240V supply on a yacht - what for ?

Boo2

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Hi,

What do people see as the chief reason for having a 240V supply on a yacht ? Obviously a battery charger is a key use, but lighting, fridges, kettles etc can all be found in 12V versions so is a charger the only good reason for having a mains supply ?

Boo2
 

lpdsn

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Apart from the batteries, heating mainly. I often spend time working on the boat over the winter and electric is the most convenient form of heating.

Using an electric kettle is more convenient than gas in port. Also reduces the frequency of having to replace gas bottles, which ain't cheap either.

Running a laptop to do work or whatever else I need to do in port - again running off DC is possible, but off 240V is easier.

Power tools.

Even being able to power up the de-humidifier to dry the crew's oillies when arriving after a cold wet day.

Given that most yachts built in the last 50 years and most marinas have shorepower there seems little point in going to a lot of effort to avoid using it.

I suspect a lot of the hardy back-to-basics sailors only go out in the height of summer, whereas I'm heading off for a bank holiday weekend sail tomorrow.
 

William_H

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OP might just be looking for an argument but essentially anything delivering heat takes huge amounts of power. So electric kettle perhaps 1000watts microwave 1000w tiniest radiator 1000w hair dryer 500w. Now each 1000w requires some 80 plus amps from 12v. This kind of current requires very heavy wiring and of course huge batteries.
Add to the fact that 240v appliances are much cheaper because of the number used in domestic situations and because current is lower a the higher voltage for same power.
So a sailor might start sailing with no electrics quickly deciding he needs 12v for radio and lights but experience and usage may lead him to go for 240v systems. Indeed if he goes for 240v diesel generator then he can eliminate need for gas which improves safety enormously. ol'will
 

Gwylan

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OP might just be looking for an argument but essentially anything delivering heat takes huge amounts of power. So electric kettle perhaps 1000watts microwave 1000w tiniest radiator 1000w hair dryer 500w. Now each 1000w requires some 80 plus amps from 12v. This kind of current requires very heavy wiring and of course huge batteries.
Add to the fact that 240v appliances are much cheaper because of the number used in domestic situations and because current is lower a the higher voltage for same power.
So a sailor might start sailing with no electrics quickly deciding he needs 12v for radio and lights but experience and usage may lead him to go for 240v systems. Indeed if he goes for 240v diesel generator then he can eliminate need for gas which improves safety enormously. ol'will

What he said!
 

prv

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What do people see as the chief reason for having a 240V supply on a yacht ? Obviously a battery charger is a key use, but lighting, fridges, kettles etc can all be found in 12V versions so is a charger the only good reason for having a mains supply ?

I would add an immersion heater for the hot water. Those two are the only fitted 240v items in Ariam. We'll generally arrive with enough hot water from the engine for one night and morning, but if we stay in one place any longer then for the second and subsequent nights it's shore power or the kettle - and I always forget to put the kettle on while we're eating ready to wash up.

If you spend a lot of time making tea and toast in marinas then there might be some sense to an electric kettle and/or toaster rather than burning gas. Personally I'd rather not spare the space since we don't plug in all that often. I have a friend who sometimes brings a 1-cup electric espresso machine that runs off 12v...

I don't use a computer on board; I have an iPad with an optional keyboard and it charges via USB from 12v. The only power tool kept on board is a Makita cordless drill and I have a 12v charger for it since I want to be able to use it anywhere and not just in marinas.

For heating I'm happy with diesel.

I have occasionally thought of fitting a small inverter, but I don't really know what I'd use it for.

I sail year-round, albeit more in summer obviously.

Pete
 

Pavalijo

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Portable induction hob, toaster and kettle reduce gas useage.
Calorifier
Battery charger,
2kw convection heater,
Cosy lamp,
Power tools.

We had a microwave but removed it to free up space. We have low wattage kettle (and the microwave was 600w) which run off the inverter when at anchor, but we spend more time on shore power than at anchor.

