Originally Posted by miraculix
if one’s desire is to buy a sailboat that is made from Aluminum, has a lifting keel
and a deck saloon
with good view to the outside, offers on the east coast
seem to be pretty rare, at least in the 45 feet class.
and the Netherlands
have both a great history
in building blue water
capable aluminum sailboats in many different styles. These boat yards are often rather small and many of them offer semi custom as well as completely custom made boats which are perfectly blue water
capable and preferably used in higher latitudes.
The problem is that these boats, if bought new, are insanely expensive compared to a more standard sailboat the same size. A 45 feet boat easily makes it to more than 700k Euros which currently equals about 780k Dollar.
A way around this is always trying to find a good preowned boat. However, I was told that that solution may come with a potential significant caveat.
A used boat
purchased in Europe
will have an AC electrical
system that uses 230V 50Hz and not 115V 60Hz like standard here. I was told that a boat that is brought permanent to the US, registered and insured here would need an AC system in complinace with the standard here, so 115V 60Hz.
Is that true?
If yes and I assume it is yes the boat would need to be changed to 115V 60Hz electrical
system which is probably not so easy and for sure expensive.
Would there be a technical way around it
I appreciate every input
I bought a French cat and converted it from 220 to 110, it was by and large a non-issue for me, but may not be for you. There are a few things to think about and several options.
1. Are there any AC driven motors on board, like air conditioners? If so, they're going to be impacted by the 50hz versus 60hz and the voltage. Nothing else will care about the hz except maybe a microwave, so that's basically a non-issue otherwise.
2. The hot water heater
element will probably have to be replaced or else you'll have to live with it heating
at 1/4 the normal rate due to the voltage change. That was quick and easy for me.
3. If the boat is only sold in Europe it's likely they sized the wiring
for 220 which is half the amperage for any given load of U.S. 110. Fortunately for me, FP puts U.S. gauge wiring
in every boat, so it was easy to just change out the circuit breakers and put everything back to U.S. wattage. If that's not the case for you then you may have to either accept half the wattage on your circuits and rewire things like AC or hot water heaters that need a given wattage.
4. It was pretty easy to change out the European plugs for U.S., but I could just have easily bought a dozen adapters for $10 on Amazon and used those. I only changed out so I could put GFCI outlets on, and left one for ambiance!
If, after reading all that you determine that your potential boat would need a lot of work
, you do have some options that involve leaving the boat 220. Keep in mind that pretty much every piece of electronics
now works on 110/60 or 220/50 with nothing more than a plug
converter, so you really won't need to buy any new stuff to just stay with 220.
1. You can buy an isolation transformer and convert the U.S. 110V to 220V as soon as the power comes on the boat. I just installed a Charles iso-G2 and it wasn't too hard, but I am an electrical engineer
. One issue with that is that it doesn't convert frequency and your motors may be impacted by the higher frequency. A frequency converter isn't easy or cheap
2. You can either install or use a 220V/50Hz generator
and just run that when you need power or maybe when you need AC if you run into that issue with option 1 above.
3. You can install a large 220V/50Hz inverter
. Coupled with a large 110V charger
. Run all the AC off the inverter
, depend on the charger
to keep the battery
up. The issue I saw when considering this was not the inverter but the charger. I really couldn't find 3.5 kW 12V DC chargers, let alone 7 kW ones, and of course the wires for 12V become cumbersome with size at that amperage.