Power to the Onboard Office

Ed Sherman helps you power up your onboard office. "Hands-On Sailor: Living Aboard" from our January 2012 issue.

Onboard Office Power

The MassCombi 12/2500-100 from Mastervolt MarineCourtesy Of The Manufacturers

One of the great things about powering up the onboard office is that for the most part, the equipment used isn't too power hungry. From what I see of Neville and Catherine Hockley's setup on Dream Time, the couple's 38-foot Cabo Rico, the SSB radio when in transmit mode has the biggest appetite for amps (read more about Dream Time here).

The power needed to keep this system running can be generated by relatively small DC-to-AC inverters. Dream Time carries a 2,500-watt Xantrex Freedom Heart Interface inverter. That translates into silent, fume-free power versus a diesel-fired AC generator. Also, since most of this gear draws very low amperage in use, the battery bank needed to supply the inverter won't need to be huge. Dream Time carries two 210-amp Exide Gel house batteries. This is a big deal on cruising boats because trying to find the real estate on board to supply high-powered inverters is always a challenge.

Depending, then, upon your exact onboard office-equipment requirements, you can easily power it all up with an inverter in the 1,000- to 2,000-watt range.

Some great choices in this arena include the Tru-Value Sinewave models from Charles Industries. These are available in either 1,000-watt or 1,500-watt configurations. For larger systems, select the Intelligent Tru-Sinewave 2,000-watt unit.

The MassCombi 12/2500-100 from Mastervolt Marine (above, right) is a super choice in highly efficient inverter/charger combination units, and it integrates quite nicely with the kind of solar and wind-generator power supplies found on Dream Time.

For smaller office systems, the TruePower 1000 inverter from ProMariner is a great choice for recharging your whole collection of wireless battery-powered devices when you're away from the dock. Finally, the Freedom HF from Xantrex (above), in either 1,000- or 1,800-watt configurations, is another winner when it comes to keeping the office gear going.