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Old 21-03-2018, 21:38   #1
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220v to 110v?

We found a catamaran we are interested in. It has a European electrical system- 220v. We will be starting out in the US and probably be in the US and Bahamas for the first few years. Will this be a problem as liveaboards?

We've been told that we could do a conversion, but we're not really sure what the conversion entails.

We just want to make sure that it's possible to do a conversion, and that we wouldn't be damaging the appliances in the long run.

Or, should we just move on from this boat?
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Old 21-03-2018, 22:27   #2
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Re: 220v to 110v?

5 kVA Single Phase 230V 50Hz to 110V 60Hz Converter | GoHz.com

will do the job.
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Old 21-03-2018, 22:43   #3
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Think you've got that backwards.
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Old 21-03-2018, 22:58   #4
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Think you've got that backwards.
Don't think so.... "It has a European electrical system- 220"
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Old 21-03-2018, 23:09   #5
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Originally Posted by Tricolor View Post
Don't think so.... "It has a European electrical system- 220"
Depends on which problem they want to solve. The converter you propose solves the problem of connecting a 110V60Hz appliance to 220V50Hz supply. That is a problem that rarely needs solving, as most of the common gadgets nowadays don't care about voltage and frequency. They can probably plug in their phone chargers and laptops without issue.

No, I think the problem they want to solve is how to connect their boat to 110V60Hz shore supply...
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Old 21-03-2018, 23:16   #6
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Re: 220v to 110v?

Just look at the link, they have them for both directions. 220v 50Hz to 110v 60Hz and 110v 60Hz to 220v 50Hz
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Old 21-03-2018, 23:23   #7
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Don't think so.... "It has a European electrical system- 220"


They have euro equipment on a boat they'll be plugging into u.s. juice, you've got it backwards bud.
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Old 22-03-2018, 00:22   #8
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Re: 220v to 110v?

in Tricolor defence



says 110volt in , 220volt out
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Old 22-03-2018, 00:39   #9
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Originally Posted by newsailor0193 View Post
We found a catamaran we are interested in. It has a European electrical system- 220v. We will be starting out in the US and probably be in the US and Bahamas for the first few years. Will this be a problem as liveaboards?

We've been told that we could do a conversion, but we're not really sure what the conversion entails.

We just want to make sure that it's possible to do a conversion, and that we wouldn't be damaging the appliances in the long run.

Or, should we just move on from this boat?
You can install a simple transformer that will convert 110V US shore power to 220V. That will solve the voltage problem. They are big, heavy and require some professional wiring. If you happen to be in a marina with 220V then you need a way to easily and in a fool proof way bypass the transformer. If the boat has an ELCI (all recent euro boats have to have one) it will also need an additional 110V one. A good electrician will know about this.

Some of the appliances on the boat may not work on 60Hz (US standard) but this can quickly be determined by a good electrician. But in my experience very few appliances will be a problem. The most common device that has a problem will be a charger inverter. Some can be switched between 50-60 Hz and some cannot. So look closely at that. Motorized appliances are typically not a problem but again an electrician can tell you for sure.

A broker will tell you just about anything can be done after the sale. They are usually right but you need to get a good cost estimate before the sale and factor that into your budget.
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Old 22-03-2018, 02:13   #10
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Re: 220v to 110v?

Where will the boat be long term?

If you will be in the 110v-60hz long term, doing a full conversion starts to make sense (and it's not that bad assuming they didn't under size the wiring)

If you will be moving between areas, mitigation makes more sense.

A nice option if you will be bouncing between areas:
- Buy a large dual voltage battery charger.
- Buy a large inverter that matches the boat AC system.
- Wire the AC system input to run off the inverter.

You plug the battery charger into whatever power source is available.
The battery charger keeps the batteries charged.
The inverter provides nice clean power of the desired voltage and hertz independent of the voltage and hertz of shore power.
The batteries just act as a float, so no damage and you don't need a massive battery bank.
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Old 22-03-2018, 02:37   #11
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Re: 220v to 110v?

Exactly Valhalla
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Old 22-03-2018, 03:01   #12
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Re: 220v to 110v?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newsailor0193 View Post
We found a catamaran we are interested in. It has a European electrical system- 220v. We will be starting out in the US and probably be in the US and Bahamas for the first few years. Will this be a problem as liveaboards?

