Although your electrical system
may be set up for cruising and hanging on the hook if it is also designed to be automatic you will benefit from the simplicity of not having to think about it....it just works for you when you need it.
Many modern laptops, compact stereos, LCD TVs microwave ovens and clocks have internal power supplies which "carry-over" operation during an automatic switchover between shore power and inverter operation. Many times I have been at the dock
watching some DVD
or listening to music
when shore power was interrupted (for whatever reason). With the "autoinvert" function on the inverter/charger enabled a seamless transfer occurs with no interruption of my enjoyment.
If I am leaving the boat I disable the autoinvert function so that should shorepower be interrupted no battery
drain occurs when I'm not there. I found a Casio alarm
clock which has an LED backlight running onlywhen shorepower is available, otherwise it is out and can run on its own AA batteries for long times. Most batery backup clicks have horrible run times on their internal batteries, if you've discovered.
Do not confuse automatic with unreliable. Do not confuse what appears to be complex with bad mean-time-before-failure. Integrated circuits have very complex internal designs yet are orders of magnitude more reliable than simpler discrete components....that is what put man on the moon!
People decry their lack of ability to do their own repairs
on modern automobiles yet do not take notice that, in general, they don't need repair as compared to the early ones which you could work on (other than changing oil
Wouldn't you rather have your boat's electrical
system function without anyone having to think about it? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to turn your boat over to someone without having to give them a long list of directions of how to switch this or that in case this or that happens should you have to leave and not worry?
Several of us in the industry have worked for years to make this a reality and know how to do it yet are frustrated with the fact that the marine
market (below the superyacht level) is not as lucrative to develop as other markets (like the RV market which is a HUNDRED times more lucrative. The automotive market it a thousand more times more lucrative than that, just to put the economics in perspective).
At least on my own boat the electrical
system is automatic enough so that I tell my wife: "You can connect or disconnect the shore power without being concerned with throwing any breakers or switches anywhere." "You can start the engine
at anytime with or without shorepower attached without first checking any switches". If there is not shore power you can use all of your hairdryer and stereo and microwave." "If you see that LED turn yellow start and run the engine
untill it turns green then turn off the engine". That is as complicated as it gets. Not totally automatic yet quite so. How simple is that? (what a diatribe!)