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Sailerskier

Frenchboat 220 electrical to North American 110-115

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I bought a 2002 Beneteau 36.7 French boat that has the Euro 220 wiring in it.  I was told that to convert to 110-115 I need to replace all of the 220 wires  What is different about the wire that 220 vs 110-115 uses?

I know very little about electrical and I even may have explained it wrong so can someone give me some idea what i need to do to make the boat plug in at the dock with a electrical cord. here in Mexico or even in the USA?

To make matters worse the boat is in Puerto Vallarta MX and need to convey this to someone with little English and I speak little spanish.

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Well for the same load the current that the wire has to carry on a 120v system is twice that of a 240v system. 

I'm not familiar with USA 110v regulations, but most likely the wiring has too small a cross section to meet your regs. 

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42 minutes ago, Sailerskier said:

I bought a 2002 Beneteau 36.7 French boat that has the Euro 220 wiring in it.  I was told that to convert to 110-115 I need to replace all of the 220 wires  What is different about the wire that 220 vs 110-115 uses?

I know very little about electrical and I even may have explained it wrong so can someone give me some idea what i need to do to make the boat plug in at the dock with a electrical cord. here in Mexico or even in the USA?

To make matters worse the boat is in Puerto Vallarta MX and need to convey this to someone with little English and I speak little spanish.

Dont know your boat 

 

Its a small , simple boat...i suspect that your wire diameter  is ok 

 

this is a wire diameter calc.  You need length of wire and anticipated load in amps 

 

http://www.paigewire.com/pumpWireCalc.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

 

 

IMG_8373.PNG

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You need to look at the gauge (thickness) of the wires and go from there.

Wires, just like fuses/circuit breakers, are sized based on the amperage that flows through them. Wire size also depends on the length of the run. Compared to wires designed for loads running on 110V, higher 220 voltage implies lower amperage, thus potentially thinner wires. So you MIGHT need thicker wires for a proper 110V system. There is usually some safety factor built into this, so the 220V wires used might be acceptable for 110V usage anyway. Also, Beneteau would have had to be pretty organized to have known each boat’s continental destination to ordain different wiring sizes at the point of wiring installation, and to have cared enough to put cheaper wire in the North American boats. So it is possible that all their boat wiring is specced to be acceptable for 110V. (But maybe not if they only made European 36.7s in France.)

If you are running high wattage stuff like air conditioners and power tools from the outlets, getting the wiring sized properly is very important, especially to the more distant receptacles. If it’s TVs, lights, and laptops, not so much.

You will probably need to change the outlets, but this is easy, relatively inexpensive, and safe if you do it with the boat unplugged from shore power (and the inverter turned off). You’ll want to use GFCIs for the first outlets in a series. No magic to this, it’s an easy DIY.

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Question for the group. Could you just replace the breakers with appropriatly sized breakers for the wiring at 110V? Then if you find you are tripping breakers on certain circuits upgrade that wiring specifically. 

For the OP. You are not the first person to do this, I would think Beneteau would have documentation for how to convert the boat to 110. Perhaps they would provide you with that to make the process easy? Also there is probably a  Beneteau owners group that could help. I know the Corsair/Farrier owners groups are very helpful. 

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the breakers in that boat are single pole correct?

if so then the panel will need to be changed, 208/230 vac is 2 legs of equal voltage.

someone correct me if im wrong, but i believe that euro is one leg of 220 and a neutral/  common, just like our 115vac systems here.

does the boat have a generator as well?

 

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I'm sure they are single pole breakers but the amperage will be wrong. Might be 10A / 240V.

Yes, European circuits are just like N.American but at higher voltage. Single phase.

The N.American single phase line-line 120/240 voltage of 240V has is nothing to do with what is being discussed here. You don't have 240V appliances like an electric dryer on a Beneteau 36.  208V is what you get between 2 phases of a 3 phase circuit. Not applicable to boats or marinas. 2 Pole breakers won't be used.

To the original poster: 

- the wires may be too small because they are sized for 240V current.

- The breakers may be too small because they are sized for lower 240V current.

- If only some loads (like a water heater or battery charge) are large, you can optionally only change the water heater circuit breaker and wires.

- If your other circuits are 120V outlets that won't see 15A loads, you could accept 10A/120V loads and leave as is.  Just know that your circuits will pop the breaker if you plug a 1500 W hair dryer into it. Nothing wrong with that approach to save some money as long as you are aware that some circuits will only be sized for lower loads that is typical for N.American usage.

- you should carefully check the incoming wire between shore power inlet and panel. This should be upgraded to 30A (to match shore power cable) ampacity

- you should check if incoming shore power breaker is appropriate. It also should be 30A if it exists.

Here is a shitty diagram of a owner's manual for a Finnish 36.7  http://www.first367.fi/uploads/1/2/5/9/12595378/owners_manual.pdf.  See page 27 for 110/220V diagram.

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First step is to check the wiring and the breakers.

If the wiring is marine quality (surely on a Bennie?) it will have its voltage rating and cross section stamped on it. Then a simple matter to calculate its current capacity, as described above.

Breakers will also have their V and I rating on them (as well as their approvals).

Go from there.

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There should be no difference on the 12V side so you only need to consider shore power to battery charger and any ac circuits so not a big deal.

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On 28/03/2018 at 7:09 PM, break my wallet said:

get a step up transformer/ inverter.. 

^^ This with a new shore power inlet (existing is half the current rating req'd)  will get you out of the shit temporarily so you can use existing onboard 220v appliances providing they are not frequency sensitive ie they will be 50Hz where 110v/US is 60Hz. You can use 220/110v travel plugs in existing outlets but this doesn't change voltage which some portable appliances can accommodate. 

However to make electrically compliant at some point you have to rewire with correct colours and gauges, new breakers, new outlets and replace on board AC equipment. 

Until compliant you carry the liability if someone was to be electrocuted and or a fire was to occur where your insurance may well then be void.

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