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Use of 'Rediline mechanical inverter'

I am looking at buying a very tidy 1990-built 50' narrowboat that is fitted with a Readiline mechanical inverter that converts 12 volt power to 240 volts (or so it says in the blurb!)(the guy at the marina described it as a 'converter', an early form of inverter). Never having heard of these, can you advise me:
1. Would it be best to replace it with a modern inverter or, if it works OK, leave it alone and use it?
Will it run a washing machine, if we have one fitted?
3. Any other thougts/advice you may have?
The boat appears to have 1 starter and 2 domestic batteries.

Asked by: Paul Taylor  | 4.17pm, Sunday 15 July

WW says:

The Rediline is a rotary converter rather than an invertor. It is basically a 12V motor directly driving a mains generator.
The advantage over an invertor is that you get a proper sine wave supply just like the mains, rather than an electronically synthesised approximation (although expensive invertors are very good). Disadvantages are that the minimum current required to drive the generator is quite high, so for small loads they are even more inefficient than an invertor. Running at high loads it should be similar to an invertor. They are slightly noisier than an invertor, but much quieter than a generator.
As far as I am aware they came in two sizes; 800 and 1600W, neither of which will drive a washing machine. With only about 120 Amp hrs of useable domestic battery capacity (assuming two 110 Ahr batteries) you will not be able to power a washing machine without running the engine anyway.

Rupert Smedley  | 5.46PM, Sunday 15 July

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