Solar Power Choices

Helpful ideas for solar based power systems on your boat.

Solar panel layout sailboat

Disclaimer – This is purely for educational and research purposes, We are in no way responsible for any monetary loss/gain you make using this, I highly encourage you to view this as a learning resource and not as professional advice.

Below are some interesting links that we have collected from some of our cruising clients. At Klacko, we do our best to give the best advice on eco based power as possible, however our strength is in fabricating strong ocean ready methods to hold your solar panels and wind turbines. Our belief for a good system is to start with as much battery storage as possible and use efficient electrical devices and practices. Most cruisers have reported using  200-250 amp hours per day to live aboard comfortably. Keeping the panels shadow free and out of harms way seem is the next priority…and that’s where Klacko comes in. Check out our page on SOLAR/DAVIT/RADAR/WIND Arches

Making it to the top of our list for great information and videos 




You should always focus the most attention to building your battery bank. It is by far the best $/W investment you can make on your boat. Unfortunately, locating space for them is the main issue. Typically we see our clients using approx 200-250 Ah per day on average.  Also, the larger your bank the better your wind and solar will be. There is zero gains in having 1000W of solar and only 200Ah of lead acid/AGM battery storage.

Here is a great video explaining the basics of battery charging Lead Acid batteries.

Battle Born Batteries harnesses the power of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) to bring you the most efficient, stable, and powerful lithium-ion battery on the market. Whether you are an RVmarine, or off-grid enthusiast, our batteries are built to help you get out there and stay out there. Just like Nevada, Battle Born Batteries are tough and designed to last.

Below is a very simple and excellent guide that easily transfers to Marine Applications. Thanks to BB for putting such an excellent beginners guide together.

Superwind 350 Wind Turbine

Still the highest rated micro turbine on the market for bluewater cruisers

We are the Canadian distributor of Superwind Windgenerators.  Consistently rated the most reliable and quietest units on the market. These units are set and forget with industry only self feathering blades.

Practical Sailor Wind Generator Round up

Superwind 350 Kit Pricing

klacko superwind 350 mount canada

Victron Charge Controllers

#1 Choice for Boaters in boat performance, reliability and tech support

SmartSolar MPPT 150/35

Remotely control and monitor the extensive features of your SmartSolar MPPT charger with built-in bluetooth by pairing it with your smartphone or other device via VictronConnect. If your installation is connected to the internet Victron Remote Management Portal (VRM) provides access to the full power of your MPPT, anytime, anywhere; both services are free to use. For remote installations – even when there is no internet connection or phone signal nearby – you may be able to monitor your MPPT by bluetooth-pairing with a LoRaWAN(long-range wide area network) device, available optionally.

We think the ‘smart’ functions that allow you to connect to your smart device or via internet is a great way to monitor your solar systems. Clients have reported 5 stars on their victron purchases.

Victron Charge Controllers Link

MPPT vs. PWM Solar Controllers

A fun and simple video showing ins and outs of solar on a boat, thanks to the Wynn’s

Solar Parallel Setup for Shading

A tremendous wealth of info can be found from our friends at Distant Shores TV

Distant Shores Solar Planning

Great installers for electrical systems in the Great Lakes

Ray’s Marine

Aslin Boat building

Toronto Yacht Service

Shorewest Port Credit

Longitude Marine

MSI Marine Solar Innovation

A new way to mount solar over your Bimini

We are constantly asked if a Canvas Bimini can support glass solar panels safe and effectively. The answer is a resounding NO. Yes, we all have dockmates who have loaded their bimini tops up with one or two solar panels and sailed the lakes for 20yrs with no issues. However, I have lost count of the number of stories I’ve heard that when these lake cruisers head south and into real ocean conditions….how fast a perceived ‘tested’ system is suddenly off the boat and sinking to the bottom.

catalina 42 solar arch

See a Client’s Project Blog on his Solar Install. Click Here

1″ tube tied in with set screwed bimini deck fittings just can not handle the dynamic loads of ocean swells and wave action, especially laterally.

toucan ticon 30 solar arch

So the age old solutions to solar mounting has been on rear davit cross bars, deck or dodger and on top of an arch. The davit arch is by far the best solution however is not always an economical route. As such, we have developed a smaller and minimal arch for just solar panel mounting alone. This design is then tied into the sternrail pushpit for addition stability.

Our Favourite Solar Mounting Hardware

klacko helm plastic tube clamp

Remember the original rail clamp which was manufactured by Helm Products HR200? Zarcor

Axia Alloys USA

klacko trimloc wireslot gasket

Sealing wiring slots in stainless tube; these Trim Lok  trim seals work well over tubing. Can be found HERE

Marine Rated U-Bolts for tube sizes found HERE

…to be continued (feel free to send your recommendations and advice)