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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 1987 sailboat. Above the AC panel is a small panel that appears to be inverter. VIGIL is the brand and the model seems to be Shorepower Inverter. Beneath the AC panel is another small control that has SHIP, OFF, SHORE settings.

I tried out the inverter for first time this past weekend and nothing. My test was to plug a small appliance into the 110v cabin outlet and then turn inverter to ON position and switch beneath to SHORE. Nothing. Not even a light on the inverter panel.

Anyone familiar with these? Is there a fuse or some othe common issue I should check?

Thanks

Mike
Persistence
1987 Frers 33
 

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Vigil made marine electronics, radar etc. but I don't recall every seeing a Vigil inverter. The "Shore Power" is likely just a transfer switch probably not a model.

A good quality marine inverter will "auto transfer" and not require a selector switch for shore/inverter. The only time switches like that are used is usually when someone is trying to adapt a non-marine inverter to marine use or they have an on-board generator and need to select AC inputs..

You really need to lay eyes on the physical inverter and its wiring..
 

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I recently purchased a 1987 sailboat. Above the AC panel is a small panel that appears to be inverter. VIGIL is the brand and the model seems to be Shorepower Inverter. Beneath the AC panel is another small control that has SHIP, OFF, SHORE settings.

I tried out the inverter for first time this past weekend and nothing. My test was to plug a small appliance into the 110v cabin outlet and then turn inverter to ON position and switch beneath to SHORE. Nothing. Not even a light on the inverter panel.

Anyone familiar with these? Is there a fuse or some othe common issue I should check?

Thanks

Mike
Persistence
1987 Frers 33
Mike--

If the inverter is functional, it is "shipboard" hence your "source" selector should be on "Ship". Unfortunately, tho' I'm sure some may differ, Vigil products seemed to leave a lot to be desired in their time and many/most have long since been retired. You may get it to work with enough "Persistence" but don't be discouraged if not. N'any case, good luck.

FWIW...
 

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Check out the link below. Is a Cruising World article/catalog from the 80s or earlier. On page 147 they show this inverter. It actually has ON, AUTO, OFF rocker switch and the other switch may or may not be related.

Cruising World - Google Books

Mike
Wow! Nice find. In all my years working on boats I have yet to see a Vigil inverter, heck the electronics were rare.... Learn something new every day!!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well the good news is that not all the systems are antique and that it seems all the other systems are functioning correctly

I guess I will have to start looking / crawling around to find the actual inverter and see if it is even connected to anything
 

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Well the good news is that not all the systems are antique and that it seems all the other systems are functioning correctly

I guess I will have to start looking / crawling around to find the actual inverter and see if it is even connected to anything
Be VERY Careful about what you touch if that thing is still connected to your batteries. Note too, there may be a separate switch to make or break that connection, aside from the two you've already discovered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Attached are pictures of the control panel and the inverter itself. Some of the pictures are not great as I was holding the camera at arms length inside a locker hoping to get the inverter in the frame.

I see there is a grey cable that looks almost like an old serial port computer cable connecting panel to inverter. I am hoping that perhaps this is just loose
 

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Attached are pictures of the control panel and the inverter itself. Some of the pictures are not great as I was holding the camera at arms length inside a locker hoping to get the inverter in the frame.

I see there is a grey cable that looks almost like an old serial port computer cable connecting panel to inverter. I am hoping that perhaps this is just loose
Pictures?
 

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Mike-
The inverter panel looks like a typical "automatic" inverter. That is, you can leave it turned off, or in automatic, or turned on. If you turn it to "on" and there's nothing plugged into the AC sockets, you should still hear a clunk or buzz or see the DC voltmeter dip for a second as it kicks on--if it is working. The "automatic" position is the deluxe feature that automatically senses anytime a device is plugged into the AC sockets and turned on, and in theory it will turn on the inverter as needed when that happens. In practice, not everyone trusts that feature, some boaters prefer to KNOW that the Ac system is dead when it is dead.

With old electronics on an old boat, it could be that someone disconnected the power to the inverter. Either because they didn't use it, or it was broken, or they were rewiring and got lazy. You just don't know. There are bound to be fuse(s) or breakers, but the only way to find out is to trace the AC wiring, from where it enters the boat, and trace the DC cabling, from the batteries, and see what is there. There's no way to tell who hooked things up, or disconnected them, or where they might have buried fuses, breakers, or switches.

The inverter "should" have a clearly visible set of heavy cables running directly back to the battery, or the DC master power, and there "should" be some protective device (fuse or breaker) in those cables. There may also be internal fuses.

Needless to say, if you want to go poking around in that, make Real Damn Sure that the AC shore power is disconnected and will stay disconnected while you are working. An inverter could also keep a high voltage charge (in capacitors) are being disconnected from the AC for some time, which is why most of that equipment will have a warning label about not poking around inside it. So again, if you are poking, poke carefully.
 

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....make Real Damn Sure that the AC shore power is disconnected and will stay disconnected while you are working. An inverter could also keep a high voltage charge (in capacitors) are being disconnected from the AC for some time, which is why most of that equipment will have a warning label about not poking around inside it. So again, if you are poking, poke carefully.
Best to disconnect the Positive battery cables as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks all

This looks like an off season project. It is of course tucked away in a very difficult to access location.

I did note that the cable connecting the inverter to the panel looks crooked so may not be plugged in all the way. That would just be too easy I suppose

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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" I don't recall ever trying this switch "

No no, Mike! That's the Ectoplasmic Containment Unit, whatever you do don't shut that switch!

(Ghostbusters. VBG.)
 
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