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Old 08-09-2012, 21:34   #1
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Would I Need to Rewire 220vac to 110vac?

I'm considering buying a boat that was built in the UK (Westerly) and it's wired for 220vac, including UK-style outlets (large, square with 1 vertical and 2 horizontal slots). It also has 12vdc wiring. My question is whether I would need to rewire the entire boat for 110vac or can I get by with a bunch of adapters and step-down converters? If I have to rewire I'm concerned the expense would make the purchase unwise. Would it likely cost Hundreds or thousands?
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Old 08-09-2012, 22:00   #2
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Re: Would I need ro rewire 220vac to 110vac?

So many questions about your post, so impossible to answer.

When you say it is wired for 220, where does the 220 come from? Only shore power? Or does the boat have 220 generator or inverter?

If shore power only, is there 220 powered equipment, or only the outlets?

If the boat is wired for 220 basically to allow you to use shore power convenience outlets (and maybe a battery charger) then it can be as simple as changing out the plugs all around (with the caveat that the wires for 220 will be smaller, so you will have to use limited power at 110) and replacing the battery charger.

If the boat has either 220 generation equipment or 220 use equipment, or if you want to use higher power 110 equipment then it becomes a more expensive proposition.

So, if you can provide a little more detail on how the electricity is used that would help in getting an answer.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:10   #3
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Re: Would I need ro rewire 220vac to 110vac?

You'd likely need a complete re-wire to convert a 220 Volt boat for 120 Volt use. This will cost in the thousands of dollars.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:27   #4
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Re: Would I need ro rewire 220vac to 110vac?

Keeping the boat on 220v and fitting an isolating transformer is worth considering as an option. This will convert the whole boat from 110 to 220v when you plug into shore power.

There are generally very few AC appliances used on a yacht appart from the battery charger.

I have not used an AC appliance for about 6 months now.

12v DC appliances are generally more effecient.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:04   #5
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Firstly a complete re wire is usually not neccessary though it is often advised that it is. Most 220vac cabling will be over speced, so for the outlet circuits simply leave the existing the breakers , accept its will be at half max 110vac power, which is rarely an issue) and change the outlets ( ie less then hundred dollars). Then that typically leaves the fridge, battery charger and immersion. The fridge and the battery charger might be multivoltage if your lucky. In this case it's unlikely the 110vac for either will exceed the 220vac wiring so that can be left in place , but the breakers may need changing. ( though probably not). The immersion element will need to be changed to 110vac and probably a new cable pulled.

Again if you know what you are doing its not expensive. It's gets obviously more complex if you have generators and/or invertors etc

European mains boat wiring is typically 2.5mm2 which is equivalent to AWG 14 ( obviously you need to check) hence the wiring would be could be good for about 1500 watts and maybe 2000 watts over short ( upto 10 ' ) runs.

The shore power inlet cable from the inlet to the panel may need updating , examine its rating

So if it's a fairly straightforward system it shouldn't cost 1000s if you know what you are doing.

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:13   #6
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Re: Would I Need to Rewire 220vac to 110vac?

A lot depends on your use profile. If you might be plugging in high loads like heaters, coffee makers, and hair dryers you'll need to do a lot more work than TVs, small chargers, and a small blender.
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