Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-28-2018, 08:40 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Inverter and/or Generator for Great Loop?

When searching for a 38' - 40' trawler-style boat to do the America's Great Loop on, how important is a DC-to-AC power inverter and/or generator/genset? This question assumes you will be spending more nights at anchor (not connected to shore power) than at a marina dock (connected to shore power). It also assumes you will need to operate some AC powered small appliances/devices (e.g., electric stove/oven, microwave oven, CPAP machine, etc.) While anchored.

Do YF members who have done the Great Loop feel that either an inverter or a generator are "required" pieces of equipment, or simply "nice to have?" If you puchased/owned a boat without an inverter or generator, would you pay to retrofit the boat with either an inverter and/or generator before leaving to do the Great Loop? If so, can anyone suggest an average cost to budget for such retrofit items?

Is purchasing/installing a used inverter and/or used generator (in a 30+/- year old boat a good or bad idea?

Thanks.

Peace and blessings,

Larry Buchman
__________________
Advertisement

Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 08:59 PM   #2
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,848
Doing the loop you will sooner or later be in hot humid weather. In that case I would want a generator to run the A/C at anchor. An inverter would be nice also to power some of the short term AC loads that you mention without starting the genset. But don't think you can run the stove and oven long from an inverter with a typical house battery bank. Microwave and coffee pot ok.


A CPAP machine can be run from a $50 cigarette lighter plug in inverter.


David
__________________

djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 09:08 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Capitaine R's Avatar
 
City: St James City/Punta Gorda
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Charlie Noble
Vessel Model: 32 Nordic Tug
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 306
I don't believe you would ever be able to run a stove or an oven on an inverter. Any appliance that generates that much heat uses way more energy than a boat sized inverter can supply. I would think on a trawler of that size and wanting to stay nights on the hook you will want a generator. On our weekend 20 foot boat we have a 1500 watt inverter and it will make ~ 6 pots of coffee before we have to start the engine to recharge the 2 batteries. But like Dj said I would have and plan to have(it came on the tug) an inverter on our Looper even though it has a 4kw genset.
__________________
The best way to find out is get her out on the ocean, because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen out there.
"Captain Ron"
Capitaine R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 09:54 PM   #4
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Thank you -- those were all good feedback comments.

Peace and blessings,

Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 10:42 PM   #5
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Thank you; your response confirms my initial thoughts exactly.

Peace and blessings,

Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 10:54 PM   #6
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,357
I have a 38 that I have traveled on extensively, although not the GL. I have a 5kW gennie and 1000W inverter. I find it to be a good combo. Fridge, phone chargers, laptop, coffee maker all run on the inverter when main engine is running, gennie need not run. At night on anchor gennie does the heat and AC and water heater. Comfy. If needing AC, we only need to run the gennie a few hours to cool and dry out the boat, then can shut it down at bed time. If needing heat, it runs all night.

If looking at a 30yr old boat, some will have replaced the gennie by then. Gennies don't live as long as main engines, so once they turn into problems many owners just replace them. That is a big plus in your search. Nothing sucks like having a gennie poop 500nm into a trip.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2018, 11:33 PM   #7
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Your explanation of the dual/split role and use of the inverter versus the gender while underway and on the hook at night was particularly useful and insightful. Thank you very much.

Peace and blessings,

Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 04:42 AM   #8
Veteran Member
 
auskiwi's Avatar
 
City: Goldcoast
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Moana
Vessel Model: 1996 M40 Riviera aft cab
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 84
I did the Loop without an Inverter, Have a big one on my present boat but rarely use it.Nice to have but not a deal breaker.I do like to have a Radar though.
auskiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 06:38 AM   #9
Veteran Member
 
