Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Last winter, while visiting Michele's parents, we went to the Grove City outlets north of Pittsburgh. I found a phenomenal deal at the Black & Decker outlet on a new-in-box 1000 watt inverter (model #VEC049DCB): $45. I could not resist. I finally finished installing it today, after Dick Vosbury left.

The inverter is under the bench seat, just above the house batteries. Inverters draw a lot of current for continuous periods, so they must be mounted very close to the batteries. Ours is close enough that I could use the 3' long #6 AWG cables that came with the inverter. The installation included a terminal fuse block on the postive battery post (including a 200 amp fuse), and a new 250 amp bus bar for the boat's main DC ground cables.

I actually had all of this in place last week. One problem: We would need to tear up the bench seat every time we wanted to turn it on or off. Plus, I'm certain we'd forget at some point to turn it off -- out of sight, out of mind. Fortunately, this inverter includes a jack for a remote on/off switch (model #VEC003). I ordered one online for about $20, and finished installing it today. I put it on the side of the helm just below the A/C control, where we can reach it from the galley or the main cabin area. I had to cut a 1.5" x 1.5" square hole in the wood to recess the control circuit. I always have a little nervous breakdown when I make permanent changes like this, but I think it came out ok.

Michele already bought a little crockpot for making dinners underway. Next purchase: electric blender. Anyone want to buy a slightly used hand crank blender??

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