• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Benefits of an inverter

NYSail

.
Jan 6, 2006
2,705
Beneteau 423 Mt. Sinai, NY
hello all I have a xantrex 3000 inverter on my boat that we never use that takes up a large amount of space.... have always charged phones, iPad and lap top using 12 v plug. We never use microwave, coffee made using stove and French press. Wife never uses hair dryer on boat. Am I missing some benefits?

Greg
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,582
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
We have many AC powered devices aboard, but I admit we don't turn our inverter on often.

Basically used when we have guests aboard. They always look for a 120 VAC outlet.
I leave most rechargeable stuff plugged into a 120V power strip and don't worry about. Low amp draw.

On hot days below, we do a a few portable 120 V area fans. DC fans are too small for comfort.

I like it because I can use it if needed.
Jim...
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,436
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
The biggest problem with an inverter such as yours is how it was installed. It would require a transfer switch and correct neutral/ground bonding & un-bonding. I can tell by the image that the DC cabling is undersized so I would strongly question how safely this was installed. Most inverters of this type, that we see on boats, are incorrectly & unsafely installed.
 
Jan 19, 2010
931
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
I use our inverter to power the ice maker... It is a table top type ( say that 3 times fast), Makes ice in 10 mins. Usually start the ice maker after starting the engine when motoring into an anchorage. By the time the hook is secure and no drag detected, the ice is ready for libations....
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,666
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Greg, I'm wondering if I need to install an inverter and whether to install a pure sine wave or modified sine wave. The main uses for it would be charging a laptop, charging various 20 v power tool batteries, and perhaps running an AC fan. Basically low load items. To keep things simple, I would not tie it into the the existing AC circuits.
 
  • Like
Likes: JamesG161
Jun 11, 2011
1,243
Hunter 41 Lewes
I use our inverter to power the ice maker... It is a table top type ( say that 3 times fast), Makes ice in 10 mins. Usually start the ice maker after starting the engine when motoring into an anchorage. By the time the hook is secure and no drag detected, the ice is ready for libations....
What brand is the ice maker?
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
2,640
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
Greg, I'm wondering if I need to install an inverter and whether to install a pure sine wave or modified sine wave. The main uses for it would be charging a laptop, charging various 20 v power tool batteries, and perhaps running an AC fan. Basically low load items. To keep things simple, I would not tie it into the the existing AC circuits.
I wonder if the increasing use of power conserving devices is changing how we 'wire' our boats? We got along with a couple of small portable inverters on this and our previous boat. The small inverters, 200 and 400 Watt perhaps, used to be marginal for our needs.

Laptops were often charging and we'd quickly overwhelm the inverters if we needed to charge more than one device at a time. This also resulted in heavy charging needs on the engine.

Fast forward a few years and now more of our device needs are satisfied by tablets and phones. Onboard for about a month last season, I don't think I used a laptop except to download photographs. It's battery never needed charging.

Add all LED cabin lighting and our charging needs (all alternator supplied), have dropped dramatically over a few years.

We did use the smaller 200 watt inverter to charge a few camera batteries but our feeling of freedom from 'juice' generation has vastly increased.
 
  • Like
Likes: Parsons
Jul 7, 2004
7,884
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Our boat came with an old Freedom charger/inverter. The AC fans were wired to the inverter. We never use AC while sailing and the unit didn't like our undergauged 20amp shore power so I replaced it with a ProCharger. Shaved about 40 pounds from the stern locker.
 
Last edited:
Oct 24, 2010
2,382
Hunter 30 Everett, WA
We have an inverter (2,000 watts) that's not tied into the AC system but has 2 inverter only outlets. We almost never use it.
I've made coffee with it (but usually use the stove) and I think I charged something once. It was on the boat when we bought it or it wouldn't be there.

Ken
 

Sumner

.
Jan 31, 2009
5,254
Macgregor & Endeavour 26S and 37 Utah's Canyon Country
Greg, I'm wondering if I need to install an inverter and whether to install a pure sine wave or modified sine wave. The main uses for it would be charging a laptop, charging various 20 v power tool batteries, and perhaps running an AC fan. Basically low load items. To keep things simple, I would not tie it into the the existing AC circuits.
I pulled the old one out of the Endeavour and used the space for ...

http://1fatgmc.com/boat/end-1/endeavour-elect/page-3.html
..... improved wiring.
Everything on the boat runs on 12 volts except in the yard we have a microwave in the boat that gets removed before going on the water. We have two small Wagan pure sine wave inverters that plug into a 12v socket just in case we need to charge the batteries for the 12v power tools. Have hardly ever used them.

