Over the years we've made various minor alterations to Bluebird, most of which are shared here. We hope you find one or two good ideas you can use or adapt for your own boat.

Solar Panel

This is without doubt the best modification we’ve made.

We rarely cruise for more than a couple of hours and often less than 30mins a day. When we do cruise we tend to do so in short hops. Couple this with a plethora of mobile electronic, laptops, mobile phones, TV, etc, not to mention the fridge. The batteries on Bluebird take quite a hammering. In order to cope with this demand we fitted a solar panel.

We bought a rigid 65W panel and a rectifier from Sunshine Solar. It came with four mounting brackets which we used to secure the panel to the top of the hardtop using stainless steel bolts and plenty of sealant.

The rectifier is mounted in the cockpit next to the battery master switch which is fitted close to the leisure batteries.

The cable pass through the roof underneath the panel and then along small plastic trucking, down one of the roof support arms before entering the cockpit just below the lower arm fixing ensuring the cable around the hinges has room to flex. This allows for the roof to still be lowered and raised and the additional weight is negligible.

The cable is than rooted under the gunnels to emerge adjacent to the rectifier via an inline fuse. The rectifier in turn is connected to the leisure battery bank.

More information is available on the Sunshine Solar website

Since fitting this panel the rectifier has been upgraded to a Dual Battery Charger.
 

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