If you’re serious about boating, you need the best power inverter. Marine power inverters change the DC power from your boat battery into useful AC power. AC power is what allows most common appliances to function. You can plug in any appliance you choose and get it running when you have access to AC power. That’s anything from a blender to make drinks to a charger to charge your phone. You can even kick back and play Xbox if you want. And of course, it’s also handy for plugging in power tools or cooking equipment.
One of the big benefits to using a power inverter is the efficiency of it. While a generator could provide power, it’s harder to use. Generators run on fuel. They also produce exhaust. A power inverter is quick and clean. All it needs is your boat’s battery to run. Then you have access to high power for a long period of time. With an inverter and charger combo, you can power your boat and appliances for even longer.
You do need to make sure you selected the correct power inverter for your boat. Not every power inverter is compatible with every boat. Likewise, you need to make sure your power inverter can handle the appliances you’re plugging into it. More and bigger appliances require more power.
The Xantrex Prowatt is one of the best power inverters on the market. It features a continuous 1000-watt output. There is an easy-to-read display that shows output power and volts. There’s also one USB and GFCI plugs that are included. GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. It helps prevent you from getting shocked if there’s a fault somewhere in the circuit. You can safely plug in numerous devices to the two AC outlets.
When idle, the Xantrex Pro watt power inverter minimizes energy use to help save power. It also comes with an optional remote switch, so you don’t need to walk over and turn it on all the time when you need it.
At just over seven pounds is not going to break your back moving it around. It also has a 900-watt pure sine wave power output. Compared to similar power inverters, this one also doesn’t make very much noise. On a hot day you may want to keep an eye on where you have it placed, however. You definitely want to keep this cool. The possibility of it overheating and direct sunlight is very real. The price is also on par with cheaper modified sine wave power inverters. That makes this one of the best power inverters you can buy.
If you’re not in the market for a massive power inverter, Rally has you covered. Their 400-watt power inverter comes with a USB charging port and two AC parts. The output peaks at 800 watts so you don’t want to use this for something like a microwave. However, if you’re just looking to spend a day on the boat and keep your phone charged, this is a great option. It’s cheaper than the larger units, but it gets the job done. It’s built for marine work, which makes it corrosion resistant. Safety features include low battery shutdown protection. There’s also overload and thermal protection. The company also includes a 2-year warranty. This is much better than some of the more expensive options. While this may not work for hardcore use it can charge a car’s battery or run some smaller power tools.
Best Premium Choice
3. Go Power! GP-3000HD 3000-Watt Heavy Duty Marine Power Inverter
The Go Power 3000-watt power inverter has 3000 watts of continuous power. The safety features offer protection from overload, under voltage, and over-voltage. Four 120-volt AC outlets are available to power your various appliances. There is no USB outlet, however. It does warn you of low battery, and there is an auto shutdown feature with an alarm. The company provides a one-year warranty. Although this is not a pure sine inverter, it has proven to be very reliable for many boaters. For a modified sine wave power inverter, this is one of the best. Expect it to be able to power the TV, a laptop, a microwave, power tools, and much more. If you need a very high power output, this is one of the best power inverters you can get.
4. GoWISE Power 2000W Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter
The GoWISE Pure sine wave power inverter offers three outlets and also a USB port. If you need two USB ports, you can simply plug in an adapter. That should be adequate to handle all the power needs for the devices on your boat. It’s one of the highest power inverters you’re going to find on the market. It offers a continuous 2000 watts of continuous power output. The peak output is 4000 watts. Low harmonic distortion technology makes this close to the level of power you expect to get at home. It also features a 5-protection safety features system to keep you safe. That protects against thermals, low voltage, over-voltage, under-voltage, and overload. There is even a remote switch and battery cables included in your purchase.
The remote is good for up to 15 feet. Warning indicators will let you know when the inverter has run for too long. It also powers off when the volts go too low. Some owners have complained that it doesn’t always meet peak power output. It may max out before 2000 watts. But it does offer quality power anywhere on your boat. And the operation is usually quiet.
