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Old 03-14-2016, 05:02 PM   #1
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International Boating

I have noticed some Forum members purchasing boats overseas, I have also been in contact with Elling and Dutch company. Some references have been about " Building or equipped to USA electrical standards, wiring etc...How do people who travel abroad from the USA or Vice a Versa deal with differences? I am assuming that Marinas have a different electrical service...Is there some kind of adaptor that you carry with you? Or is it more complicated than that, thanks..
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:34 PM   #2
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I have noticed some Forum members purchasing boats overseas, I have also been in contact with Elling and Dutch company. Some references have been about " Building or equipped to USA electrical standards, wiring etc...How do people who travel abroad from the USA or Vice a Versa deal with differences? I am assuming that Marinas have a different electrical service...Is there some kind of adaptor that you carry with you? Or is it more complicated than that, thanks..
In Europe AC electric voltage is 220 volts / 50 Hz periods.
North American AC is 110 volts / 60 Hz periods. Issue is not the adaptor but to convert volts AND periods.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:51 PM   #3
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There are lots of ways to deal with the differences, ranging from very simple to very complex.

Simple is to use a transformer to get 110/220 from 220. The own side is that it doesn't convert the frequency form 50 to 60 hz. Some appliance don't care and will work fine on either, but others won't. With a simple approach like this, the intolerant appliances either don't get used, or must be run off your generator. There is another complexity to this that most people ignore, which is that when you run a 60hz motor on 50hz power, you need to also cut to voltage accordingly. So a 240V 60hz motor should be run at 200V 50hz. If you read the fine print on motors, AC units, etc., they will typically say this, but not always. Ignoring it won't cause things to go up in flames, but it stresses the motor beyond it's design intent.

Slightly more complex is to use an inverter to power your 110V 60hz loads, then use a big battery charger that will accept 230V 50hz power input. Other devices that are happy with 50hz can be run directly off shore power. Some people also go a step further and run some of the 240V devices off inverters as well. It works well, but you just need to be sure your chargers are large enough to keep up with the load.

The most complex, and easiest to use, is an Atlass or ASea unit. They are conceptually the same as the back to back charger/inverter above, but able to take in pretty much any form of shore power and turn it into whatever you want on board. They cost $$, take up a lot of space, and generate a lot of heat, so typically only appear on larger boats.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:52 PM   #4
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TT. Great info, thanks..
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:23 AM   #5
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TT. Great info, thanks..
You're welcome. You might find this helpful too

Adventures of Tanglewood: Shore Power Conversion
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Old 03-15-2016, 06:42 AM   #6
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For world cruising the "The most complex, and easiest to use, is an Atlass or ASea unit." solves all now and future hassles.

All you need is a local plug and you are home free.

The problems come with a used vessel , where there are no cheap answers.
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:21 PM   #7
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The simple solution is to not install any euro appliances with motors. Either buy US appliances or wait to install those appliances when the boat is in the US.

The only other consideration is to up size the euro wiring for the higher amperages of the US systems. Going the other way is more complex since the boat has to be built to CE standards for everything.
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