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Old 04-03-2014, 18:05   #31
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post
Considering foreign boats...

I don't understand 220v AC systems, but I understand enough to know that a boat wired to 220v that is going to be used in the US will have to be converted to 110v.

As long as the boat is wired for 12v DC, converting the AC system doesn't seem like a huge deal to me... Wouldn't it just be the battery charger, the AC wiring, and replacing any 220v AC appliances?

What am I missing?
Not that tough. If you are unsure, find a pro. The short answer is that if you get a combiner box and use it at the shore power, most times you will find 220 is available. Typically, marinas run 220 to the shore power stations. This consists of 2 legs out of phase of 110, a neutral and a ground. (same as i your home to the dryer or stove). The individual 110 legs are wired separately to each adjacent (usually 30 amp) receptacle. If you have a proper combiner, you plug into both 110 legs and you get 220 to the boat. The combiner has a phase checking circuit and overloads so that it will only work if the shore power box is correctly wired. (normally the case unless done by a guy named Zeke). If its wired correctly, the cheap Marinco Y adapter will do it. If the wires are out of phase on the shore station one of the shore breakers will trip. We use a Hubbell intelligent combiner http://ecatalog.hubbell-wiring.com/press/pdfs/H5263.pdf page 24. Not cheap but you can search it on Amazon for about 250 bucks.

Our boat additionally has an isolation transformer to take 220 shore power and convert it into two isolated 110 legs. This separates us fro the shore power ground system and possible corrosion issues. We also have a separate 110 30 amp shore connection that bypasses the isolation transformer if necessary but I prefer to combine and go through the transformer.

Lots of US boats are wired for use on 12/24/110/220 and are legal. It is the only way you will have half a chance for shore power in many places.
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Old 04-03-2014, 19:01   #32
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
I do not understand the insurance issue!! Our boat is 230/50hz and we have US underwritten insurance and there is no exclusion from operating the boat in NA. Can someone please enlighten me as to why everyone seems to be saying that you cannot get insurance in the US for a boat that is wired to work everywhere else in the world except NA. What do all the US boat owners do? Stay home?
Ah, you are, I suppose Canadian with a Canadian registered vessel - yes? no?

Anyway, there is little logic involved in the US Marine Insurance market for boats that are to be USCG Documented or State registered by US citizens. Each insurance company has different standards, but electrical wiring tends to be a delicate subject with them since supposedly 10 boats burn up from electrical fires than from all other marine hazards.

The crux of the matter lies in that 3rd wire - the safety ground (green) wire. If it exists - fine, no problem.

If it does not exist then installing it can be expensive if done professionally depending upon the boat model/manufacturer. However, if it does not exist, a quick way to pass the survey and get insured is to simply remove the Euro AC system shore power connector and disable/remove its connection to the internal Euro AC wiring system. Then install a US shore power connector to a US main breaker and a US standard outlet receptacle nearby that doesn't require snaking wires. Then at the owner's convenience he can install or have installed the missing 3rd wire - green safety ground and if desired, larger sized "hot" and "neutral" wires to handle 110VAC 20 amp power.

If the boat has the 3rd wire, and the c/b's are matched to the existing wire size, then adding other equipment so as to be able to utilize Euro standard electricity is easy and doesn't affect insurance standards.

I also have modified my electrical system so that I can utilize both U.S./N.A. standard electricity and Euro/(rest of the world) standard electricity since cruising in the eastern Caribbean usually involves marinas with only Euro standard shore power.

I solved or got around the 50/60 Hz problem by splitting my AC busses - port and starboard - so that all the 60Hz sensitive equipment is on the port AC bus and equipment that can utilize either 50 or 60Hz is on the starboard AC bus. Then I have a switch that can isolate the port bus and run it off my inverter which produces 110VAC 60Hz. Then a large battery charger that accepts 50 or 60 Hz on the starboard bus keeps the batteries charged from the shore power cable plugged into Euro/world standard 50 Hz power.

