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Old 17-11-2010, 18:32   #166
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Originally Posted by Geminiguy View Post
Thanks Boatman,

I've just gotten off the phone to a mate who is an electrical engineer and he suggested just leaving the 110v system in and using a step-down transformer to convert the 240v into 110v.

He also mentioned that the 11ov wiring often isn't designed to carry the 240v loads and could be a potential fire risk if just the sockets are changed.
I think your mate has it wrong. 110/120v wiring has to carry twice the amps to deliver the same watts as 220/240v wiring does, so it is higher spec. I understand swapping the sockets, and obviously any 110v appliances is fine.

Cheers.
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Old 17-11-2010, 23:28   #167
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Must be "old timers disease"...

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Originally Posted by Islander View Post
I think your mate has it wrong. 110/120v wiring has to carry twice the amps to deliver the same watts as 220/240v wiring does, so it is higher spec. I understand swapping the sockets, and obviously any 110v appliances is fine.

Cheers.
Many Thanks Islander, you're absolutely right about double the current with 110v and the wiring being heavier. I'm sure I've misinterpreted what my mate said.

I've just spoken to a guy who recently imported a 46' or 48' Alaskan cruiser and had trouble when it came to the wiring issue so I asked him about this and he said where he had trouble was with the wiring on his vessel (age unknown) not being "double insulated" as required by Aussie law.

Double insulated as I understand it, being three (usually) insulated electrical wires (active, neutral and earth) all run within an outer casing of insulation thereby having, in effect, two layers of insulation.

When the sparky came down to swap over the power points etc. he couldn't do it because it was only single insulation over individual wires. The result was that he had to have the entire vessel re-wired with double insulation at a cost of $14k Aud. I'm not sure whether this included new appliances as he said he bought new air cons, ice maker and some other stuff whilst in the States and had them shipped back over with the boat.

We discussed using a "step-down" transformer to lower the voltage from 240v to 110v and he said that would be ok except in the States the 110v runs at 60Hz and our 240v runs at 50Hz which apparently results in a !7% loss in efficiency for a US motor when run on Aussie power. Not much good for air cons, fridges, microwaves and the like.

He also said that converting gensets is very easy apparently it's just a couple of wires and slowing the diesel down to 1500rpm as opposed to 1650rpm or higher for the 110v 60Hz U.S. voltage.

He said that perhaps U.S. boating regs may now require new boats to be double insulated but wasn't sure???

Hey Boatman, sorry about the bum steer with my faulty info. Guess the only way we learn is through mistakes, preferably others...

Cheers guys,
Les
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Old 18-11-2010, 00:08   #168
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Hi, you've already got the info. If it's important to you to go dual voltage, I suggest a completely separate 220V system but you will only need 2 or 3 sockets, perhaps with 700Watt from 12V converter can be fed by 10 amp (x12+1200watt) cabling, and gives enough power to run a microwave or slow cooker. They do waste battery power when left on in idle condition.
If you've already got 110V to run/charge your lap tops and small equipment and gas for your main cooking then you won't need much else? If you are cruising the world then a couple of weeks in one spot allows you to replace failed items via Ebay or whatever. You just won't need to go dual on all your equipment.
Solar panels will maintain your domestic batteries reliably and cheaply, local shore power is for heavy stuff like power tools. They are so cheap to buy, (sometimes hire) complete with a protective power lead (earth leakage trip device (ELT)) that I suggest you choose a voltage and stick with it.
A/C is a separate issue. Insulation and ventilation is much cheaper to run, but again I would say that a generator driven system is probably no dearer than shore power, and you get to choose the voltage and capacity of the genny / A/C / power tools / washing machines / spin driers. Diesel preferably, of course, readily available at or near marina's and sailing centres.
Once you've got a Genny then main meal cooking by electric becomes sensible, and you get a battery recharge. There are some great but slow travelling kettles that work off 12V for between times hot drinks.
Cooking gas bottles come with different connections UK/ France etc SO I'm TOLD. Have a tee, valved on each branch in the can compartment (vented above and below), at the supply canister point so you can add the local connector as needed without stripping out your preferred system.
The UK uses 110v 50cycle power for building sites because it's safer. Heavy tools are readily available but are dearer then the high volume DIY stuff. Transformers too for dropping from a mains supply to your 110V wiring though it will be 50cycle unless you go for a electronic type unit that will also correct the frequency.
Do take note that 220V is a fatal voltage. In a wet environment you will need Earth Leakage Trip protection. It is fitted to all new housing in the UK, retrofitted to rental properties, now just to save lives. There are 'site' type plug and sockets at the marina points, if you are only using a couple of points in the boat these will be safer and more durable. And look at caravan-ing centres for this sort of stuff, not the chandlers, the prices can be much lower, (caravanners not being rich enough to own boats!!)
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Old 18-11-2010, 08:25   #169
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Originally Posted by Geminiguy View Post
Many Thanks Islander, you're absolutely right about double the current with 110v and the wiring being heavier. I'm sure I've misinterpreted what my mate said.

