Re: Solar Panel Arches


James Cromie
 

Jose - I asked these same questions of others who have installed various arches on their Super Maramus.  Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that a heavier stainless steel arch was most appropriate for solidly supporting two 315W panels as well as suspending our dinghy from it .  One of the important aspects in my decision was how the arch is secured to the hull structure.  
The Emek arch is designed to transfer force at what seem to be the strongest points on the stern.  

In addition, my opinion is that the Emek arch is the most attractive looking.. of course I’m biased.  (no offense to others!)

I continue to receive frequent compliments on the arch and the high quality workmanship (including the Newport welder who helped me).  The Welder in Newport, RI stated that he couldn’t fabricate the same arch for anything less than $15000 most likely .  It seems to be the primary arch offered as a custom design for this boat.  

The drawback of ordering the arch from Emek is that shipping internationally is a hassle, and there is a significant amount of work involved in properly fitting the arch perfectly to the hull.  Every boat has very slight variations in geometry, and so the arch will not fit perfectly as though it were fabricated on site.  Indeed, it comes as a kit that requires some limited welding.  To ensure a proper fit, I built up epoxy footings where the arch feet met the hull per the recommendations of others on the forum.  

The actual tray that carried the panels was not fabricated to the exact measurements that I sent to Emek.  I was able to rectify the problem without too much difficulty, and Emek followed through in reimbursing me for the additional costs required for that adjustment.  

The arch has two cross struts made out of stainless steel pipe that are anchored at the midpoint of the stern just behind the midline removable stanchion.  Some have elected to omit these from the installation, but I find these to be critical in providing absolute lateral rigidity and stability.  In addition, I find that they provide a great handle for boarding the boat or simply grabbing on to something when working at the stern.  

The overall weight - with panels - probably around 200 lbs, though I’m not certain.
I have no movement or wobble in my arch - even when the dinghy is suspended, though I do not keep the dinghy there when making any passage.

The cost may be more than the Atlantic Arch, but I am very happy with the Emek arch, and I would do it the same way if I had to do it again.   I will try to post some photos, though it looks essentially the same as others who have posted on the forum.  

(I did the installation myself, though hired a welder to weld the 6 joints required for full installation - which cost an additional $1000).  In all, the total cost for arch, shipment and installation was around $7000.  

Good luck!
James
Soteria SM2K 347
Culebra

On Mar 13, 2019, at 9:29 PM, Jose Venegas via Groups.Io <josegvenegas@...> wrote:


I am in the process of ordering an arch for Ipanema.  After personally seeing the aluminum arch made by Atlantic Towers, from Lulu and Creamy Puff I was very impressed with the quality,  how light they were, and more importantly by the very affordable price.   However,  both owners (Marc and Mark)  mentioned that the arches were somewhat wobbly, but that was corrected to their satisfaction by adding cables or an extra-strut in a corner.  Although I have seen some very nice arches made to order, their cost , I think, is typically 3 to 4 times that of an Atlantic Tower and they seem to be much heavier.
My questions are for those who have installed arches:
0) if they were from Atlantic Towers, were they wobbly?
For this who installed stainless arches: 
1) do you have an idea of their weight? 
2) how wobbly are they when underway both with and without dink?, 
3) did you have to add extra struts or cables to make them stiffer?
4) What was the cost of manufacture and installation?
5) Can you provide a pix of your system?

Greatly appreciate your feedback
Jose
Ipanema SM2K 278
Still freezing in Boston Harbor but hopefully not for too long.

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