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Being an avid sailor keeps you on your toes, especially when it comes to keeping your batteries charged. After conducting hours of research, you’ve decided to try the best solar panels for boats.

A solar panel is an ideal source of energy when you’re outdoors for prolonged hours. It is highly efficient as it can charge multiple batteries and other devices. Plus, it proves to be highly cost-effective as it’s a one-time investment. Needless to say, it is eco-friendly and durable.

Solar energy is still one of the untapped sources of energy despite being the most reliable one. So, what is the best solar panel for boats? Read along to find out!

Read on for our expert reviews of the best solar panels for boats available. Check the latest prices to ensure you get a great deal!

Our Picks of the 7 Best Solar Panels for Boats

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Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel

Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel

It is a highly-versatile solar panel, ensuring high-level efficiency at a reasonable price. The device is resistant to extreme temperatures and comes with a 25-year power output warranty. The panel produces 100W of maximum power, enough to charge for about 10 hours a day under bright sunlight. Read more

WindyNation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

WindyNation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

It is a high-quality kit of two solar panels, a charge controller with a display screen, and other necessary accessories. The controller lets you adjust settings and track battery readings. Furthermore, it performs pretty well under the bright sun, so you can easily power multiple devices on your boat. Read more

DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit

DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit

It is a high-quality, completely safe solar panel kit. Besides, you get all the accessories, including a charge controller, alligator clips, DC wire, and 5 DC adapters. Thus, you can easily connect the solar panel to varying devices. Read more

Renogy 400-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 400-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

It is a premium quality solar kit providing a large amount of maximum power – 400 watts. The kit includes 4 solar panels, mount brackets, connectors, and a charge controller. Though it's relatively expensive, the solar panels are highly durable and ensure maximum efficiency. Read more

Nature Power 55702 120W Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

Nature Power 55702 120W Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

It is a pocket-friendly option for expanding your current solar power system or starting with a small one. The solar panel can produce a maximum power of 20 watts and charge 12-volt batteries. The kit comes complete with multiple chords and a charge controller with a digital screen. Read more

Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 20W 12V Monocrystalline

Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 20W 12V Monocrystalline

It is a highly-efficient polycrystalline solar panel ideal for a small amount of solar energy requirements. The panel comes with a complete set of installation accessories, is lightweight, and is easy to install. The kit includes a charge controller to prevent hazards. Read more

ECO-WORTHY 25 Watts 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 25 Watts 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel

It is a premium quality solar panel system that comes with an attached charge controller. The setup is a simple plug-and-play and can be placed anywhere, so you need not worry about mounting it. Read more

Best Solar Panels for Boats

1. Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel

Newpowa 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Photovoltaic PV Solar Panel

With a weight of only 15.43 lbs, it is a lightweight solar panel being extremely easy to carry around. The Newpowa Polycrystalline solar panel produces a maximum power of 100 watts at a maximum of 17 volts.

Features

Weather Resistant

One of its prime features is that it is highly weather resistant. The solar panel can bear up to 2400 PA high winds and 5400 PA snow loads. Therefore, you need not worry about the weather when you go on long boating trips. Moreover, the tinned copper material can resist humidity and easily handle high temperatures.

Highly Versatile

The solar panel comes with multiple holes and other mounting options, so you need not worry about the right positioning. You get options like mounting it on a flat surface, wall, or even a pole. Thus, you can easily mount it in different locations on your boat as the sun’s path changes.

Waterproof and Durable

From the panel frames to the cells, the Newpowa solar panel is impressively durable. It has heavy-duty anodized frames that are corrosion-resistant, sure to last long. Additionally, its connectors have an IP67 waterproof grade, while the junction box is IP65 waterproof. Thus, it is undoubtedly one of the best solar panels for boats.

Compact and Efficient

Another excellent highlight of this solar panel is that it’s compact yet efficient – the perfect combination for the outdoors. Despite being lightweight and 35.83*26.57*1.18 inches (LxBxH) in size, its poly cells are encapsulated in EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), delivering high performance. Plus, its bypass diodes cut down the drop in power that may be caused due to shading.

Pros:

  • The panel produces some power even on lightly cloudy days
  • It comes with a warranty for 25 years
  • The solar panel is lightweight and high-performing
  • It is resistant to extreme weather conditions
  • You can mount it in multiple ways
  • Highly cost-effective

Cons:

  • Charging cuts down by 50% even if one cell remains covered

2. WindyNation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

WindyNation 200 Watt (2pcs 100 Watt) Solar Panel Complete Off-Grid RV Boat Kit

If you’re looking for a larger power source, the WindyNation 200-Watt Solar Panel kit is a great option. It comes with 2 pieces with a maximum power of 100 watts each, together with mount brackets, charge controller, and connectors.

