In Part I of this two-part series, we discussed four key factors to consider in preparing for plugging into international power: line frequency, nominal voltage, voltage fluctuations, and physical connection requirements. In Part II, we'll look at three approaches to preparing your boat for connecting to international shorepower, and we'll outline the advantages and disadvantages of each. The first approach to preparing your boat for connecting to shorepower overseas is finding "power-tolerant" equipment. If you're careful and selective, it is possible to locate equipment that will run on most international power. Be sure to check the specifications for frequency range as well as voltage. Many of the small plug-in transformers that we use to power our laptop computers, digital cameras, and cell phones, for example, will run on just about any power from about 100 to 250 volts and 50 or 60Hz. Check the labels carefully.
Part I: Factors to Consider When Connecting To International Power In Part I of this two-part series, we'll discuss four key factors to take into account when preparing your boat to connect to international shorepower. Shorepower is an increasingly vital service for the modern cruising boat. Many boats have most, if not all, the comforts of home-and those comforts come with a nearly insatiable appetite for electrical power. Most larger cruising boats have generators aboard, but running them constantly can be expensive and won't help you make friends at the dock. Fortunately, many modern (and even not-so-modern) marinas offer shorepower for visiting yachts. But before you arrive at that dream cruising port and plug in your TV, microwave, air conditioner, and laptop, it pays to make some careful preparations for the variety of shorepower standards you'll encounter.