2320: Installing batteries and inverter in the cabin

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Well-known member
Aug 5, 2006
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Huntington Beach, CA
I would like to install batteries and an inverter in the cabin of my 2320. Options include a bank of 2 12V wired in parallel or 2 6V wired in series. Has anyone else done this? If so where did you place the batteries?

I presume I may have to create a battery compartment beneath the cabin floor, but there may be better options. Any suggestions?

What is the purpose of the extra batteries and inverter?

Do you already have a two-battery system installed by Parker?

I wouldn't waste any of your time/money on 6v batteries. A single group 31 deep cycle would be a sufficient addition to your "house" battery (assuming Parker installed two batteries, one for house one for starting, that are charged simultaneously by the split charging system of your Yamaha motor).

When you add the 3rd battery, install a "combiner" that drives the charging of the house and the 3rd battery (creating a house-bank of batteries).
Not sure about the 2320, but my 2520 has a pair of storage wells (one to port and one to stbd) in the v-berth floor that could be used for house batteries.

Someday when I can afford it, I want to install a Furuno radar with an open array, and I know that I'll need additional power.

My plan is to install a single Group 31 Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery in the stbd storage well. Cable runs to the helm electronics will be about as short as you can get, so I expect having the house battery that close to my helm electronics will be a huge benefit.

If you plan on installing an extra battery (or two) in the cabin or v-berth, my advice would be to only use AGM batteries in there.
AGM's have little to no hydrogen off-gassing and have no acid to spill making them a much safer alternative to flooded cell batteries in a confined space.

Good luck, and remember to post project photos! :D
Porkchunker said:
What is the purpose of the extra batteries and inverter?

Do you already have a two-battery system installed by Parker?]

Well, since you asked....

I am planning to redo the cabin including adding an inverter and a microwave. I am not sure that a single AGM will provide adequate power but I plan to research that. I will also be adding a windlass and I haven't decided whether to power the windlass from the cabin battery or from the batteries in the bilge.

BTW my boat came with batteries installed by Parker. I have 2 12v but since I like to use my boat for overnight trips and since I run a bait tank pump continuously I need to add more battery power to the boat in any case.

thanx to everyone who is able to share some knowledge.
I don’t know of any better way then to put them in the floor, as space is so limited on a small boat. In the floor is not perfect either but it does help with the space issue. If you decide to go this route let me know, ([email protected]) I may help you avoid some of the problems I faced.
I’m also adding a battery charger/inverter in my 2520. This will allow me to keep my batteries charged at home as well as on the water in a slip if I so choose. It will also power my microwave and some 110 volt lights for squid or other bait fishing. I’ve done more since this was posted but may let you know what your in for if you go this route.
¾ inch plywood covered with cloth and resin then gel coat to match the floor. I had to build it up a little to match the height. It's a pretty big job to undertake but I think it was worth it in the end.

i put an inverter into my 2520 fifteen years ago and it is about the
best idea i ever had..........having 110 aboard, whether for a microwave
oven (my main use....hot meals are happiness...i dont prepare them
aboard, just warm them up) or a hair blower is really a fine thing to
have.....an inverter is also a BATTERY CHARGER PAR EXCELLENCE,
having a complex three (or even four) stage charging algorithm which
can put 15-20% more charge (amp hours) into your batteries than
an automotive type.....

the inverter is temperature sensitive and cannot go in the engine
room...........the inverter pulls a lot of current from the house batterh
and the wire run must be brief (avoid "short" in talking electrics)......
thus, both the house battery and the inverter MUST go into the cabin area
........several points

[1] they are heavy enough together, DO NOT put them on the same
side of the cabin.....the boat will list noticeably to that side......

[2] a group 31 in way too small for an inverter, and a single d8 is
the minimum to even think about.

[3] you should explore an EXTERNAL VOLTAGE REGULATOR for
your alternator..

