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Old 02-16-2015, 05:55 AM   #21
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Most important is battery charging from shore mains power.

Plugged in 24/7 just 10A will work for most liveaboard purposes.

Just buy a second batt charger , and as gear fails replace it with 12v or 24v stuff to match the vessels house bank.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:13 AM   #22
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Having looked at several historic threads regarding conversion of European Voltage/Hz to US I may have a very small amount of knowledge?!

All part of the learning process before committing to the purchase and import of an American trawler.

We would need to do the reverse and convert to Australian/New Zealand 240v/50Hz. Similar to Europe.



Hopefully someone can correct my assumptions as follows:

1) We would have the heavier US wiring so no problem there.

2) Switchboard/breakers 10amps (up to 2400W) so OK?

3) We would need to remove any 120v/60Hz appliances including aircon (some will work with either system as do (say) battery chargers ).

4) Install a new 240v/50hz inverter/charger

5) Remove or replace any AC power outlets with Aus/NZ 3 pin sockets.

6) Replace USA generator?

7) As most on-board equipment operates on 12 volt maybe this is no "biggy"?



Maybe "BruceK" or "Insequent" in Australia can help?

Thanks all.

Just over a year ago my wife and I imported a Kadey Krogen 48', a 2006 model into Australia.
We discovered that most boats built after '04 would take 50 or 60Hz which was a bonus. We simply added a step down transformer which we plug in to the boat's existing 110v shore power inlet, in this case a Glendenning Cablemaster. Everything works just fine except for the clothes dryer which won't heat, or the air conditioning which we seldom use. The inverter/charger works perfectly.
We have not changed a thing, for example, phone chargers work fine on 110v. We kept all our appliances except for the LP gas oven and cooktop simply because the model fitted was not approved for use in Australia.
If we want to run the air conditioning or clothes dryer we simply run the generator. If we added a second transformer we could also run the air.

If you care to message me I can give you all the details.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:33 PM   #23
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I figured that as the easiest approach thanks for confirming.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:38 PM   #24
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It's a great help to hear from a contributor who has been through the process.
Thanks for the offer of more specific info and I would like to take you up on that a little farther down the track if that's OK? When we are closer to finding the right boat I'll be better equipped to ask the right questions. .... G
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:48 AM   #25
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Other factors to consider: When you find your boat estimate the cost of converting the boat to 220 with step down transformers for expensive North American appliances you want to keep. That way as the years go by and you have to replace the appliances you can install 220 units. When you eventually sell the boat you will not have to discount her for being a North American boat in a 220v environment.

Another factor I have lived through is the availability of replacements when your boat is the different electrical system. Bay Pelican is currently in Martinique, a 220v island. There are at least 100 North American boats in this anchorage. Yet we could not replace a coffee pot, TV, DVD player, toaster etc. if we had to. Plugs and voltage are all different.

Workmen need to bring transformers aboard. Here with all the North American boats the workmen are use to the problem. Don't know if that would be true for you.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:14 AM   #26
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The owners/managers of AT I have met and talked with build their vessels for non US markets when requested. Once you settle on a specific vessel talk to the builders and they could give you some guidance on the choices for conversion. Don't forget to think safety as you go down this route.

BTW, the other thing to consider is to have the conversion done at the AT factory in Wahington it you buy your vessel there. NT may be open to doing the same. Both builders should be interested in this sort of "advertising." Having spent some time in the Bay of Islands you would find the PNW fertile cruising grounds as well before you ship the vessel.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:38 AM   #27
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Other factors to consider: When you find your boat estimate the cost of converting the boat to 220 with step down transformers for expensive North American appliances you want to keep. That way as the years go by and you have to replace the appliances you can install 220 units. When you eventually sell the boat you will not have to discount her for being a North American boat in a 220v environment.

Another factor I have lived through is the availability of replacements when your boat is the different electrical system. Bay Pelican is currently in Martinique, a 220v island. There are at least 100 North American boats in this anchorage. Yet we could not replace a coffee pot, TV, DVD player, toaster etc. if we had to. Plugs and voltage are all different.

Workmen need to bring transformers aboard. Here with all the North American boats the workmen are use to the problem. Don't know if that would be true for you.
Thanks for that. Good advice. I am certainly keeping in mind eventual resale. G
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:50 AM   #28
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Grae
The owners/managers of AT I have met and talked with build their vessels for non US markets when requested. Once you settle on a specific vessel talk to the builders and they could give you some guidance on the choices for conversion. Don't forget to think safety as you go down this route.

