warranty 267x200At dealer technical training sessions run by marine equipment manufacturers, typically the last item on the agenda before everyone heads off home is the matter of warranty.

The cynical among us might think that this is so timed that it can be rushed through at the last minute so the factory staff can shrink from the baying crowd and make a swift retreat, and that may not be too far from the truth. But why is it sometimes such a contentious subject?

From a new-boat owner's perspective, it is entirely reasonable for him or her to assume that if anything fails on a newly purchased vessel within the warranty period it will be replaced or repaired without too much fuss and bother.

But, unlike an automobile where the car dealership is responsible for repairs to every item on the vehicle, equipment on pleasure craft is supplied by individual manufacturers, each with their own warranty policy.

solar-wind-640x434Here at Coastal Climate Control, we talk to a lot of boaters at shows and in the course of daily business, and in general, most of the people we talk to who have wind generators seem to be less than ecstatic about their performance.

We commonly hear gripes that what these device's specifications promise on paper seldom seem to materialize in real life application. And then the cost, complexity, and effort of installing wind generators apparently put a lot of people off, not to mention the unease of having sharp-edged blades whirling away within a daggers-throw of one's head!

Some wind generator owners report that their systems perform well on passage, when the boat is beating into the wind, although it is well known that gentlemen never go to windward ... but then when the destination is reached and the hook dropped in the sheltered anchorage of an island, the wind generator seems rarely to have the oomph needed to fully charge the battery, at a time when reliable charging is most needed.

So, have wind generators had their day?

IRS Form 5695 2015 Pg 1IRS Form 5695 2015 Pg 2

The US Federal Government offers a solar energy tax credit, applicable to your second home, i.e. your boat! As long as there is a head and galley onboard and it is docked in the United States, your vessel qualifies. This tax credit, extended to December 31, 2019, is a 30% credit on qualified expenditures to purchase and install solar panels, with no maximum limit for equipment placed in service after 2008. In the last few years, we hear at different boat shows the success stories from boat owners getting that 30% tax credit. This credit can be retroactive – as long as the solar system was placed into service after January 1, 2006.

Check out this updated link to the Dept of Energy's website that gives a simplified description of the energy tax credit: http://energy.gov/savings/residential-renewable-energy-tax-credit. Want to see how simple the actual IRS form is to fill out: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5695.pdf. Your state government may also have a solar tax credit. It may be worth investigating.

Life has become so much easier for so many people since they took advantage of this tax credit. If you want solar power on your boat, it may have just become more affordable. There is still time to plan and implement your solar power project, but I wouldn't suggest waiting too much longer – December 31, 2019 will be here before you know it! Contact us at www.CoastalClimateControl.com about your marine solar system.

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