Electrickery Abroad

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Thu 7 Jan 2010 10:43
I was concerned about being able to hook up to shore power on the pontoons over in the Americas, because the supply is 110v and 60Hz and considered putting in a separate shore power connection to handle this. However life has been made much simpler by the marinas in Salvador offering 2 phases of 110v - giving us 220v at 60Hz and this seems to be available in most marinas.

All you really need to do is to have charging systems that will take lower voltage and accept 60Hz and you can charge your batteries and run most of the domestic systems. Just be careful with microwaves and washing machines, we disconnect the shore power and run these on the generator - Marcleo says that many European boats leave their washing machines running on shore power and they all suffer damage to the circuit boards.

Our MasterVolt Combi accepts 207-265v and 45-65Hz so is working fine, although in Mindelo where we only got 180v its was still working, but several of the French boats said theirs did not, maybe ours is newer, but they do have a DP switch that allows the voltage range to drop 180-207v. Our French Cristec charger is even better and accepts 85-265v at 47-63Hz and is rated at 80A, with the MasterVolt at 200A, they soon top up our systems.

Apparently your charger should be between 10-25% of the capacity of your batteries and that is why we bought the Cristec to replace the Merlin 40A unit which was tripping out - we have 560A of domestic in 4 batteries with a total of 9 all togther, so need good charging systems. Already Ti Oaune has replaced his batteries because thay failed after 12 months and other boats are finding it hard on their batteries not topping them up each night on a marina charge.