We've been told that we could do a conversion, but we're not really sure what the conversion entails.

We just want to make sure that it's possible to do a conversion, and that we wouldn't be damaging the appliances in the long run.

Or, should we just move on from this boat?
Converting the boat to distribute 110v AC power is expensive. Because the same power in 110v is twice the amps and you will have to change all the wiring, breakers, sockets, etc. not to mention chargers, inverters, etc. etc. And some generators can be converted but others will have to be replaced.

Making the boat capable of being connected to 110v shore power is fairly easy. The most straightforward way is just to add a large 110v battery charger (with a separate shore power inlet and cable) in parallel to the existing 230v one, and then run all AC equipment off the inverter when you are on 110v shore power. You might need to increase the size of the inverter to be sure to cover all possible combinations of AC loads. Needless to say, you will not be able to use 110v appliances on board, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Stock up before you bring the boat over and order anything else you might need later through Amazon. Electronics like phones, laptops, etc. rarely care about voltage.

And if you plan to sail into area where 230v power is the norm -- and that is 80% of the world -- then this will be superior.

A third way is to use an isolation transformer which steps up the voltage. Downside of this is that they do not change the frequency, so you will have 230v but 60hz when you're connected to 110/60 shorepower. This may or may not be a problem. If it is, then better to do the second battery charger plus run everything through the inverter approach.

A fourth way is to add a bunch of solar and just forget about shore power.
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Old 22-03-2018, 05:14   #13
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Re: 220v to 110v?

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Converting the boat to distribute 110v AC power is expensive. Because the same power in 110v is twice the amps and you will have to change all the wiring, breakers, sockets, etc. not to mention chargers, inverters, etc. etc. And some generators can be converted but others will have to be replaced.
This assume the manufacturer reduced the wire size for 220v models they sold.

There's a fair chance they run the same wires regardless of where the boat is to be sold (it's simpler than mistakenly installing the wrong wires) and then just connect the ends up to 110v or 220v outlets as needed.

Hard to say without checking the wiring.
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Old 22-03-2018, 05:26   #14
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Re: 220v to 110v?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Converting the boat to distribute 110v AC power is expensive. Because the same power in 110v is twice the amps and you will have to change all the wiring, breakers, sockets, etc. not to mention chargers, inverters, etc. etc. And some generators can be converted but others will have to be replaced.

Making the boat capable of being connected to 110v shore power is fairly easy. The most straightforward way is just to add a large 110v battery charger (with a separate shore power inlet and cable) in parallel to the existing 230v one, and then run all AC equipment off the inverter when you are on 110v shore power. You might need to increase the size of the inverter to be sure to cover all possible combinations of AC loads. Needless to say, you will not be able to use 110v appliances on board, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Stock up before you bring the boat over and order anything else you might need later through Amazon. Electronics like phones, laptops, etc. rarely care about voltage.

And if you plan to sail into area where 230v power is the norm -- and that is 80% of the world -- then this will be superior.

A third way is to use an isolation transformer which steps up the voltage. Downside of this is that they do not change the frequency, so you will have 230v but 60hz when you're connected to 110/60 shorepower. This may or may not be a problem. If it is, then better to do the second battery charger plus run everything through the inverter approach.

A fourth way is to add a bunch of solar and just forget about shore power.
For me all these options are like repairing your boat with duck tape.

As at #2. your world must be more smaller than mine, only in Rio de Janeiro (110v 60Hz) live more people than in The Netherlands.
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Old 22-03-2018, 05:32   #15
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220v to 110v?

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Originally Posted by ReneJK View Post
in Tricolor defence



says 110volt in , 220volt out


Yep- you are right.


Hey I'm sure everyone already knows this but the reason wiring may have to change if redoing the whole boat for 120V is because to get a given amount of power (watts) at 120V takes twice as much current as at 240V. The wiring has to therefore be sized up to handle that additional current. This can be pretty non intuitive to folks unfamiliar with this stuff. ("why do i need bigger wire for lower voltage?")

In the US a typical household circuit is 15 or 20 amps. Whats typical everywhere else?
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