If your big concern when it comes to power inverters is safety, the Cantonape 1500-watt pure sine wave is for you. You’re looking at six levels of safety features to offer protection when you choose this inverter. Overload, overheating, over-voltage, under-voltage, short circuit, and reverse polarity. With the 1500-watt continuous output and 3000-watt surge, it can handle most electronic devices. You can safely plug a fridge into this inverter without worry.
There are two AC Outlets available. Battery and output voltage are listed on a built-in display. The cooling fan is a smart fan and we’ll adjust speed according to the temperature of the unit. The case is also aluminum, so it can handle life at sea. Spare fuses are also included, not to mention a one-year warranty.
6. AIMS Power PWRIX120012S 1200-Watt Pure Sine Inverter
The AIMS power inverter offers up 1200 watts output. it is cheaper than many other pure sine wave inverters. The trade-off is that it is not as powerful as some others. Depending on your needs however, this could be a great fit. If you’re only looking to operate a few appliances or electronics, this is a good idea. A cooling fan keeps the unit from overheating. However, it is noisier than some. It’s also available with an optional remote control. Hardwire terminals are also included when you buy this. There’s a transfer switch that controls the inverter’s pass through. It does not have USB ports or AC outlets, so this is not for casual use.
The Power Bright 2300 marine power inverter is built to change 2300-watt 12-volt DC to 110-volt AC power. This is modified sine wave model. It runs 2300 watts of continuous power with a 4600-watt peak power at the high end of consumption. This makes it a standout compared to most power inverters. The case is anodized aluminum for durability. There is a built-in cooling fan as well. The cooling fan runs fairly quietly. There are two 120-volt AC outlets, but no power cords included, you’ll need to buy those. It’s powerful enough to run a freezer if you want to.
It features overvoltage and under-voltage shutdown. There’s also a low voltage alarm. It features overload and thermal shutdown as well. There’s also a wireless remote control. The remote is effective up to 150 feet.
The Magnum ms2000 is a pure sine wave power inverter and charger. This one is designed to be permanently installed in your boat. Most others are portable ones you’d carry around with you. But, since it’s both an inverter and a charger, it does serve dual purpose. It offers up 2,000 watts of continuous power. Because it’s a pure sine wave inverter, it can handle delicate electronics. Things like dimmer switches or charging phones or even your TV and Xbox. It features a five-stage smart charging system. This is able to speed up charging while protecting your battery. It also uses less power from a generator than your standard charger. Most chargers use 23 amps Per 100 amps. The Magnum Energy will operate at a lean 15 amps per 100 amps.
The housing is designed for marine use. it features code and circuit boards to protect from corrosion. You can write it off of 12 volt or 24-volt DC power. As is to be expected it features the protections that most other units offer. That means no fear of over voltage for under voltage shut down. this is definitely not for casual outings or you just need to charge your cell phone. If you’re looking for some serious power, the Magnum energy might be the best inverter you’ll find.
9. ProMariner True Power 2000PS Pure Sine Wave Charger
For true versatility, the Promariner pure sine wave charger and inverter is one of the best. This power inverter can also function as a battery charger. It’s definitely a bigger investment than most other converter seal fine. But its dual purpose makes it worth the money. Combined with a durable construction, this is truly a powerful piece of technology.
Featuring 2000w continuous output, this inverter can handle most of what you throw at it. Because it’s a pure sine wave inverter, it’s safe for your most sensitive Electronics. As a battery charger you can get 70 amps from it. It’s capable of charging a 12-volt battery. There are also 7 charger profiles you can use and three stages of charging.
Both the inverter and charger are automatic. There is no loud noise when the unit is in operation and it features an instant AC transfer switch.
The Tripp Lite power inverter offers up 2000 watts of continuous power output. Peak output takes it up to 4000 Watts. It features two AC outlets as well as a ventilated case with a cooling fan. It’s also designed to be tough and durable and features a one-year warranty. It includes protections including overload, short circuit, high voltage, low voltage, and overheating.
