These rail fittings are the cats meow. They are a two piece SS clamp that fits over a 1" piece of SS tubing. They are also available to fit 7/8" tube. Clamp them over the rail and attach them to the panel deck hinges previously mounted to the panel as shown. Once everything is adjusted and aligned tighten the clamp set screw.
If you click on the photo to make it larger you can see the details of the split rail clamp a little better.
TefGel is one of the best products on the planet to prevent thread galling and seizing of stainless steel fasteners. When using TefGel I have never once had a thread galling situation with SS. Thread galling is when the stainless steel nut & bolt seize together for no apparent reason. Any one who's worked with stainless for long enough has experienced this nuisance. Coat the threads and under the screw head and they will tighten smoothly and without issue.
You can see the TefGel under the screw head here. TefGel also virtually eliminates the corrosion form
ed by using SS fasteners in aluminum!!
The Finished Panel Installation
This little 30W panel will keep this boats small bank topped up just fine. It is out of the way and easy to remove if needed. Alternatively an adjustable strut could be used to angle the panel towards the sun if you wanted. This one is fixed as the owner simply doesn't want to mess with it.
No Sharp Edges
The nice thing about mounting with split rail clamps is that it moves the panel off away from the stern rail. This helps prevent snagging clothes on the panels sharp corners or edges and keeps it out of the cockpit..
This panel has been mounted to a cross bar on the davits.
Here is another one of my mount designs for a mooring recharge panel.
For owners with radar poles this is a great spot for a panel. I had my friends up at Nautilus Metals fabricate the "wings" out of 316 stainless steel and I the was then able to cut the 1" SS tube on site and complete the solar mount.
This simple mount provided a perfect spot for a 50W panel which feeds to an MPPT controller then off to the AGM battery bank.. Neat, tidy and using space that was otherwise wasted. The owner loves it and his expensive AGM batteries do too...
This is one of the two wings I drew up then had fabricated. If you wanted to DIY this it can be done with a standard rail foot mount instead of a welded base tube.. For this customer it was less expensive for me to have my fabrication shop do it and 100% polish them than it was for me to do it....
These wings simply bolt port and starboard to the radar mount and then 1" SS tube and 90 degree dodger fittings can be used to build the rest of, it on-site..
By mounting in this fashion it can allow you to capture more of the daily sun by tilting the panel towards it...
There are far to many mounting options to show here and you can get as creative as you want.
Good luck & happy boating!
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