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Old 16-10-2016, 18:17   #1
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110 vs 220

I'm looking at used boats in the Caribbean, with plans to cruise the Caribbean starting spring 2017.

Most of the boats in the BVI are wired 110V, while in the french islands they seem to be 220V.

As a U.S. citizen, I only really know 110. But since I'll be in international waters, should I care if my boat is 110 or 220? Is there a reason one or the other is better for boat use?

I do worry that if I eventually sell the boat in the US, that potential buyers will be scared off by the 220, much as I am now.

Thanks in advance for your insightful answers to my naive question!
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Old 16-10-2016, 20:38   #2
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Re: 110 vs 220

some parts of the world use 120 / 240v 60hz AC (North america) and some parts us 230v 50hz. (Europe)

so you pretty much need to buy a boat and stick to certain areas. and don't plug in at the others. or equip it with the ability to use either. (not that simple)

you would likly have a hard time selling a 230v 50hz boat in the US unless it was to someone wanting to leave.
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Old 16-10-2016, 21:25   #3
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Re: 110 vs 220

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
some parts of the world use 120 / 240v 60hz AC (North america) and some parts us 230v 50hz. (Europe)

so you pretty much need to buy a boat and stick to certain areas. and don't plug in at the others. or equip it with the ability to use either. (not that simple)

you would likly have a hard time selling a 230v 50hz boat in the US unless it was to someone wanting to leave.
Not so. We have a 110 US boat that plugs in easily at any 220 marina in Europe. Anything 110 gets run through the inverter, the rest is d/c. The same for a boat 220 in a 110 marina. We use Mastervolt battery chargers and inverters.

The only hardship, if you want to call it one, is that we need to bring anything that plugs into an electric socket over from America.
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Old 17-10-2016, 01:37   #4
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Re: 110 vs 220

We have a 110v US boat and been in the Med and Black Sea for 4 years now -- we have an inverter that converts 220 to 110 - no issues
Our inverter is 3,000 watts so no issues with our 1,500w heater or anything else -
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Old 17-10-2016, 04:11   #5
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Re: 110 vs 220

My cat is french but wired 110. Most of the places we plug in are 230. My sterling BC accepts both. I have receptials on the boat, one for each. I run the 220 through a transformer to power the sockets plus we have an inverter. It really is simple
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Old 17-10-2016, 04:35   #6
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Re: 110 vs 220

Our boat was 220V, but I have since converted to 110V. However, we use an adapter and plug into either 110 or 220V depending on where we are. Our battery charger can accept anything from 83V to 400V (any hz).

So when we are plugged into 220V we are just careful about what we plug into our sockets. Laptops, and other chargers are fine running at 220V. The wifes hairdryer, not so much! If we aren't sure, we just read the tiny little text on the back of the item .
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Old 17-10-2016, 05:36   #7
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Re: 110 vs 220

It's relatively simple to convert from the source to match your boat.


Just get a battery charger matching each voltage and an inverter matching your desired voltage. Size them for the loads you want to run. (some battery chargers accept a wide range of voltage and hertz)


When you get to a marina, plug in the battery charger matching the available voltage and turn on the inverter. You now have power of the appropriate voltage for your A/C appliances. (this is better than a transformer as both the voltage and the hertz are different and in some cases the hertz difference can cause problems)


The real issue I if you are say in Europe with an American boat long term, those appliances will need to be replaced as they age but it's not easy to buy 110v appliances in Europe (same problem if you are in America on a European boat).
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Old 17-10-2016, 06:00   #8
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Re: 110 vs 220

Quote:
Originally Posted by amiller View Post
I'm looking at used boats in the Caribbean, with plans to cruise the Caribbean starting spring 2017.

Most of the boats in the BVI are wired 110V, while in the french islands they seem to be 220V.

As a U.S. citizen, I only really know 110. But since I'll be in international waters, should I care if my boat is 110 or 220? Is there a reason one or the other is better for boat use?

I do worry that if I eventually sell the boat in the US, that potential buyers will be scared off by the 220, much as I am now.

Thanks in advance for your insightful answers to my naive question!
All above answers have merit... Know that it will be no problem plugging in a 220 boat into 110, or vise versa with the correct equipment...

Just know these 3 things from experience...

1- (as Americans) It is a huge pain to have everything you own that plugs into AC be 110 on a 220 boat... Travel converters at outlets are a huge pain... The exception is that almost all small electronic chargers, phone/laptop are 110-240 BUT... you will STILL NEED an adapter at each outlet...

2- 220 Euro boats typically have smaller gauge wiring due to the reduced current needs... AND OFTEN are not fitted with TINNED wire as the ABYC influence on the Euro builder... Ain't so strong...

3- 110 equipment is far more prevalent and so accordingly CHEAPER in the US
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Old 17-10-2016, 07:09   #9
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Re: 110 vs 220

Stick with your homeland voltage.

