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Old 14-07-2014, 15:47   #1
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Which inverter /charger do you have? Im in the market for one and would like input about size, brand and...whatever else.

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Old 14-07-2014, 15:51   #2
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Re: Inverters

You might want to post a little more "intended use" info.

You have a 50 foot boat - You might be looking for an inverter that does a little more than my 400w unit...

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Old 14-07-2014, 16:08   #3
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Re: Inverters

We have owned Trace (pre-Xantrex), Prosine (post-Xantrex), Outback and Victron. All of them 2500-3000W invert size and 100-120A charger size.

If I were to buy another one, I would buy a Magnum.

Anything Xantrex in this size is a huge mistake.


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Old 14-07-2014, 16:09   #4
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Re: Inverters

The intended use could be anything. I know thats vague. The scuba compressor runs off the engine, the A/C will be shore power or when the engine is running only. All lighting below deck are LEDs. It has a 100 amp windlass, all the usual ( plus some) nav, chart plotter, auto pilot, Water maker. I want 6 people to be comfortable for weekend outings, or something I can go out on for weeks at a time and solo rough it. I am confident I will have icebergs to dodge AND warm tropical waters in my future. There is a lot I dont even know to ask about. Help????
I'm not looking for the cheap way, I want quality.
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Old 14-07-2014, 17:31   #5
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Re: Inverters

You need to add up the watts of all 110 volt equipment you want to run at the same time and then get an inverter with about 1.5 times that for output. So if for example your 6 guests are girls that want to blow dry their hair at the same tome it would be 1500w times 6 or 9000 watts times 1.5 for safety is 13,500 watt inverter. Or if they could take turns maybe a 2000 watt would be just right.

Mine is a TrippLite not really a marine unit but it was free and has 2000w output a 100amp multi stageb charger and automatic generator starting interface. Not recomending you use a non marine quality but mine works great.

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Old 14-07-2014, 18:19   #6
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Re: Inverters

I just read Calders "mechanical and electrical " on this. ...its never simple is it? Thank for the input, time to study...:-)
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:15   #7
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Re: Inverters

I did not have luck with a Xantrex Freedom 2000 (i think). I now have a Victron Multiplus 12-2000-80. It is 12 volt, 2000 watts inverting, 80 amp charging. It has been good for 2 years.
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:28   #8
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Re: Inverters

Originally Posted by Matt sachs View Post
Which inverter /charger do you have? Im in the market for one and would like input about size, brand and...whatever else.
Hello Matt.

Aboard Seaweed I have an AIMS1000 inverter. I bought it from Power Inverters and Solar Inverters for Home and Businesses - The Inverter Store
It's square wave/not pure sine/ and $74. It's 1000 continuous and 3000 peak.

My charger is an Xantrex TrueCharge20 and it's okay. If it isn't broke don't fix it. And yes, like others, I've read lots of horror stories about Xantrex but mine works so I'm not knocking it.

As colemj states, the Magnum is probably in this day and age among the highest regarded inverter chargers in the marketplace Isn't Charles in there as well as a Top Performer? I think I've heard good things about their quality/technical staff as well.

Good luck with your decision.
Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat...
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Old 14-07-2014, 21:18   #9
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Re: Inverters


I went through the same process (choosing an inverter while knowing nothing about them) last year. Here is a link to the thread that I started to assist my decision:

A Quiet Inverter

Some of my thoughts on the matter:

-Inverters consume power even when not being asked to deliver A/C. The bigger the inverter, the larger this "standby" power consumption. My 300w unit only consumes 0.2 amps (standby) so I can leave the thing on night and day and not sweat the power loss.

-I wanted a silent inverter because I mounted mine in the cabin space. Most inverters have a cooling fan but what I learned is that the fan only comes on (on mine at least) when the unit is running at high capacity. So far, the fan on my unit as never come on.

-I have low A/C power needs - 300w machine is fine for just about all of my needs. If I ever need more capacity (hair dryer?), the plan is to add a second larger unit that only needs to be activated when needed.

Here is the inverter that I got:

Go Power! GP-SW300 Power Inverter

I am completely satisfied with this product.

