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Old 06-28-2016, 12:34 PM   #1
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Purchasing a used Trawler in Europe

Wondering if anyone has experience with buying a trawler in Europe? There are several 34' Mainship's for sale, that we would consider as well as other types of trawlers. Thinking of using it in Europe for 2 years and then shipping it back to the US. Are there any blogs or books on the subject?
Thank you
John
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:00 PM   #2
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Your biggest hassle will probably be at the power pole.

If the boat was US wiring for domestic power and has a transformer to swap it over to Euro electric , that's fine. EZ return.

If the boat has Euro power the problem will be you will need a transformer for the dock power and have a euro noisemaker.

The thin 230V euro wires do not lend them selves well to 120V ac power with about double the amperage per wire.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:01 PM   #3
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The 220/240 volt vs 120/110 volt is not the problem. The problem is the hertz.

In the Eastern Caribbean we have had a lot of experience with North Americans buying European boats and vice versa. Haven't heard of anyone switching over, most just live with the issue. This is feasible in the Eastern Caribbean because both power systems are available. It is even doable for a couple of years with a North American boat in Europe. Have difficulty imaging getting European power (other than your generator) in most of the US or Canada.

Several times over the last few years I have been asked by Europeans who have North American boats in the Eastern Caribbean to bring them (US to St. Lucia say) a North American toaster, coffee pot or microwave. These generally are not available in European electrical zone countries. Very difficult to find a 220 v toaster, coffee pot or TV in the US.

Suggestion. Discount the European boat by whatever it will cost to redo the electric system and all AC appliances when you bring the boat to the US.
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Old 06-29-2016, 06:57 AM   #4
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"The 220/240 volt vs 120/110 volt is not the problem"

I would disagree , none of the 120V " North American toaster, coffee pot or microwave. " will be happy with the very thin 240V wire made to carry half the amperage the 120V goodies require.

Any euro appliances , and air cond or water maker (50CPS) and the noisemaker should be sold in the Euro market , before shipping it over.

Extension cords can solve the problem until the boat is rewired to US standards.

An electric range might work , but 240V at marinas may require some searching.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:33 PM   #5
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Better yet.

Leave the boat in Europe, (preferably the Med.) and use it as a home away from home for vacations and such (and for the use of your Trawler Forum friends ).

The south of Portugal (Lagos, Portim„o, Faro) or South coast of Spain, Algecira, Marabella, up to Valencia) have literally year round boating.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:32 AM   #6
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To ship a boat as deck cargo from the UK to the med is about $15k, so I'd hate to estimate the cost across the pond . wild guess $25-30k or more ?

I've found that dollar prices in the states translate directly into UK£ after taxes etc, so be prepared for the nasty shock.

I'm thinking of the same idea, but from Ireland to the Med...
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"The 220/240 volt vs 120/110 volt is not the problem"

I would disagree , none of the 120V " North American toaster, coffee pot or microwave. " will be happy with the very thin 240V wire made to carry half the amperage the 120V goodies require.

Any euro appliances , and air cond or water maker (50CPS) and the noisemaker should be sold in the Euro market , before shipping it over.

.
After reading your comments, realized I should have been much clearer. You can for a price step up or convert US AC to European AC thus the 240/220 is something you can work with. We do this with step up transformers for visitors from Europe. What you cannot reasonably change on a under 100 ft pleasure boat is the hertz. Hertz converters are all in the $100,000 plus range (prices several years old) and are large. Thus even if you took North American 240/220 and converted it to European 240/220 using an isolation transformer you would still be stuck with 60 hertz. Many appliances just would not work.

Those of us who live in the dual power zone of both North American and European power end up buying appliances that will work with either 50 or 60 hertz. Doable for the most part - I have been able to do so with the exception of my washing machine, dvd player, TV and a couple of others. At a dock I plug into the European power, run the chargers, refrigeration and water heater off the shore power and the balance of the boat off the inverter the output of which is 60 hertz.

