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Old 21-03-2019, 06:57   #1
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220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

If you have a 220 boat do most of the marinas in SouCal and Sea of Cortez have 220, 50 Hz shore power to plug into?
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Old 21-03-2019, 15:25   #2
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

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If you have a 220 boat do most of the marinas in SouCal and Sea of Cortez have 220, 50 Hz shore power to plug into?



220V, mostly yes. Probably 95%, but nominal North American voltage is 240V vs 230V in many other areas. And you will often find 208V for reason's that I'll skip for now.


But it will 100% be 60hz, not 50hz.
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Old 21-03-2019, 15:43   #3
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

Note the significant wiring differences between euro 240v and US 230v here
Differences_in_USA_and_European_AC_Panels
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Old 21-03-2019, 15:48   #4
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

You won't find 50Hz anywhere in that region. We live (when not sailing elsewhere) in California with a 220V/50Hz boat and our solution is to have a battery charger that accepts just about any AC voltage (110-240V, 47-63Hz) and then run everything on the boat off the inverter. That way you don't have to deal with different voltages and frequencies when you travel.

Doesn't work if you want to use air conditioning or electric heat while at the dock, but none of our boat systems require more than our inverter can put out. YMMV.
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Old 21-03-2019, 15:50   #5
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

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220V, mostly yes. Probably 95%, but nominal North American voltage is 240V vs 230V in many other areas. And you will often find 208V for reason's that I'll skip for now.


But it will 100% be 60hz, not 50hz.
How much of a problem am I likely to have if I provide the appliances that need a lot of energy 60 Hz instead of 50 Hz that they are designed to receive? For example air conditioner, and water maker, washing machine, and mico wave.

Or does it depend on each individual appliance's characteristics whether receiving 60 Hz instead of 50 Hz is going to permanently damage the appliance?

Is there a way to determine before you provide a 50 Hz appliance 60 Hz, whether the appliance will be permanently damaged or not?

The appliances that don't need a lot of energy I can run off the batteries and I can keep the batteries charged using a battery charger that can accept 110, 60 Hz.

How do most people with 220, 50 Hz wired boats deal with this issue when visiting North America / Latin America? Apparently about 80% of the world is 220, 50 Hz. That means this must be a frequent issue because, therefore, many cruisers have 220, 50 Hz wired boats that visit North America / Latin America.
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Old 21-03-2019, 16:00   #6
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

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You won't find 50Hz anywhere in that region. We live (when not sailing elsewhere) in California with a 220V/50Hz boat and our solution is to have a battery charger that accepts just about any AC voltage (110-240V, 47-63Hz) and then run everything on the boat off the inverter. That way you don't have to deal with different voltages and frequencies when you travel.

Doesn't work if you want to use air conditioning or electric heat while at the dock, but none of our boat systems require more than our inverter can put out. YMMV.
So what do cruisers do with the same set up as you, who what to use air conditioning and / or water maker and / or washing machine and / or micro wave, i.e. all the appliances that need more than your inverter/ batteries can handle? Even if you have a generator that can power air conditioning, etc. that is not a good solution because the generator will bother your neighbors in the marina.

It sounds like unless you do an expensive refit, you will be in an equivalent situation when anchoring out and don't have a generator. Which means in my case I would rather anchor out.
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Old 21-03-2019, 16:08   #7
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

If you really have to have it, you can purchase a "frequency converter". They are heavy and expensive, but if you have to have it....

Here's one site just for ideas:10 kVA Pure Sine Wave Frequency Converter | GoHz.com

We can run our (small) microwave and (small) washing maching off the inverter, don't have AC. Watermaker is 12V DC. Most of the time we don't even bother with the battery charger and let the solar do the charging, but we do have it for times when we use more power.
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Old 21-03-2019, 16:19   #8
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

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Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
If you really have to have it, you can purchase a "frequency converter". They are heavy and expensive, but if you have to have it....

