Wednesday 25 November 2015

Electric action part the first

Here's what must rate as the worst and most boring photo ever posted on this blog.

Boring to everyone, except to me. We finally bit the bullet and decided to install a 12 volt fridge. Today it got delivered. And that's exciting! Also today Clive Penny came to call – he's the one who's going to put in the wiring, and today was the day for talking through on board what he will do.

Our current fridge is a normal 230 volt affair. Which is fine when we're on a mains hook-up in the marina, and a disaster everywhere else. It's powered from our batteries via the inverter, and the combination seems to drain the batteries like there's no tomorrow. No one seems to know why an inverter uses more juice than the manual says it should, but leaving it off seems to be a principal route to battery happiness.

Erin Mae has two appliances that will continue to need mains electric – the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner. We normally use them only when the engine is running. For the computer, the iPad, the phones and the mobile broadband wifi unit we can get 12 volt chargers. We could get a 12 volt TV or stop watching any, and we can probably find 12 volt alternatives for our Ikea reading spotlights. So Clive is charged (ho-ho!) with giving us 12 volt wiring to various useful points. By the time we're through, the inverter can hopefully be left off most of the time.

Finally, Clive is going to normalise the wiring around the batteries – my assessment is that the way they're currently wired is not optimal. Target date is the week after next, and that will probably give us an excuse to visit our floating bolthole and report on progress. I'm very happy that at last we're moving (hopefully) towards solutions, rather than just mulling over problems.


  1. Hi Martin and Margaret, I don't understand how it works but we run our 240v TV through a 150W 12v inverter. If you are interested in finding out more, I can ask David to explain. Electrics are not my thing - I'm in charge of the engine ... Cheers, Marilyn PS Will you go to the Cape of Good Hope pub for a latte when visiting the boat?

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. We looked at putting in an extra, smaller inverter, but decided to go for as much 12 volt as possible. It's a bit more expensive initially, but simpler in the long run. As for the Cape of Good Hope, it looks as though we don't go anywhere near it on our car journey. But it's definitely on the list for a visit sometime!