One of the challenges when it comes to owning a boat is the power you need to run various appliances and electronic gadgets while at sea. Getting the whole thing to take you from one place to another is one thing, and using a battery to power up gadgets and appliances for convenience is another story.
If you love to get on your boat, or if you own a yacht you would need a power inverter, apart from a stable battery source as well as accessories needed to run the boat.
This article is going to guide you on the things that you have to consider when it comes to choosing the power inverter for your boat, as well as some of the best power inverters available in the market today.
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When it comes to boats, you would need either an inverter or a generator for you to run your appliances. These two usually go hand-in-hand in boats, with larger appliances making use of the latter, and smaller ones making use of the former.
Inverters are usually more silent than generators and does not need that much maintenance, but its performance would be dependent on your battery capacity.
The usual threshold or main consideration would be if your watt-hours would exceed to 2,000 per day, a generator would be the better option. You can also use both in conjunction, where Inverters would be used when low energy is needed like meals or docking, and for high-wattage or energy appliances, a generator would be used.
There are different types of Inverters that are made to suit various Wattage requirements, and each of them is listed below.
These are the types that can also be used in cars and are plugged directly into the socket for the cigarette lighter, which is common in various systems. There are West Marine Power Inverters best for this purpose. Its use is also extremely simple, and there isn't much of a need to work on the complicated wirings. These portable inverters are best for 400 W and below, and are best if you have a laptop and a few light bulbs on deck.
These are inverters and chargers mashed up into one apparatus, and makes things convenient for you in more ways than one. Most of them come with an automatic transfer switch which allows you to shift between inverting and charging batteries much easier. These should, however, be installed by professionals as these can be prone to damage if not wired the way it should be.
If you want to use Power Inverters on a regular basis for your boat, then this is the better decision for you. It has 400 watts or more and can be directly fixed onto the battery tank. These also usually have plugs dedicated to appliances, but you may have to do some configurations for the AC wiring of your boat. Most advanced transfer services, however, allow for existing wiring configurations.
If you run sensitive electronics like stereos, and laptops, it's best to get a Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter, as they allow for removal of TV and Radio static, and can help preserve the longevity of your device. Modified Sine Wave Inverters will also do, but only for simpler appliances or those that don't have complicated circuitry like basic lights.
Surge is usually observed in Air Conditioners and Refrigerators, specifically, devices which make use of a motor. Surge capacity should ideally be twice the continuous power capacity of devices. Inverters that are not capable of surge means the device will not turn on.
This is best for large boats that would make it inconvenient to move around or go to the power source to turn the inverter off. Having a remote control that lets you turn the Power Inverter on/off easily will allow you to control the inverter from where you are.
Rule of Design
The best power inverter to get is one which is larger by 20%, in terms of amp-hours. This means that if you have a 200-watt power inverter, it’s best to get 400Ah of Battery capacity.
Electrical Loads of Appliances
Look out for the Wattage rating of various Electrical Loads, and calculate on how many amperes is it able to run for. It matters that you get an inverter that is compatible with the DC load of your battery.
With 5 different protection systems, and with a Total Harmonic Distortion of <3%, you can be assured that this is one of the highest-quality power inverters in the market today. The five protection systems include Over Voltage Protection, Under Voltage Protection, Thermal Protection, Overload Protection, and a Low Voltage Protection alarm. Whenever something’s wrong, you get to know what it is without having to dissect the device, thanks to its lighting. With quality materials comes quality and efficient operations.
It belongs to be mid-range for power inverters overall, and is a good deal if you are looking for an affordable Pure Sine Wave inverter that you can use for small, sensitive electronics.
This Power Inverter Converts from 12V DC to 120 V AC and comes with three AC outlets. It has three AC outlets, a 5V USB port, and 2 Battery Cables plus a Remote Switch. Its peak power rating is 4000 W. It is designed for use in cars, boats, and even for power emergencies. All of these stats make it a great purchase for its price over-all.
The Magnum Energy line of Power Inverters are known for its exemplary quality. Its solidness allows it to be more easily mounted on surfaces, making it good for ships. Its charger is also Power Factor corrected, to make sure that the devices don’t mess up in terms of voltage, while allowing it to be use from 25 - 30% less in terms of consumption. The less amount of energy gets wasted, the better the quality.
They say you pay for what you get, and the Magnum Energy line is certainly at the top end of the price range for this power of inverter.
Another real deal when it comes to Power Inverters is this one by Magnum Energy. It’s meant for high-energy consumptions, as well as for sensitive electronics, all while allowing to save and be efficient in energy if you need an output for more than 120 V. It is listed among those who comply with the UL 1741 requirement, and thus you can be assured of its safety. We really would not bother purchasing this Inverter even if it means spending much more.
Another pure sine wave inverter that you can use for ships is this one by ProMariner. It comes with a power factor rating of 1.0, and it also has a surge rating of 2.8x, one of the best in the market. It also has a transfer switch for quick shifting to AC power.