Since Euro shore power uses a radically different connector/plug than US shore power, I doubt that just changing the shore power receptacle to accept US shore power will pass muster and might be rather hazardous to your health or at least the boat's health. It's all about safety and not setting yourself up for an electrical fire due to improper wire size or circuit protection due to the halving of voltage and doubling of amperage.
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Old 04-03-2014, 20:26   #33
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post
Considering foreign boats...

I don't understand 220v AC systems, but I understand enough to know that a boat wired to 220v that is going to be used in the US will have to be converted to 110v.

As long as the boat is wired for 12v DC, converting the AC system doesn't seem like a huge deal to me... Wouldn't it just be the battery charger, the AC wiring, and replacing any 220v AC appliances?

What am I missing?
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
You've got it exactly right.

As Dave above mentions, you might not even need to change the wiring.

Get rid of the battery charger and any other 230v equipment, change the sockets, breakers, shorepower inlet, and you should be good to go, as long as you are sure that the wiring is still rated for the amperage you will be using.

On a boat without much fixed installed 230v equipment, it's pretty simple.

Don't forget the immersion heater in the calorifier.

Wow thanks for all the responses!

I now feel bad for not being more specific in my original post... so uh.. sorry about that.

We're looking at purchasing a Lagoon 410 from the charter fleet. I know there are pros and cons to this and I'd rather not get into them here.

Being a charter boat, it wouldn't have much in the way of AC appliances.

Does anyone know if the Lagoon wiring is rated for 110 av amperage?

Otherwise I'm replacing:

- AC panel
- AC appliances
- Battery charger
- Outlets
- Shore power

I was assuming that if I leave it wired as 220v I'd always have to be buying 220v appliance from EU. but it sounds like that might not be the case?

My Honda EU2000i generator wouldn't be any help with a 220v system.

One thought would be to just buy a boat already wired to 120v but it seems like that would really narrow the available options. Add on the fact that I'd prefer shaft drive and the options get so narrow that it kinda defeats the purpose of buying from the charter fleet in the first place (lower *upfront* cost).
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:05   #34
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Re: Understanding 220v

Hello,

I purchased a 1982 Bertram 46.6 Motor Yacht here in Hong Kong.

The vessel came standard with all 110v AC and the generator was upgraded to a 16Kw Kohler but still 110v as all the marine air conditioners are 110v. The fridge and other appliances have been updated, but are 230v just as the shore power in all the marina's are 230v.

I fit in a 110 to 230 step up transformer, and a 230 to 110 step down transformer

Here is how I have set up the Bertram to fit into the Asia & EU world.

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Old 05-03-2014, 05:20   #35
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post
Wow thanks for all the responses!

I now feel bad for not being more specific in my original post... so uh.. sorry about that.

We're looking at purchasing a Lagoon 410 from the charter fleet. I know there are pros and cons to this and I'd rather not get into them here.

Being a charter boat, it wouldn't have much in the way of AC appliances.

Does anyone know if the Lagoon wiring is rated for 110 av amperage?

Otherwise I'm replacing:

- AC panel
- AC appliances
- Battery charger
- Outlets
- Shore power

I was assuming that if I leave it wired as 220v I'd always have to be buying 220v appliance from EU. but it sounds like that might not be the case?

My Honda EU2000i generator wouldn't be any help with a 220v system.

One thought would be to just buy a boat already wired to 120v but it seems like that would really narrow the available options. Add on the fact that I'd prefer shaft drive and the options get so narrow that it kinda defeats the purpose of buying from the charter fleet in the first place (lower *upfront* cost).
I think the electrical is something you work around and decide what you need if wired "inconveniently" for you... I don't think you are going to "rewire the boat", but maybe end up with a few new additions down the line....

ALSO.... for every day outlet stuff travel transformers are CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP..... on ebay.....
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:40   #36
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Re: Understanding 220v

[QUOTE=osirissail;1483832]Ah, you are, I suppose Canadian with a Canadian registered vessel - yes? no? QUOTE]

Actually a Canadian with a Cayman Isle (British) registered boat. It was just too much of a pain in the arse to register in Canada as the boat had to be measured by a certified Lloyds surveyor for tonnage due to its LOA. Try to find one of those in Borneo where we bought the boat.

