Save Energy Onboard with a 12-Volt Laptop Charger

For many cruisers with simple electrical needs, a laptop computer can be the biggest power hog onboard. On our Creekmore 34, Eurisko, we need a laptop not only for my writing, but for our three homeschoolers.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
laptop-charger

For many cruisers with simple electrical needs, a laptop computer can be the biggest power hog onboard. On our Creekmore 34, Eurisko, we need a laptop not only for my writing, but for our three homeschoolers. Until recently, we kept it charged through an inverter, which give us about four hours of computer time a day before our two 50-watt solar panels could no longer keep up and the house battery-bank voltage started dropping. 

We finally realized the major culprit was the inverter. Specifically, we were wasting electricity by using it to change the boat’s 12-volt DC power to AC power for the computer’s 110-volt power cord, which then changed it back to DC power for the computer.

After weeks of research I found the web site laptoppartsnow.com, which sells 12-volt plugs for laptops. (Search by brand and model of your laptop.) Since we no longer waste energy converting DC to AC and then back to DC, I can use our laptop for 10 to 12 hours a day, and the batteries never notice it. When choosing a 12-volt charger for your computer, be sure to match the output (in volts and watts) of your 110-volt charger to that of the 12-volt charger you purchase. This ensures that the new charger will provide enough power for your laptop without damaging it.

Related

Profurl

Gear: Profurl Motorized Furlers

Profurl NEXe motorized flying-sail furlers make it possible for shorthanded crews and solo sailors to handle large reaching sails, like gennakers, Code 0s and other A-sails, with minimal effort and in safety. Two versions are available, the NEXe 5.0 for boats with LOAs up to ...read more

01-SUGGEST-CROP

Docking with Twin Rudders

Twin-rudder raceboats have been with us since the mid-1980s. In the last 10 years or so, they’ve also become increasingly popular aboard cruising boats, including those available for charter. It is therefore a good idea to be aware of their idiosyncrasies. In some circles, ...read more

11thHourRacing

Video: 11th Hour Racing Returns to America

Newport welcomed America's ocean racing home team, 11th Hour Racing, back to its waters earlier this week for the start of their autumn training season. In the video, which recounts their Atlantic Crossing from France, Charlie Enright, Mark Towhill and their international crew ...read more

AdobeStock_180386204

BVI Sets Date for Re-Opening

The BVI Tourist Board has set December 1st as the date visitors will be allowed to return to their territory, just in time for the winter charter season to kick off. Several charter companies including Horizon Yacht Charters, Dream Yacht Charter, TMM, CYOA and Conch Charters ...read more

DSC_5337-2

Boat Review: X-Yachts X4⁶

The Danish builder X-Yachts does not simply stick taller or shorter rigs and keels on the same hulls to create boats for both cruisers and racers, as some mass-production builders do. Nor is it content to build two distinct lines of cruisers and racers. Instead, the company has ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 1.18.36 PM

Harken Changes Hands, Stays in the Family

. In a video posted yesterday, Peter Harken cheerfully announced that his company, Harken Inc., the trusted hardware brand bearing his last name, which was formerly owned by founders and their families has changed hands. The owners have sold their shares to employees—"passing ...read more