When I bought my boat
three years ago, I started gradually replacing the 9 year old electrical gear
with Victron, which seemed to me on the cutting edge of functionality, and look to be absolutely beautifully crafted.
I installed a Victron isolation transormer, then a Victron battery monitor
, then a Victron Multiplus charger/inverter with control head
The isolation transformer was dodgy from the start -- the breakers would trip for no apparent reason. I got used to running out to the lazarette sometimes several times an evening to reset them. A real PITA. Then, just about a year into my ownership
of this unit, it dead failed. Apparently there was a service
bulletin on these units -- just bypass the breakers -- they're defective and not needed anyway. FFS. Not worth the hassle of removing the unit and shipping
it in -- I planned to do it myself, but haven't gotten around to it -- so the isolation transformer sites uselessly in my laz gathering dust, bypassed.
Then the control panel
for the inverter/charger failed. No problem -- two year warranty -- send it in. But this happened two days before my summer cruise
this year, so I just bought a new one.
Now I'm on the boat
trying to get her ready to be lifted out of the water
at Cowes for her refit
. And what happens but the bloody inverter/transformer goes offline, with warning of overload/overheat. WTF? What overload? I used a
[EDIT: OBVIOUSLY, 1500 WATTS, NOT KW] coffee machine with the genset running, while doing a morning battery charging
session. But it's worse -- since all my AC power goes through the charger/inverter, I not only have no charging
and no inverting, but my whole AC system is down! The Victron won't even pass the power through from the genset to the main AC board.
The Victron is indeed hot -- 40 degrees. I can only surmise that a cooling
fan has gone down. I guess THE cooling
fan -- there most only be one of them. It took two full days of work
for two people to get that bugger in -- it is in my engine
compartment in an inaccessible spot -- we had to lift
it in with a block and tackle. So now how much labor is it going to be to get it out again, box up and send in the unit, wait, get it back, horse it back into position, connect it up again
The warranty is no good, if it takes $2000 worth of labor to change out a $5 cooling fan!! Victron pays for the fan, but the labor is on me, plus the boat is out of commission for what, a month?
Victron is starting to look to me like Lopo -- expensive, pretty, sexy, but basically unreliable. And reliability
is the number 1 (and number 2, and number 3) criterion of value for this gear
I think I'm going to toss it all out and go with Mastervolt. I have enough things to fix on this boat without the electrical
gear going t*ts up all the time
Sorry, rant over.