I would like AC power inside my cruiser

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by the brain, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. the brain
    Joined: Sep 2016
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    Location: AL

    the brain Senior Member

    I would like AC power inside my cruiser

    Been doing a little research on having 120V AC power
    Inside cabin.

    Not sure of what I can get by w/ my current smallish power
    Requirements power a fry daddy deep fryer 1200watts
    A lap top up to 45 watts.

    I was initialley thinking of a house deep cycle battery w/ a
    Solar trickle charger and use a smart battery islolater then connect a DC/AC
    inverter.
    Or will I need a generater, I’ve looked at the Honda 2000watt peak
    What do you Guys think generater/solar trickle charger/extra house
    Battery or all of this stuff or just a generater?

    if I had the Honda would it last in a saltwater envirement I don't think it's marine type?
    I would have the inverter half of gen. inside cabin and the exhaust half on the outside of cabin.

    I want to try to camp overnight on the cruiser or maybe a weekend.

    Thanks for any good advice TB
     
  2. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    A trickle charger will have almost zero effect on keeping the battery charged, and running an inverter sucks power fast, so multiple batteries are needed to do much at all. The generator is the easiest and lowest cost method for you to pursue.
     
  3. the brain
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    the brain Senior Member

  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    There is a lot involved in adding AC power to your boat. If you do the installation properly.

    1200 watts is a lot of power on most boats. How long does that fryer run? If you're going to cook, couldn't you consider propane? Making heat is the #1 consumer of electricity. Cooking with gas is perfectly safe as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

    So, before you go any further, carefully consider your electrical requirements and how much you'll be cruising or camping away from from shore power.

    I'm not trying to throw cold water on your idea and I'm all in favor of AC on boats, it's a great convenience. Just know what you're getting into.

    A great book that will give you all the information you need for planning and building a safe, efficient and reliable electrical system is Nigel Calders Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical manual. I'll post a link to it below.

    https://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-M... boatowner's mechanical and electrical manual

    Before you spend a dime on parts, read, study and plan your system.

    Regards and Go Hawks!

    MIA
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    As MIA said adding AC power can get pretty complex. A generator is the easiest solution but a marine generator is a must for many reason. Any permanent installation must meet requirements for fuel systems, electrical system and ventilation. Portables do not meet any of those requirements so cannot be used in permanent installations. Yes, you will see a lot of boat owners using them on the swim platform or some other outdoor place on the boat, but you still have the hazards of shock and carbon monoxide. The only place they are safe is on the dock or ashore.

    You really need to read up as MIA said, and plan what it is you want to do. If you decide to go for a regular shore power connection and a permanent AC system, then you need to hire a certified marine electrician to install it. Otherwise you can end up with all kinds of problems The number one cause of fires on boats is from poorly installed or maintained electrical systems. AC is deadly so give this some serious thought.

    (MIA: shame about the Hawks. I think they got robbed by the refs.)
     
  6. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    Forget about the deep fryer. Ignoring cable and inverter losses, that gadget gobbles up more than 100 Amps from a 12V battery.
    Use a 12V charger to power the laptop and propane to heat a frying pan. Simpler and much, much cheaper!
     
  7. Scot McPherson
    Joined: Jan 2017
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    Scot McPherson Senior Member

    I agree with CDK, but I would recommend using methane instead of propane. Propane is heavier than air, and can settle in your hull. That's seriously dangerous. Methane is lighter than air, and so eliminates that risk. Any propane equipment can use methane with a modification to the element. Most propane kitchen equipment either comes with or has available, the methane replacement elements.
     
  8. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    That's an interesting idea Scott. Where would one get a cylinder of methane?

    I've never seen it. I keep a few propane cylinders in a box on my swim platform and keep the one or two I'm using in the sink in the head when we're underway. I figure the drain is vented overboard. I am careful when using it aboard and prefer to take it off the boat for use but that's not always possible. Never had an issue and never noticed any leakage.