BTW, the other thing to consider is to have the conversion done at the AT factory in Wahington it you buy your vessel there. NT may be open to doing the same. Both builders should be interested in this sort of "advertising." Having spent some time in the Bay of Islands you would find the PNW fertile cruising grounds as well before you ship the vessel.
That is very interesting. We have always been interested in PNW and would love to explore. Never been farther north than San Francisco.
One potential problem though is shipping the boat home to NZ. We are told that shipping from the west coast is very difficult compared with sourcing in Florida. We have been interested in fresh water boats from the Great Lakes but added costs of road transport apparently effectively rule out that option.
The west coast generally refers to California with no mention of any port further north. Maybe no port up there used by suitable ships?
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:48 AM   #29
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That is very interesting. We have always been interested in PNW and would love to explore. Never been farther north than San Francisco.
One potential problem though is shipping the boat home to NZ. We are told that shipping from the west coast is very difficult compared with sourcing in Florida. We have been interested in fresh water boats from the Great Lakes but added costs of road transport apparently effectively rule out that option.
The west coast generally refers to California with no mention of any port further north. Maybe no port up there used by suitable ships?
This doesn't sound right.

I would think the opposite, shipping from the west coast would be preferable.

The Port of Tacoma may be the second largest port on the west coast after Long Beach.

As twisted tree and bay pelican have pointed out, I would stick to your original list, change appliances, outlets and modify generator.

But as you add new things, try to get ones that work on both 50/60 hz.

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Old 02-19-2015, 01:12 PM   #30
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This doesn't sound right.

I would think the opposite, shipping from the west coast would be preferable.

The Port of Tacoma may be the second largest port on the west coast after Long Beach.

As twisted tree and bay pelican have pointed out, I would stick to your original list, change appliances, outlets and modify generator.

But as you add new things, try to get ones that work on both 50/60 hz.

Richard
One would think Long Beach would be best being just across the pacific, however any shipper we have asked has told us to forget the idea. Apparently they are basically a container port,not set up for shipping boats and/or expensive.
Thanks for confirming the general trend of advice re conversion.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:00 PM   #31
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Somehow all those boats made in China get to the U.S. West Coast. Mine did. We are good friends with a West Coast Riviera dealer. His boats get to the PNW too from Australia.

If I were a FL broker I too would dispel the notion of shipping a boat from the West Coast. BTW getting a Great Lakes boat would be nice - no FL mildew
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:24 PM   #32
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Will make some specific enquiries re Tacoma. Thanks both.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:46 PM   #33
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Pretty much all the Nordhavn's, Flemnigs, Off Shores, etc come into Long Beach riding piggy back on freighters. So the "it's a container port" doesn't make sense.

It might have more to do with the typical direction of flow of ship contents. It wouldn't surprise me if the primary route is FROM asia TO So Cal, not the other direction. After unloading in long beach, the few that I've observed continued on to the east coast via the canal. I don't know what happens to them after that
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:18 PM   #34
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Pretty much all the Nordhavn's, Flemnigs, Off Shores, etc come into Long Beach riding piggy back on freighters. So the "it's a container port" doesn't make sense.

It might have more to do with the typical direction of flow of ship contents. It wouldn't surprise me if the primary route is FROM asia TO So Cal, not the other direction. After unloading in long beach, the few that I've observed continued on to the east coast via the canal. I don't know what happens to them after that
Maybe they were just simplifying the situation for the ignorant!
I have not however, given up on the west coast and have time for more detective work.
If they did come back to Australasia without a full load then maybe a "back load" would be less expensive. Will do more digging. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:13 AM   #35
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I've been on vacation and travelling, so late to the thread. Here are a few comments, feel free to ask specific questions:

1. West coast to Australia is easy. Two options - Dockwise ex: Costa Rica once a year. Or deck cargo on the scheduled monthly service Swire runs. The latter starts in Vancouver, BC and stops at various lumber ports in WA and OR before calling at Los Angeles. It then hops the Pacific to Brisbane and Tauranga, but can stop at some of the South Pacific Islands. Steel is the main return freight. If you use this type of service it is likely worthwhile to use a shipping broker to manage stuff like cradle, port services and customs. I used Aurora Global Logistics and they did a really good job.