Flatswing's Avatar
 
City: Windmill Harbour, Hilton Head Island, SC
Country: United States
Vessel Name: River Girl
Vessel Model: 2004 DeFever 49 RPH
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 96
Your decision will be driven by AC and method of cooking. If you have an electric stove, you will need a generator. There are lots of places along the canals that don't have power (or adequate power) and if you anchor out, you need a gen set to eat.
Many feel they don't need AC particularly in the Great Lakes until they run 6-8 hrs/day and each evening discover those diesels are huge heat sinks that keep heating the boat each evening. Anchored, one can usually get a cooling breeze, but in marinas and tied to lock walls, not so much.
My preference for looping would be a generator sized to drive all AC units (& stove if electric) simultaneously, but not oversized. Most feel it's better to maximally load the generator and manage power consumption if necessary than to have a huge generator loafing along. If you are cruising most days, there will be lots of hot water from the engine(s) heat exchanger loop. Most evenings we ran the gen to cool the boat, cook dinner etc. for 1-2 hrs. never overnight. The only downside to not having an inverter is we were hesitant to start the generator in the morning for coffee in crowded anchorages as a courtesy to fellow boaters (so now we have both).
If you have propane cooking, an inverter and decent sized house bank will work well - just have to plug in if you need/want AC. If you are looking at older trawlers, most are either set up for generator/plug in use, or they have propane, inverters and house banks. Enjoy your loop.
__________________
Jeremy
Flatswing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 06:43 AM   #10
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 19,751
Most of the loop is inland with some time spent on big lakes.

The lake & river water is usually cool so a fan instead of conditioned air will frequently do fine for sleeping..

A 1500w-1750w truck stop inverter will do a coffee maker or microwave , easy and cheap enough to install.

As always the hard question is refrigeration. (4) 6v golf carts will usually keep even a house fridge on a truck stop inverter overnight .

The smallest boat you can be comfortable aboard will have the least financial exposure and be the easiest to maintain.

If the boat is just for the loop a trailerable 25-28 ft I-O would be $5,000 - $10,000 , easy to find and easy to sell.
If this is a first boat , or a temporary boat , a large expense is not necessary.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 08:18 AM   #11
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Thanks; I''ll certainly keep your comments in mind as I search for, purchase, and retrofit my "Looper" boat.
Peace and blessings,
Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 08:20 AM   #12
Guru
 
catalinajack's Avatar
 
City: Edgewater, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Catalina Jack
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 968
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boilermaker75 View Post
When searching for a 38' - 40' trawler-style boat to do the America's Great Loop on, how important is a DC-to-AC power inverter and/or generator/genset? This question assumes you will be spending more nights at anchor (not connected to shore power) than at a marina dock (connected to shore power). It also assumes you will need to operate some AC powered small appliances/devices (e.g., electric stove/oven, microwave oven, CPAP machine, etc.) While anchored.

Do YF members who have done the Great Loop feel that either an inverter or a generator are "required" pieces of equipment, or simply "nice to have?" If you puchased/owned a boat without an inverter or generator, would you pay to retrofit the boat with either an inverter and/or generator before leaving to do the Great Loop? If so, can anyone suggest an average cost to budget for such retrofit items?

Is purchasing/installing a used inverter and/or used generator (in a 30+/- year old boat a good or bad idea?

Thanks.

Peace and blessings,

Larry Buchman
Am 4,000 miles into the Loop. Opinion - inverter and generator absolutely required. In fact, we have two generators aboard. Came with the boat.
catalinajack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 08:58 AM   #13
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,148
Having both an inverter and generator was important to us on the half-loop we did last summer/fall. I agree with most of the comments above. The usefulness of the inverter will be driven by the size of your house bank and the loads you put on it. We have a ~1250 AH bank and—using the microwave, water pump, commodes, lights, fans, etc at a typical overnight anchorage—we never dropped below an 86 percent state of charge. We only used the genset to run the A/C—and that was not very often. Had we been farther south, we’d have doubtless run it a lot more.
angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 09:53 AM   #14
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
FF, thanks for your response and observations. I understand the "as small as you're comfortable in" concept, but can't imagine months of "living aboard" the FourWinns 245 Vista Cruiser I owned several years ago, or any of the 29' - 39' "club" cruising sailboats I've been sailing on Lake Michigan, off Chicago, for the past 5 - 6 years.

