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Success E co SUNNY DAYS Imagine a future where there is no need to stop at the fuel dock, where you can cruise in silence…except for the waves lapping against the hull. Marine solar technology is making great strides in that direction. TEXT BY SANDY LINDSEY While legendary car designer Henrik Fisker is building a $37 million, 164-ft. solar-powered superyacht with Benetti, there are much simpler ways that the average boater can take advantage of solar energy to help out with power requirements aboard. Yacht Solar Panels can charge batteries while the boat is docked, thereby eliminating the need to run the generator. Several top builders are offering great options, which can be sized to run all appliances for up to a week or even longer in sunny or partly sunny weather. On the sailboat front, thin film solar panels can be attached to sails or incorporated into the laminate, providing up to 100-watts per 10 sq. ft. Or you can start small with accessories including the Bilge Buddy solar power pump, Earthtech solar-powered deck lights and cleats, and Bird B Gone’s solar-powered Bird Repeller; SolarBilgeBuddy.com; EarthtechProducts.com; BirdBGone.com. 42