Solar howto install for a narrowboat

Installing a solar setup on a winter narrowboat adventure

A video how to with @crispynails

A list with links to components:

300W REC Twin Peak 2 BLK Panels

20A Budget 12v/24v MPPT charge Controller


Tracer CN and iTracer to MT50 Meter cable

MT50 MPPT Display meter

6mm Solar Cable

MC4 Connectors – Pair

Victron BatteryProtect 65A (optional) 

I did not install this in the end as the basic boat electrics were a bit spaghetti and would not have the time to trubble shoot any random outcomes, might do it later.

Servicing the battery’s – winter narrowboating adventures

Before you add solar it would be good to look at your battery setup, a video howto:


The battery rejuvenation and the solar install are doing wonders for the narrow boat batterys. They used to be 12.6v droping fast to 12.25v now they a more healthy 12.8v slowly dropping to 12.5v

For people who aren’t knowledgeable about 12v lead acid batterys, the useable power is between 12.8v down to 12.2v and best not to go down under 12.4v as you start to degrade the batterys at this level. The big advantage of solar is that it keeps the batterys at full charge regularly, a very healthy state for big lead acid batterys.

After a few weeks on solar charge and all main lights converted to LED can see that the boat batterys should be good for the next year or two.

Next am looking at boat insulation, the boat practically has non, 10mm foam, air gap, then thin wood. Thinking about adding some spray foam behind the wood in parts to see if it makes a difference to condensation on the sides of the bed to test a section. Can also add 10mm car sound dampening stick on closed foam under the inside cunals which is a cold spot?

At the moment the boat is a fridge, the second thin wooden skin radeates the heat in the boat into the air gap, which then drowes more cold air from the bilges as it rises and vents out of the roof vents. ie. the boat acturly is a fridge… apart from ripping it all out and starting agen – ideas to medate this issue?