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Old 21-12-2018, 03:20   #1
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Convert from 220v or not

Iím just completing my purchase of a 2013 Oceanis 41 that is wired 220, (French Boat). The boat will be based in Charleston SC, (it presently doesnít have A/C), should re-wire the to 120v or should I purchase some sort of converter?
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Old 21-12-2018, 12:13   #2
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

I would likely just add a 110v inverter and add a couple outlets from that. Then you can have both.
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Old 21-12-2018, 18:25   #3
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

if you never plan to go back to a 230 location I would rewire. but that is a big job to do everything. including possibly all new appliances. and gen work to convert if has gen.

if possible to go back later. then everything gets interesting... and there is no single or easy answer.
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Old 21-12-2018, 19:25   #4
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

You should install an isolation transformer anyway. Might as well get one to convert 110 to 220.

There are other options, like using a 50 amp plug and using the two hot wires to generate 240. Good if you have double pole breakers
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Old 21-12-2018, 19:49   #5
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

It's amazing how many modern devices can handle both. I bet 90% of anything purchased stateside your guests want to plug in will work just fine on 220.

Much less necessary to convert these days than say 20 years ago.
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Old 21-12-2018, 22:02   #6
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

220 conductors are much thinner than 120. You can't just change outlets and/or appliances. Running 120 through conductors sized from 220 is not wise.
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Old 22-12-2018, 01:42   #7
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

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It's amazing how many modern devices can handle both. I bet 90% of anything purchased stateside your guests want to plug in will work just fine on 220.
Mostly based on switching power supplies like phone chargers, ipad chargers etc. The big worldwide companies cut down on storage and logistics costs by only making chargers that can be used anywhere electricity is available. So covering for 110 220 and 240 Volt. I once worked for a German manufacturer that wanted to export to Japan. They shelved the plans when they found out they had to design and qualify 3 electric engines for the 3 voltages used in Japan. Mustbe a leftover of the WW2 occupation introducing the 110V equipment there.
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Old 22-12-2018, 02:21   #8
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

I guess it is not about the 110V appliances, but about the shore power inlet, battery charger etc.

This makes things complicated and expensive. If you only want to charge your batteries, you can add a charger for 110V, than use your inverer to run your 220V on board stuff if necessary. There are 110V to 220V transformer of various sizes too, but the more powerfull, the more expensive they are. Some isolation transformer have also the optio to be switched to 110V / 220V on the input side, delivering 220V.

So figure out, what you want to achieve, there is a solution for every need. Most expensive would be to convert everything to 110V ( charger, inverter, outlets, fuses, appliances, probably some wires, gauges), and rest of the world will than become a challenge. But it is doable.
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:30   #9
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

220v is made up of two 110v circuits. (H<+> N L<->) The hot from either side to neutral has a potential of 110v, hot(H) to hot(L) has a potential of 220v. If your outlets are 220, I would consider tapping the line to make it 110 (Likely need new outlets too). Other than that, I'd leave it alone. (Assuming 50A service?) You may need to look into the frequency for any items that came with the vessel, I believe Europe uses a different setup than North America.
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Old 22-12-2018, 09:54   #10
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

I think the previous answers provide and idea about some of the considerations. One item that has not been mentioned is the 50 Hertz vs 60 hertz. This will be a problem with any mechanical motor that uses the line for timing such as older mechanical clock.
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Old 22-12-2018, 10:05   #11
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

I think you also have to consider the cycles Europe and US are different. One is 50 the other is 60 so motors will run at different speeds that may cause issues. So I agree with the buy a good charger and run the boat equipment off of the inverter. Any equipment that you add would have to be set up for the European 220 50 cycles. This includes the AC compressors. Its really not as easy as just ripping out ALL the wires and rewiring.
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Old 22-12-2018, 10:33   #12
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

Depending on your loads, you might get away with using the existing wire, replacing breakers and de rating your amperage. Remember, these wire runs are quite short too. Measure or observe the wire gauge, see what it actually is. Let's say you are 30 amp at 230 V. Can you live with 15 amp at 120 volt? My guess is most users can.
How much AC do you really need?
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Old 22-12-2018, 10:40   #13
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

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220 conductors are much thinner than 120. You can't just change outlets and/or appliances. Running 120 through conductors sized from 220 is not wise.
It may pay him to check wire gauge. It might not be a problem if the mfg. was punching out boats for both markets.
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Old 22-12-2018, 10:45   #14
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

When I sailed my North American 110v wired boat to Europe I bought a converter to change from 220v to 110v. As previously mentioned, that also is a change from 50 cycles to 60 cycles. The most important thing that did not work was the battery charger, maximum output was 11point something volts. I then bought a 220v battery charger and changed the plugs on an extension cord to run from shore power to battery charger and ran everything off the 2500watt inverter.
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Old 22-12-2018, 13:39   #15
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Re: Convert from 220v or not

The OP needs to come up with more details.
" (it presently doesnít have A/C), "
OK, but right now, what is the AC power being used for? Does it just run a shorepower battery charger? If so, then it would be simple enough to replace the charger and add some "convenience" outlets for 110/120VAC. Or, to change the breaker size to smaller breakers, and just change the outlets to US standard.
What you change, and how much effort and expense you put into it, will depend a lot on what you plan to run on AC. As well as whether you plan to just sail in the US and perhaps Carrib, or whether you plan to eventually take the boat back into the larger world of 220.
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