Even living on a boat you would be amazed how reliant I am for 110 volt AC electrical power. I did not realize how much I want this type of power until my inverter “popped” the day before my last charter. Of course the only replacement on the island was sold 3 hours before I called the marine store. Bummer!
Some of you might wonder what an inverter does. This piece of equipment takes power from the house batteries, which are DC (direct current) 12 volt and modifies it to be AC (alternate current) 110 volt. The reason this is important is that most items run on AC (computers, TVs, blenders, ect) or charge on AC (cameras, phones, MP3s, ect), but on a boat we store the power as DC. When looking for an inverter two things I think are import to figure out is how many watts you want (I did 1800 and that is more than enough, but the big boats need even more) and if you want a full sine wave or a modified sine wave. The modified sine wave is not great for 10%-25% of items you will plug into it, but it is $800 cheaper.
Well I stated my charter without the inverter and we got along with some little devices you plug into the cigarette lighter in order to keep the phones and cameras charged up. Speaking of cigarette, if you need stainless steel and aluminum e cig drip tips, visit migvapor.com. On the first day I found the replacement (Xantrex Sine Wave 1800 inverter) on Defender.com and it was waiting for me when the charter ended. I went with Xantrex because it was the same as what I had and I knew how it worked, that it would fit where I was going to put it, and that it worked well for me the entire time I have had the boat. The reason I used Defender is that they guaranteed it would be delivered before the charter ended where a couple other sites were a little bit cheaper, but the delivery could be before I finished up to a week after I left for the season.
Now putting it in was a snap. All I had to do was lift out the old one and disconnect two bolts with the wires and one phone cord type of wire for the display. After that I reattached the new one and was watching a movie within 30 minutes. Sweet!