2. 230V / 50 Hz. I agree with TT in that ideally you want boat to have native voltage in your home port. But Brian Harward highlights that you can certainly do it differently. As a first step I would make an inventory of all the AC gear on board. Then choose your path. You might find, like me, that many items can run on 12V DC often with lower power consumption overall than if they run on AC. In the overall scheme of things it is likely not a big cost to ditch the 120V/60Hz items. I have both 120V and 230 V receptacles on board, but do not have many 120V appliances left. I am using 2 Charles isolation transformers. One is doing what the name implies. The other is a step-down so that even with 230V shore power I can provide 115V to my legacy 120V switchpanel. But, it is at 50Hz. For my toaster and other resistive loads that is of no consequence. For inductive loads, washer and dryer in particular, it does overload them. In hot weather the dryer will shut off part way through the cycle due to overheating. My plan is to replace these items with 230V 50Hz appliances, I just have not done it yet. Things like the Insinkerator are specced for 60Hz but don't run long enough for 50Hz supply to be an issue, so far at least.

3 Converting the boat power. This is not a trivial undertaking at all. Here in Queensland the marine electrical stuff has stringent government regualtion. Only a licenced electrician can work on anything above 12V, and if he does then his arse is on the hook for everything on the boat. If there subsequently is an incident on the boat related to AC power he can be prosecuted. So the first time you bring a leccy on board he will have to satisfy himself about the standard of all the AC systems, not just the particular thing you asked him to work on. Cunning but shitty legislation! Knowing that I bought a copy of the Australia/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 3004.2:2008 ) and gave it to the electricians in Port Townsend who then ensured compliance of my new 230V switchpanel. That standard was updated in 2014, here is a link to where you can get it (at a cost unfortunately)
http://shop.standards.co.nz/catalog/...|NZS%29/scope?
If you are going to get the US manufacturer to do the conversion for you, then supply them with a copy of this Standard to guide them through it.

Likewise for gas (propane) there is a Standard. But basically even a new USA regulator, solenoid shutoff valve, supply line and appliances will not comply: they all need to have an Australia/New Zealand compliance number on them. Plan on having to replace the propane system entirely. Here you need a gas certificate (from a licensed person) to get the boat registered (mandatory), or to sell it. Fair enough, a poor propane system can cause explosions etc.

Getting back to your original checklist. Yes, US wiring gauge is heavier so has capacity for the 230V 50Hz loads. But the wire colour coding does not comply with our Standard, which is the same as Euro colour codes. A way around this is to buy appropriately coloured heat shrink tubing and slide long lengths of it over the incorrect wire colours where exposed at receptacles and at the switchpanel.

There is a whole bunch of other stuff I can likely give you tips for if you get to the point of doing it, happy to assist. None of the issues are insurmountable, but labour and materials cost do add up surprisingly quickly to 'fix' stuff that is perfectly serviceable in the USA.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:28 AM   #36
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Thanks alot for you very comprehensive contribution.
I appreciate the time you have taken (and all others!) to assist.

Short answers to your numbered points:

1) Sounds hopeful. I'll look up Aurora Global Logistics for any NZ connection.

2) I have done some superficial advance research where a listed boat specifies brand and model of appliance and quite a number of modern fridge/freezers etc are suitable for both US and World systems. My 34ft - 37ft options usually have fewer appliances to consider.

3) This complication is my main concern. A lot more enquiries required here.
Will almost certainly be back in touch unless a miracle boat comes onto the NZ market!
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:30 AM   #37
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Having imported from the US a few times. I don't worry about the 50/60 hertz If you intend cruising, just use the genset for all your 60 hertz requirements. I have had issues with 110v 60 hertz appliances and have found I can get parts fro the U.S. quicker than I could in Oz. For a lot of fridge air con and stove parts. ( everything we use is imported anyhow) I have installed a frequency converter which makes life easier using 32amp 240 volt 50 hertz in to 110/220 60 hertz out when at a marina . The beauty is no matter where you go you can dial up what ever power source you want and put out whatever. Cost installed 8-10 grand 15 kva . Would swear by this unit. We had it on a charter boat for 5 years no problems ever. Don't do anything on a boat an less you have too. Resale value.. What crap your boat will be worth less then what you paid when you sell. Most everything is 110/220 50/60 hertz anyhow. Its it a big Deal.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:26 AM   #38
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I might call or contact a shipping broker in Panama.

Many have access to deck space on smaller ships , which can be very inexpensive.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #39
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I might call or contact a shipping broker in Panama.

Many have access to deck space on smaller ships , which can be very inexpensive.
We're looking at probably the end of 2015 if we have found a suitable boat at that time.
Thanks, G
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:21 PM   #40
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It's a great help to hear from a contributor who has been through the process.
Thanks for the offer of more specific info and I would like to take you up on that a little farther down the track if that's OK? When we are closer to finding the right boat I'll be better equipped to ask the right questions. .... G
No Problem, when you are ready.
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