We've got a 1968 Soverel 33 with several generations of kludged-together antiquated wiring
and it's a general confusing mess (Lucas electrics FTL); I'm planning to totally redesign and rewire the thing so that it's suitable for fulltime liveaboards (two of us) and eventual cruising.
I'm no expert electrician, but I've rewired cars and planes, and I was an ET in the service
. I have the basic skillset but no specific knowledge that is unique to boats. I'm not afraid to get in there and try stuff to get the thing to work.
At the moment it has a 10A charger
and no inverter
at all; we only have 120VAC while hooked to shore power
; it's hardwired to the two AC outlets. No shore power
, no AC.
What I want to do is upgrade the charger
and install two inverters and a third outlet. The AC power load will mostly be light--two laptops and a printer, a small space heater, and a small fridge; but with occasional large loads from a microwave. The boat has a small DC fridge which we're keeping--ain't broke, so not gonna mess with it--and the DC lighting
system, which I'm going to rewire for neatness and switch over to LED light ASAP. We're going to add a second fridge that can store more than a sixpack.
My specific plan is to go with a 30-amp switchable 2-stage/3-stage charger; a single
(bought dirt cheap
at a pawn shop, not my first choice, but too good a deal to pass up) to power the one V-berth outlet; and a 2.0kW P
SW inverter to power the saloon
outlets which will carry more sensitive electronic loads.
The 750W MSW inverter will carry an occasional load of ~600W (small space heater, plus a digital clock, plus a small hair dryer (the heater will be turned off while the dryer is on)).
The 2.0kW PSW inverter will carry a steady load of ~250W (two laptops and a printer) and an additional ~350W (second fridge running on AC) plus an occasional load of ~1500W (microwave). We'll power down the printer while microwaving.
The DC system will remain, powering the antique-but-functional minifridge, the interior lighting
and fans, depthfinders, radio
stereo, and all exterior lighting. Again, I'm just going to rewire the Edison wiring
and upgrade to LEDs.
First question, and by far the most important: Does any of this sound at all stupid
; i.e. am I missing anything obvious?
Second question: Is it preferable to mount the inverters in the cabin
, or in the engine
space? Are there any regs that specify placement?
Third question: I know this will also require breaker panels
, and those I am not as familiar with (not common in cars or small aircraft) but it should not be a major technical challenge; will I need two separate ones for AC and DC systems? Can I go with a "universal" panel that does it all?
Fourth question: Down the road we're planning to add solar panels
and a wind
jenny; does anything I'm planning now preclude these, or are there things I can set in place now to prepare for these additions later on?
Last question: Anyone in Charleston want to get in on this? I'll buy beer
Edit: At the moment we have three batteries and I intend to add more.