weigh 45# each and the arch is strong enough to use for hoisting objects aboard. So far we have hoisted sails and a generator with no problem. At least 100#.
The panels are mounted so that they are not shaded by the backstay, provide shade for low sun from behind and allow tall folks to climb aboard over the transom without hitting heads.
Best of all, very affordable if you have a few days free.
Have loaded a bunch of photos. From the side the panels are unobtrusive even though they are large.
Photos from top of mast at Cuttyhunk showing unique top view.