That 42 lbs it’s definitely a bulky unit. The cooling fan is good at keeping the temperatures down for the size, however. The durable case is also moisture resistant, which makes it perfect for boat use. it’s all so easily mounted on any flat surface. You can expect this inverter to last you a long time if you take care of it.
The IpowerBingo pure sine wave power inverter has a 2000-watt continuous output. Peak power is 4000 Watt. An LED display will show you your voltage output. There is overload, short circuit, and over temperature protection. It also offers reverse polarity and over and under voltage protection. Bibs ideal operating temperature ranges from 0 degrees Celsius up to 40 degrees. When it does get too hot, there is a cooling fan that is nearly silent. High gauge cables have been included. There’s also a high-quality aluminum inductance.
Things to Remember
Choosing the best power inverter depends heavily on what you plan to do on your boat. If all you need to do is charge your phone, then power output may not be your Chief concern. In that case, you may want to focus mainly on the price of the inverter. Any inverter will have a few factors you’re going to want to check out. Once you know how the inverter works and what it can do, you can make an informed choice.
Arguably the most important thing to consider when buying a power inverter. When you know the continuous wattage, you know how many appliances the inverter can power. For instance, if you have a 2000-watt inverter, you know you can handle an 800-watt microwave. One thing to remember is that most inverters will not be able to offer you 100% efficiency. If it says 2,000 watts, expect it to max out at 1800 watts. Most inverters can only pull about 90% efficiency. Just to be safe, plan for that as your baseline.
Depending on what you want to do with your inverter, you’ll need to account for the outlets available. Some offer one, two, three or more AC outlets. Some will also feature USB charging ports. More outlets offer more versatility. But you have to remember your space concerns as well. How many appliances can you plug into the space you have available?
Inverters are sold as either modified or pure sine wave forms. Modified sine wave inverters are less expensive. Pure sine wave inverters are a more efficient power source. They can create more power and transfer more power. If you are using smaller electronics, a modified inverter will probably do the job for you. If you’re running some serious electronics, you’ll want a pure sine wave inverter. Pure sine wave inverters are able to handle large appliances. Think things like refrigerators and stoves.
An unprotected power inverter can fail you in a number of ways. There are up to six different levels of protection that you can get from certain power inverters. The more levels of protection, the better off you’ll be. These include:
Short circuit protection
Reverse polarity protection
Under voltage protection
Any one of these could cause serious damage with your electronics if something were to go wrong. An inverter that includes protection against these things will keep your devices secure.
Some inverters feature GFCI output. These are safer to use than typical AC outlets. They greatly reduce the risk of shocks. Remember, the amount of power flowing through and inverter can be dangerous. 120 volts could be dangerous, especially in wet conditions on a boat.
Even though this may not seem like a major concern, the case for your inverter is important. Not every inverter is meant for marine use. Tough aluminum cases resist corrosion. A power inverter that’s meant for an RV might not be able to handle extended use on the water. This is especially true if you’re using your boat on the ocean. The salt spray could potentially cause damage to a normal inverter.
It should come as no surprise that a power inverter can draw a lot of power. You need to make sure your batteries are up to the task. Many serious boaters will pair their inverter with a generator. That ensures you never run low on power. You can also get an engine alternator. That will recharge your battery while the engine is running. That way your inverter will not drain you dry. Also, many boaters opt to use solar panels. You can even get wind generators. Always make sure you are sure about how to handle this kind of wiring. If you’re not, get a professional to do it for you. Mistakes could leave you out on the water with no power at all.
The Bottom Line
A good power inverter can make boating life much more enjoyable. If you spend a lot of time on the water, you probably look at your boat the way people on land look at RVs. You need to have a reliable power source to operate your electronics. Whether that means running a microwave, or plugging in a computer, it makes things easier. Even keeping your phones charged can be a hassle sometimes. The best power inverter can make your boat almost as convenient as your home in terms of power usage.
Make sure you are buying an inverter that matches your needs. If you are planning on extensive hours of use, then you’ll need and more powerful inverter. If you just need to keep a few things charged, then a smaller unit may work for you. Stay safe and have fun, that’s what boating is supposed to be about.