I've just spoken to a guy who recently imported a 46' or 48' Alaskan cruiser and had trouble when it came to the wiring issue so I asked him about this and he said where he had trouble was with the wiring on his vessel (age unknown) not being "double insulated" as required by Aussie law.

Double insulated as I understand it, being three (usually) insulated electrical wires (active, neutral and earth) all run within an outer casing of insulation thereby having, in effect, two layers of insulation.

When the sparky came down to swap over the power points etc. he couldn't do it because it was only single insulation over individual wires. The result was that he had to have the entire vessel re-wired with double insulation at a cost of $14k Aud. I'm not sure whether this included new appliances as he said he bought new air cons, ice maker and some other stuff whilst in the States and had them shipped back over with the boat.

We discussed using a "step-down" transformer to lower the voltage from 240v to 110v and he said that would be ok except in the States the 110v runs at 60Hz and our 240v runs at 50Hz which apparently results in a !7% loss in efficiency for a US motor when run on Aussie power. Not much good for air cons, fridges, microwaves and the like.

He also said that converting gensets is very easy apparently it's just a couple of wires and slowing the diesel down to 1500rpm as opposed to 1650rpm or higher for the 110v 60Hz U.S. voltage.

He said that perhaps U.S. boating regs may now require new boats to be double insulated but wasn't sure???

Hey Boatman, sorry about the bum steer with my faulty info. Guess the only way we learn is through mistakes, preferably others...

Cheers guys,
Les
Hi Les,
it's absolutely correct that the wiring is sized for the amperage and not voltage, so would be oversized. However, would not be as high quality as typical Australian 3 core double insulated wire.
Same argument to use DC in 24v versus 12v. Smaller/cheaper/LIGHTER wiring.
Adding a transformer will add mucho unnecessary weight(IMO), as most American docks have both 220(mas o menos), and 115. They refer to them(incorrectly IMO) as 30 amp and 50 amp.
I don't know if you have a particular boat in mind, or just analyzing the extra cost of an American boat. But, I would imagine the cost to replace the AC wiring and outlets(power points) would be minimal. Can't imagine there would be too many. Obviously most of the vessel is DC. So it is worth doing, at least to do it right the first time, and save weight - lighter wires and no transformer.
And what appliances would require replacement? maybe a microwave(cheap), and may get lucky with a TV - maybe multifunction and therefore multi-voltage.
Inverter/charger - sell and replace.
Don't know about the generator - but if it's simple to change - very lucky as this would be the only big expense.
Can't imagine costing more than $1500 to $2000 total, less sale of items - to do it right and light.
Cheers
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Old 23-12-2010, 17:13   #170
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It looks like the new boat market is strong in Australia now, a mate tells me he has just sold 4 new boats and hopes to sell more with the exchange rate continuing to improve and bring prices down.
I guess the local manufacturers are still running on last years orders so they should be happy too.
Is the USA market picking up too with the improved exchange rate on the euro?
Some annalists are saying it will take a few more years for the economy to fully recover but it looks like the market has bottomed out at least.
Let's hope 2011 is a better year for all.
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Old 23-12-2010, 17:28   #171
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First rule,
Never believe anything a real estate agent, car salesman or boat dealer tells you.
To them NOW is always the best time to buy.
I am liveaboard in a marina in Brisbane and I can tell yo the marina is half empty, and sales of new boats?, you must be kidding.
There are so many used boats for sale, why would you buy a new boat.
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Old 23-12-2010, 19:42   #172
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So NOW possibly IS the best time to buy?
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Old 23-12-2010, 20:20   #173
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First rule,
Never believe anything a real estate agent, car salesman or boat dealer tells you.
To them NOW is always the best time to buy.
I am liveaboard in a marina in Brisbane and I can tell yo the marina is half empty, and sales of new boats?, you must be kidding.
There are so many used boats for sale, why would you buy a new boat.
Maybe it's different in BNE but why would you buy a used boat if a new one was cheaper, I think there's going to be some adjustment in the used market to bring used prices inline with the new boat prices.