Features

Seamless Installation

Despite being a highly-powered device, it is relatively easy to install. The kit comes with a 40-feet-long connecting wire, letting you install the panels wherever you want. All you need to do is connect the controller with the panels and the battery you wish to charge.

Charge Controller with LCD Screen

Another cool feature of the WindyNation solar panel kit is its charge controller. The display screen on this device lets you track the battery percentage, load, and other essential parameters. Besides, it can handle up to 3 solar panels at once. So you can add another piece in the future if need be.

Versatile Kit

With this kit, you can charge multiple types of batteries, including gel, lead-acid, AGM, and lithium. Additionally, the charge controller lets you adjust the parameter settings as per your requirements. It is that convenient!

High Quality

Though it is a pricey option, the WindyNation solar panel kit boasts high quality. You can use it to power multiple devices on your boat, and it will work as smoothly as ever for years. Therefore, if you’re looking for quality and are ready to make a high investment, it is a great option.

Pros:

  • The kit comes with adjustable settings
  • Its LCD charge controller makes it easy to track battery status
  • The kit provides a relatively high amount of power
  • Easy to install
  • It comes with a long cable

Cons:

  • It is comparatively more expensive than other options

3. DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit

DOKIO 110w 18v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit

The DOKIO solar panel kit is a complete package for your boat trip. It comes with multiple accessories, a carry bag, and a charge controller. So you can connect the panel with different batteries or power stations and also track the charging status.

Features

Efficient and Easy Installation

The solar panel is IP65 waterproof, and its construction ensures higher light transmittance for greater efficiency. Needless to say, the monocrystalline solar cells work at a 23% higher efficiency rate. Additionally, the solar panel kit comes with all the accessories you require for setup, making the installation process completely seamless.

Safety Certifications

While you may not always remember to check them, safety certifications are downright necessary, even for solar kits. The DOKIO 110W solar kit comes with certificates like CE, ISO, and IEC. Besides, it ensures protection from overcharging, short circuits, overload, and overcurrent.

Versatile

What makes it one of the best solar panels for boats is its high-level compatibility. Apart from the connector, the kit includes alligator clips, a DC cable, and an adapter with 5 DC conversions. This lets you connect varying chargeable devices, batteries, and power stations with ease.

Lightweight and Portable

The DOKIO solar panel weighs only about 6 pounds, making it extremely easy to carry around. Moreover, it comes with a durable carry bag so that you can use it hassle-free. Therefore, it is an excellent choice for your sailing and boating trips.

Note: When charging a power station with a built-in controller, do not connect with the DOKIO controller.

Pros:

  • It comes with a carry bag
  • It has a 9.8 ft long cable, making charging any battery easy
  • Supports multiple types of batteries
  • It has multiple charging output options
  • Certified for safety
  • Highly efficient monocrystalline solar panel

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier than polycrystalline solar panels

4. Renogy 400-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

Renogy 400-Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit

If you’re looking to step into the world of solar energy, the Renogy 400-watt monocrystalline solar panel kit is for you. It can charge up all your electronic devices and batteries on the boat. Along with this, you get all the necessary tools and accessories to set up a working solar energy system for your boat.

Features

High Efficiency

The Renogy Solar Kit is made from monocrystalline cells that boast an efficiency rating of 21%. With this composition, the kit can produce power at the rate of 2000Wh per day when placed under direct sunlight. Besides, the multiple layers of laminations elevate the overall cell performance.

Durable Construction

Another excellent point that makes Renogy one of the best solar panels for boats is its superb quality and durability. It comprises of anti-corrosion frame and low-iron tempered glass. Additionally, there’s a coat of EVA film above and below the sheet of solar cells. Therefore, you can rest assured the panels will work smoothly irrespective of the temperature and weather conditions.

Powerful and Compatible Controller

The solar panels come with a powerful charge controller, making the system compatible with multiple batteries. These include gel, flooded, AGM, and lithium batteries. Besides, it prevents short-circuit, overcharging, reversed charging, and overloading.

Hassle-free Setup and Functioning

One of the multiple benefits of the Renogy solar panel kit includes noise-free power production. Moreover, the power produced is so vast it gives you complete off-grid freedom. It also comes with a 20ft adopter kit and a 10ft tray cable for easy setup. Therefore, the kit makes for one of the best solar panels for boats.