    Anyway, if you know of a source for methane please let me know. I'd like to look into it.

    BTW, my wife say's I'm a pretty good source of it when I'm eating a broccoli pizza.......

    MIA
     
  9. Scot McPherson
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    Scot McPherson Senior Member

    any compressed gasses supplier will have it
     
  10. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    My plan is to have 2 40 pound bottles of propane in a sealed, top opening cabinet on
    the rear deck port side of center. Rear deck is open but can be sealed tight in weather by canvas or fabric.The bottom of cab is 10" above DWL and is made of fire proof plywood. It has a drain hole aft for gas leaks to escape. If wave enters it will drain away. No electrical will pass through this space. Tanks WILL BE SHUT OFF every
    night. similar save guards will be be taken for the range, frig, and water heater. PS also lots of sniffers. All gas lines will be run in fire proof conduit.
     
  11. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    This one strikes a bit close to home.

    A good friend of mine was on a fishing trip with his friend, and were in the friends boat, they met up with the father in law of the boat owner who was in another boat and they anchored up in a remote quiet cove on the West Coast of Vancouver Island Canada. They tied the boats together and eventually went to bed.

    My friend was just starting to make coffee in the morning when there was huge blast, he said it took the air out of his lungs it was so intense. As he scrambled out of the cabin he saw the father in law’s boat had exploded and the mother in law was trying to get over the rail into his boat, her clothes were shredded and burned. He said there was debris raining down out of the sky in a several hundred-foot circle around the two boats.

    Right away he knew he had go down and see what condition the FIL was in, he had no idea what he’d find. Luckily the fire went out almost immediately, so he just had to scramble over stuff to get to him. The FIL was still conscious, but the blast had shattered both legs, a shoulder and his arms, he had severe lacerations from being slammed against the ceiling, plus he was burned over most of his body, there isn’t much in a first aid kit that can handle this type of situation.
    They immediately got on the radio and called the Coast Guard, and they were very lucky, the CG was practicing in the same cove, but it was only an inflatable with a couple people on board. The CG stabilized him the best they could, loaded him in the inflatable and headed for the nearest port, which was a couple of hours away, as soon as he got there he was loaded on a helicopter and flown to the nearest major hospital in Victoria.

    When my friend got home he called me, told me the story, and lectured me on never having propane in a boat. He was still in shock from the whole ordeal. He did the same thing to just about everyone he knew.

    A month or so later I’m at a family reunion and over-hear that one of my cousins is in the hospital, and that his boat had exploded. After asking a few questions it was clear that my good friend had saved my cousin.

    Now several years later my cousin is out of the hospital, I think he was there for about a year, he’s still going through physical therapy and doesn’t like life much.

    What happened was he had installed a propane stove and there was small leak in a fitting, overnight the bilge had filled with propane, he was standing at the stove in his undies and went to light the burner to make coffee, then boom.
     
  12. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Avoidable accidents happen all the time, What a shame.
     
  13. Scot McPherson
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    Scot McPherson Senior Member

    Yeah well, a lot of people don't realize that systems that work in a house troublefree are not as teoublefree onboard a boat, marine environment not withstanding, a boat moves...a lot, a house doesn't. - fitting can come loose enough to seep gas without anyone knowing.

    If you use propane, you must have redundant gas sensors that are loud and will wake you up.
     
  14. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    I agree with everything you posted Scot. Also run gas high and electrics low, never together.
     

  15. missinginaction
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    I suppose that's one reason that electrical components on our boats are supposed to be ignition protected.

    I'm not saying that accidents can't happen but as many have said "you make your own luck".

    I use a portable propane stove and have only used it a couple of times in the cabin. Only in a pouring rain that precludes use on the back deck. Store spare cylinders on the swim platform (outside the boat).

    When I'm done cooking I take the stove apart and stow the cylinder in the head sink. I figure if the cylinder was to leak somehow the gas would go right out the drain and outside the boat. Never had an issue though.

    What a horrible story about the explosion.

    MIA
     
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