I am working on a boat with 12/24/110/220 onboard. You DO NOT want this.

b.
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Old 17-10-2016, 07:16   #10
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Re: 110 vs 220

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Stick with your homeland voltage.

I am working on a boat with 12/24/110/220 onboard. You DO NOT want this.

b.
Get off my boat...


PS - Ditto what b. said
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Old 17-10-2016, 07:20   #11
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Re: 110 vs 220

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
All above answers have merit... Know that it will be no problem plugging in a 220 boat into 110, or vise versa with the correct equipment...

Just know these 3 things from experience...

1- (as Americans) It is a huge pain to have everything you own that plugs into AC be 110 on a 220 boat... Travel converters at outlets are a huge pain... The exception is that almost all small electronic chargers, phone/laptop are 110-240 BUT... you will STILL NEED an adapter at each outlet...

2- 220 Euro boats typically have smaller gauge wiring due to the reduced current needs... AND OFTEN are not fitted with TINNED wire as the ABYC influence on the Euro builder... Ain't so strong...

3- 110 equipment is far more prevalent and so accordingly CHEAPER in the US
No not really.

Having the boat set up to charge the batteries in either 110 or 220 isn't a problem and really doesn't require any special wiring except for the battery charger and maybe the inverter. But trying to get by with electrical outlet converters is hopeless and won't work for most electrical appliances except for a cell phone and computer. You'll need to bring all things that plug into the wall from the country of origin either 110 or 220. Example: I purchased a 220 battery powered Dremel tool a couple years ago thinking it would be fine plugged into 110 with an adapter, it didn't work.

But in the end, after the boat is properly equipped, the voltage difference really isn't a problem. Just know that everything needs to be run through the inverter.

110 items cannot be purchased in Europe and 220 are not available in America, for obvious reasons. You'll need to do the importing yourself via an airline.

The only time an issue comes up is if let's say your 110 microwave oven breaks down when you're in a 220 country... the problem can't be solved until you import a 110 microwave in from the Americas via your next plane trip back to the boat. Otherwise, there is no problem.
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Old 17-10-2016, 07:29   #12
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Re: 110 vs 220

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
No not really.

Having the boat set up to charge the batteries in either 110 or 220 isn't a problem and really doesn't require any special wiring except for the battery charger and maybe the inverter. But trying to get by with electrical outlet converters is hopeless and won't work for most electrical appliances except for a cell phone and computer. You'll need to bring all things that plug into the wall from the country of origin either 110 or 220. Example: I purchased a 220 battery powered Dremel tool a couple years ago thinking it would be fine plugged into 110 with an adapter, it didn't work.

But in the end, after the boat is properly equipped, the voltage difference really isn't a problem. Just know that everything needs to be run through the inverter.

110 items cannot be purchased in Europe and 220 are not available in America, for obvious reasons. You'll need to do the importing yourself via an airline.

The only time an issue comes up is if let's say your 110 microwave oven breaks down when you're in a 220 country... the problem can't be solved until you import a 110 microwave in from the Americas via your next plane trip back to the boat. Otherwise, there is no problem.
Oh...

OK...

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Old 17-10-2016, 07:38   #13
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Re: 110 vs 220

Hmmmm, I went the other direction; I bring 240 (or 220/230) on to the boat. An Isolation Transformer gives me 240/120 onboard. Everything on the boat can handle 50 or 60 hz except for the Microwave. That runs off an inverter just fine and the battery charger can handle any voltage/frequency. Easy, simple, and flexible--just took some advance planning. Those who don't go back and forth between shore side standards probably don't need this but for those who do some additional up front planning and installation makes it seamless while cruising
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Old 17-10-2016, 07:43   #14
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Re: 110 vs 220

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Hmmmm, I went the other direction; I bring 240 (or 220/230) on to the boat. An Isolation Transformer gives me 240/120 onboard. Everything on the boat can handle 50 or 60 hz except for the Microwave. That runs off an inverter just fine and the battery charger can handle any voltage/frequency. Easy, simple, and flexible--just took some advance planning. Those who don't go back and forth between shore side standards probably don't need this but for those who do some additional up front planning and installation makes it seamless while cruising
I think that's what we're all intimating Scott... At least I was with the "right equipment" comment...

As you say... Takes some thought, But I personally think you got it right...
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Old 17-10-2016, 08:21   #15
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Re: 110 vs 220

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Stick with your homeland voltage.

I am working on a boat with 12/24/110/220 onboard. You DO NOT want this.

b.
What happened to 48.
In general I agree with you but if the boat is sweet I wouldn't let it break the deal.
BTW it is easier to adapt a boat that is wired 110 as the 220 wiring is a lot slimmer. 110 on 220 wire could b dodgy
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