Pros:

  • It comes with all the needed accessories
  • Can produce up to 400 watts of maximum power
  • Relatively more efficient than polycrystalline panels
  • Prevents overloading, reverse charging, and other such hazards
  • Protects the solar panels from water and UV Protection

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

5. Nature Power 55702 120W Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

Nature Power 55702 120W Portable Briefcase Solar Panel

If you’re looking for a super high-quality solar panel that does not require installation, the Nature Power 55702 is for you. It is portable, provides a maximum power of 120 watts, and comprises monocrystalline cells that are highly efficient.

Features

Weatherproof

The Nature Power solar panel has a rugged construction and is weatherproof. So, you need not worry about using it in rainy and windy conditions.

Portable and Easy Installation

Another factor that makes it one of the best panels for boats is its ease of use. Within a few moves, you can convert it into a briefcase, making it effortless to carry around. Besides, the panel does not need mounting. You can place it on the floor and adjust the stand’s angle according to the sun’s direction.

Durable

The solar panel is equipped with a solid aluminum frame making the panels durable and sturdy. Additionally, it converts into a rugged briefcase when you fold it. Therefore, you can rest assured of its prolonged use without the worry of damaging the panels.

Efficient and Removable Controller

Nature Power solar panels produce a total of 120 watts of power. They are made from highly efficient monocrystalline cells, ensuring maximum power supply. Besides, it comes with a charge controller attached at the back that you can remove when needed. It has a display screen to track readings and battery status, and you can remove it when needed.

Pros:

  • It comes with a 1-year limited warranty
  • You can directly charge your phone with the solar panel
  • The built-in controller prevents damage from overcharging
  • Can be folded into a sturdy briefcase when not in use
  • Comes with a tilt mount for setting the desired angle

Cons:

  • Highly expensive
  • Heavier than usual

6. Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 20W 12V Monocrystalline

Topsolar Solar Panel Kit 20W 12V Monocrystalline

The Topsolar is a 20-watt monocrystalline solar panel designed for high performance. You can use it to charge various appliances like lights, water pumps, or other small devices on the boat.

Features

Weather Resistance and Durability

The Toposolar panel is resistant to extreme weather conditions like strong winds and snow. It can bear up to 2400 Pa of static load and 25mm/23m/s hailstone impact (diameter/velocity). The solar panel is made of an anti-corrosion frame, tempered glass, and dual EVA film sheets. Thus, you need not worry about its longevity.

Digital Charge Controller

The solar panel comes with an LED charge controller allowing you to track the battery status with ease. It includes ports for connecting to the solar panel, batteries, and two USB ports. Additionally, the controller prevents hazards like overcharging, short-circuit, reverse charging, and high voltage.

High Efficiency

What makes the Topsolar solar panel one of the best solar panels for boats is its comparatively high efficiency. Its efficiency rating amounts up to 24% as compared to around 19% of other solar panels.

Accessories

The solar panel comes with multiple accessories required for the entire setup, including cables with alligator clips and an O-ring terminal. Thus, you can easily install the solar charging setup however you desire. Additionally, it comes with pre-drilled holes so you can mount with ease it wherever you want.

Pros:

  • It is lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Comes with a 25-year transferable and 1-year material warranty
  • It has premade holes for mounting
  • Resistant to corrosion and other weather elements
  • Multiple protection layers ensure durability and performance
  • Charge controller comes with two USB ports for connection
  • Pocket-friendly option

Cons:

  • Visibly low power output

7. ECO-WORTHY 25 Watts 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel

ECO-WORTHY 25 Watts 12V Off-Grid Solar Panel

The Exo-Worthy 25-watts solar panel is an exemplary option to expand your solar power system at reasonable prices. It comes with all the setup accessories and a charge controller to ensure hassle-free usage. It is lightweight, portable, and easy to install.

Features

Versatile Panel with Efficient Solar Cells

The Eco-Worthy solar panel is highly-versatile as you can use it with multiple types of batteries and equipment. It comprises polycrystalline cells that are highly efficient and can easily power up your boat’s battery.

Durable Construction

The solar panel is made from a tough aluminum frame to ensure durability. Additionally, its junction box is waterproof with an IP65 grading. Therefore, you need not worry about its usage.

Charge Controller

Another benefit of the Eco-Worthy solar panel kit is it comes with a powerful charge controller. It has multiple indicators so you can track the battery charging status. The controller has 3 SAE connectors, so you can easily plug in the solar panel and other devices as needed. Plus, it lets you directly charge your phone or other small electronic devices with a USB wire.

Accessories

Apart from the charge controller, this solar panel kit comes with two connector cables. One cable has alligator clips, while the other has an O-ring terminal. This allows you to connect the solar power system with different types of batteries. The best part is you can charge your phone and boat’s batteries simultaneously.

