Bouts of Colds

It all started in Bali. The day after leaving Bali, I started coming down with a cold. Five days later, after arriving at Belitung, my cold mostly went away. But, Karen got it. We both had vestiges from that cold for a week or more. Meanwhile, friends of ours on another boat had a horrible cold a couple weeks before our Bali one. We met up with some cruisers who had been around them, and they had just contracted that cold. Sure enough, this time Karen got the new cold first, and now I have it. Neither of us is feeling like doing much right now. This is really unusual by the way, normally during the cruising season we rarely pick up colds. But, we have been in some big tourist destinations (like Bali) where people are bringing bugs in from all over. Probably the source of our problems.

But, some boat chores must go on. We have another kind of cold to be worried about. We discovered recently that our air conditioners on the boat have a problem with local marina power. Tahina internally runs on 115V/60Hz system just like in the US. We have a special inverter that can take 230V systems and convert it to our 115V. However, it does not convert the local 50 Hz frequency to 60 Hz (that would require a big piece of machinery that costs a lot). Most of our electronics on board can handle either 50 or 60 Hz. We assumed this applied to our A/C. But, our water pumps for the A/Cs shut themselves down a couple times here, so I looked at the specs. Sure enough, they are 60Hz ONLY pumps.

Several of the other boats here in the marina had found a supplier of reasonably priced A/C units. So, yesterday we took delivery on one. I managed, despite the cold, to finish installing ours in our vertical window in the aft of our salon. However, I need to get a marina-quality extension cable to run the power to shore (since we don’t have 230V on board). Then we’ll be able to run the A/C without running our generator again.

Why is this important? Well, we are just 1 degree off the equator here, and it is monsoon season. The temperature gets REALLY hot in the afternoon until the afternoon monsoon cools things off.

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2 Responses to Bouts of Colds

  1. Hugh Moore says:

    Are they “March” brand water pumps? Ours is Lc-3CP-MD March and it only runs on 60 Hz per the literature. We have been wondering if our system will continue to be OK at 50hz ..so far they seem to be working, but we have read that the water pumps run much less efficiently at 50 Hz and it sounds like you’re AC just shut down. Did that ruin the existing AC? I am wondering why you couldn’t just get a 240v/50Hz water pump… When we start using our’s for our heater when it gets cold we will have to see the pumps continue to work at 50 hz. Hugh

    • Frank Taylor says:

      @Hugh: our pumps are Dometic. They are 60Hz only and the spec sheets say NOT to run them on 50 Hz. Most motors are very susceptible to improper hertz rates if not designed for the right one(s). Our system detects inadequate water flow and shuts itself done. We had run our A/C on 50Hz several times without an issue, but at the last marina they would not stay on. That’s when I looked and discovered the specs. Replacing the pumps cost far more than buying an inexpensive consumer window A/C designed for local power. So, that’s the route we took.

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