AC Inverter Installation ~ Complete January 2016

The inverter that was on the boat at purchase would not put out. Very often sailboat people will buy a combination Battery Charger / Inverter, but as the existing Mastervolt charger was essentially new and represented about $400 of value that would be be sold-on for a reasonable price. To buy a new 2000 Watt 120VAC Inverter / 12 VDC Charger will run about $1,000.

The most obvious question when you look to replace an inverter is how much capacity and what kind if loads will it be used with. Two things are really important, the Kuerig coffee maker and a combination Rice cooker / Crock Pot. The loads are pure resistive at 800 and 1600 watts each. The other option is to be able to run the fan only of the AFT air conditioner, this was estimated to to be under 100 watts. The possibility of multiple users at one time is a reality so it seemed sensible to find an inverter of around 2000 watts.

The next question to be answered is whether you want a pure sine wave or a modified sine wave power inverter. A pure sine wave lets you run sensitive 120VAC electronic devices of the inverter without concert for damage to the device. A modified sine wave inverter is lower cost, usually about 2/3 but not inconsequential. We looked at our electronic loads, TV, Navigation, PC Server ... and all are 12 VDC units, so we purchased a 2300 Watt / 4600 Watt peak modified sine wave inverter for under $200.

One of the things we had never thought about is the requirement to disconnect shore power if the inverter is going to energised. this is done with a 3 position switch Shore Power | OFF | Inverter that has to be placed first in line from the shore power 120VAC 30A receptacle. Not hard intellectually but finding a place behind the breaker panel and routing wire to the Inverter ~ House Battery location was tricky. The inverer as you can see from the picture is mounted behind the cockpit steps directly above the house battery bank.