Need some advice on my boat installation


New Member
Sep 6, 2023
Warwick, RI
I have recently did a quick installation of a solar battery recharging setup in my powerboat. It was just to get me started. It is made up of the parts shown below.

I think my draw is about 6-7amps. 5 amps are the 12v refrigerator that cycles on and off through day/night. On sunny days the system will last about two days before the nighttime draw will overcome the day time charging.

Two panels on the Bimini and depending on the swing of the boat there are times one panel is 25% of the area shaded by the radar dome. Panels are in front of the radar dome.

My plan
  • Add 2 more panels (same size/brand/model) behind the radar dome so I will have varying solar capture on 2 to 4 panels based on the moving shade.
  • Add another battery same brand and model. Current two batteries are only 1 year old. Total capacity will be 315ah. Current capacity is 210ah.

I know I have a cheap controller so suggestions welcome here.

I want to add a 2000-3000 inverter for coffee maker, blender and microwave.

Any help on how I should proceed will be greatly appreciated. Looking to stay in the medium price ranges for upgrades.
Solar Equipment.jpg
A couple of comments

-- Get a Lifepo4 battery. They can consistently discharge to near 0% for at least 2000 cycles.

-- Flexible solar panels are not durable. I don't have direct experience with flexible panels. Go with standard, rigid panels if you can. They are cheaper as well.

-- Spend more on your charge controller than $12.

-- if you plan on keeping it small, go with a turn key solution like ecoflow, bluetti. Ignore what I said above about buying it piecemeal. Personally, I like Pecron E2000LFP since it provides the best value. Catch it on sale for $850, currently $1100. All you need is to buy solar panels and solar cables.