Skipper2c: "I have 2 X 170 watt panels ..."
Where and how did you mount them?
I remembered reading a safety warning about having too much weight up high and just found it again (URL below). I had been thinking I could just partially fill the water ballast to compensate for the lead ballast I had from the batteries. This says that the water will slosh around and so make things unstable. Replacing the full weight of the water ballast with batteries might be more than I want to spend on batteries. Hum. Having an extra 400 lbs down low in the boat should not really be a problem, right? It is only how much weight in solar panels I have up high that hurts my stability, which is the real issue. Right?
I also wonder how water tight the opening is for letting water ballast in and out. If I have it closed to keep the water ballast tank empty I wonder if after a few hours moving slow with the electric motor there would be significant water sloshing around in the tank. So trying to keep the tank totally empty might be another problem.http://www.macgregor26.com/safety/safety.htm
If I put a bunch of batteries and solar panels I am worried about how hard it will be to get the boat on or off the trailer. So my thinking was to load this weight on and off from the dock at the beginning and end of the summer and just leave the boat in the water (with undercoat) when loaded.
In the past when I have had the boat tied up at my mooring it sails back and forth or swings back and forth. Does anyone have a good way to deal with this? I am in the Caribbean (Anguilla) and the wind mostly comes from the East. I am thinking maybe a second mooring so the two lines would hold the front of the boat in one place. This means putting down a second mooring which is a bunch of work but as my old one is 6 years old it might be a good idea anyway.
I want to build a series of solar powered boats and putting solar on my MacGregor 26 is my way to get started and learning. I am going to put stuff at http://blog.floatingislands.com
but not much there so far.
Thanks for the help,