Here's one site just for ideas:10 kVA Pure Sine Wave Frequency Converter | GoHz.com

We can run our (small) microwave and (small) washing maching off the inverter, don't have AC. Watermaker is 12V DC. Most of the time we don't even bother with the battery charger and let the solar do the charging, but we do have it for times when we use more power.
When I do the survey of the boat I will ask the surveyor to where I am.

It is not inexpensive, but the "frequency converter" at the link you provided above is a viable worst case. I just want to know what I am in for before buying a 220, 50 Hz boat to be used in North America. Thanks!
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Old 22-03-2019, 08:37   #9
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

With a 220 Euro boat, you have a single line that is 220, a common and a ground. By merely plugging two 100 together, you will have 220 but in your boat, both the line and the common will have voltage.

Acme makes a transformer that will allow you to bring in 2 110 legs and get single line 220 out. It will not change the cycles, you will still have 60 cycles in the USA

Made this system 3 years ago on my own boat. So far, everything works fine and have sustained no damage. For items like a microwave or water heater, it has no effect. For items with motors, the motor will run 20% faster. Much less expensive to replace a motor, in the event that one goes bad, than to have a frequency converter onboard.

I can send you pics and info if you wish to send me an e-mail

It is gordon@danardmarine.com

Give me a day to locate the info
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Old 22-03-2019, 08:39   #10
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

Many of the boats I know of traveling to areas with AC electrical standards different from how their boat is wired installed an isolation transformer so they can plug in to most [all?] shorepower offerings. [And they are pretty much a standard on metal boats...]

This applies to US boats traveling abroad as well as Euro wired boats visiting the states.

Here is a Cruising World article on this topic.

This topic has also been discussed on this forum in the past, so there may be some good info for you in those discussions as well.

Best wishes with your new boat, and safe journeys to you.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 22-03-2019, 09:38   #11
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

You must know that 230v, 50Hz power (EU, Asia, and most of the world) is 3-wire. The US, and a few others, are 220v 4-wire, 60Hz). BIG difference between 3-wire and 4-wire! Our boat was built for Asia, and is wired for 230v, 3-wire, 50hz power; and it's what our genset puts out. No issue in the Medd, or in Asia, but a problem here in the US or the Caribbean. We spend 90% of our time away from marinas, so our only issue was when we came into a US marina power pole. After more than a couple failed attempts (read ebay transformers), we finally bought and installed a Victron auto-sensing isolation transformer. 3-wire is 3-wire, so at a US marina power pole we plug into a 110v power pole here in the Caribb, the xfmr senses the 110v, steps it up to 230v, and feeds it to the boat. We have a few 60Hz appliances, but they seem to function OK on our genset 50Hz power. We try to buy 50Hz stuff when we can(refer motor, watermaker motor, batt charger, etc). But we've found there is little impact on running or 50Hz equipment on 60Hz, and vice versa.....our microwave is a US-cheapie, 6oHz, and has worked flawlessly now for over 2 years. No, I know it's not "good" for the appliances, and they likely will not last quite as long, but they do work.....a 50Hz motor runs faster at 60Hz by about 15%. Resistance appliances do not care what the freqs are. BUT....don't try to take US 220v 4 wire and connect to your 230v 3-wire setup....it can be dangerous!
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Old 23-03-2019, 16:56   #12
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Re: 220 shore power available in SouCal and Sea of Cortez?

One important thing to look out for when connecting a Euro-wired boat to North American power is the handling of neutrals and ground.


In Euro-power, the two wires are neutral and line, and the neutral would be bonded to the grounding system on the boat.


In NA power, there is a center tap between L1 and L2 forming the neutral, and that neutral is bonded to the boat's grounding system.


If you just plug in to NA 120/240V power, you will have one of the power lines connected to neutral, which in turn is bonded to your grounding system. So now you have a hot boat.


Some form of isolation transformer is the safest way to do it, but there are lots of specifics that need to be investigated and understood on the particular boat.
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