I wouldn’t be without shorepower but have lived on the hook without moving for 6 nights and didn’t miss it.
 

neilf39

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Electric kettle 900w
Toaster 900w
Hot plate 1kW
Fan heater 2kW
Immersion heater 1kW
Battery charger 20 amp
Fridge (dual 12/240v)
TV (dual 12/240v)
Laptop (dual 12/240v)

The only thing we really need is the fan heater over winter as we don't have any other heating. It's a matter of convenience and battery preservation when in marinas for the rest.
 

matthewriches

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I have:

Battery chargers (shore or gen)
2x fridge (shore, gen, inverter or low voltage DC)
Microwave (shore, gen or inverter)
Toaster (shore, gen or inverter)
Kettle (shore, gen or inverter)
Immersion water heater (shore or gen)
Fitted dehumidifier (shore, gen or inverter)
Fitted air con unit (shore or gen)
And ad hoc use of tools, vacuum, laptop charger, etc


I can run the boat without mains requirement for a whether it be from shore power, generator or inverter as nothing on that list is critical when off grid although it's nice to have at least 1 battery charger and maybe hot water heater for a few hours a day.
 

Seven Spades

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In this order:-

Air-conditioning (Reverse cycle at this time of year)
Immersion heater
Microwave
Lap top charging
Watermaker
Washing machine
Power tools

Personally I would like to replace the 240V water maker with a 24V version but it is a huge cost to do so. That way I can run the water maker when using the engine rather than the generator.
 

NormanS

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In the summer, we never have shore power, and manage fine. In the winter, when laid up ashore, we'll live aboard for odd weeks, and having shore power is a great help. Electric kettle, microwave, toaster, immersion etc, means that less gas is used and cuts down dramatically on the amount of condensation. We make the best of both worlds. :D
 

Lightwave395

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Electric kettle 900w
Toaster 900w
Hot plate 1kW
Fan heater 2kW
Immersion heater 1kW
Battery charger 20 amp
Fridge (dual 12/240v)
TV (dual 12/240v)
Laptop (dual 12/240v)

The only thing we really need is the fan heater over winter as we don't have any other heating. It's a matter of convenience and battery preservation when in marinas for the rest.

+1
 

KellysEye

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The previous had fitted a generator and the boat had shore power, the reason he did was he had fitted a 240v industrial water and fridge the reason being they last a lot longer than the 12 volt versions.
 

Halo

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The OP asked about main uses and these have all been covered but no one has mentioned a small vacuum cleaner. At first I thought having a hoover on a boat was a daft idea. However when we bought our boat we noticed how clean and fresh she seemed. The previous owner was a dental hygienist and was clearly well suited to the job - a relentless cleaner upper. On her advice we tried a small hoover and it is really useful. In my old scruffy boat I did not notice how much detritus people make on board and the hoover shifts it easily. Also now we have dry bilges (de-humidifier in winter) I just suck the dust out of them. Perhaps you think I am crazy but just try it.
 

rogerthebodger

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The OP asked about main uses and these have all been covered but no one has mentioned a small vacuum cleaner. At first I thought having a hoover on a boat was a daft idea. However when we bought our boat we noticed how clean and fresh she seemed. The previous owner was a dental hygienist and was clearly well suited to the job - a relentless cleaner upper. On her advice we tried a small hoover and it is really useful. In my old scruffy boat I did not notice how much detritus people make on board and the hoover shifts it easily. Also now we have dry bilges (de-humidifier in winter) I just suck the dust out of them. Perhaps you think I am crazy but just try it.

I also have a vacuum cleaner that but a wet and dry as if any water dies get in the bilge the very last drop can be removed.

In my location I would not do without full air conditioner as in summer its too hot to sleep without it. On passage it not too bad as you get lots of sea breezes.

Some items I have is a dive cylinder compressor as well as what most others have listed.
 

PetiteFleur

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We have a 12v vacuum on board, a Black & Decker Dustbuster, which I use all the time, a good bit of kit, just plug it into the 12v socket. Good suction, easy to empty and surprising how much crap you pick up!
The OP asked about main uses and these have all been covered but no one has mentioned a small vacuum cleaner. At first I thought having a hoover on a boat was a daft idea. However when we bought our boat we noticed how clean and fresh she seemed. The previous owner was a dental hygienist and was clearly well suited to the job - a relentless cleaner upper. On her advice we tried a small hoover and it is really useful. In my old scruffy boat I did not notice how much detritus people make on board and the hoover shifts it easily. Also now we have dry bilges (de-humidifier in winter) I just suck the dust out of them. Perhaps you think I am crazy but just try it.
 
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