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Old 04-08-2021, 08:35   #46
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

I have a euro boat in the USA. We use a 100a world voltage charger and run house AC with an inverter. Simple, can plug in anywhere, and our house sees only the same perfect AC, no matter what. Only fly in the ointment is our air conditioners draw too much load for inverter. This is an a big deal as we are anchored out 90% of the time, and can use aircon anyway. We are actually doing a lithium upgrade and getting a bigger inverter in a couple of months, and I hope to be able to run air conditioning with this setup.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:30   #47
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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Originally Posted by ohthetrees View Post
I have a euro boat in the USA. We use a 100a world voltage charger and run house AC with an inverter. Simple, can plug in anywhere, and our house sees only the same perfect AC, no matter what. ...
Similar, while opposite, here :-)

USA boat USA power - switch after shore power inlet to direct 230/50 to only a dedicated 100A charger to the batteries. Big inverter and house bank useful for most things 110/60. Works at anchor or 230/50 dock if aircon wanted. Bailout is 5kw genset rarely needed.

Did anyone advise maybe a similar opposite path (dedicated 110/60 charger to batteries) for OP?
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Old 14-02-2022, 14:08   #48
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

Ok,
Been reading this and trying to decypher all the necessary info as it relates to me. Just bought a new to me boat in Europe and heading home with it in 6 months. Admitting that I am a complete newbie where boat electrics are concerned. Not sure if I have this right so minds more knowledgeable then me, please chime in. :-)

Current setup;
---
European Boat Bavaria 2017 230v
Solar: 2x Panasonic 240w/30amps (480w total)
Batteries: 1x starter, 1x bowthruster, 4x Service AGM batteries (540Ah)
Generator: Fisher Panda 5000i 4kwa
Mastervolt Chargemaster Plus 12/100-3
Air Con in forward Cabin
Microwave
Propane Stove and Oven
No watermaker right now but may change.
---
Currently in the Med and looking at bringing it back to Caribbean end of this year and Pacific West Coast next year.

Getting confused and bug eyed here.
"buy two large inverter/chargers. Usually the charger can take either voltage or at least is insensitive to frequency. You feed it's dc output directly to the 220v 50hz inverter which powers the boat with it originally intended power source."
> Why the heck would I need an inverter if I am dealing with differences in AC to the boat?
and ..
"All you need is a pigtail with a male yellow US plug on one end and a female EU plug on the other. When in the US you power your boat through the pigtail."
... etc etc.

Bottom line is that we want to minimize running the generator and be able to plug the boat in anywhere on the planet and the boat will recognize the voltage (but not necessarily the frequency) and do its thing internally running everything 230v inside while charging batteries etc.
I am thinking that all I need is one of these installed under the cockpit sole between the yellow shore cable and the rest of the boat?
Victron 3600VA Autosensing 110v-230v, 230v Output Isolating Transformer
https://www.victronenergy.com/isolat...-3600va-7000va

- I want to leave all internal voltages etc as-is as if all appliances work, why change them? If laptop, cellphone chargers and may other devices are universal voltage why worry?
- If a Euro appliance fails, I just get a world voltage version, or get another 230v one shipped to me.
- For pin compatibility in Caribbean/Mex/USA what shore power adapter would you suggest to get from Amazon that would allow me to keep using the euro shore power cable? Amazon link?

What am I missing out here? With all of these posts on this topic I am assuming that my solution is just too idiotically simple to be realistic.
Any/all comments welcome as this is not my wheelhouse. ;-)

Cheers!
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Old 14-02-2022, 14:52   #49
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Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

U can get the shore adapter to fix the pin out diff, but understand u cant run anything at 120V. And u dont need the iso xfmr, but they do have plusses.
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Old 14-02-2022, 15:08   #50
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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What am I missing out here? With all of these posts on this topic I am assuming that my solution is just too idiotically simple to be realistic.
Any/all comments welcome as this is not my wheelhouse. ;-)
You aren't missing anything. An isolation transformer may work fine for your needs.

As long as you fully understand the limitations
1) You are limited by the power/amps of the isolation transformer.
2) If you sail from a 120V/240V area of the world to a 230V one you would need to reconfigure the isolation transformer.
3) The boat to include any outlets will always be 230V.
4) The boat will always be local frequency.

The last one could be an issue in that you would drive 50 Hz motors at 60 Hz although in practice many marine grade stuff handle it just fine (or at least well enough that it is hard to say for certain it is a 50/60 issue). For AC motors the most likely problem areas would be air conditioning compressors, refrigeration compressors, and watermaker pressure pumps although some or all of these may be DC. Dive compressors or hydraulic pump are another two items although a lot less common.

