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Old 01-12-2016, 12:25   #1
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Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Hello,
We are shipping a boat from Italy to the west coast via St. Thomas. When we get the boat home, we will do a full conversion of 50hz to 60hz. But we are stopping in St Thomas and want to use the boat.

Can we wire the shore power cord to attach to the Marina US power 230/60hz and then only use items that are 50hz/60z rated, such as the Mastervolt battery charger.

Thanks for your help,
Mark
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Old 01-12-2016, 17:44   #2
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Probably you can, but you'll want to use a 50A 120/240V shore service and just wire the boat's two current carrying conductors to the two hot legs of the shore connector.
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Old 01-12-2016, 21:25   #3
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

The frequency difference, 50/60, is not the problem between Euro/rest of the world and the US Standard, it's the voltage. Unless a device requires frequency like a clock and very few others, they will work just fine if the voltage is correct. The big problem 220/50hz conversion to 110/60hz is the voltage difference and the heavier gauge wire needed for 110v current. A step down transformer will provide the correct voltage but the boat's wiring may not be robust enough. Easier to go the other way, US to European, as the wire sizes will be oversize for the higher voltage.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:24   #4
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mark.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:08   #5
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Roverhi, I was suggesting the OP connect to 240v service, which is mostly compatible as far as voltage is concerned. There are other issues to consider (namely polarization and grounding), most of which can be resolved through the use of an isolation transformer.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:32   #6
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Just use a flux capacitor. It will even let you know if it's failed next week.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:42   #7
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Hi,
No much problems. My S/Y is wired in 220V/50Hz and I'am using it with 220V/60Hz provided in Panama, Cuba and in Mexico. Only thing not working correctly is the wash machine, due to 60Hz. Machine is washing, but don't discharge water. Vaccum cleaner is runing faster.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:24   #8
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Quote:
Originally Posted by CdS2 Roland View Post
Hi,
No much problems. My S/Y is wired in 220V/50Hz and I'am using it with 220V/60Hz provided in Panama, Cuba and in Mexico. Only thing not working correctly is the wash machine, due to 60Hz. Machine is washing, but don't discharge water. Vaccum cleaner is runing faster.
The best advise I have heard. No expert explanations. The vac. has a synchronous, motor. so it runs fast, it may vacuum better?
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Old 02-12-2016, 13:21   #9
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

You can buy a converter cable called a "Smart Y" or something like that. You will need two 30a dock outlets to plug in the Y end. The single end connects to your boat cable. If you have two onboard AC load groups (like most large cruising cats) with two cables you will only be able to use one of the load groups at the dock. So you'll have to give up one of the AC water heaters and at lease one air-conditioner. Works good, lasts a long time.
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Old 02-12-2016, 14:58   #10
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

Thanks for all of the comments...

My worry with hooking up the USVI/BVI 230/60hz to the boat is the refrigerators. Since this will be a temporary fix until the boat comes home, I am thinking that the best way might be to disconnect the input battery charger leads and just run a cable from the dock to the battery charger. The charger is 50/60hz.

This will charge the batteries at the dock. The fridge can run off the inverter. Then, when we are there, we can run the generator when we want to use cooktop, AC, etc.

Will the battery charger keep up with the load from the fridges?
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Old 02-12-2016, 17:20   #11
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

We have had the Smart Y device I described on our Leopard 47 Sailing Cat (ex Moorings & ex French Flag, ie EU power) in Honolulu on US power for about seven years now. The refrig and AC don't seem to care. At first I was concerned about this but no more.
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Old 02-12-2016, 18:31   #12
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

The fridges run on dc, ac or both? What does the nameplate say about multi voltage/frequency compatibility?
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Old 02-12-2016, 19:21   #13
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

The short answer is almost everything that runs on 50 hz will run on 60 hz fine. 50hz ac motors will run a bit faster, but will not be damaged. Clocks old phonographs, etc that used 50hz signal would run a bit fast and not keep time, etc.

Motors designed for 50hz run very well at 60hz, just a bit faster. No overheating.

But for those with 60hz motors, running them at 50 hz, will make them run hot and they might fail over a time. unless they are inverter duty (that is wound for variable frequency drives. Generally not found on boat under 100 feet ish.
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:46   #14
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

This is our 3rd year in the Caribb, after spending 15 yrs in Asia and then the Medd. We have, finally, found a "fix" for the 230v 50Hz Euro wiring-to-110v/220v 60Hz power issue. Thew problem is that your boat, like ours, is wired for 230v 3-wire power(hot, neutral, gnd)......NOT the US power scheme of 220v 4-wire system (hot, hot, neutral, gnd, where you get 110v btwn each hot and neutral, and 220v btwn the 2 hots). If you wire to the shore power with the 2 hots,, the rvse polarity alarm is ON, and it is unsafe....don't let the marina catch you doing it! We tried a 5000w step-up transformer(ebay/China special) that lasted about 5 weeks! Then we tried a 10000w step up transformer(Ebay/China special) but as the load increased the voltage dropped from 230v at 1-2 amps output to 180v at 16amp output(30amp 110v input)....our 230v motors did not like 180v!!! We have, finally, solved the problem with a Victron auto-sensing Isolation transformer. It senses incoming power as either 110v(US marinas) or 230v(windward/leeward marinas), provides isolation, and puts out 230v to the boat. A great piece of kit; highly recommend it for our situation. Its works, is quiet, and automatically solves the problem....without needing to rewire the boat for 110v higher required amp power. But they don't give them away!
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Old 06-12-2016, 14:07   #15
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Re: Connecting 50hz Italian boat to 60hz US power

I can't see anything more needed but a transformer with a center tap for the neutral and a secondary tied on one end to the center tap. It would provide the required voltage for your boat. Connect the ground to ground. A totally isolated supply with neutral and ground. It may be costly but less than rewiring?
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