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Old 04-05-2019, 16:13   #1
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60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

My 2017 Lagoon 42 has 3 shore side power inputs. 115, 230 and another 230.

One of the 230 is solely for the AC on the boat.
My marina offers me 3 plugins at 115 v 30 Amp 60 hertz. The standard US.

My boat side receptacles are all 32 amp, 50 Hertz.

I am hoping there is a Y inverter plug that lets me take 2 of the 115V 60 Hertz to 230 V 50 hertz.

Does anyone have a good fix for this issue? I am not willing to risk 60 hertz into a 50-hertz electrical system.

Thanks in advance.

"Believe nothing no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your reason and common sense.” –Buddha
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Old 04-05-2019, 16:21   #2
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

LOL takes a lot more than a Y plug.

Isolating auto-transformer is the usual if you use a lot of AC appliances, but you'll need different ones for each different grid power type you encounter.

Otherwise, my preference, world power charger(s) and inverters off the battery bank.

220v to 110v. Where do I start?

50hz appliances used on US 60hz shore power

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Old 04-05-2019, 16:49   #3
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

Chances are the 50hz frequency won't be an issue. I've seen so many cases where people use European products on US power without issue.
Check your inverter/ charger to see if it is capable of flexible frequency.
Obviously you have to convert voltage.
If you are concerned, use only your battery power and use a charger.
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Old 04-05-2019, 17:26   #4
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

It is almost always ok to run 50Hz equipment at 60Hz. But not always ok the other way around.

My suggestion: Make a list of all AC equipment on board and take a photo of the name plates. Chances are that will tell you if there is any risk or concern. Most 50Hz air conditioners will work fine when running on 60Hz. The voltage needs to be correct is the primary concern.

There are Y adapters that can automatically take 2 120V circuits and turn that into a single 240V circuit. They are pretty expensive. Before you go that route I would hire a qualified electrician to advise the best way to redo the boat inlets so they are compatible with US marina hookups. There is a standard US marina hookup for 240V. Almost all marinas have the standard 240V outlet or they can easily add one to a power pedestal.
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:47   #5
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60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

It’s been a long time, but all my US 60hz stuff ran fine in Germany off of a transformer to convert voltage, of course the Hz stayed 50hz.
Vacuum ran a little slower or seems to and the microwave was louder, mechanical clocks wouldn’t keep time, but who has one of those anymore.

Everything ran for three years and then after coming home for years later.
TV’s the whole shebang.

There is a way to wire the shorepower plug for a European 220V boat to work on US power, but I believe it to be unsafe.

US 220V or 240 if you will is different than European 220V, I believe.
US 220 is two 110 hot wires, where European 220v is actually one 220V hot wire, that is why their wiring gauge is smaller, it’s higher voltage.

Someone my correct me but I think I’m right. Other than the unsafe wire mod, I know of no easy way to run a European 220V boat on US shorepower.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:18   #6
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

Here in Japan we have always had the two different systems. There is no way to convert Hz because it is as it comes off of the dynamo's. So the north is 50Hz and south is 60Hz. Back in the days (70's)when there were AC motors on things like clocks, there was a problem. If you were moving south and had lived in Tokyo, the clocks that couldn't be converted mechanically had to be discarded. Open reel tape decks were a problem, too as well as LP turntables. Also timers on washine machines and dryers, depending on production country. So any 60 cycle timer would run slowly in the 50cycle area. The only remedy was to buy a 60 cycle spindle for the tape recorder and turntable. Otherwise, records would sound a bit fast and tapes recorded in Tokyo would sound fast in Kobe, for instance.
But now with sophisticated circuitry where AC is converted to DC with a rectifier bridge, the cycle factor is removed from the equation and everything is fine! But the difference remains in Japan!
European 230V vs US 220V are different, but that issue is addressed elsewhere.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:38   #7
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

OK, so that's all using the auto transformer route.

Other way is convert (maybe only some lower power) circuits to no longer run off marina shore, but from the battery bank through appropriate inverter(s).

Shore chargers that will accept any power worldwide.

Can then easily buy appliances designed for any style mains, mix and match as you like, just power with an inverter of appropriate output.

Everything can then go through your DC bank while on shore power, but of course off grid when the genset's not running stuff like aircon pulls too many amps.

Designing an international boat this way from the outset can save a lot of headaches and give great flexibility down the road as options increase for off-grid power sources.

Native DC wherever possible being most efficient of course.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:52   #8
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

Recognize that US 110v power is 3-wire(hot at 110v, neutral, and gnd), and US 220v power is 4-wire(2 hot at 110v, neutral, and gnd). And the rest of the world uses 230v....3-wire(hot at 230v, neutral, and gnd). You can't go from US220v 4-wire to Euro 230v 3-wire safely, unless you use an isolation transformer. I know....I tried! Our boat is an Asian-market, built for 230v, 50Hz....and now we're in the Caribbean (US power). We tried some Amazon/Ebay-special transformers, and the best lasted about 4 weeks! We finally bought a Victron Isolation Auto-transformer (it senses incoming power voltage, and steps it up as required to output 230v, 3-wire power.) Most everything will tolerate the hz difference; 50Hz motors will run about 15% faster on 60Hz, but typically is not an issue. Resistance appliances (heaters, etc) don't care either way. Some electronics are fussy, but most are tolerante either way. Even our 60Hz microwave (Sears cheapy) has lasted now 3 years + running on 60Hz in a marina, and 50 Hz on genset power. Check your electrical equipment faceplates, but I'd be surprised if there is a Hz issue. But Do Not try to use US 220v 4-wire power to hook into your 230v 3-wire system, unless you get an electrician involved.
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Old 05-05-2019, 17:37   #9
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

My SV is all European standard (220/240 V - 50 Hz).
In countries with 110V / 60HZ, they "make" 220V with 110/115V, but voltage will vary depending on how many people are using the same power supply and lenth of the cable between your boat and shore power supply. Hz will not change you will get 60Hz.
Most electric gear (coffe machine, TV, vaccum) will run perfectly, but faster. Washing machine is different, electronic card will not do the job and in most case, will not flow out the water from the machine and spinning will not work. But all return to normal if you run the genset. So damages on the electronic card.
I heard that some card burned… but didn't see it with my eyes.
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Old 05-05-2019, 19:46   #10
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

Originally Posted by DockDoc View Post
My 2017 Lagoon 42 has 3 shore side power inputs. 115, 230 and another 230.