The advantage of a universal charger (100-250V 50/60 Hz) and a separate inverter is that the shorepower voltage and frequency are then decoupled from the boats internal voltage and frequency. However it is a more complicated setup and has some limitations of its own.
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Old 14-02-2022, 15:11   #51
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

It seems to me that a serious fire occurred on a European 70-footer I was involved with when they adapted, then plugged their 220v European Shore power system into a North American 240v outlet. I believe the grounding systems are quite different and that led to the fire.

I think that complete isolation via an appropriate transformer is the answer. Running 50Hz equipment on 60Hz shouldn't be too much of a concern although some motors and perhaps clock radios, etc.may run 20% faster.
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Old 14-02-2022, 15:55   #52
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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It seems to me that a serious fire occurred on a European 70-footer I was involved with when they adapted, then plugged their 220v European Shore power system into a North American 240v outlet. I believe the grounding systems are quite different and that led to the fire.

I think that complete isolation via an appropriate transformer is the answer. Running 50Hz equipment on 60Hz shouldn't be too much of a concern although some motors and perhaps clock radios, etc.may run 20% faster.

Euro 230v is single phase. U.S. 240v is not. They don't mix.


There are three ways to do this:


1. Buy a large battery charger (DC power source) which can eat U.S. power (either 110v single phase or 240v split phase, whatever), with a separate shore power inlet, then power your onboard gear through the inverter. It will get right voltage AND right frequency and everything will work, but within power limits of the inverter, which you might need to upgrade. You can cruise back into 230v/50hz waters whenever you like; just use the other shore power inlet. But you can't buy new appliances in the U.S. and just plug them in; you'll need to bring them from Europe.



2. Use an isolation transformer (like the Victron one) which can step up voltage, get rid of any gear which can't eat 60hz AC power (you'll have the right voltage but wrong frequency). Most gear will be ok. Ditto on cruising 230v/50hz waters, but you have to change a jumper on the isolation transformer.



3. Get rid of all the 230v gear and rewire the boat for U.S. power, replace all the gear with that which eats U.S. power. Don't forget to replace ALL of the wiring, since it needs to be heavier to accomodate higher currents of lower voltage power. Use locally sourced appliances. Will be awkward to go back to 230v/50hz territories, however.



Which of these will be best for you depends a lot on whether you will be cruising much in 230v/50hz waters, whether you mind using Euro appliances, etc.



To the OP: Don't count on using the Fischer Panda generator all the time. It will be broken as often as working, if not more. Notoriously unreliable unit. Hate to be the bearer of bad news.
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Old 14-02-2022, 17:24   #53
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Euro 230v is single phase. U.S. 240v is not. They don't mix.


There are three ways to do this:


1. Buy a large battery charger (DC power source) which can eat U.S. power (either 110v single phase or 240v split phase, whatever), with a separate shore power inlet, then power your onboard gear through the inverter. It will get right voltage AND right frequency and everything will work, but within power limits of the inverter, which you might need to upgrade. You can cruise back into 230v/50hz waters whenever you like; just use the other shore power inlet. But you can't buy new appliances in the U.S. and just plug them in; you'll need to bring them from Europe.



2. Use an isolation transformer (like the Victron one) which can step up voltage, get rid of any gear which can't eat 60hz AC power (you'll have the right voltage but wrong frequency). Most gear will be ok. Ditto on cruising 230v/50hz waters, but you have to change a jumper on the isolation transformer.



3. Get rid of all the 230v gear and rewire the boat for U.S. power, replace all the gear with that which eats U.S. power. Don't forget to replace ALL of the wiring, since it needs to be heavier to accomodate higher currents of lower voltage power. Use locally sourced appliances. Will be awkward to go back to 230v/50hz territories, however.



Which of these will be best for you depends a lot on whether you will be cruising much in 230v/50hz waters, whether you mind using Euro appliances, etc.



To the OP: Don't count on using the Fischer Panda generator all the time. It will be broken as often as working, if not more. Notoriously unreliable unit. Hate to be the bearer of bad news.
Nice summary although I would note that some boats like my Mahe 36 are all wired with appropriate guage wire for 110V so you may not need to rewire. Even if you do have smaller wire you donít necessarily need to change it out unless you need the extra amps, just install appropriate sized circuit breakers which will be half what was there before.
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Old 15-02-2022, 02:31   #54
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

My boat is EU specked and we have sailed around the world in all possible configurations.

The key points are:

1) You will find 220V in 95% of marinas around the world including the US. Just build yourself a pigtail with a Male US yellow plug and a female Blue EU plug. This will feed 220V in your boat. The issue is that in the US and other places it will be 60Hz as opposed to the 50Hz your appliances require.

2) You should check this but in most cases your battery chargers are indifferent, they can be fed with 110V or 220V and in both 50 and 60Hz and therefore they will charge your batteries no matter which voltage or frequency they are connected to.

