Obsolete 3.5 Travel Power Swap Out.

Winter work ’20/’21 on shared narrowboat ‘The Pride of York’ at Kings Bromley Marina. Boat had numerous recent repairs to the Dometic 3.5 Travel Power’s Powerbox by another company and it’s failed again. Syndicate have lost faith and decided to look at different options. Equipment on the boat is: 2.5KW Electric kettle; Washer/Dryer; Toaster; Microwave; Hoover.

I fit a 3000VA Victron Inverter. It’s permanently left switched on but setup to only work while the engine is running. All cable sizes are upgraded and a Mega Fuse and Blue Sea isolator switch installed for it.

I fit a 175A Mahle/Iskra alternator with freewheeling pulley to charge the domestic batteries/run the Victron inverter, and remove the domestic 95A Iskra. There’s a weakness in the Beta 43’s crank/front pulley setup and it’s important to limit alternator/Travel Power loads particularly at tickover. It was possible to upgrade the 95A alternator to a 175A alternator but in this setup we felt it best to use the Travel Power position which is closer to the crank.

No 12V alternator can compete with the performance of the 3.5 Travel Power so for reliability and to look after the batteries (particularly since it’s a well used share boat) some changes have to be made: 230V Kettle is removed as the boat has gas hob anyway. I fit a 1300W heater element to the Indesit Washer/Dryer & disable the dryer element.

All the other appliances can be used while engine is running but it’s important that they’re only used on their own. All new Victron equipment has a 5 year warranty which gives good piece of mind.