Solar panels held by Gemini Marine Products


Options and choices

In general we use two basic options for mounting rigid solar panels – one gets you up and over the canvas, and the other is a bit leaner. We then adapt the basic concept to the boat in question.

You can read more about these basic models in our article in Marine Fabricator magazine. This will give you a good idea where to start in planning your solar panel project.

Please also see our page of advice and FAQs on adding solar panels in seven easy steps.

Once you have a basic mounting option in mind, you can choose what Gemini Marine Products you want to use to execute the build. Real people build solar panel mounts with our hardware all the time – see a selection of their recommendations below.

Option 1: Low and lean

We designed our saddle-type post and fork mounts with solar panels in mind. They give you easy, secure mounts for a solar panel frame that won’t draw attention to itself.

The saddle fittings bolt onto the top of the frame through the canvas of your bimini top or dodger. Rails running fore and aft create the base, and athwartship rails can augment the frame if needed. The entire installation can be made from off-the-shelf materials on the boat.

This option puts the entire rack up on the roof and largely hidden from view.

Option 2: Up and over

Alternatively you can use our sliding or split side mounts to create exterior side rails between your bimini’s end frames. Paired with a set of side-to-side bent rails, they go up and over the top to create the mounting platform.

This method does not touch the canvas and can be retrofitted without any fabric modifications. It provides good clearance and additional features such as a protective crash bar (think boom).

Solar panel mounts 4 solar panel

DIY Hybrids to meet your needs

You can of course mix and match our hardware and methods to create exactly what you need to suit your boat and the solar panels you’ve chosen.

Don’t take our word for it

Pleasure boats, cruisers, working boats – real boat owners use our stainless to get solar on their boat, and they like it. We’ve rounded up some of their thoughts going back years so you can see for yourself. No affiliate payments. No free stuff. Most of the time not even letting us know when they post. Just happy customers telling others about Gemini Marine Products. You can join them…

  • The good folks at Abroad Reach Travel go through all the pros and cons of solar panel installation on boats, and when it comes to rigid panels, our rail mounts are right there on the shopping list.
  • Over at Tugnuts you’ll find lots of people using our mounts to install their solar panels. (Just search “Gemini” and see.)
  • On kchase wrote, “I am in the process of adding panels above my bimini with Gemini frame mounts that are readily available and a rugged frame that’s very easy to make…I really wanted to do something like this for some time, but until I saw the Gemini mounts could never figure out how it would work for me.” 
  • On Maine Sail wrote, “Check out Gemini Canvas here in Maine. John the owner has been developing some very beautiful tube mounts that also work well for solar panels.”
  • Say it with pictures: Main Sail is back on saying, “Your best bet is probably to measure then custom order a pre-made heavy walled SS bimini frame then mount the panels to the bimini frame using Gemini mounts.” There are a couple of great before and after photos of the combination strapless bimini/solar panel mount created for this boat.
  • On a user questioned the price of our stuff, and moderator Jammy chimed in, “The Gemini mounts are well thought out and high quality, and worth the price.”
  • Also on user epiic was impressed with our work, but needed 1 1/4″ fittings. When user cotemar pointed them in the direction of our split side mounts, epiic replied, “Whoa. I did not see these on their website. This is even better!!! Thank-you so much!” Since this discussion we’ve added 1 1/4″ sizes to our most popular products just for situations like this.
  • Then there are the good folks on m/v Makena Kai who made a YouTube video showing how they use our split side mounts to attach really BIG solar panels:
Solar panel mounts 5 solar panel

We absolutely can help you get solar panels on your boat. Call us for advice, or order today.

Easily executed.”
– Tonya Ricketts and Captain Dave Pickering
North East Canvas Products Association
on using Gemini Marine Products for solar panel installation

Need a helping hand?

Use our DrillSteady for clean, easy drilling every time, even on a rocking boat.

Solar panel mounts 6 solar panel
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