I could see being comfortable for months at a time on a 32' - 35' trawler, but if I can find a 36' - 39' boat for the same price, with a 14' beam instead of a 12' beam, why wouldn't I want to get as much boat as I can for the money?

Peace and blessings,

Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 10:02 AM   #15
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Thank you for your reply, CatalinaJack. The consensus seems to be that an inverter and gender would both be very desirable to have on a long cruise.

I'd love to hear more about your GL trip experience. Where did you start? Are you doing the entire 6,000 route in one stretch, or breaking it up into multiple segments? What distance do you typically cover each day? Do you stay in marinas or on the hook?

Peace and blessings,

Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 10:23 AM   #16
Veteran Member
 
City: Western Suburbs of Chicago
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 85
Angus99, your comments about your limited use of the inverter and genset were very helpful; now I also understand having a sufficiently-sized house bank of batteries to power the inverter is also very important -- I'll be sure to pay more attention to the house bank capacity as I continue to search for a boat.
Peace and blessings,
Larry
Boilermaker75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 11:19 AM   #17
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,357
Having a big house battery bank is useful, but not that necessary, especially if you are often on the move. Just want to size it to run the fridge for like 12hr minimum. Can always run the gen some to charge.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 11:33 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Capitaine R's Avatar
 
City: St James City/Punta Gorda
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Charlie Noble
Vessel Model: 32 Nordic Tug
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boilermaker75 View Post
FF, thanks for your response and observations. I understand the "as small as you're comfortable in" concept, but can't imagine months of "living aboard" the FourWinns 245 Vista Cruiser I owned several years ago, or any of the 29' - 39' "club" cruising sailboats I've been sailing on Lake Michigan, off Chicago, for the past 5 - 6 years.

I could see being comfortable for months at a time on a 32' - 35' trawler, but if I can find a 36' - 39' boat for the same price, with a 14' beam instead of a 12' beam, why wouldn't I want to get as much boat as I can for the money?

Peace and blessings,

Larry
One consideration for the size of your future looper boat would be the size of your crew. If you are single handling you may consider a smaller boat, but only you know your crew and capabilities. You are in the right place to find the answers, I know we learned a lot from the people on this forum before we made the big purchase.
Capitaine R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 11:47 AM   #19
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5,357
Regarding size of boat, I would shop for something 35-40. There are smaller boats out there that can do the job, but it gets tight space wise. And once you add in the hardware that makes cruising nice (diesel engine, AC's, gen, batts, water heater, bunks, shower, head, etc, etc), it pretty much is the same equipment whether a 28 or a 38. End up trying to put 10lb of poop in a 5lb sack. Also find that the smaller boats tend to be more sensitive to minor seas. And hull speed is slower.

Our 38 is light and skinny (just under 12' beam) but it is comfortable for three people. Really comfortable for two. Four souls and people are stepping on each other.

Much above 40 and the size and draw (air and water) can become hindrances, and maybe a little hard to single hand.

Figure out your crew size and don't go too small or too big.
Ski in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 11:54 AM   #20
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,812
You can do the loop old school with an 150 quart Igloo cooler and bags of ice along the way. Propane or alcohol stove. The engine alternator can charge batteries along the way. You can buy things for the boat that are 12 VDC. You can run an inverter pretty much any time while the main engine is running, UNTIL you want to hang on the anchor or a mooring ball a couple days or want air conditioning away from shore power. Then you will want a genny.
With the genny, you have redundancy in power supplies. If the genny breaks down, then you still have the inverter and main engine. If the inverter fails, you still have the 12 VDC powered stuff. If the refer breaks down, ice blocks in the cooler. If the house bank of batteries run down dead, (and it will at least once) start the genny from it's own battery and charge everything back up. Funny thing those inverters. They always find a way to get left on when they're not supposed to and you get a BEEP!!! I'm dead alarm.
__________________

__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently southbound in Georgia.
High Wire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
agl, america's great loop, generator, inverter

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×