Compensating for Additional Weight of Solar Installation

Mark Isaac

Hello All,

After adding an Atlantic Towers arch and two solar panels, our stern sits below the current waterline. The shipping weight on the arch was #190 (it was crated...perhaps the weight of the arch itself is #140) and the panels (2) weigh #40 each.  We carry 300 feet of G4 chain (#450), a #88 primary anchor, and a 29 pound secondary anchor with 15 feet of chain all on the bow or in the forward lockers.  Our #100 dinghy is stored on the foredeck and our #100 outboard on the stern rail or in the stern locker.

Aside from moving books and canned goods to the forward cabin, I think I have managed the weight distribution as best as I can.

My question to the group:  Where should I go from here?  Leave it alone and change the waterline?  Add more chain?  Move the books and canned goods forward?

My question to those that have gone before me with the solar installation:  What did you do to compensate for the additional weight on the stern?  Did things turn out well as far as balance and sailing characteristics?

I will try to upload a couple of photos to show the degree of the issue at the waterline.  (The second outboard in the photos has been removed)

Lulu SM#391
Cape Canaveral, FL

John Clark

Hi Mark,
    we installed the Emek arch which I believe is heavier than the Atlantic arch.  I have a similar distribution of heavy items, 80m of 10mm chain, two anchors forward, dinghy on foredeck and a 9.9 hp outboard in the lazarette.  I haven't noticed significant change in the waterline aft, in calm water the red stripe is dry.  The front does look like yours with the red strip higher above above the water.  I seem to recall that it looked the same before the arch was installed.  

We do get the slime/algae build up at the stern where the water continually slaps at the hull.  I don't know if moving the boot strip and antifouling line up will help much with that.

Is your engine exhaust port under water?  Mine sits right at the waterline, in fact I changed the exhaust hose while in the water at a marina.  Water was about 1 inch below the port. 

SV Annie, SM 37
Druif Bay, Water Island USVI

Mark Isaac

Hi John,

Thanks for the info. You bring up a good point, unfortunately I didn't make a note of how the boat sat before I put the solar on. The exhaust port is probably 3/4 under water when the boat is at rest.

Hope you're enjoying the VIs.


Alan Leslie

We have the EMEK arch and had the same issues...we just raised the waterline.
People go on about the exhaust ports being underwater, but it doesn't matter, if you're on stbd tack motor sailing the ports will be under water anyway no matter where your waterline paint is.
I an now VERY pleased not to have the buildup of slime under the aft sections of the boat.
Elyse SM437