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Old 16-03-2014, 13:39   #1
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Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

Hey y'all me again,
So we have found a great prospect for our first boat but unfortunately it is a European 220v ac system boat. How difficult is it to convert to 110v. Our broker thinks it will be more expensive than we want to spend off the bat and I tend to agree. The boat is a Jeanneau 49 with gen ac etc. Is it that inconvenient to live aboard a 220v boat in the US without converting right away. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Will
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Old 16-03-2014, 13:59   #2
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

I'll be watching this as we have the same situation
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Old 16-03-2014, 14:06   #3
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

There has been a recent thread on this and several older threads. Have a search

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Old 16-03-2014, 14:08   #4
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

Not sure where or if you are planning on cruising but why bother if you are going to be on the hook much of the time. If you plan on living aboard in a marina environment, yes, it would be worth making the change but I lived aboard a dutch trawler with 220v system and the biggest concern was the lower cycle, 50 vs 60 in the US. Rerunning all of your electrical system is expensive and a big task, but doable. Also, nav and other systems, need to be mated to the voltage/cycle anomaly. If you do leave as is, all your replacement parts must come from a country compatible with your systems. Depends upon where and how you plan to use the vessel. Phil
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Old 16-03-2014, 14:47   #5
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

It will be tough to do. Just converting from 220V Euro to 220V US will be tough, much less to 110 V.

Euro 220V systems use a hot a neutral return and a safety ground. If you measure the voltage from the hot to ground you get 220V, not 110 as in a US system. US systems use 2 hots, a neutral and a safety ground. 110 US wiring is much like Euro wiring with a hot a neutral and a safety ground.

The other problem is that 110V appliances typically draw about twice the current as 220 V ones. Take a 1000 watt toaster. For a Euro system it will draw about 5 amps. A US 110V toaster will draw about 10 amps. The problem you will face is that the wire size may be too small to handle the increased amperage.

All US home and boat 110V circuits are at least 15 amps, some 20 amps. I suspect that the outlets on a Euro boat are rated smaller than that and the wire is smaller- less than the 14 gauge required for 15 amps.

So to do a full conversion will be very expensive. Most appliances will have to be replaced and the wiring serving them will probably have to be replaced as well.

So.... My advice is to budget lots of money, probably $20,000 if you want to do it right.

There is another way to do it but I doubt that it meets US electrical code. Install a 220/220 V isolation transformer. One side is wired to the US shorepower system and the other side is wired to the Euro boat system. You can only use 220V shorepower though, never 110V.

David
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Old 16-03-2014, 15:04   #6
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

Hey everyone thanks a bunch for the quick replies. I figured it would be more of a pain than it is worth but just wanted to check. I did a search but didn't find the thread as I recall seeing it some time ago. Anyways thanks again for the quick replies.

Will
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Old 16-03-2014, 15:26   #7
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

I cruised for 9 months in the USA with my 220v boat.
But i have solar so never need to hook up anyway.

Changing the boat system is easy... Just the battery charger and hot water element. I dont know about the generator. What does the genny power?
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Old 16-03-2014, 16:57   #8
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Re: Converting a 220v boat to 110v ac system

All EU boats wiring to spec, will be rated for 15 amps ie approx 3000w at 230 vac. Hence you will be able to push around 1500 watts through the standard wring at 110vac, derate the breakers and rewire any large capacity circuits

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