Sine Wave Inverter

Only a few years ago I took interest in sailing and here I am typing an email about installing a sine wave inverter on Satori. Many people have asked the same question over and over again. ‘Have you sailed that kind of boat before?’ or ‘Have you ever done that before?’. I always answer with confidence because I think I’m less intimidated by it all than most. Perhaps being an avid alpinist and skier has taught me to believe in my estimations and always have a backup plan. I also accept that there will be moments of terror or at least intensity. I’ve already had a few but they were huge milestones. How many people do you know that have motored their sailboat through Deception Pass? How many people do you know that have sailed trolling a flasher for salmon while observing a killer whale pod? How many people do you know that have installed a 1000w inverter? Now you know someone.

Here are some photos from my 10-day adventure…

An orca at the north end of San Juan Island
An orca at the north end of San Juan Island
A little shore break for Sasha while we wait for slack tide at Deception Pass.
A little shore break for Sasha while we wait for slack tide at Deception Pass.
A beautiful sunset followed by a thunderstorm, lightning and swell the night before crossing Deception Pass
A beautiful sunset followed by a thunderstorm, lightning and swell the night before crossing Deception Pass
Going under the bridge at Deception Pass
Going under the bridge at Deception Pass

One of the biggest problems with a 12v system is that the little cigarette lighter plugs only handles about 3 amps before the fuse blows. The iPad I use as a chartplotter needs about 2.5 amps to charge and you can only charge one thing at a time. At any given moment I need the iPad, handheld VHF radio, iPhone as a backup, flashlights fully charged, cameras fully charged and what about extended trips where I might want a laptop or to charge my cordless drill? These all require a 110v plug. Satori does have these plugs but you need to be connected to shore power in order to use them as they are completely separate circuits. The only thing connecting them is the battery charger and that only runs with shore power as well as the engine alternator keeps the batteries charged when Satori isn’t connected to shore power.

I chose the Sunforce 1000 watt inverter. It isn’t technically a marine specific inverter but I think it will work just fine for my needs. In order to install it I needed some heavy gauge wire and a 100 amp fuse so after work today I went to Fisheries Supply¬†¬†and had Matt help me get everything I needed to complete the installation. I bought 4′ of black and red 2/0 gauge wire and cut a foot off of the red wire for the inline fuse. Then I bought a 10 pack of terminals and asked Matt if he had the crimper tool. Turns out they carry the tool for their customers and I was able to crimp all of the terminals right there in the shop. Once I arrived at Satori I opened up the engine compartment from the cockpit and then looked around for a suitable place to connect the cables. I wasn’t very happy with the existing fuse and terminal blocks so I went directly to the battery post and that actually worked out the best. A handful of zipties and a couple of screws to mount the remote switch and I was ready to go. A handy little keychain remote turns the unit on and off from anywhere on the boat so I don’t have to open the engine compartment to turn the unit on.