After a bit of detective work to solve the problem of no juice from the solar panels, I found that all three panels needed to be replaced. Two were completely kaput, and one was only generating about 0.1 amps in direct sunshine. Instead of getting three similar small panels, I purchased one large panel. One 50 watt, top-quality panel could be had for just over $100, vs. three 10 watt panels for around $250. It would not look quite as nice, perhaps, but I resolved to try to make as good looking an installation as I could manage.

I refinished the top of the hatch while I was at it…
NewSolarPanel_A

I used a chunk of left over Honduras Mahogany to make the side supports. The panel just slides in from aft, and there’s enough wire slack so that it can be removed easily if needed. A few coats of varnish, and there ‘ya go…
NewSolarPanel_B
(There’s a drain groove at the forward, lower end of the slot to allow water to exit.)

In the last couple of weeks, I also took out the propane stove, and the tanks and deck boxes either side of the mast have gone bye-bye as well (first photo). I was glad to find that the wedge where the diesel stove flue used to exit, to compensate for the crown of the deck, was still there under the port deck box. The deck will need some clean up and repair where the boxes where fastened down, however.

I have the Dickinson Adriatic stove about all ready to install, and have collected the needed flue and fuel line parts. Had to remove the cast iron top in order to make the stove narrow enough to fit through the companionway hatch. It’s amazing how frozen the six hold down screws had become — I guess the high temperatures during use and a bit of grease, etc., are about as effective as Locktite. Took some oil, some freeze-spray, a lot of tapping, and in the case of two of the screws, a drill and screw-extractor to get them out.

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