[4] you definitely need an AMP-HOUR-METER with a shunt on the
negative side of the house battery.......you must KNOW what is
going on the the electrical system.......no "out of sight out of mind"

[5] i solved several "logistical" problems during my installation,
and i would be happy to get as specific for you as you like

i is a great upgrade, ie you can plug in on shore and both charge ALL
batteries well beyond the usual level in complete safety, but run a
ceramic heater and/or cook food in a kitchen model microwave.....
makes spending the day or the night aboard QUITE CIVILIZED......
what you dont want to do is view this as a weekend project......this
would be a full winter project......also, you dont want to try this on
a shoestring budget.....the inverter will be about $500, the external
regulator $200, and amphour meter about $400, the d8 battery about
$500, and the 1/0 marine cable you will need to go back to the engine
(red wire and black wire!) isnt cheap......you will need to do a lot of un
and re-bundling of wiring, a lot of soldering and heat shrinking, and
a lot drilling and creating new supports/braces......lastly, you will need
to add heavy duty fuse blocks several places and battery switches in
several places........lastly, you need to have a COMPLETELY PLANNED
AND DRAWN BLUEPRINT FOR THE JOB, which can/will prevent you from
doing un- and rebundling multiple times........or having the space for one
thing and two things to go there..........i would say $2000 and 100 man
$860 delivered. We often run it 24/day, days on end...especially in the summer for the air conditioner (and to get toasty in the cold with the electric heater.)

No problems running anything you could plug into your kitchen outlet.
..........i would say $2000 and 100 man hours.....dan[/quote said:
It sounds like you did a lot of work and are pleased with the outcome. I may not have the same needs that you do and I am hoping that my installation will not have to be quite so comprehensive. I want to install a small microwave (800-1000 watts) to run off the inverter. I was hoping that the system could be powered by a large 12V or a bank of 6V batteries.

I typically do not stay out for more than one night on the water and don't anticipate using the microwave for more than rewarming some meals 2-3 times on each trip. My boat has a new Yamaha F250 which has an alternator that puts out up to 60amps. I live in Southern Calif and shave my head so there is no need for a cabin heater or hair drier.

I don't understand why you are recommending an external voltage regulator or why I need 1/0 battery cable in the installation, nor do I understand the need for the power monitoring equipment.

I should add that I keep my boat on a trailer in my yard and that I own a very good smart stage battery charger which has done a fine job in keeping my batteries conditioned. I had intended to get a small (1000-1200 watt) inverter that does not contain a charging circuit.

I am certainly interested in learning what I need to know before I start making purchases or drilling holes so I hope you can educate me a bit more about why you made the recommendations you did.


After all is said and done your recommendation about a generator may be a smart course to follow. We'll see

Thanx to both of you.

I've been thinking about a Honda 2000i generator :D . What else do I need/have to install for it to be fully operational ?

Also, what type of A/C and heat are you using ??

Mac - Jeffnick went on a prop testing trip to Ft. Lauderdale. He may not monitor the thread 'til he returns. 8)
That is what I use, a Honda 2000 and I can use whatever I need, and it is the ticket, I was going to install the inverter, but I thought the generator was a better ticket !
Didn't end up testing any of my 7 props
took in the Ft Lauderdale Boat Parade instead...over 100 boats. 'Talk about a boating experience -- I've never seen anything like it!

As to the Honda EU2000i, you need nothing else except an extension cord. We made the jump seat top a little bigger so the generator sits level, and it runs right where you see it, sometimes 24 hrs for days on end.

We heat with an electric heater. The genny will power a 1500 watt job, but we like the ones with the 750 watt settings too, as most of the time 750 gets the job done and there's power left for the microwave, electric contact cooker or coffee pot. We bought the heater at WalMart. Here's a link to one somewhere else.


For air conditioning we run a standard RV roof mount unit we purchased from Camping World. I believe this is the one we put in:

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus ... unum=22222

I also plumbed a rubber fuel line with primer bulb from the second fuel tank port so we can fill the genny from the boats fuel tank by squeezing the bulb. I'm considering putting in an electric fuel pump (with key switch) in place of the bulb because we're running the daylights out of the genny!

When we're not boating, the genny serves as backup power for the house.

I had some pics up of the a/c installation but the host site lost all the files. But you can look here at a few:

http://s112.photobucket.com/albums/n171 ... ck/MokeeD/