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Old 12-16-2010, 06:11 AM   #29
Join Date: Apr 2008
Home Port: Stockton, MO
Vessel Name: Ceilidh
Posts: 160

This is an old post, but I will throw my 2 cents in as I have a little experience here... We use more than one inverter on our boats: We have a 2000 watt sine wave Xantrex that we love... It has a 100 amp battery charger and is wired with a switch to change between it and shore power for our main supply, with a third position for the generator. BUT, there are often times that we are only watching a movie on the TV, or on one computer surfing the internet and powering the larger Xantrex is not good usage... We then utilize a small 300 watt inverter that is wired with large wiring from the battery bank (through fuses of course) and switched via a high amperage relay coil via the low amperage switching side and a switch on our control panel. Both inverters use GFCI outputs and are wired with tinned wire as ABYC requires. The best part is that the redundancy helps with the worries of unit failure. We have one recepticle in the boat dedicated to the small inverter, which is what we use 90% of the time. We use the larger inverter for using power tools, the microwave, and any other larger draw or starting load. The lower the voltage (i.e. 12 volts), the larger the wiring has to be to avoid voltage losses... Good wiring and bullet proof connections are required in any boats electrical system. Proper grounding is mandatory so that no one in the water nearby becomes electricuted. Voltages that may not stop your heart are still quite dangerous as your muscles may cramp with even small amounts of electrical energy interrupting their electrical impulses and someone in the water may not be able to swim efficiently. Any stray currents add to electrolysis so attention to detail is important. As with any system on a cruising boat, it is imperative to do it right!

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