It also belongs to the upper bracket in terms of price.
This 2,000 Watt pure sine wave inverter comes with a 12-Volt, 70 Amp Battery Charger as well. It is fully automatic and is both for charging batteries and serving as an inverter. It comes with a 2.8x surge rating, and a 1.0 Power Factor rating, as well as 7 selectable battery charge profiles, and an instant AC transfer switch. The latter feature makes it one of the best.
The makers behind this power inverter makes claims of it being a “true” pure sine wave power inverter which converts 12VDC to 110V AC, with a frequency of 60 Hz. It comes with built-in multi-protection schemes against electrical mishaps like Overloading, Short Circuit, Overheating, Reverse Polarity, and Over Voltage, which would help to make applications safer. Its exterior is made with solid aluminum that allows for protection from dropping, while making the cooling process more efficient.
It’s a great purchase given its mid-range price for an inverter with the said capacity.
Its special design makes it one of the best of the whole lot. It comes with both an LCD and LED Display to effectively show voltage, both input and output, as well as a cooling fan with intelligent, easy cooling operations. Given its rugged construction, this is one that we recommend you bring with you on your boat. It also comes with the crimpers, manuals, and the fuse replacements you need.
Another pure sine wave that truly delivers is this one by Renogy. It comes with an LED indicator to detect electrical mishaps before they happen. It’s also silent in its operations, as you hear no humming or static noises, especially among devices that need a pure sine wave for clearer signals. Its ventilation is also one which is high-speed and runs at a low temperature. It also has a saving mode of five stages.
Mid-price point for this power range, it’s still worth the purchase with all the safety features and solid, smooth operations.
The boat can already be loud in itself, and it would be great to get a device that does not contribute to noise inside the ship, and this is something that the Renogy can give. It also comes with a Power Saving mode, which is the feature that we love the most. A stable power supply is difficult to get for ships, and hence you would need an inverter that lets you save on it.
In terms of intelligent temperature control, this is one that you have to choose. For safety, it also comes with a ground connection design for AC, in case you are using it for bottom parts, thus preventing shock due to grounding. It’s designed for travel due to its small size, and because of that, it has one of the most solid designs out there. It also makes use of the most advanced technology in the field of software and hardware design, as well as programmed software with MOSFET.
It’s half the price as other brands featured here, but in terms of longevity and basic functionality, it’s worth the pay.
The efficient conversion, compact size, and the cooling system, as well as the grounded safety features are just some of the reasons why we truly love this power inverter. To top all of this off, it also comes with protection against overvoltage and under-voltage.
All basic features packed into one. This device is a combination of all the essentials there are to being on a boat. These include a battery charger, GFCI socket, remote control, and mechanisms for low/Idle current, and low frequency detection. It also comes with ventilation fans of the highest speeds to make sure that the inverter is kept running at a low temperature.
With the high power inverter rating, and the advanced features that it has, it can be understood to belong to the higher range in terms of its price.
This device is more than just a power inverter, as it can also be used to start up a generator whenever the battery voltage is already running low. It also comes with all the necessary protection mechanisms, making it perfect for its price.
Not all inverters for use of boats have to be of the pure sine wave type. If you’re looking for a modified sine wave inverter for your boat needs, then this is a great one for you. It’s built for large-power requirements, and is also a great choice if you are in need of large power for back-ups or for several appliances at a given time.
With its huge and solid construction, it’s just slightly above $400, which you can buy a Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter for.
It’s basic but heavy duty. It’s not really meant for devices that need a pure sine wave, but for others that need heavy power, this is one you can rely on. It has 4 power outlets, much more than other brands with a similar rating.
Power Inverters that you use on boats would be great to use if it were to come with a remote, and this is something that this power inverter by Go Power! Offers. It has one of the best in terms of quality, where you have a Magnum Inverter, Remote, Fuse Block, and Charger, complete with a battery of 125 Amps. It even has all the necessary protection mechanisms for such a device.
It’s one of the most expensive out there, with its price almost being four times the cost as that of power inverters in the market today.
With a Go Power! FBL-400 slow blow Class T inverter fuse, and smooth, seamless swapping from one mode to another, you can be assured of nothing but the best in terms of operations from this device. Its remote control also takes things up a notch, allowing you to do other things while operating or modifying the modes of the power inverter.
For power back-ups, this is a great one for you to purchase. It also comes with a PCB thickness of 2.00mm, which allows the current to float strongly onto the circuit, and thus your capacity will be increased. It also comes with an AC output that is strong and stable, which is something that you really need for this.
Despite its advanced features, this impressively remains to be one of the cheapest you can get in the market nowadays, making it worth the purchase.
It serves the purpose of being a power inverter, with 2500W capacity for continuous, pure sine wave current, and is capable of handling surges that are twice the amount. The mosfets in the power inverter are strong and also have a high-quality inductance which can only be brought about by true copper, which is what this inverter is made of.