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Old 09-05-2013, 19:51   #1
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220v on a boat in the Caribbean

We are looking at a boat that has been outfitted in Europe and brought to the Caribbean. If we intend to remain in the islands is this a concern? If the boat is outfitted with Kohler generators, Ech20 water maker, Lecomble an Schmidt auto pilot, and other high end euro kit, if I need to get parts are they readily accessible?
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Old 09-05-2013, 22:16   #2
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Re: 220v on a boat in the Caribbean

Most docks in the Caribbean have 120V and 220V available. So no problem plugging in.

I had a US boat (120V), which I used in Europe (220V). I installed a second shore power connection and a Victron Auto-transformer to convert from 220V to 120V. I also used a Victron Multi Plus inverter, could be fed by the transformer or feed into the transformer via a switch. I installed several 220V outlets around in the kitchen and salon to run our European purchased equipment.

Thus I had a boat fully capable of hooking up to 120V or 240V and having both available inside too either plugged in or at sea. The only problem was the water pump on the washer, which did not like 60Hz. So I programmed the Victron to default to 50Hz. Whenever doing laundry we could not be plugged into 120V-60Hz. Had to drive it from the inverter instead. We recovered the lost battery charge quickly after finishing with the laundry.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:38   #3
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Re: 220v on a boat in the Caribbean

Seems you have two questions. How to use a 220V/50hz boat in 120v areas and whether parts for a Euro made boat can be obtained in the US and Carib. I have those issues. For electricity I did the reverse of what roetter did - added a new 120v shore power inlet, separate inverter/charger and ran 120v outlets throughout the boat. Now I can take any shore power and not worry about frequency issues. This seems daunting but with careful planning is certainly doable.

As to getting parts. Even without a large presence over here, you can still source and ship most things. There are a few things - door handle hardware, etc. that I could not get, but in general this issue has not been too big a headache.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:26   #4
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Re: 220v on a boat in the Caribbean

I assume most systems on the boat will run from either the 220 or through 12v. The only other applications would be external plug ins which I could use a transformer I guess. Is the 220 a detriment when trying to sell in NA?
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:26   #5
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Re: 220v on a boat in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by roetter View Post
...The only problem was the water pump on the washer, which did not like 60Hz. So I programmed the Victron to default to 50Hz. Whenever doing laundry we could not be plugged into 120V-60Hz. Had to drive it from the inverter instead. We recovered the lost battery charge quickly after finishing with the laundry.
The best solution is to have a large - 100 amp - 110v shorepower charger and as you say run the inverter at 240 volts 50 Hz. This way the 110v shorepower is effectively feeding the 240v inverter so you won't have to run down your batteries.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:12   #6
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On Neko, many original systems run on 220. They can get that from the inverter. We have a 220v generator for loads too large for the inverter - washer and water heater. We converted and wired the water heaters to run 120 or 220. The washer we only use when the genset is running. We didn't want to mess with a frequency converter and didn't want to have to run 120 loads at 50hz. We have added other 120v loads as well, all of which can run off the inverter. Thus this boat can run all its systems anywhere. As far as resale, I think this setup would be a selling point.
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