My boat side receptacles are all 32 amp, 50 Hertz.

Something is wrong in this narative, actually several things:
1. A 240V 32A 1phase european receptacle exists but is basicly unknown in the yacht business, the 16A version beeing standard.
2. Receptacles are insensitive to Hz. The yellow and blue ones can be either frequency. Green is used for indicating other frequencys.
3. The only country I know of using nameplate 115V/50Hz is Barbados.

What actual receptacles does the boat have?
If european wired I would expect one yellow 3 round pin (P+N+PE 4h, in use in the UK) and two blue 3 round pin (P+N+PE 6h, in use everywhere). If you have NEMA receptacles (flat pins, locking) the boat is wired for US power. You could also have a dual systems boat with a 125V 60Hz US circuit and a european 240V 50Hz circuit, in wich case the yellow receptacle would have flat pins and the blue ones round pins. This would be repeated inside the boat with flat pin and round pin receptacles.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:52   #11
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

West Marine used to sell a "Smart Y" for connecting with two 115v 30a 60hz US spec marina dock outlets.

After looking into rewiring, transformers and such, we bought the Smart Y for our Euro-wired Moorings 4700 (Leopard 47) sailing cat when we brought he up from French Polynesia to Hawaii. This devise has worked fine. The dual AC only powers the air-con, electric elements for the two water heaters and the charger-inverter.

With the Smart Y only one of the two AC load groups can be powered at a time. This means only the saloon air-con or the cabin air-cons can be run at one time, but not both, while using this device with dock power. Likewise, only one of the two water heaters can be powered at a time. Not a big inconvenience while at the dock.

And, obviously when on gen-set power all circuits and load groups are powered.
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Old 06-05-2019, 15:02   #12
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

we fitted a frequency converter when we purchased a contessa with german electrics ,,
Here is a link to a similar one we used ,, after 4 years when things started to die (chargers ect ) we just fitted Australian made units .
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Old 06-05-2019, 15:22   #13
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

My 110v 60hz with two 30 amp shore power connections boat has a combo charger inverter and it did not like 110v 50hz as it constantly tried to sync the frequency. I could normally run two air cons off one 30 amp. Wouldn’t do that due to higher amp draw on 50hz.

I think there are two smart solutions.
1. Setup everything to run from the battery bank/inverter(s) and have a large universal charger that accepts 110v or 230v and either 50hz or 60hz.
2. Never plug in.

The Caribbean has both, for example, Aruba has 60hz but a Curaçao has 50hz.

Other issues occur when plugged in as well, like potential galvanic corrosion.

I went with option 2 + a Honda 60hz generator for backup.

Powering things incorrectly will likely shorten their useful life.
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Old 07-05-2019, 14:52   #14
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

And the winner is....


Met with a marine electrician today, after a few hours I have some new info and confirmation of above postings.

I have 3 mastervolt isolation transformers. The 110 was already on the job stepping down the 30 amps to 16 amps into the boat and 'polishing' the voltage. I will say that what I understand this device to be is a sends and modulator of the power that flows from the dock, and then into your boat. Likely a sophisticated resistor capacitor transformer device. I am 100% positive someone knows more details.
The other 220s were not working as we were not feeding the boat any shore power on 220, so things looked good...initially.
The faceplates on the 230 V receptacles all read 230 V 32 Amp 50-60 Hertz. So the Hertz don't hurt, huzzah!
I showed the electrician the Cruiseair breakers for the 4 AC units and their corresponding water pumps, again good news below the big yellow warning "50 HERTZ!" installed we assumed by Lagoon the Cruiseair reads 50-60 hertz.
Since my 110 Mastervolt was already stepping down the 30 amp to 16 amp (confirmed on the mastervolt digital readout screen) we figured it could step down the 50 amp to 32.

But then that pesky 4th wire.

As it was pointed out, EU makes 230 V with one 'hot' electron delivery wire, one ground and one return wire. Here in the USA we make 220 by using 2 110 and then a ground and neutral. And that was the Shoenail that lost the kingdom, maybe.

I feel out there somewhere is an adaptor that will bridge the 2 110 US inputs onto a single pin and then allow me to hook up to the 3 pin receptacle.

Hubbell YQ230 "Smart" Adapter looks possible and promising?
"Believe nothing no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your reason and common sense.” –Buddha
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Old 08-05-2019, 14:14   #15
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Re: 60 hertz to 50 hertz fix?

The major issue running 50 Hz loads on 60 Hz is when they derive their timing from the line by some type of frequency or phase synchronization. With just a few exceptions these are devices like plug in clocks and motors. Almost all 50 Hz transformers will be more efficient at 60 Hz. Most motors will run faster and unless operated near maximum load or for extended periods of time will not be damaged. Almost all devices such as incandescent light bulbs, battery chargers and welders actually prefer 60 Hz. Running 60 Hz motors or transformer powered devices at 50 Hz will tend to over heat them and I would not recommend it without understanding the effects on the particular device although most can be safely run for a short period of time. No consumer connector, wire or cable is sensitive to 50 or 60 Hz although this would be an issue to the power company in its transmission lines.

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