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Old 28-10-2011, 11:10   #1
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Microwave Oven for Boat

I'm looking to install a small microwave oven in the galley. We have an 800ah battery bank and a 3kw inverter. Was thinking to keep the microwave in the 1k to 1500 watt range. Looking for tips from others who are using microwave ovens aboard. This will primarily be for convenience items not for any sort of long term cooking. Maybe something small like 700 watts is plenty?
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:19   #2
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

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Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
I'm looking to install a small microwave oven in the galley. We have an 800ah battery bank and a 3kw inverter. Was thinking to keep the microwave in the 1k to 1500 watt range. Looking for tips from others who are using microwave ovens aboard. This will primarily be for convenience items not for any sort of long term cooking. Maybe something small like 700 watts is plenty?
Interesting question
The Admiral is asking for one and so far I've resited telling her not on a boat...
I'll be glad also to see the answers
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:20   #3
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

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Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
I'm looking to install a small microwave oven in the galley. We have an 800ah battery bank and a 3kw inverter. Was thinking to keep the microwave in the 1k to 1500 watt range. Looking for tips from others who are using microwave ovens aboard. This will primarily be for convenience items not for any sort of long term cooking. Maybe something small like 700 watts is plenty?
Be ware that many inverters won't run a microwave; the waveform is incorrect. It will turn on, but it won't heat well and will not last long.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:23   #4
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

Personally, I find the microwave the least utilized feature on the boat. Most times, its just storing stuff inside like cants or plates. A stove does near all the cooking and we just dont stay at marinas enough to justify the amp draw of a microwave. I cant imagine how severe the drawdown would be inverted...yowza.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:29   #5
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

I have them on both boats. The one on La belle Aurore was used as a bread box when cruising because I do not have a large inverter on her. On Breathless we use it mostly for heating things up. It runs off our 2000w inverter and draws 90 amps when on. So if it's on for three minutes it uses about 5 amps. It is quite handy, for example, when cooking rice we'll cook enough for a few meals and then heat it up in the microwave. As for size, a small one is fine. Depends on what space you've got to fit it in.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:29   #6
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

I have had a microwave onboard for years without any problems. It gets used quite a bit. It is 1000 watts. I have a true sine wave inverter and it works just fine. Some electrical devices need a true sine wave and some can get by with a modified square wave. Some of that depends on how close the wave form is to a true sine wave...it varies from inverter to inverter. I don't know how close the wave form needs to be and it probably also varies with the microwave.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:30   #7
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

My impression is that most microwaves takeabout 40% more power on the AC side than the rated output power, so an 800W mw would pull about 1100W from your inverter. 1000W, 1400 on the inverter.

A compact microwave probably will be only 700-800 watts, and unless you are cooking convenient turkeys, that's probably enough for convenience items. If you've got enough inverter, if the inverter output is OK, if you've got enough amphours in the bank...

And the rest of the time, it makes a great Faraday cage.<G>
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:33   #8
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

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Originally Posted by SV Demeter View Post
I'm looking to install a small microwave oven in the galley. We have an 800ah battery bank and a 3kw inverter. Was thinking to keep the microwave in the 1k to 1500 watt range. Looking for tips from others who are using microwave ovens aboard. This will primarily be for convenience items not for any sort of long term cooking. Maybe something small like 700 watts is plenty?
yeah, the little ones seem to heat up tea water etc fine. They draw a lot anyway!
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:36   #9
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

it will work when you are on a dock using shore power but it wont work well if at all or for long when on the invertor. how do i know-- gulf of mexico trip in opb for near year. first half he tried to use it--second half left it in storage closet.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:36   #10
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

I have a microwave and use it quite a bit at the marina. Works fine at the dock. Got it at Walmart (1000 watt I think). I have an inverter rated at 2800 watts cheap square wave. While under under power I saw load on my amp meter go way up and found wife heating tea in microwave. The draw I concluded was impractical for non marina use. Inverter was OK but draw from batteries (2- 6volt golf batteries) was to much of a strain. With no account for load losses 1000 watts is about 8.3 amps at 120 volts for a 12 volt system that is about 83 amps. You would need to plan ahead for that. Its like running a water heater or ac unit. Just not practical.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter
I'm looking to install a small microwave oven in the galley. We have an 800ah battery bank and a 3kw inverter. Was thinking to keep the microwave in the 1k to 1500 watt range. Looking for tips from others who are using microwave ovens aboard. This will primarily be for convenience items not for any sort of long term cooking. Maybe something small like 700 watts is plenty?
As you can see, people's experiences vary a lot. My boat has a large built in micro with grill as originally built. 1700 watts. I use it a lot and find it to be extremely useful, dealing quickly and efficiently with a range of tasks which would be time consuming on the stove, and which would generate dirty pots, which is more time, plus water consumption. My inverter deals with it fine (3kW Victron driven by 440ah * 24v of batteries). YMMV, obviously.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:47   #12
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

We find the microwave on the boat just as handy as the one at home. The only compromise is size and location.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:47   #13
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
it will work when you are on a dock using shore power but it wont work well if at all or for long when on the invertor. how do i know-- gulf of mexico trip in opb for near year. first half he tried to use it--second half left it in storage closet.
Whether or not it is going to work for you depends on your inverter, how much current the microwave draws, the microwaves tolerance to modified square waves, battery capacity, how much you use it and the ability to recharge your batteries and/or the capacity of your generator.

There are too many variables to give a simple yes or no answer.
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Old 28-10-2011, 11:59   #14
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

I have a 900 watt sine wave inverter and a 700 watt microwave oven. The microwave has a manual timer that draws no power when not in use instead of the usual electronic timer.

This setup takes about 11 minutes to bake a potato or about 15 amp-hours. This is less then 1 hour of solar panel recharge time. Most things take less then 5 minutes cooking/heating time.

I also have a 700 watt George Foreman electric grill. It take 4 to 8 minutes to do steak, sausage, or fish. Or, 11 to 13 minutes to cook a chicken breast. And, it was only $15 new.

These work great and with the solar panels their use is "free".

The only restriction is that you need a battery bank that will provide 80 amps for 15 minutes.

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Old 28-10-2011, 12:07   #15
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Re: Microwave oven for boat

a small microwave (not the smallest) worked fine while cruising on three of my boats. Two had a 1000 watt invertor. Not a cheap invertor though, Both were old school big heavy Freedoms. For minimal use, (2-3 mins at a time.) works out fine. Differnt thing if that's how you intend to "cook".
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