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Old 07-10-2018, 11:34   #1
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Shore power in Pacific marinas

What are the shore power connections in French Polynesia, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand? Will the standard 3-prong twist lock shore-side plugs that are used in the USA work in the Pacific islands? Is 50 amp usually available at marinas in the Pacific?
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:10   #2
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

I can only comment about French Polynesia. We have stayed in two marinas in FP and both required a different plug for the shore side connection. We purchased the two plugs from a hardware store and swap them back and forth as needed

There is NO 110V connections available here.

What we do is using our Sterling battery charger that works off both 110v&220/240V we plug the dock cord directly into the charger and then use our inverter to power all the 110V items in the boat. We have setup up the input power cord to the charger to plug into the ships 110V system to run off the generator or off shore power.

We trashed our heavy bulky 110V yellow power cord years ago.

Chuck
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:21   #3
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

Seems like we found different shore power outlets everywhere we went, and the USA 30A or 50A twist locks were not used anywhere except the Caribbean and Mexico. We just bought plugs locally and made up adapters. In Tahiti we bought a cheap transformer, and then later in New Zealand a good transformer capable of changing just about any voltage to any other voltage and it then supplied 110 to the boat. This was the best solution for us but it does not change the cycles from 50 to 60. Apparently nothing in our boat cared about that.

If you keep going you will find a lot of different and strange plugs being used, and you'll collect quite an assortment.
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Old 11-10-2018, 13:02   #4
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

My boat is set up for 240v and 50hz, so thatís not a problem, but it would be nice if I could be prepared in advance for the shore side connectors that I will need. Is it usually easy enough to buy, borrow, or rent the connectors or adaptors at the marinas?
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Old 11-10-2018, 13:09   #5
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

We found it best to buy the correct shore power connectors at local stores, most often hardware stores rather than marine stores, which are unknown in many places, although we did not use marinas often.
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Old 11-10-2018, 13:11   #6
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

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Originally Posted by Dr. Sea View Post
My boat is set up for 240v and 50hz, so thatís not a problem, but it would be nice if I could be prepared in advance for the shore side connectors that I will need. Is it usually easy enough to buy, borrow, or rent the connectors or adaptors at the marinas?
Sometimes marinas have adaptors available for use or rent. Other places (more) there is a nearby marine store willing to sell you the plug you need. And finally, sometimes you have to go into town and a hardware store.

It's the first thing you do when you get to a new place; get shore power hooked up (and turn on the air conditioner). The next thing is to get Internet working. All of this is usually before checking in to the country or the marina. Once you have shore power, air cond. and Internet, then check in, then clean up the boat. (somewhere in there was a good drink) Then you can relax.
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Old 11-10-2018, 21:47   #7
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

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Once you have shore power, air cond. and Internet, then check in, then clean up the boat. (somewhere in there was a good drink) Then you can relax.

Good plan!
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Old 11-10-2018, 22:45   #8
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

We have just traversed this path with a 230/240V, 50Hz boat. The most common, but by no means universal connector was this one (IEC 60309):



This type comes in two sizes, the most common is 16A, the next size up can sometimes be found, but most systems across the Pacific can't provide the large quantities of juice you may be accustomed to. These connectors are almost universal in former European possessions, especially French.

When you get to NZ the system is different, and at least in theory your shore power cord and connections must be inspected and labeled by a local licensed electrician. Some marinas enforce this more than others, but there are people who walk the docks checking the certification labels on the cords. Best bet is to find a friendly marina on arrival where you can get your cord certified inexpensively, then the label is good for a year at more strict places.

We never tied up in Tonga/Fiji/Cooks so didn't really look at them there.

As the others have said, you will likely end up in the hardware store several times and swapping the plug at the shore end of your cable as you get to different places.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:35   #9
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Re: Shore power in Pacific marinas

Fiji uses (in the West at least) the same plugs as NZ. 240/50.

Correction for NZ - itís not just the cord that must be certified but the boatís electrical system itself if you want to connect to shore power while on the water. Itís called an Electrical Warrant of Fitness and most marine electricians can do them. If youíre up on the hard no EWOF is needed.
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