Troy Lindner is a tournament angler and a travel junkie. During his fishing travels, there has always been a level of frustration when it comes to charging the batteries on his boat. Time and time again he would find himself in remote locations without electricity, or at motels that are ill-equipped with parking lot outlets. As avid fishermen, we all know that if we don’t have fully charged boat batteries the marine equipment we depend on is going to hurt what should be a good day on the water.
The Search, Two Strangers on Parallel Paths, and the Birth of Solar Performance
Not wanting to invest a $1,000.00 per lithium battery and searching over and over again for products that could help with on the road charging solutions Troy started investigating solar technology. That’s when he meet Brian Meyer. Brian, also a fisherman with a long history in the solar energy industry, was basically actively engaged in the solutions Troy was seeking. After they had met and realized the answers weren’t in existence, it didn’t take the two long before they formed Solar Performance LLC.
Attached to a Tuff Skinz vented outboard motor cover is the Power Hood. Tuff Skinz, made in the USA, manufactures a motor cover that is tailored to any make and model outboard engine. Integrated into the cover is a flexible solar panel. Together these two components are designed to stay on the engine whether you’re on the water or trailering. Troy has road tested the equipment for thousands of miles. Not only will the cover keep your engine cowling looking showroom new, but these weatherproof components are rock solid and will protect your motor from rocks, lures, branches, debris, and UV light. The solar panel is connected to the boat’s 12-volt starting battery and by keeping the Power Hood on your outboard, a power charge is occurring while fishing and trailering on the road. The system features a regulated monitor that occurs 15 times a second preventing overcharging.
Located in the center of the front deck and over the battery compartment are three solar panels. These panels are connected to the boat’s 36-volt battery system, charging the electronics and the electric trolling motor. The boat’s carpet is removed from the deck to accommodate the solar panels, which are installed under a textured protective mat which doesn’t effect solar efficiency. The system features a booster which increases performance by 25%.
The solar panel covers are designed to be stepped on, in fact, I’ve fished on these decks several times. I find the covered solar panels to be more comfortable to stand on than the carpeted decks! While wearing flip flops in the rain, slippage wasn’t a problem for me either.
The boat deck solar panels are also regulated, and just like the Power Hood, whenever they’re exposed to sunlight they’re charging the 36-volt system. Both the Power Hood and the deck’s solar panels can be easily configured to any battery system. With an adapter, you will be able to pull up to a distressed boat with a ‘dead’ starting battery. If you disconnect the Power Hood and then connect it to the disabled vessel, allowing the Sun to do its work, you will be able to jump-start the drained battery.
The Power Hood and the Tuff Skinz cover is already available online at http://www.tuffskinz.net/ You can also customize the graphics on the sides of the Tuff Skinz cover. Pricing for the deck solar system, based on a Ranger 520Z, will be made available at the November 2015 Anglers Marine Bass-A-Thon. A Solar Performance System has been developed and will be installed on a Lund Pro-V boat this year. If you’re capable of installing a marine sonar/graph system, you can handle the relatively simple installation of a Solar Performance system. And, of course, your local marine dealership can take care of installation too.
If you have any questions, ask Troy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Solar-Performance-1669366913304068/?fref=ts or https://www.facebook.com/Troy-Lindner-Fishing-113465038802038/?fref=ts and soon to launch www.solarperform.com
I’ve known Troy for quite some time and in the pursuit of fishing adventures we've spent a lot of miles on the road together. He has always been a person concerned with the environment, recycling, clean energy and healthy green living. So it’s more than fitting that together with Brian, they have ventured down this path of Solar Evolution, meeting the needs of boaters. They're just getting started and it’s easy to see that the day will come when you will no longer need to run an electrical extension cord and plug your boat into an outlet!
I’m excited for them, the future, and the solutions they’re providing!
* photos by S P