Although the boat is wired with 3 wires H, N, G there are no RCD's on either the shorepower or Genset supply of AC current. Of course no GFCI's on individual circuits either. This is something that I tried to rectify in Thailand when I installed the new inverter/charger but couldn't find any here and it will have to wait till we lay the boat up in a month or so.

I feel for those US guys though as it seems that the insurance companies run the world now.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:49   #37
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Re: Understanding 220v

The wire guage is smaller for 220V compared to 120V so depending on current draw the existing wire might be undersized for some applications.
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Old 05-03-2014, 13:38   #38
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post

The short answer is that if you get a combiner box and use it at the shore power, most times you will find 220 is available. Typically, marinas run 220 to the shore power stations. This consists of 2 legs out of phase of 110, a neutral and a ground. (same as i your home to the dryer or stove). The individual 110 legs are wired separately to each adjacent (usually 30 amp) receptacle. If you have a proper combiner, you plug into both 110 legs and you get 220 to the boat. The combiner has a phase checking circuit and overloads so that it will only work if the shore power box is correctly wired. (normally the case unless done by a guy named Zeke). If its wired correctly, the cheap Marinco Y adapter will do it. If the wires are out of phase on the shore station one of the shore breakers will trip. We use a Hubbell intelligent combiner http://ecatalog.hubbell-wiring.com/press/pdfs/H5263.pdf page 24. Not cheap but you can search it on Amazon for about 250 bucks.

Our boat additionally has an isolation transformer to take 220 shore power and convert it into two isolated 110 legs. This separates us fro the shore power ground system and possible corrosion issues.

Lots of US boats are wired for use on 12/24/110/220 and are legal. It is the only way you will have half a chance for shore power in many places.

Hmmm... I took OP's first note to mean he is really shopping on a foreign (non-US) boat that uses no-kidding, rest-of-world 220v/50Hz input, with 220v/50Hz appliances, etc.

As opposed to a typical US boat that might be wired for a 250v/60Hz input, but actually has only 110v appliances on board. (fridges, AC, stereos, water heater, etc.)

Yes, I can use a Smart-Y and combine two out-of-phase 110v/30-amp supplies into a single 250v/50-amp supply... so as to connect to the boat's inlet receptacle... but the boat just turns it all back into two separate 110v legs...

IOW, no 220v appliances on board, no way to run one (that I know of) if there were...

???

-Chris
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Old 05-03-2014, 13:43   #39
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by chad.lawie View Post

We're looking at purchasing a Lagoon 410 from the charter fleet. I know there are pros and cons to this and I'd rather not get into them here.

Being a charter boat, it wouldn't have much in the way of AC appliances.

Does anyone know if the Lagoon wiring is rated for 110 av amperage?

Yeah, I think that's a key question. I'd bet a new Lagoon 410 sold in downtown Annapolis (for example) would be wired for either twin 110v/30-amp or single 250v/50-amp input... and all the appliances would likely be 110v/60Hz things (fridges, water heater, aircon, coffee maker, charger, etc.).

That boat moved to charter? Is what it is.

That same model sold new elsewhere?

-Chris
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Old 05-03-2014, 14:40   #40
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Re: Understanding 220v

OK, I am an electrician <grin>

Most of what you're hearing here is correct; in the US we have both 120v and 240v power at 60hz while most of Europe of Europe uses 230v at 50hz. These 'RMS' voltages are standards and depending upon your marina's wiring your mileage may vary. Further, in the US many marinas use two of three phases of 208v wiring so the actual voltages would be 120v between a neutral (white) wire and 208v between two hot wires (black and red often). So… If you boat is wired for 230v 50hz you have few questions:

1) Are the 230v AC appliances able to run on 208/240v 60hz? All resistive loads like water heaters and ovens should be fine. Inductive loads including microwave's and air conditioners need to be rated for 60hz as well as 50hz and many are.

