Installing Solar Panels on our Bimini!

– So we recently bought
this 1976, Rasmus 35, thanks to all of the incredible people that purchased our ebook Live Creatively, and are now supporting us on Patreon. Today we're going to be installing two large flexible solar panels on top of the Bimini. All of the panels, charge
controllers and battery monitors were kindly given to us by Renogy to help us on our boat life adventure. To protect these awesome flexible panels, We want to install them
securely to the Bimini. While also making sure we can remove them for
heavy weather sailing. And to do that, we realized we needed a
big piece of machinery and we went for it and we bought a sewing
machine that is heavy duty, so it can handle like
large amounts of fabric and durable fabrics.

(crackling) (lighthearted music) They said they come really oily. And so in the future, we could fix our own
sails and make cushions, but today the project is attached the flexible
solar panel to our Bimini. And I'm a little bit nervous to be honest, because I haven't sewed anything since the seventh grade home-make but it's a skill that is so useful, And I think it's gonna be really fun to be able to be self reliant on the boat. So we decided to invest in ourselves and get this sewing machine. And now I just need to
learn how to use it, and hopefully it's not too difficult and we can get these solar
panels attached easily. (laughing) This is a big machine. (lighthearted music) Think this will fit on our little boat? – [David] It's gonna sink it.

We're gonna use this as an anchor. – Oh, literally. I mean, it's definitely
not a beginner machine, but I am a beginner so I just I'm gonna have to watch a lot of tutorials I think. Thank you. (laughs) Everything's so oily. (lighthearted music) Wow!
– There you go! – Yeah, I think I did it. (clanking) Now place the wax. (sewing machine revving) See these groundings? – Yeah, (converses quietly). – There's like no border
if you touch the cell, you block it and yeah, you have to create space
for these guys to go in. – So, panel one, panel two, and our seamstress.
– Exactly. So we have these two injected fabrics. This one is called Sunbrella and it's like good in the sun. And this is called… (upbeat music) Forget what? But this one's tough and it
won't have this solar panels like smush through it, or like wear through it, so we had to create kind of like a balance between using both.

And last night we discussed
it and I think we have a plan. So the main thing here is that the edge of the
solar panel is quite sharp. And with the wind and everything, this is gonna be wiggling. And if you just put it
directly onto the Bimini, it would wear through. So hopefully this extra material that's really tough will
protect the Bimini fabric and everything will be fine. (pencil scratching) (pencil scratching) Great. (fabric ripping) Thank you. (fabric ripping) (Upbeat instrumental music) So we have something like that and then we would be folding
this like that, right? I think it works well, right? – Mm hmm.

– Okay, so this is a double-sided tape and we're gonna put it
between the two fabrics so that they stay together
when I'm sewing them. And apparently it kind
of melts a little bit when it heats up. So it creates a bit better of a water seal on each of the sewing works. Oh Gosh. Oh, Gosh. Oh Gosh, No, So there we go. So then here is where we're
gonna put this 3M tape and then we'll stick
the solar panel to that. (sewing machine revving) I feel like, my grandparents who are no
longer with us tragically, but they would be very proud because my grandpa was in the Navy and my grandmother was a seamstress. So I feel like we're
really combining skills. (upbeat folk music) ♪ We saw it coming ♪ ♪ We are the soulmate ♪ My first real sewing project. ♪ But we can't die heads in the sand ♪ I'm proud of myself. It worked. – [David] Looks great. – Maybe not the straightest but whatever. (sewing machine revving) That's that. Actually a pretty good one.
– Yeah? – Yeah, we ended on a win.

– [David] Heyo! – That's nice. – [David] Oh, it does look nice. – For anybody who
actually knows how to sew, I feel like you're gonna be like, wow! It's a big work in progress, but it is my first time
sewing in 20 years. So I think it's a win. (laughing) Okay.
(fabric ripping) So then I'm gonna have to reinforce that. (sewing machine revving) Whoa, it just goes, cooks that. Whoa, is this smelly? (metal snaps) – Sweet, first one's in. So today is a very exciting day. We're gonna be taking off
the tarp and all of this wood so that the boat is finally free because we only have a few days till the boat goes in the water. So we wanna take it off see if we can get the Bimini up and really start prepping
her to get her in the water. (drilling machine humming) Oh, very rusty. (upbeat instrumental music) (yaps happily) (upbeat instrumental music) But how much bigger does the boat feel?
– Huge. – It's like crazy. I can really see us
relaxing, lounging up here. It finally like is starting
to feel real, I think.

