All galley equipment from a 12 Volt battery bank, it is possible

Stef and Manon sail their Long John Silver, an Ovni 43. Now they make their third large voyage, a circumnavigation. They came from Chile and Peter meets them in the Gambier archipelago.

Manon and Stef on the Long John Silver in the Anganui bay of Ile Taravai, Iles Gembier.

Many projects have passed to make the Long John Silver a better yacht to live aboard. Let us stick to the sustainable jobs: first, the  ship is  completely insulated. Stef told: “This implies that the complete boarding inside had to be taken out: all the wood work, the paneling, ceiling, the bunks. And then, after the insulation was placed, all had to get in again.”  Also, all window are double glazed.  Where the aluminium yachts easily have the tendency to ‘drip’ here and there because of condensed are on the cold alumnium, now the Long John Silver stayed dry. Or, nearly dry.

Main source of moisture is the gas equipment in the galley. Combusted gas consists of CO2 and a lot of H2O, water, in its worst aggregation: as damp. It condenses on all cooler parts, including your cushens,your bed, everywhere. They dedided to change all galley  equipment  to electric.

In the next picture you see the result.

Stef in the galley on the Long John Silver, which consists of  a stove with two induction burners, a microwave/oven/grill, a water cooker, and a coffee machine.

All equipment on a 12 volt battery bank

In the book Duurzaam Varen (Sustainable Sailing, sorry, only in Dutch) already is mentioned that a complete galley equipment fed by a 12 volt battery bank, is limited. The bottle neck is the inverter (the device that converts the 12 volt into the necessary 220 Volt). For safety reasons the biggest inverter can deliver 2600 Watt to your equipment. How did Stef do this?

“First, we chose devices with smaller power”, Stef answered. To sum up the maximum powers:

  • each induction burner is 800 Watt
  • the water cooker is  800 Watt
  • The coffee maker is 1000 Watt
  • The micro wave is 1500 Watt and the oven is 2000 Watt.

You could buy a two burner marine quality induction cooker with gimball, but it costs you a fortune. The fine thing of these  85 Euro burners is that you can built them in anywhere, like in your own gimball made plateau, like Stef did.

Stef and Manon pointed out: “With this inverter we can just cook with two burners and the water cooker all on full power. With the microwave on, we can even use a burner or the water cooker. Only in the rare case when the oven is on full power, the inverter would beep if we switch on another device.”

12 LFP cells

They thought of going to 24 Volt, or 48 Volt, but our battery space was limited. Manon showed a picture (here under) where you can see that the space for the 12 volt batteries is just 90 cm long.

The LFP battery bank (partually covered by the floor) is 90 cm long. The casing  originally contained 3 AGM batteries, and now exactly 12 LFP cells just fit in.

Originally, 3 AGM batteriesn could fit in this battery casing, and there is not really a good place to extend the bank. “So, there was place for 12 Lithium Ferro Phosphate cells and that was it,” Stef concluded, “so technically we were limited to 12 volt and made a  3P4S configuration.”

He continues: “Compared to AGM or any other lead acid battery, LFP has no problem at all to deliver the power you need. So with a relative small battery bank, LFP can deliver the necessary power .”


If you want your galley changed to an electric based on a battery bank of only 12 volt, then take the Long John Silvers configuration as the text book example.

The key line technically: take small users. So, the burners, the water cooker and more. Then there is no stress that your inverter can’t delver. And use LFP batteries because they are able to deliver the big currents that you need.

The key motives: your boat stays dry after cooking. The equipment is safer than a gas equipment. Also, everything is easier to clean. When you are a long distance cruiser, it saves a lot on gas and a lot of hassling with different gas bottles and bottle connections. All together, it saves money and provide more comfort.

And last but not least: your smaller CO2 footprint gives our children  a better future.