I can keep a storm jib set on the inner stay and a tripple reefed main up to about 45 knots close hauled making reasonable windward progress as long as there isn't chop. Any more and it's heave too or drogue time.
Looks like this nail has been beat.. but may I offer a suggestion?
Get an autopilot with the wireless remote or install a joystick somewhere. Thats how a lot of the bigger boys are doing it now. You could have remote steering (with no feedback) when you need it and tiller for when you actually want to sail. If you want a wheel that bad it probably wouldn't be impossible to fabricate some sort of pulse to analog converter and feed a wheel signal to an AP.
I took a solar installer's course as part of my trade. The course was pretty in depth in terms of area calculations, factoring in location and climate, and installation methods. You need to do a lot of work if you want a grid tie system, done to code. May be an idea to get a pro to do it. You don't need a battery bank for your inverter, but it makes more sense. We used Panasonic panels and sunny boy inverters. Our test setup was 12 panels into the inverter, and north of the 49th on a sunny day we produced 9.6kw of power. We got a 100 watt light bulb to shine very bright! The warranty on panels is usually 25 years, and a typical system pays for itself in 8-10. Your state may have incentive programs, grants and rebates to help with the cost. Grid tie doesn't guarantee the power will be bought by the authority. If they do, it may be at a greatly reduced rate compared to buying. Ontario Canada is an exception, where hydro basically shot themselves in the foot with incentives and buyback rates. Everyone wants solar because a peak power system has hydro paying you to use their power.
Net metering (utility buys excess power) is required in the US, but some utilities were slower than others to comply. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Policy_Act_of_2005 and yes the rate can be pretty low. The way you really benefit is offsetting your own use which simply doesn't get recorded by the meter and therefore is worth whatever rate you are paying. My utility just made net metering available this year and pays 1/4 what they charge, which is exactly what they pay for wholesale power. Yes, get the system professionally installed. We aren't talking 12 Volts anymore with a kW or larger system, but on some order of 10 times that DC which will make quick work of whatever gets in it's way. Also, your utility may require a lockable disconnect switch on the solar system, AC side, and if grid tie alone it must be 'anti-islanding.' Its not cheap or simple, but not worthless either.