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Old 21-10-2015, 15:59   #1
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Which Brand of Inverter?

My boat has a battery charger, but no inverter. I have 330 Ah in my house bank. I want to be able to use AC outlets when not tied to shore power, was thinking a 1000 or 1800 pure sine inverter would be appropriate.

About 5 years ago I had a Xantrax inverter, I know they specialize in Marine and RV, don't know if their reputation has held.

I was hoping those more knowledgeable than me on the forum could give me their experience on this brand or others for what I want to do. Thanks.
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Old 21-10-2015, 17:03   #2
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Re: which brand of inverter?

I am not really up to speed on the current models/brands of inverters as I am no longer working so can't add much. But MasterVolt, Victron, Outback, Xantrex are all popular. If you want to hardwire it in to your boat's AC system go with an inverter specifically for boats (some are both). If you want to have just one plug that is isolated from the rest of the electrical on the boat you might get away with a non-boat inverter. I'm surprised others haven't piped in on this yet.
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Old 21-10-2015, 17:08   #3
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Re: which brand of inverter?

I have had one of these for several years.
No frills, but true sine wave and no problems at all. I have had several inverters over the years and this one is perfect for my boat.

Tiger Claw 1500W 3000W Pure Sine Wavepower Inverter DC AC Power Converter | eBay

There's another at twice the power for the same price, but it's NOT a pure sine wave.

Tiger Claw 3000W 6000W Power Inverter DC AC Power Converter | eBay

That said, I have a Magnum 4kw sine wave inverter/charger in my home's solar grid tie which is also a good unit.
Stay away from Xantrex !
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Old 21-10-2015, 23:16   #4
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Re: which brand of inverter?

the new xantrax is garbage. at 330ah house bank you're not going to be running a big inverter. maybe 1000w-1500w (and not for very long). normally I have 600-800ah for a 2000 watt. what exactly are you trying to run?
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Old 22-10-2015, 06:22   #5
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

Small microwaves 5 minutes, maybe coffee, 3 minutes, charging cell phone tablets. Just need to know what brands have been reliable and worth their cost.

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Old 22-10-2015, 06:41   #6
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

First of all, you should by all means get a combined inverter/charger, with "power boost". This will allow you to regulate how much shore power or generator power you take and supplement it as necessary with inverted power. This function is incredibly useful.

The classic European brands are Victron and MasterVolt. They are beautiful and have all functions, and they are more reliable than the main American brands, but in my opinion not reliable enough. I have Victron, which works superbly and is beautifully made (and very expensive), but it has failed several times and I couldn't really recommend it.

Check out Outback, about which I've heard great things. I have no direct experience, but I've heard that these are very robust and reliable.

Interestingly, there is a budget UK brand -- Sterling -- which has a better reputation than Victron for reliability. Very inexpensive and apparently really good -- check that out, too.

Then there is Newmar -- what my boat was delivered with. This is a top U.S. brand and very expensive. Can't say how reliable or good it is -- my Newmar battery charger failed at about 8 years, which I don't think is very good.
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Old 22-10-2015, 06:51   #7
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Re: which brand of inverter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I am not really up to speed on the current models/brands of inverters as I am no longer working so can't add much. But MasterVolt, Victron, Outback, Xantrex are all popular. If you want to hardwire it in to your boat's AC system go with an inverter specifically for boats (some are both). If you want to have just one plug that is isolated from the rest of the electrical on the boat you might get away with a non-boat inverter. I'm surprised others haven't piped in on this yet.
If you only need one outlet and you don't want the expense or hassle of a full installed inverter or inverter/charger, then there are plenty of good small inverters on the market which can be wired up easily. This involves so little installation that the reliability is not so critical, as a full installed inverter/charger. Here some good ones from Sterling: http://sterling-power.com/collection...rters-with-rcd.

A full installed inverter/charger is a fair amount of work to install, because it is interposed in the AC electrical system between the shore power and generator power inputs and the rest of the system.

A Lagoon 380 is a really comfortable cruising boat which might have quite a few people on board at the same time -- wouldn't you want AC power available everywhere and continuously? I would think you would want an electrical system with something like the following characteristics:

1. AC generator or at least, a jumbo school bus alternator on one or both of the main engines.

2. Completely separated house and engine start banks.

3. House battery bank of at least 600 amp/hours (@12v).

4. Solar panels (on a cat, why not?).

5. Inverter charger with power boost, 3000 watts inverting and 120 amps charging, at least.


I think on a cat that size you could get away without a separate AC generator (as long as you are not running air conditioning); just put a jumbo second alternator on one or both of the main engines and use that. You can get a good 2 kW of power out of one of those, and invert pretty much all the AC power you need. A good 3000 watt inverter will handle transient loads double that so you can run pretty much any AC gear you need on board, within reason as regards to what you have going at the same time.
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Old 22-10-2015, 07:58   #8
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