Pros:

  • Pocket-friendly option for a low amount of power
  • You can connect it to a device with a USB wire
  • Includes cables with O-ring as well as alligator clips
  • Comes with a charge controller
  • Its aluminum frame ensures durability
  • It comes with a 1-year free-maintenance warranty

Cons:

  • Only suitable for low energy requirements

Boat Solar Panel Buying Guide

Have you already picked your favorite from the 7 best solar panels for boats? Perhaps you still have a few doubts. Well, there’s more to choosing the right option. You must consider a few factors to ensure the solar panel meets all your needs.

Check out the solar panels for boats buying guide to have all your queries related to marine solar panels answered.

What is a Solar Panel for Boats?

A solar panel for a boat is used to charge the battery of a boat. Like any other panel, you can use it to charge heavy batteries and power up electronic devices.

If you are wondering whether you can power a boat with a solar panel, it is absolutely possible. A boat’s battery can be of varying volts like 12v or 24v ranging from 75-120 AH. Depending upon its size, you can pick a compatible solar panel and charge the boat’s battery just like any other.

Are Solar Panels for Boats Worth It?

Solar Panels for BoatsSolar panels for boats or marine solar panels are absolutely worth it. They are like a one-time investment that you make to enjoy green energy without wasting extra money on fuel.

Solar energy is the best renewable energy and is easily available while you sail across the waters. You can keep the solar panels and chargeable battery as a backup or use it as a primary option. It will not disappoint you.

If you purchase a good quality solar panel for boats, it will work for around 20 years, proving its worth.

What Can a 200-watt Solar Panel Charge?

The amount of power that a 200-watt solar panel produces depends upon multiple factors. These include the type, shading, availability, and location of the panel.

If you keep the panel under direct sunlight for about 6 hours, you can get approximately 840 watts of power. It can easily charge a large battery or battery bank. You can then use the battery to charge your laptop and run devices like coffee maker, microwave, and light bulb. That’s all the essential items you need for a boat trip, isn’t it?

Note: When using a battery to power appliances, make sure to connect it with an inverter. A device that’ll convert the current from DC to AC will help protect your devices from overcharging.

How Big Solar Panel Do I Need for Boat?

The size of the solar panel for the boat will depend upon the devices you will use. What you need to know is a 100-watt solar panel will produce around 400 watts of power in a day. That is because the amount of sunlight is at its peak for approximately 4 hours.

With this, you can determine the number of solar panels needed to charge the different appliances on your boat. Here are some of the common devices and their power consumption per hour.

AppliancePower Consumption
Cell Phone5 watts per hour
Bulb60 watts per hour
Fan90 watts per hour
Mini Fridge100 watts per hour

Suppose you have all the above devices and wish to use them for 8 hours. For this, you will need 2040 (255*8) watts of power every day. To get around 2000 watts of power every day, you will need four 100-watt solar panels or 1 panel of 400 watts.

Can I get a 500-watt Solar Panel for A Boat?

Yes, you can purchase a 500-watt solar panel for a boat. Due to its demand, the solar industry has developed such solar panels in recent years.

Such panels are relatively more energy efficient than multiple 100 and 200-watt panels. Also, they also prove to be cheaper than multiple panels producing a lower energy output.

A 500-watt solar panel will be an ideal option for those of you wishing to run multiple heavy-load devices or take long boat trips.

Things to Look for in Solar Panels for Boats

Now that you have a good idea about the usage of solar panels for boats, it’s time to consider the purchasing factors.

Required Power

Boat Solar PanelFirst of all, you must determine the amount of power you will need per day. You can do it by adding the power consumption of all your electronic items and multiplying them by the number of hours they are in use.

Portability

Since you need the panel for a boat, your best bet is to pick a lightweight solar panel that is easy to move.

Type of Solar Panel

One of the trickiest options is the type of solar panel you want.

  • Monocrystalline: made from one sheet of silicon and thus highly efficient
  • Polycrystalline: made from multiple silicon pieces melted together

Quality and Durability

While picking the best solar panels for boats, make sure the one you choose has a tough construction.

Mounting Options

Do you wish to place the panel on the floor and need a stand for the same, or do you want to mount it on a wall?

Accessories

Most solar panel kits come with accessories like cables, a charge controller, and even brackets. Make sure to pick a kit with all these accessories inside.

Final Words

Solar energy helps reduce your carbon footprint while also ensuring a prolonged power supply. It lets you travel for days without any concerns.

While picking one from the best solar panels for boats, make sure to consider factors like capacity, quality, and efficiency.

So, what’s the hold? Get a marine solar panel now!