This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s online Skipper Large Keelboats Course, a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors to learn how to sail large sailboats 26 ft (8m) and above. The Skipper Large Keelboats course is part of the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses, also teaching you how to master maneuvering under power and docking!

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

Sailboat Inverters

Inverters are devices used to convert 12-volt DC battery electricity to AC 110-volt or 220-volt electricity. Special electronics in the device take constant level current and turn it into an alternating sine wave-shaped current. Kudos to the engineers who invented them.


12 V DC inverted to 110V AC

Inverting Current

Inverters come in a variety of sizes and capacities. Small ones are simply plugged into a 12-volt DC outlet (formerly called cigarette lighters) and produce a modest AC power supply for running small devices like computers or small battery chargers for a cell phone or camera, for example.

Larger capacity inverter units will convert DC power from banks of batteries into AC power capable of powering a microwave oven or hair dryer. However, running devices like microwaves using energy derived from the batteries can deplete the batteries rapidly.

On a boat, if a large inverter is present, there will be a specially labeled AC outlet plug denoting it is an inverter outlet.

You can learn more in the Skipper Course....

Knowledge and theory for longer distances and overnight sailing in diverse conditions. The Skipper Course is a comprehensive online sailing course for beginner to intermediate sailors wanting to learn how to sail larger sailboats 26ft to 56ft. Or upgrade to the Skipper Course Bundle of online courses to also master maneuvering under power and docking!

Source: Skipper
Topic: Boat Electrical Systems
Authors: Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.