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Old 14-07-2014, 21:54   #10
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Re: Inverters

If you want reliable chargers and inverters go with Newmar.
I've been their South Florida distributer for more than twenty years. I can count on one hand the Newmar products we've had to send for repair in that time. My customers are mostly commercial vessels and industrial users. They are pretty pricey for most pleasure boaters.
I have a Newmar charger on my own boat.
Newmar | Inverter-Chargers| 12 and 24 VDC | 1000 - 4800 Watts
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Old 15-07-2014, 01:23   #11
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Re: Inverters

I have a Magnum 3100. It has worked well for 3 years. I have the AC50 control panel. It works well but is extremely noisy on the SSB. I have installed special farites and it is better but I can still hear it in the SSB. If you turn off the back lite the noise goes away. Just a little info for those that might buy one.
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Old 15-07-2014, 03:29   #12
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Re: Inverters

My boat has a Freedom 2000 and it has worked fine for 13 years.

But if I had to get a new one I would look for one with a lower power draw when in standby so I wouldn't have to turn the inverter off all the time when not using
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Old 15-07-2014, 04:26   #13
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Re: Inverters

Stay away from Xantrex. They seem to fail often. Mine just fell apart!
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Old 15-07-2014, 04:47   #14
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Re: Inverters

I'm at the point where I want to replace the old inverter that came on the boat with two inverter, a small one for the ongoing camera, iPad charging stuff with the little AC to DC converters, and then something like a 2000w to turn on when we need to power up something heavier on a sporadic basis. 2KW because that's the same rating as the Honda and I think I can use that as a benchmark to define what's TOO big for the boat.

Can someone give me the nickel education on why we need modified sine wave vs pure sine wave? Does it matter?
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
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Old 15-07-2014, 06:45   #15
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Re: Inverters

Matt, it really depends on how you plan to use your electrical system, especially, how much AC gear you have on board and how much you use it.

I live on board my boat four or five months a year, and sail a few thousand miles a year, and so I have set up my boat for comfortable living. My boat was built with washer/dryer (a Godsend) and microwave built in, and besides that I use various kitchen appliances, coffee machine, electric kettle, vacuum cleaner, power tools, etc. I also use AC power for charging a multitude of small electronic devices -- although most of my personal things (laptop, tablet, phones, etc.) are charged from hard-wired DC chargers, my boat sleeps seven, and when she's full of people, then every outlet on board is full of different chargers -- no way to avoid that.

So on my boat, we have a Victron Multiplus 3000/24/70 charger/inverter, which is switched on 24/7 so there's always AC power. As others have said, inverter power ratings are grossly overstated, so that a 3000 watt inverter is really not good for much more than 2000 watts continuous. But this has been enough for our uses. You have to be careful not to have too many large consumers on at once but this has not been a problem for us in practice.

Remember this also depends on batteries. It's no good to have a huge inverter if you don't have corresponding battery capacity. We have 420 amp/hours (nominal) at 24v, equivalent to 840 at 12. More is always better, but I really don't feel too limited by this. It helps on our boat that we have an almost silent, heavy duty diesel generator, so it's not burdensome to recharge a couple of times a day if necessary. If we didn't have a painless way to recharge, we might be less satisfied with the battery capacity.

One feature you should insist on in any charger/inverter is power boost -- I believe Victron and Mastervolt have this -- not sure which others. This is incredibly useful. If you are on shore power (or generator power) and there is more demand for electrical power than shore power can deliver (you set the limit yourself on the control panel), then the charger/inverter will supplement shore power (or generator power) with inverted power from the batteries. For short term loads like motor startup (like a vacuum cleaner or power tools) or electric kettle, etc., it's absolutely brilliant -- otherwise you'd have flipped breakers or blown fuses, or you have to shut down everything else on the boat, etc. Just incredibly useful.

If you won't have anything like microwave, kettle, coffee maker, etc., then you might not need as much as 3000 watts (very nominal). But there may not be any point in downsizing since the inverter capacity is linked to charger capacity. Our unit gives 70 amps at 24v, which is only 16% of C -- wouldn't want a smaller one for our size of battery bank.

As to which maker -- Victron is beautiful, expensive equipment with superb functionality, but in my use (and that of many others) is disappointingly unreliable. Not sure I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Victron's main rival is Mastervolt, another Dutch company. Maybe there stuff is better; I don't know. Mastervolt stuff is much lighter, in any case, because they use switching-mode transformers instead of the big heavy magnetic transformers on Victron. That will make it much easier to install than Victron. Whether the magnet type is so much better, I don't know.

I agree with HopCar above about how nice Newmar gear is. It's very expensive and pretty. My boat was originally built with all Newmar stuff, but the main battery charger blew up a few years ago at the age of about 10 (which I guess is a decent service life for such a thing). I don't know whether they make charger/inverters with power boost, or not -- that is what you'll want in any case.

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

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