– [David] Yeah. – Like we only were like
days away of getting this boat in the water
and I can't believe it. – [David] Like Crazy?
– Yeah – Are you excited?
– Yeah! I feel like I'm actually like, it's really sinking in. (drilling machine revving) That's (converses quietly). (wood clanging) That's fun. (drilling machine revving) (upbeat country music) ♪ You're playing your cards ♪ ♪ With you're queen-of-hearts ♪ ♪ When everyone falls ♪ ♪ You're forced to hold ♪ (background music drowns out speaker) ♪ Yeah tracing your path ♪ ♪ Showing no regrets ♪ ♪ Close your eyes to hide your lies ♪ ♪ For all the days ♪ – [David] There we go.

(yaps happily) – Whew, there we go. Okay, way too far. – [David] Look at your hair. – I can't look at it. I don't know what it looks like. – [David] Oh my God! It looks crazy.
– Okay. (zip crackling) – What?
– I broke the zipper. – [David] It's breakable. (laughs) – I'm sorry. It just literally it was not
much like we can remake that. Not gonna break this zipper. (zip crackling) (conversing quietly) And we're officially locked out. Cool, hello.
– Hello. – This is gonna have water come in. (David laughs) – [David] What do you think? (yaps happily) So this Bimini project is back on and we've had a bit of a frustration because the 3M tape didn't
work the way we wanted, but now we're gonna try
doing it with this amazing, super strong Velcro, and we're hoping for better results. So I'm gonna attach this now. It's very windy. I don't know if you can hear me and then we're gonna sew it and
everything at the boat yard.

Okay, oh I brought the
scissors, one second. (feet pattering) Sweet, I'm gonna sew this. It's kind of fun to sew outside. – [David] Yeah. – In the elements, Okay, let's get going. (sewing machine revving) (upbeat instrumental music) – We did it. – [David] All right, So just put the seizing wire on and then put it on the roof?
– Oh, yeah. Seizing wire to each corner,
then put it on the Bimini. So we have to attach to
the other sides of these, but it's going well. (upbeat music) – [David] Just gonna open up these teeth. Please work. I think it's working. – Really?
– Yeah. (yaps happily) I think it's working. So this video was edited
entirely with solar power. – Through the magic of editing. You have just been fast
forwarded two months in time, the boat is in the water. We are happily living aboard. It's only a few days into
our whole experience, but the panels are doing great. We have two, 160 watt flexible panels. They're super durable and they're exactly what we needed for this specific situation.

It's like, there's not a lot of places to put panels on a boat. So we really wanted to
leverage all the space we had, which meant that we had to figure out a situation with the Bimini. And I'm really proud of the contraption that David and I built. The panels seem really secure, but also really easy to take off in the case of like a storm or something where you wouldn't want them up here, you can just pop them off
on all of these things. And ta-da you can get them off, but otherwise they're very secure. So these were the 160 Watts, and then we have a hun… Then we have a 50 watt up
in the front right here, another flexible panel. And we're just so grateful. Thank you to Renogy for
sponsoring this video. This video was actually
edited on solar power, which just makes me so happy because I feel like that means the adventure
is really happening now. And we do have one more
project with Renogy to do is that we have three rigid solar panels so they don't only make flexible they have rigid as well.

And those will be in the back
there three on the stern arch, but that was a whole production
getting that stern arch up and we filmed it all. So that will be another video very soon. Thank you for watching
and thank you as well to our patrons for supporting us. They are getting the
behind the scenes scoop on all things sailing related, and we're very grateful
for all of you here. So thank you for watching and
we will be in touch shortly. (upbeat music).

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