3) Your inverters will be set to output 220V in 50Hz no matter what. As a result all you need to do is to connect your boat appliances that are frequency sensitive to your inverter so that they get what they need. In other words the shore power feeds you batteries in all sorts of voltages and frequencies and your batteries will feed your appliances in a regulated 220V and 50 Hz. This is a great setup to protect your appliances in any event. Many marinas have questionable shore power and doing this will ensure your appliances are never damaged.

4) It is helpful to understand which appliances on your boat are frequency sensitive such as your microwave and your washing machine. Others are not such as your water heater or some air conditioners. Once you know that you can take some load off your inverter and feed the non frequency sensitive appliances straight from shore power.

5) If you plan on going into borderline marinas around the world it is a good idea to install an isolation transformer on your boat. This transformer will receive any voltage and frequency out there and always output 220V. It will not change the frequency though. The benefit of this is that 1) It takes guessing out of the equation and 2) it protects your boat against current spikes and bad earthling of the shore power and current leakages from boats around you. They are not cheap but they are a good safety feature. You should note that an isolation transformer will not address the frequency issue (50 or 60Hz) and you will still rely on your inverter for frequency sensitive appliances.

Hope this helps and let me know if you have questions. Like I said with this setup we never had any issues anywhere around the world.
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Old 15-02-2022, 05:22   #55
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Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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You clearly understand the issues !!

where a split phase with two, out of phase, live wires is fed into a system designed a single live and neutral wire and where the possibly that a connector could exist between such neutral and and protective earth. A neutral and itís earth connection that has now been connected to a live phase !!! Such a phase that will not be protected by a single pole mcb.

Thatís ok then.

Oh and wire nuts are only allowed to rig up such systems but not used as connectors !!!!


A properly wired euro boat built to CE standards will not and never have protective earth connected to neutral on board for shore power. You can never guarantee that the neutral is coming in on the correct wire and it would be very unwise to assume the polarity is a certain way.

The main issue with split phase is single pole MCB breakers but the same issue occurs with a reversed live and neutral supply.

Hence 240 split phase is just as safe or not !
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Old 15-02-2022, 06:20   #56
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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A properly wired euro boat built to CE standards will not and never have protective earth connected to neutral on board for shore power. You can never guarantee that the neutral is coming in on the correct wire and it would be very unwise to assume the polarity is a certain way.

The main issue with split phase is single pole MCB breakers but the same issue occurs with a reversed live and neutral supply.

Hence 240 split phase is just as safe or not !
It is true that the iso xfrmr will allow safe use of single pole breakers, whereas, if xfrmr is not used, then all ac breakers should be double pole when fed US 240V. That needs a larger sized panel.
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Old 15-02-2022, 06:38   #57
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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It is true that the iso xfrmr will allow safe use of single pole breakers, whereas, if xfrmr is not used, then all ac breakers should be double pole when fed US 240V. That needs a larger sized panel.
yes the traffo does fix that , However polarity reversal is very common in med marinas ( the standard Schuko socket isnt polarised ) and very few boats have double pole breakers, Mine dont, but it does have a double pole RCBO . I have a polarity indicator anyway , and a swap over shore cable adaptor

IN general a 240VAC split phase is no more or less dangerous then a reversed 230VAC european feed. the RCBO is at least there irrespective
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Old 15-02-2022, 06:52   #58
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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...IN general a 240VAC split phase is no more or less dangerous then a reversed 230VAC european feed. the RCBO is at least there irrespective
well, true, but they are both dangerous. When a switched OFF breaker does not remove power to a device, that's unexpected and dangerous.
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Old 15-02-2022, 07:01   #59
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

All the potential issues related to reversed wires neutral/earth coming from shore power are eliminated with the use of a proper isolation transformer as the transformer eliminates the physical connection between the yacht and the marina mains mains. Thatís why they are call isolation transformers. This is why IMHO they are a key safety issue in general and particularly when connection to 220/240 in the US. My working assumption is that electrical standards have not been observed when shore power was installed in a any given Marina and therefore it is up to the user to protect himself.
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Old 15-02-2022, 07:09   #60
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Re: Would You Buy a European 220V Boat for Use North America

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All the potential issues related to reversed wires neutral/earth coming from shore power are eliminated with the use of a proper isolation transformer as the transformer eliminates the physical connection between the yacht and the marina mains mains. That’s why they are call isolation transformers. This is why IMHO they are a key safety issue in general and particularly when connection to 220/240 in the US. My working assumption is that electrical standards have not been observed when shore power was installed in a any given Marina and therefore it is up to the user to protect himself.
again, true, but such units are not common place. Anyone thinking that proper safety disconnects are in place simply using a single pole mains breaker will in due course be awarded the Darwin prize. Boats are easy to make safe just pull the plug

The European boat will have the advantage of having an integral RCBO at least

I would agree that in converting a European 230Vac to 240Vac US split phase, a isolating transformer is indeed a useful safety addition ( its useful anyway even on 110VAC )
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