2) Is your battery charger rated to run on 60hz? Again, some are, indeed some can handle 90-250v at 50/60hz

If both of the above are true you can just plug into any marina with 208/240 60hz service (rapidly becoming the norm on the east coast of the US) and you're done.

Now, if the marina's you frequent don't have 208/240v power then you can either make the modifications you note and rewire/replace items OR you can use a "smart Y" adapter; this will give you 30a at 208/240v and again, you're up and running as the boat was built. There is a LOT to like about higher voltage and lower current; indeed my boat is wired for 240 throughout. I do have a large 120v battery charger so I find myself at a rare dock without 208/240 power I can just plug that in and run off the inverters for a bit or run the genset.

I've rewired many boats from 120 to 230 and 230 to 120/208/240 and in most cases it is a LOT of money for not a lot of benefit; easier to modify the incoming power in many cases. Hope this helps a bit; no one right answer…

Disclaimer; as noted, I do this for a living but I'm not asking to do yours….

Scott
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Old 05-03-2014, 16:45   #41
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Re: Understanding 220v

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Conversion can be as simple or as complex as you want. Firstly most EU boats will be wired with 2.5mm2 which actually is rated for about 20 amps. Hence you can just downgrade the breaker to accommodate the cable size without the need to change wiring. I mean do you need 3kw to all outlets. Some boats use 3 mm2 or higher so you could be lucky. . . .
The most common standard for USA 20amp 110VAC receptacle circuit is 12 gauge copper wire. This converts to 3.31mm² which is a bit larger than mentioned above by "goboatingnow." However, USA 15amp circuits typically use 14 ga. wire or 2.08mm² - so replacing the Euro breakers with 15 amp breakers should hopefully protect the 2.5mm² wire. And really there are few appliances that need more than 15 amp at 110VAC except maybe battery chargers and hot water heaters. Those could be rewired as needed to satisfy their power requirements at 110VAC.

In general, I find there is a trend by manufacturers to build stuff for universal usage worldwide rather than having to maintain two separate models, one for USA and the other for the rest of the world. So I expect that most modern boats are set up right from the factory to satisfy the most restrictive standard which appears to be the U.S.A./N.A. 110VAC 60 cycle. So conversion of a sailboat from Euro to U.S.A./N.A. could be as simple as getting a copy of the wiring diagrams for that make/model boat that show the two different wiring plans and then rearranging your boat's wiring to match the one you desire.
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:48   #42
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Re: Understanding 220v

In search of a second opinion… We have a boat that spent its early life in the US and the last several years in the Med (prior to our ownership). We have brought it to the US and would like to connect to US shore power. Almost everything a/c, fridges etc run on 230v 50/60 and the current shore power inlet is 32amp 230v connecting to a victron 7000 230v/230v isolation transformer.

I was told by an electrician that I could just swap out the shore power inlet to 50amp 125/250v and omit the neutral wire coming from the dock. The theory is the transformer would take the two hot 120v legs and ground in and output one 230v. Can someone please verify?
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Old 20-07-2014, 00:39   #43
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Re: Understanding 220v

Electrician is right. But would need to see the diagram of the transformer to know how to connect. There may be a place for the neutral on the transformer. If it has two primary windings then neutral can find a home. If only one primary winding then there is no place to connect neutral. If you are not familiar with power wiring and ABYC standards let someone knowledgeable do the job. There are several ways to screw it up.
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Old 20-07-2014, 05:38   #44
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Re: Understanding 220v

Thank you Dan..Cant seem to find info on the windings. Here is a link to the manual.
http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...L-FR-DE-ES.pdf

I don't intend to do this myself. I can fix most things on the boat but high voltage is not something I want to play with. Anyone know a good electrician in Ft Lauderdale?
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Old 20-07-2014, 06:55   #45
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Re: Understanding 220v

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Phoenix37.
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