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Jun 22 2011

New Power Inverter Ready to Install

There are just a few things that have bugged me with regards to the boat being ready to leave at a moment’s notice, and having all the things installed that I deemed necessary for a decent survival at sea.  Although a better power inverter was not at the top of my list, it was definitely on there.

We currently have a 750 watt inverter that served us well, but it has always lacked the power for several appliances that we deem necessary.  We want to be able to run a coffee maker for a few minutes in the morning and also turn on the hot water heater for a hot shower a few times a week.  I’m ready to connect the water heater to the engine for hot water, but I don’t want to rely on starting the engine (burning unrenewable diesel) every time I want hot water.  We also have an ice maker that is not able to start on the old inverter.

At first glance these things seem frivolous to the average person, and in the scheme of things – survival at sea – they are.  We do not have designs on going to sea in survival mode.  We would like to enjoy some simple pleasures while out there.  A hot shower twice a week, ice in our drinks at cocktail hour while we watch the sun go down…  If you can support these things, then why not?  If you are on a budge and it is a stretch to buy what is needed, then by all means, stick to the necessities first.

The decision to keep many of the systems on the boat electric was after some planning.  Electricity is a renewable resource on the boat.  As long as you calculate your usage and are able to replenish the batteries with solar/wind, you can use what you want.  I created a spreadsheet to do the simple calculations for me.  That made it easier to tweak the usage on those things that we would have connected to the battery bank and the inverter.  And always take into account the inefficiency of the inverter.  Ours claims to be around 90% efficient, but that may be a stretch for any inverter.  We’ll see.

I bought a Power Bright 2300 watt inverter.  It has a peak of 4600 watts available.  I read several buyer reviews and all but one were shining.  That will give us enough power to run anything we want, and not at a rate that will tax a smaller inverter.  I wanted enough overhead for additional loads as needed and I did not want to run close to the max with the inverter always running warm to keep up.  It only cost us around $205 with shipping (Amazon is our new BFF), so it didn’t break the budget.

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