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Old 27-01-2014, 17:14   #1
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Micro wave or not to Micro wave

As i prepare my boat to go south in the fall I am debating the need or use for a micro wave...At present it is not rigged for DC which means an inverter will be required...I dont plan on saying each night in a marina or anywhere there is shore power connection. The cost of an inverter is around $100.00 for a 1000 watt. I guess my question to all u professional cruisers is "Is a micro wave worth taking".
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Old 27-01-2014, 17:50   #2
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Re: Micro wave or not to Macro wave

It truly depends upon you. The majority of my water miles has been without microwave. However, for those times when the weather made it too much a hassle to prepare a hot meal, a micro sure woulda' been convenient. A way to get around that is to always have the stove lit (for cabin heating, among other reasons) to reheat a prior prepared meal. I prefer to use metal cookware so for me a micro is minimally wanted.

Also, any micro that will cook a meal worthy of more than just one serving takes too much space. Why doncha' belay the decision and go get a few months at sea then see if you really need the appliance? Since you don't already have an inverter I would say it's too much a hassle to hook up an appliance which you may do well without.
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:05   #3
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

Our boat has a dedicated microwave cabinet and wired appropriately. After living aboard for a few months we learned it wasn't necessary. We reheat all our meals on stove top; they taste better, reheat fairly quickly and don't drain our battery bank. We also now have more storage space for cookbooks and liquor
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Old 27-01-2014, 18:23   #4
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

Many folks say microwaves keep their cabins cooler.

We have one and it works great for reheating coffee, making quick easy microwave lunches, and popcorn for the evening movie.

Why ask us? I'd guess you'll get 50/50 yea/nay. It's your boat, your choice.
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Old 27-01-2014, 19:00   #5
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

Different folks for different folks.

I say "No" because a microwave means you need more power, better invertor and perhaps a generator. That means more complication and more problems. We ofen meet people stuck in crummy ports repairing stuff we do not have on our boat.

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Old 27-01-2014, 19:08   #6
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

At the marina we use it all the time. Sailing or on the hook it holds the bread. Occasional use reheating the coffee I let get cold, or late night soup.
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Old 27-01-2014, 20:26   #7
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

don't have a microwave but i can understand some people might want one.

the inverter, on the other hand, is (in my humble opinion) worth having. although i'm a 12 volt kind of guy i find the inverter handy for running the vacuum cleaner and power tools. it's only 700 watts and cost about $60. wiring it up and mounting it in the cabin cost maybe another $30.
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:04   #8
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

If you have the room ,mine fit well in an unused area under the steps but it was a major power consumer so the only time mine was used was when the engine was running but it would be running anyway heat water for the shower charge battery's steaks on the grill potatoes in the micro! professional ? not! and they are cheap as boat parts go
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:14   #9
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

We've had a microwave for 19 years and a lot of cruising with over 1,600 nights at anchor.

I could easily live without it.

My wife (who does much of the cooking) would stage a cruel and brutal mutiny if the microwave were to fail or be unavailable.

Benefits:
- does keep the cabin much cooler in the summer (three of them in the north part of the Sea of Cortez)
- saves on propane usage (we have huge solar panels and unlimited AC power)
- is fairly quick for many things
- is much safer and easier for heating things while at sea

Disadvantages:
- is noisy
- needs a 2Kw inverter
- pulls 90 amps at 12.4 V while running
- I do not like most food that has been microwaved

We configured our boat from it's new purchase to have a lot of AC power available and to have the microwave installed before we took delivery so it has been no big deal to have it aboard.

If it was just me and I was single handing - I would still have the microwave.
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:22   #10
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

If you use a microwave on land, then you probably want it in the boat too.
I personally use mine a lot, so plan to have one on the boat too.

A microwave is more efficient at heating of food, but uses electric power, which can be harder to acquire in a boat, and if obtained through a generator is not efficient at all.
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:27   #11
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

If you're gonna buy a $60 inverter to power it, then better buy a couple of extra beers for that money and forget any microwaves or other AC powered appliances.
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Old 27-01-2014, 21:28   #12
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

We had one and removed it and built in a good storage cabinet where it was. It is something we would use at the dock but seldom at sea, we won't miss it. Even our one at home is used to heat water quickly and defrost frozen stuff. Everyone is different.
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Old 28-01-2014, 05:03   #13
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Kivett View Post

The cost of an inverter is around $100.00 for a 1000 watt. I guess my question to all u professional cruisers is "Is a micro wave worth taking".

Must be a small microwave? Otherwise, a 1000 watt inverter likely won't be sufficient...

We use our combo unit as a microwave sometimes, but more often as a convection oven... and having that aboard makes a big difference for our meal planning.

OTOH, we use the genset to drive it, not an inverter.

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Old 28-01-2014, 08:24   #14
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

I took my Force 10 out and replaced it with an induction cook top and an induction oven. I have a 4000 watt pro sine wave, charger/inverter with a gen set, four solar panels and a KISS wind generator. With my induction cooker I can heat something almost as fast as a microwave. But who's in a hurry. Power consumption is less than a microwave. I have four 8d lifeline agm batteries that provide the power. The cost of the induction system was a little more than 400.00 and I already had the electrical system in place. The whole thing works well and I don't have to haul around the propane bottles anymore.
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Old 28-01-2014, 08:28   #15
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Re: Micro wave or not to Micro wave

I say Nuke it! Another choice would be an induction cook top or infared oven. There's another thread on this forum where you can read about the induction cook top.
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