For Laptops we have 12 volt converters that plug into 12v sockets. They are more efficient than using inverters for the job. Guess it all depends on what you can live with and without. If we were full time liveaboards we might want more.

Sumner
==============================================================
1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
Endeavour 37 Mods...
MacGregor 26-S Mods...
Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,240
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
I use our inverter to power the ice maker... It is a table top type ( say that 3 times fast), Makes ice in 10 mins. Usually start the ice maker after starting the engine when motoring into an anchorage. By the time the hook is secure and no drag detected, the ice is ready for libations....
Ice is essential, particularly after a long day sailing. And while sailing. And sometimes before...

People should have redundant inverters if only for this purpose. :)
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
For Laptops we have 12 volt converters that plug into 12v sockets. They are more efficient than using inverters for the job. Guess it all depends on what you can live with and without. If we were full time liveaboards we might want more.

Sumner
==============================================================
1300 miles to The Bahamas and Back in the Mac...
Endeavour 37 Mods...
MacGregor 26-S Mods...
Mac Trips to Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Canada, Florida, Bahamas
Laptop charging is the only item for which we now need AC power. So, I’m going to check out your item. Other chargeables use 12-volt plug & USB. Wife uses a 12-volt hair drier when away from shore power. Not real hot, but gets the job done well enough. Use the ice maker only at the dock. If it came to that (installing an inverter for cocktail ice), I’d rather switch to Pussers Rum out of the bottle, refrigerated ale/beer, and/or red wine, etc. (But, we do love or cocktails!)
 

Bob S

.
Sep 27, 2007
1,682
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Greg,
I have the same inverter and haven't used mine either. I was thinking of removing it and adding a Wallas diesel heater in its place. I would use that much more often in NE. I carry a Honda 2000 companion for her hairdryer and morning toast.
 
Nov 13, 2013
622
Catalina 34 Tacoma
I have a small 700W inverter that takes up very little space (6"x4"). I use it primarily to charge my laptop or cordless tools when underway. I can cook coffee on the stove or dry my hair with a towel when anchored or use the Yamaha 2000 if I need more power.
Inverters are inherently inefficient in power conversion. Useful if you have an ample house bank and like to use all your creature comforts.
 
Jul 12, 2011
971
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Those 12-volt computer chargers look sweet - $25 on Amazon, and they come with multiple plugs to fit your computer. Looks much better than converting 12-volt DC to 120-V AC to 6-volt DC again.
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,956
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
We had no need for an inverter on our boat until I bought a Torqeedo outboard for the dinghy. The only charging cord available was AC, so I had to buy a small inverter to plug into a 12v outlet. Invert the 12v to 120v AC, then convert the 120v AC to 12v DC. Not very efficient! A couple of years later, I was able to buy a 12v charging cord for the Torqeedo charger from West Marine. I don't know what Torqeedo was thinking.
 
Last edited:
Dec 19, 2006
5,725
Hunter 36 Punta Gorda
We use our 2000 watt inverter/charger all the time mostly when at night watching tv or charging
our phones or maybe we may use microwave during day or anything needing 110 power away from shore power.
Our inverter comes in handy any time we are not plugged into shore power and many times out in the sunny day time,we do have 2-195 watt solar panels that charge 4-6 volt batteries.
When ever we have plenty of sunny charging we take advantage of using ourinverter.
Nick
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,956
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
hello all I have a xantrex 3000 inverter on my boat that we never use that takes up a large amount of space.... have always charged phones, iPad and lap top using 12 v plug. We never use microwave, coffee made using stove and French press. Wife never uses hair dryer on boat. Am I missing some benefits?

Greg
I don't think you are missing anything, Greg. Like you, we have no need for an inverter on the boat. That being said, I was very surprised to realize after I bought my boat, that there wasn't a single 12v outlet on the boat. There were a half dozen 120v outlets, but no inverter. Apparently, Catalina assumed I would be living at the dock, plugged into shore power. My first project was to install three 12v outlets at various places on the boat.
 
  • Like
Likes: Parsons