I had a Victron , it failed as well , got no support as I bought the unit , new, 3 years before I installed it and it went out of date. I couldn't get any parts so it when in the trash . Next I got a Xantrex SW 2000 , it failed as well, I bought it used. I fixed that by installing new capacitors and it worked fine but I didn't install it again , i was not impressed with the construction of the unit . I finally found a Vanner Brutus 2400 watt unit that was brand new old stock. The Vanner's are very rugged built for industrial use.
Very simple pure sine wave inverter massively built . This thing has been bullet proof , I never turn it of . I have several things on board that are only wired to it, microwave / domestic water pump and the rest of the boat when I leave shore power
There are plenty of Vanners on ebay, great products with great service

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Old 22-10-2015, 08:17   #9
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

Anything but Xantrex.
Newmar is the choice of most commercial operations. Their customer service is the best in the business. Their customer service people know the products, are easy to get on the phone and respond quickly to emails. As a Newmar dealer I appreciate that they usually ship an order the same day I send it to them.
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Old 22-10-2015, 08:19   #10
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

First thanks for the replies. Second, I don't want single outlet, I have 6 AC outlets I want be able to power, though the staterooms won't be using very much power, probably just charging devices. Third, I will have solar. Fourth, I do have separate house and start engines. Fifth, my mistake, I have 480 Ah of capacity. Finally, the boat already has a charger so I didn't think I would need an inverter charger.

I don't think I will be putting a genset on it, I don't have AC.

I will also be putting DC outlets in each stateroom so that should help out.

These days, everything without a motor is DC, in fact you could argue that we should be making our houses partially DC as converting from DC for led lights, TVs, etc is justing wasting tons of fuel. REally just your refrigerator, Air, blowers , heat, etc that need AC

However, since there are still AC useful devices, I need an inverter, and would like to have one that is reliable.
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Old 22-10-2015, 09:53   #11
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

I had the Kisae brand recommended by an ABYC technician. Any experiences to talk about? Apparently there's history between the founder of Kisae and Xantrex.
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Old 22-10-2015, 17:26   #12
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pirate Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

Here is my two cents
I have zantrex 48 volt off grid inverter in my off grid home and have found the product to be flawless over the last ten years. But that said when i recently refitted my Corbin 39 I found Zantrex to be a different beast there products did not compare to 10 years ago, off grid did not seem to be there game anymore.

ZODORE PFV SERIES power solar inverter charger is three products in one: pure sine wave inverter/ battery charger function/ built in with 60 amp solar charge controller. I have no affiliation and have only had unit installed one year but for one boat dollar you should give unit a look.
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Old 22-10-2015, 18:19   #13
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

After 30 years in the industry I'm still happy with Victron, MasterVolt, Outback, and Magnum. All have performed well for my customers. Victron had a problem with one model (early 50 amp transfer switch multiplus models); they have been fully re-engineered and they replaced all the failed ones on my customers boats. I have had two running full time for 10 years, heavily used (split phase) without a glitch; same with Mastervolt on the boat next door. Avoid anything Xantex...
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Old 22-10-2015, 18:21   #14
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
First thanks for the replies. Second, I don't want single outlet, I have 6 AC outlets I want be able to power, though the staterooms won't be using very much power, probably just charging devices. Third, I will have solar. Fourth, I do have separate house and start engines. Fifth, my mistake, I have 480 Ah of capacity. Finally, the boat already has a charger so I didn't think I would need an inverter charger.

I don't think I will be putting a genset on it, I don't have AC.

I will also be putting DC outlets in each stateroom so that should help out.

These days, everything without a motor is DC, in fact you could argue that we should be making our houses partially DC as converting from DC for led lights, TVs, etc is justing wasting tons of fuel. REally just your refrigerator, Air, blowers , heat, etc that need AC

However, since there are still AC useful devices, I need an inverter, and would like to have one that is reliable.
OK, that's helpful information.

You can either go with

1. A larger inverter (I suggest about 3kW) wired to your whole AC system with a changeover switch (Shorepower/Inverter).

or

2. A charger-inverter with power boost, through which all your AC power goes on its way to your AC system.


The second will be more expensive, but you get the great advantage of being able to regulate power draw from shore power and supplement it with inverted power, an extremely useful function. That's the way I would go. And leave your existing charger as a backup.


Charging mobile devices has become a big deal these days, with every person on board carrying two or three or even more devices. It's more efficient with DC using USB outlets of some kind, and perhaps worth it consider how many devices are charging all the time.

But otherwise, I wouldn't get too hung up on DC vs AC. Good inverters are 95% or better efficient, so you can use AC or DC as is convenient, once you're wired up with a good inverter.
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Old 22-10-2015, 19:40   #15
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Re: Which Brand of Inverter?

Previously, I had a Xantrex Prosine inverter/charger. It was a nightmare! I loved the features and small size, but had multiple failures, both of the original charger and a subsequent replacement. Even when working, it would go on holiday for a day or two. Technical support from Xantrex was terrible. Never again!


Since then I have had a Magnum Energy unit, operating pretty much full time for the last four years. The Magnum is larger and heavier, but just keeps ticking along without a peep.

I would rather praise a good product than disparage a bad product, but, in my experience, this was the worst, most frustrating boat product, in my experience, I can ever recall.
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