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Old 05-06-2020, 11:37   #1
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110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

Can all 110v equipment on board US boats ie. charge inverters, air con, refrigeration, instruments etc be converted for use on European 220v? & how? & Approximate costs?
I was interested in a Morgan 462 for sale in Europe, the spec said the refrigeration and air con were powered by the onboard generator but i want to minimise generator use at anchor and in marinas. The broker dodged my question and the boat is now sold
There are some great bluewater boats for sale in the US, I would have to pay 24% European vat and worry that the costs of conversion of top, if possible that is, would be prohibitive.
I believe US 110v wiring is heavier than European 220v, If correct extensive rewiring shouldn’t be necessary

I would greatly appreciate guidance.

Thx
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Old 05-06-2020, 11:39   #2
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

Is this the best forum to ask this?
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Old 05-06-2020, 12:26   #3
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

It would be very unusual to have a 220V refrigerator on a boat that size...

Don't forget that European power is also 50Hz, not 60.

NO you can not "convert" 110V things to 220V or vis versa. Some things do not care. Most computer chargers, and such will be labeled as 110/220. All you need is an adapter so the plug fits.

Almost no motors can switch voltages. I know of no AC units with can run on 110 and 220, although some can run on 50 or 60 Hz. No resistance heaters can switch voltages, although they do not care about frequency.

We have a boat that is primarily a 220V/50Hz system, but was factory wired with a parallel 110V/60Hz setup powered by an inverter. Given the choice we'd just assume go all 220V it would make life simpler all round.
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Old 05-06-2020, 13:20   #4
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

Thx for the info, pretty much what I thought.. brokers have been less than forthcoming when I asked this question.
Decent bluewater boats seem to be rare in Europe, but plentiful in the US.
The Prices are good but the cost of Euro vat & conversion / replacement to 220v 50hz rule most of them out. I hoped for a 3 or 4 week viewing trip to the US but not going to happen.
Great blog by the way, will spend many hours viewing it and dreaming.

Thx
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Old 05-06-2020, 13:43   #5
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

We bought a European wired boat. Thought of doing inverters and change overs etc. In the end it has been waaaay cheaper and easier to just purchase whatever you need for electronics with European wiring. Stuff built for the European market. Everything in North America that you might think you want is also available in Europe. Just pay shipping and duty and it’s yours. Pretty minimal costs really
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Old 05-06-2020, 16:11   #6
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

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Originally Posted by Knot Safety View Post
We bought a European wired boat. Thought of doing inverters and change overs etc. In the end it has been waaaay cheaper and easier to just purchase whatever you need for electronics with European wiring. Stuff built for the European market. Everything in North America that you might think you want is also available in Europe. Just pay shipping and duty and it’s yours. Pretty minimal costs really
But what happens when you want to plug into a US marina with 110v/60 Hz power when all your stuff is 220/50? Run a US battery charger and all the loads off a 220 inverter? Seems rather inefficient.
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Old 05-06-2020, 16:47   #7
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

We have good solar. Good batteries. A watermaker. Other than going in for fuel or repairs, we have not tied to a dock since purchase.

Why not just use dock plug in to charge batteries and run everything on 12 volt?
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Old 05-06-2020, 17:49   #8
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

I moved this to the electrical forum
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Old 05-06-2020, 18:07   #9
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

You find a diagram to connect a 60Hz boat to 50Hz shore power and the other way around here: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums....php?p=3157072
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Old 05-06-2020, 19:18   #10
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

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Originally Posted by Knot Safety View Post
Why not just use dock plug in to charge batteries and run everything on 12 volt?
That's pretty much what we do using a battery charger that works fine on both 110/60 and 220/50. Inverter runs the few 110/60 loads we need when hooking up to 220/50.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:07   #11
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

I had an Albin 43 which had 110v and 220v AC electrics. I bought a 110v/220v converter on Ebay for around £50. You can use these either up or down. They are used in Europe to convert 220v to a safer 110v for industrial use so are readily available.
As far as 50/60 cps is concerned, many appliances can be used for both. I had an inverter which had pins that could set the inverter to either 60 or 60 cps.
I can't remember which appliance was not happy with a direct 60 cps, but I think that it was the fridge. Luckily it also ran on 12/24v dc so was not a problem in the dc mode.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:50   #12
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

Lots to consider-most are not a big deal. Our boat is anAsian boat-230vAC, 50Hz. We are now in the Caribb. We resolved the issue by installing a Victron Auto sensing isolation xfmr. Whether 110v or 220v 0r 230v, the xfmr senses, and outputs 230v to the boat. I wired a 110 circuit off the 230v with a transformer-outlets in both heads and the galley, so we can use anything 110v we want. Our refer (open wheel compressor, our watermaker, our battery charger, and our genset are all 230v, 50Hz. MOST things don't care about the freqs, but a few do (some microwaves, some motors, etc)....but they all run on both. Re: Wire size....for xwatts(power) divide the watts by the volts to get amps required. So if your boat is wired for 230vAC, the amp draw is less for xwatts, and the wire is likely a smaller size...and vice versa. Just watch each circuit and don't overload the amps...not a big deal.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:53   #13
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

Hi,
In the uk and Europe where we use 220/240 50hz, on any construction site you have to use a 240 to 110 transformer, they are available in plenty of capacities from a couple of kva up to 50 odd.
I'd think about using one of these and run the whole boat through it.
They obviously vary in size with capacity but no more than a decent gen set.
You can remove it or use it even only in Europe.
Price is very reasonable as so many are used.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:31   #14
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

We get around the problem by having a battery charger that will run off both 120 and 240 volts and is not fussy about the hertz. Then we use an inverter to power our 120 volt stuff when on shore power. This has been working well for us for many years. We haven't been in 120 volt land since 2004.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:34   #15
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Re: 110v equipment on Euro 220v shorepower?

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Originally Posted by Donald Bryden View Post
We get around the problem by having a battery charger that will run off both 120 and 240 volts and is not fussy about the hertz. Then we use an inverter to power our 120 volt stuff when on shore power. This has been working well for us for many years. We haven't been in 120 volt land since 2004.
Exactly. This is how my setup works in the diagram I linked above. The 12V DC power used by the inverter is provided by the battery charger which does tolerate the different voltage and frequency. Instead of a charger and an inverter, I use two inverter/chargers so that they are a backup to each other as well
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