1) Any ideas why after 1 year a reverse polarity problem would appear? Could it involve the old boat charging next door or are marine meters/outlets usually adequately isolated from one another?
They may have re-wired something over the winter. That could have reversed the polarity of the wiring at the dockside, even though nothing appears to have changed.
2) What implications does reverse polarity have for charging batteries?
Maybe none/maybe a lot—the batteries will still charge normally in most cases. It depends on the AC-based charger you have. Some will not work if the polarity is reversed.
3) How can one adequately protect themselves from bad shorepower? Is an older Protech 4 enough or???
The real danger with reversed polarity is that the "neutral" wire is now "HOT"
and on the side without the breakers. So if you decide to shut off the shore-power, but leave the cable connected, the "neutral" terminals at all of the outlets are still going to be live and electrocution is a good possibility.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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