Agree about the wiring. If you were going to convert an European boat to North American power you are replacing most of the AC wiring.
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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I am in the middle of getting an education on this as I import a Euro boat.
In terms of shipping you will pay around $80/sq foot to ship the boat from Europe to the Western US (I assume Lopez is where you will end up). For my 52 footer I will have 70K in shipping and import/excise cost. For most boats that are readily available in US markets, buying and selling in Europe and then buying in the US may be more reasonable. My issue was that a boat like mine was not available here.
In terms of electrical, my plan is to leave the boat at 50 hz and already have all the voltages available. I will arrange to charge the large house bank with US power but run the boat on Euro power. For added small appliances like computers you can buy small inverters that plug into the Euro outlets and allow these to run as when travelling in Europe.
Disclaimer: I may not understand this well enough to have anticipated all of the problems I may have with the power issue.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
After reading your comments, realized I should have been much clearer. You can for a price step up or convert US AC to European AC thus the 240/220 is something you can work with. We do this with step up transformers for visitors from Europe. What you cannot reasonably change on a under 100 ft pleasure boat is the hertz. Hertz converters are all in the $100,000 plus range (prices several years old) and are large. Thus even if you took North American 240/220 and converted it to European 240/220 using an isolation transformer you would still be stuck with 60 hertz. Many appliances just would not work.

Those of us who live in the dual power zone of both North American and European power end up buying appliances that will work with either 50 or 60 hertz. Doable for the most part - I have been able to do so with the exception of my washing machine, dvd player, TV and a couple of others. At a dock I plug into the European power, run the chargers, refrigeration and water heater off the shore power and the balance of the boat off the inverter the output of which is 60 hertz.

Agree about the wiring. If you were going to convert an European boat to North American power you are replacing most of the AC wiring.
Most of the European sold (Victron) Battery Chargers/Converters can work on both 50 & 60Hz. The converter of course outputs 230V 50Hz (although I don't exactly understand Jumper S6 on the Victron Atlas Converters, this jumper is un-documented but suggest that it can change the output of the converter to 60HZ).

Most 50Hz motors will run without problem on 60Hz (I know, imported handtools and washing machine from The Netherlands to my (New) home in Brazil. Many other European appliances are designed to run on both 50 & 60Hz.
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Old 06-30-2016, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klee wyck View Post
I am in the middle of getting an education on this as I import a Euro boat.
In terms of shipping you will pay around $80/sq foot to ship the boat from Europe to the Western US (I assume Lopez is where you will end up). For my 52 footer I will have 70K in shipping and import/excise cost. For most boats that are readily available in US markets, buying and selling in Europe and then buying in the US may be more reasonable. My issue was that a boat like mine was not available here.
In terms of electrical, my plan is to leave the boat at 50 hz and already have all the voltages available. I will arrange to charge the large house bank with US power but run the boat on Euro power. For added small appliances like computers you can buy small inverters that plug into the Euro outlets and allow these to run as when travelling in Europe.
Disclaimer: I may not understand this well enough to have anticipated all of the problems I may have with the power issue.
Most probably that the installed charger accepts both 230V 50 & 60Hz, then you only need to step-up 110V to 220V 60Hz
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:37 PM   #11
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OK. I am still slightly unclear as to where the Mainship is that you are thinking of buying.

Having said that, the advice above is correct.

So, let me give you my thoughts:
1. if the boat is in Europe and set up for 240v, then no problem.
2. If the boat is in Europe and set up for 120v, then no big problem, that's why the boat is still in Europe.

3. No matter what, I can't see the market for Mainships justifying the cost to ship it to USA. Forget that idea.

4. If the boat is in USA, then see 3 above.

Now, that should have covered all the possibilities.

FYI for people who want to know what they may not know, I have a 120v boat in Europe for two years and have none of the above.

I debated for months and months on the advice above; all correct I may add, but I have gotten around it.

I have kept the boat isolated from each electricity. I have one 220v charger that is plugged into shore power (240v).. It is not using the boat ground, but the 240V, I actually unplug it and have a different plug when using boat, Gen power.

I have a few 240 appliances and lights that are alos plugged directly into 240 power and are not connected to boat system at all.

While looking a bit clunky with extension cords and power strips, it works very well.

lastly, in Ireland, EU made and certified 240 to 120v transformers are readily available for $75, since in Ireland outdoor tools are only supposed to use 120 power. Thus a big market for transformers. I have that plugged into Raritan water heater. Though I have also obtained a 240v heating element for the Raritan, thinking that once I replace the heating element, it will still work with 120v , but just take twice as long to heat water. Since i almost never use the Gen to heat water, not a big deal.

Email me if you want more specific advice.
Richard
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