There are a lot of new boats being launched in SYD at the moment.

Of course brokers tell people now is the time to buy that's their job whether you belive them or not is the tricky part.
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Old 23-12-2010, 20:58   #174
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Haven't seen any new boats cheaper than used ones, especially comparably equipped. Unless you're buying a boat for charter, when you want it stripped down and the charter Co. wants it new, a well equipped used boat can be the best option. Particularly if it is well equipped for live aboard. You will pay next to nothing for a full inventory of spare parts, water maker, SSB, dingy, dingy motor, spare anchors, rodes, safety gear and other creature comforts.

Most used owner boats (not for charter) have very low engine hours, are loaded with stuff and significantly cheaper than new. At least in Florida, where boats are not in short supply.
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Old 23-12-2010, 21:16   #175
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Haven't seen any new boats cheaper than used ones, especially comparably equipped. Unless you're buying a boat for charter, when you want it stripped down and the charter Co. wants it new, a well equipped used boat can be the best option. Particularly if it is well equipped for live aboard. You will pay next to nothing for a full inventory of spare parts, water maker, SSB, dingy, dingy motor, spare anchors, rodes, safety gear and other creature comforts.

Most used owner boats (not for charter) have very low engine hours, are loaded with stuff and significantly cheaper than new. At least in Florida, where boats are not in short supply.
I guess the US market is still pretty soft, in OZ the AUD has risen sharply against the USD and the euro making new imported boats a lot cheaper. The owners of boats purchased a couple of years ago are copping a big drop in resale if the want to sell. Understandabley many are are asking a price which relects what they paid less what they consider a fair depreciation, unfourtunatley for them as result of the GFC and strong exchange rates the new boats are being offered for less than that price.
Yes it costs considerable money to pimp your boat for serious cruising but for most buyers that adds little value.
I'm not saying it's fair or right it's just the way people seem to think.
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Old 23-12-2010, 21:37   #176
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If i was considering cruising and i had a choice of two of the same kind of boats,one fully kitted out and the other one not...then i would pay the extra to get the better equipped one as long as the condition was good.
It would save me time and money
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Old 24-12-2010, 14:12   #177
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Would you still pay more for a 3 year old boat that was an older spec and would probably have a lower resale down the line?
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Old 25-12-2010, 22:45   #178
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You can make very good deals on new once now, We did.
We did look at many used once from 2005-2008 mod. and we ended up getting a new one cheaper, and it has every box tick off in the option list- or same as the once we looked at (no aircond)
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Old 26-12-2010, 04:35   #179
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Careka-- what sorts of prices did you find?
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Old 31-12-2010, 07:55   #180
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115/120 v.
I resolved this issue 21 years ago. installed a step down transformer. 240v to 120 v
I have a 120 v genset that powers all appliances at sea and on the dock. the 240v converts to 120 v and runs all systems. the difference in hz has not caused any issues.
i can also run 240 v appliances on a separate step up system.

i have often thought of rewiring , but that is a big and expensive job. So far i have never had an issue, so it stays.
chris 1957 hope that helps. i can give you the name of a smart sparky who did my work. in australia queensland
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