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hanschristian.org • View topic - Running a 110V wired boat on 240V

Running a 110V wired boat on 240V

Moderators: warmrain, mimoza

Running a 110V wired boat on 240V

Postby sv_jennyp » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:49 am

Hi there, I have just purchased HC33 "SV Jenny P" here in Australia and am looking for info regarding a possible 240V conversion or suggestions on an easier way of running 240V through the 110V configuration. Ideally i would like to have 240V outlets to replace the 110V right through the boat...?... Any suggestions??
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Postby mimoza » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:05 am

I'm not sure I would trust the original wiring; in fact, I am sure that I wouldn't. But Jenny P has had some excellent owners in the past. Your wiring may have been renewed at some point. Check that out first.

Especially if your AC wiring is up to snuff, I would say go for it - with a few "watch out" warnings, because your mileage may certainly vary.

I would avoid mixing 120 and 240. At some point something will get fried, and there could be a fire. If you do this, go all the way.

Wire is rated for both Volts(V) and Amps(I=current)). To get the same power(P=watts) through a given wire, you need half as much current at 240V as you do at 120V. P=I*V. This is a good thing, because it is generally current, not voltage, that melts wires. The power dissipated in the wiring is P=I*I*R, where R is the resistance of the wiring. Since you will be running half the current for a given load, the power dissipated in the wires will be 1/4th of what it is at 120V.


However, you should make very sure that your wiring can handle the increased voltage. This is less a function of the conductor than of the insulation which surrounds the conductor. It is voltage, not current, that likes to make sparks jump over space or an insulator. Inspect your AC wiring carefully. If you need to replace it, there are only so many outlets, plus the feeds for your hot water heater, microwave, inverter, etc. It is not quite as big a job as rewiring the entire boat, but it is not small either.

Finally, there are all those myriad other details. The breakers, the outlets, the inverter/charger, the hot water heater, the microwave, etc. Unless they are switchable, they will need to be replaced. The less you have, the less will need to be changed out. If you are thinking about TV, think about a twelve volt LCD.

Two questions.
1 How bad do you want 240? It seems that quite a few things today will run on either 120 or 240. Or is that just here in the USA? Of course there are the power tools, and maybe a television or microwave. My wife's hair dryer, my laptop, cell phone charger, and electric razor don't give a rip.
2 How much will it cost to do this job? Unless your inverter/charger is already switchable, there will be an appreciable expense.
Cap'n Bri
HC 33 "Mimoza" Hull number 43
Mimoza is the name of the Admiral, a flower, and a star - the eastern arm of the Southern Cross, also called Becrux.
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thanks! very helpful

Postby sv_jennyp » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:24 am

SV Jenny P
HC 33T 1984 Hull# 70
Raby Bay Harbour QLD
sv_jennyp
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Postby lonesome_boatman » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:43 am

Jenny P
I had Respite rewired to comply with Australian Standards. This involved running new 240V cable and and outlets. Straight forward and not to costly. I got Brass surrounds for the outlets to cover the white plastic and they look great. It was worth the trouble as it as its great having 240 Volt when I am on shore power in a marina.
Mick
SV Respite 1983 HC33T # 52
Queensland Australia.
"Men who cannot enter into the mind of the sea, cannot for the same reason enter into the mind of ships."
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