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Generator Mastervolt 220V?

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tobo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 April 2007 at 09:00
We just got our 470 but didn't have time to enjoy and try all the conveniences aboard because the boat was delivered much too lateAngryAngryAngry. One thing I didn't understand: We have this Mastervolt Wisper Generator 3500 and on the switchboard at the navstation there is a switch above the generator's display for Off -Shore-Gen and Inverter. But apparently an inverter is not installed - which I thought was part of the package. Does that mean that I have to start the generator every time I want 220 Volt, even if it's only for a short time like shaving, working on the computer or making coffee? Does anybody know more? Is it then really worth the 10.500 Euros??

Edited by tobo - 29 April 2007 at 09:03
Thomi
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Rubato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rubato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 April 2007 at 17:32
Tobo,
I'm not much help here but if there truly isn't an inverter installed, the scenario you painted is certainly the implication. I would have to agree, if it's a 10500 Euro option you would think it would include an inverter of some kind. Inverters really aren't very expensive although it does depend on the power output. Have you talked with the dealer about this?

Steve


Edited by Rubato - 29 April 2007 at 17:33
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Brad McMaster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brad McMaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 08:41
Hi Tobo,
 
Likewise I'm not the best on this front but my understanding is that you need the inverter to convert to 220. Otherwise you have to start the gen.
 
Hey having had my 470 for a couple of months now i (and my dealer!!)have born the brunt of learning a new boat for the first time. I have a long long list of things that i might suggest you check etc retro fit, and re fit. Nothing that can;t be done but I'd suggest your dealer talks to Peter/Dom/Jeremy at hamble point to confirm the thinks that i required. Most likely they have already chatted (they are a network after all!!) but ensure they do/have and then get all and any work completed while under warranty and during the delivery process.
 
Let me know if i can be of any help.
 
Brad
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tobo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 17:49
Dear Brad
 
Thanx for your suggestions of whom I could contact. Unfortunately the yacht is lying far away from GB in Punat, Is. Krk, Croatia and my dealer has to worry about. He just told me that the inverter is an extra; what a nuissance! Does it matter wether the package costs 10.500 Euro or lets say 12.00 Euro because you need the inverter anyway? I don't think so.
 
Imagine: You're lying in a lovely anchorage with a few boats around you and you want to make an early (very early) morning tea. You start the generator, what else. Your lovely boat neighbour you had such a nice talk with and a couple of beers last night will jump out of his bed and yell on you in words you've never heard before even though you remember having talked to him (and her!) in English. 
Thomi
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Rubato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rubato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 18:08
Thomi,
I laughed at your morning tea scenario. Disturbing the morning peace (or evening) is something we expect from power boaters not more sophisticated sailors such as ourselves! Wink
Steve
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Brad McMaster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brad McMaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 18:22
Its called gas!!! Imagine how many bottles you could get for 10.5k euros!!!  I think the world of gensets and 220v is really only necesary if you want a 42" plasma TV on board...having said that it would look fantastic on the forward bulkhead!!!
 
I hope it works out ok for you
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tobo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 April 2007 at 20:06
Dear Brad
 
Don't get me wrong: I'm not the type of wanting every luxury on board. I've been doing dinghy sailing and racing on a Fireball all my life - and mostly with my wife and so far never dreamed of installing a plasma. But I want to use the engine just to get out and into a harbour and to be independant of marinas because Croatia is full of lovely anchorage places. I just feel a bit cheated spending 10k Euros for only charging the batteries.
Thomi
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leemind View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leemind Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2007 at 10:34
Tobo et al,

For sure an inverter is not standard fit on a 470 (or was on the 461 either).  The wiring and switch is there for you (which is great) but is an optional extra.  If you want to get 220v on board for anything you have three choices:
(i) Shorepower.  You are in a marina: Plug in and you'll probably have over 3kW of power to play with.
(ii)* A/C Generator.  150kg of noisy smelly generator.  Gives you mains power at anchor
(iii)* Inverter.  Convert your battery power from 12v DC to 220v A/C.  Sizes and prices vary from EUR50 / 500w from Maplin for a 'quasi sine wave' to a few thousnad EUR for a 3kW pure sine wave inverter from the likes of Victron or Mastervolt

It all comes down to your useage.  If you want to run air-con away from the marina (and shorepower) you would probably go for a generator and run them both at the same time. (and keep your neighbours and crew awake)
If you want to charge your batteries on a long passage you might fire up your genset, although if it was me and I had to have a genset it would be DC generator just for charging batteries.  Having said that, if that is your useage you would probably have a wind or towed turbine and/or solar panels to top up the batteries.  There is also some very interesting fuel cell technology just around the corner - I'll write at length about this in another post later.

So, if your useage is just occasional - or in reality non-aircon or watermaker then an inverter may be the way forward, but there is another solution:

Convert all of the small appliances to use 12v straight from the batteries.  Most of the little domestic appliances are low voltage anyway, so converting 12v to 240v through your inverter and then letting the appliance chop it back down to low voltage is inefficient.  This is the path I have taken.  My computer and even it's screen run directly from the battery, mobile phone chargers are all 12v car ones and similarly razors are all available with 12v connections.  Laptops, 12v adapters are easily available.  Higher power things like Kettles/Coffee makers you may struggle with, but there is always the stove... (I have seen some 12v ones though)

So, to answer your question, was the genset worth 10k EUR?  If you are running aircon away from shorepower, then possibly. (There are other solutions as well).  If you want the occasional 240v, probably not.  You are certainly not going to power up a genset to boil a kettle, run a computer or have a shave.  That will reduce the life of the genset enormously.  Go with (iii) or my "DC" solution.

I could ramble on about this at length.  Shout if you would like me to elaborate on anything

Cheers

David - 461#028

* Of course whatever you do uses resources.  (ii) uses your precious diesel and (iii) uses your precious battery power.  At least batteries may be topped up from wind/towed or solar if they are available to you.


Edited by leemind - 01 May 2007 at 10:37
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Brad McMaster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brad McMaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2007 at 08:47
Hey Tobo,
 
Don't worry, wasn't comparing you for a second to a power boater!!! I considered a big flash screen for a second!! but settled on one of those 17/19inch marine build ones that run DC.
 
I think if it is only for laptop usage and the occasional shave. the inverter, an extra deck of batteries and a towgen the converts to a wind gen too is the answer.
 
B
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Johan Hackman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johan Hackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 May 2007 at 08:58
Hi all,

I follow this thread with interest, mainly because I want to optimize my system so that I became selfreliant in terms of electricity, as we sailors should be.

I am with you as far as the coffee. In our kitchen at home we have a coffee machine that makes two small cups of very nice coffee. It consumes 500 watts during 8 minutes. If I brought that aboard using an inverter it would draw 42 Amps during these 8 minutes using up 5 Ah, which is 5 % of the total we have, and I just think it's too much and I see the stove as a better alternative.

The tea kettle is 2 000 watts so that's even more inconsiderable.

We have a 44 W solar panel that works great. I wouldn't say it gives as much as we use in a day, but it sure slows consumption down. When we turn off the fridge the batteries are soon fully charged.

Johan







Edited by Johan Hackman - 02 May 2007 at 08:59
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