2013/2014 Maintenance Season - Page 10 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #91  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

I am happy to say that all I need to do is change out my shaft zinc and wash the decks. I left the boat in the water this year so was able to use it a few times as well as do a few upgrades that were more enjoyable to do in the water than on the hard. Major upgrades included new shore power receptacle, new shore power breaker panel, solar vent, and composting head. If I didn't have some family commitments I would be sailing now.

That zinc replacement is going to be interesting in the water. Have to let it warm up a bit.

Last edited by CLOSECALL; 03-21-2014 at 02:42 PM. Reason: dropped a word
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  #92  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
You're certain that your battery charger will never draw more than 5 amps, when charging deeply discharged batteries?

Another option might be to simply replaced the 5 & 10 amp breakers with larger ones, if the supporting wire is rated for it.
I'm not certain of anything. I just know what the manual says.

The manual says maximum 3 amps at 120V AC. It does not give a whole lot of detail about temporary surges. This means it draws 360W maximum, maybe as low as 288W if the power factor is 0.8.

The charger is rated to put out 15 amps maximum to the battery (less at the lower stages). At 12VDC, that's 180W, which is less than the AC electrical input, as expected.

Since the charger circuit is dedicated, I'd like to use the lowest amps possible to allow more current for the other circuits without exceeding 30 amps total. I plan to try the 5 amp breaker first, and if it starts to trip I'll move to a 10 amp breaker.

I have purchased an extra 15 amp breaker, which the supporting wires can accommodate. I am considering swapping this in for the 10 amp breaker.
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  #93  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Five-
"Since the charger circuit is dedicated, I'd like to use the lowest amps possible to allow more current for the other circuits without exceeding 30 amps total. "
It doesn't work that way. You CAN quite safely have 60 amps worth of branch circuit breakers on a panel that is connected to a 30A rated supply.
What you should have is one 30A breaker (or more conservatively, a smaller one) that is the "master breaker" for your AC supply. This can be at the power inlet to the boat, or on the breaker panel, there are arguments both ways. There should be a GFI device at the power inlet in any case. Having an "AC Master Breaker" rated 30A on the AC panel is simply good sense, because it allows you to ensure all AC power is cut, i.e. if you're working someplace in the boat and don't want to take any chance on shock hazards.

Now, if you had breakers totaling 60A in branch runs on the panels, consider what happens if someone comes in, turns everything on, starts coffee and the microwave and the hair drier all at once. Zap, the 30A master breaker still blows, no big deal.

Someone who is more familiar with the boat would know "I can only use this much at once" and simply not turn on more than 25A of loads at once. (Leaving a 5A margin.)

So putting in larger, or more, breakers on the separate circuits is no big deal.

HOWEVER, the breaker on each circuit is designed to protect the WIRE on that circuit. Not the device--but the wire. So if the wiring to that device (or socket. etc.) can safely handle 18A, you might want to put in a 15A breaker, even if the device it runs to only pulls 5A at maximum load. (I say 15A because, again, I like to leave a safety margin, and that's personal decision.)

You certainly can install a breaker that is sized to protect the wire OR at the device's maximum normal draw, whichever is lower. And to me that has always made good sense since anything that is drawing more power than it is supposed to, indicates a problem and I'd rather cut the power when there's a problem. That adds some protection against odd events, and ensures the device gets extra attention.

So for your charger? If it is being hard-wired, the breaker would normally be sized to protect the wiring, based on the wiring gauge's ampacity, which is reduced in engine spaces, etc. But if the maker says it will never draw more than 5A on the AC side, putting a 5A breaker in isn't all crazy either.

Putting in a 10A breaker doesn't 'steal' anything from what is available to the other circuits. It only affects how you are calculating potential situations. No big deal.
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  #94  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

I'm aware of everything you mentioned. As you said, my current plan is to size the breaker to trip if the charger malfunctions.

I currently have three circuits, with no master (which is why I'd prefer to stay under 30 amps total for the three breakers). If I want to depower the whole boat, I just turn off the power at the marina's pedestal, AND disconnect the power cord. It accomplishes the task as well as any master, especially since I do this maybe once a year.

With a boat my size, and with my limited mounting space for a panel, a larger panel with master is difficult to fit, and the larger hole would compromise the rigidity of my bulkhead. It would be nice to have a master breaker, a meter, and a reverse polarity shut-off all on the panel, but on a small boat you have to make compromises, so I use a plug-in polarity checker, Kill-A-Watt meter, and no master breaker.

I've considered getting a 30A breaker and re-wiring the existing panel to have everything go through the 30A breaker as a master, and then two 15A breakers. But I would have to gang the charger with an AC outlet, and I kind of like having the charger on a dedicated low-amp breaker so it will cut off if there's a malfunction, since the charger is the one thing that runs 24/7 when the boat is unattended.

I'm also considering the 5A breaker for the charger, and putting in two 15A breakers for the AC outlets. In theory you could overload the system to 35A, but like you suggested, I know my boat (and test all AC appliances with the Kill-A-Watt meter).

Both AC outlets are GFCI. I'll look for GFCI for the charger.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 03-21-2014 at 07:20 PM.
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  #95  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

"Both AC outlets are GFCI. I'll look for GFCI for the charger"
More is not better. GFCI devices like to argue with each other, and if there are three connected on the same AC main line, they may trip each other up. You'd do better just putting one right up close to the power intake on the boat. Even if it is in an awkward location.
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Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Both AC outlets are GFCI. I'll look for GFCI for the charger"
More is not better. GFCI devices like to argue with each other, and if there are three connected on the same AC main line, they may trip each other up. You'd do better just putting one right up close to the power intake on the boat. Even if it is in an awkward location.
I am aware of the correct - and incorrect - way of installing GFCI. Both AC outlets are on dedicated circuits. They are not in series with each other. That's why they are both GFCI outlets. This was not a DIY job - the boat was supplied from the dealer that way.

If I had two or more AC outlets on the same circuit, I would put a master GFCI closest to the breaker, and a non-GFCI outlet downstream from it, so that the one master would trip both outlets. That's how my bathrooms are wired - the one master trips the whole circuit. But all three of my bathrooms are on separate breakers, so they each need their own GFCI at the first outlet on the run, just like my boat needs a GFCI on each separate circuit.

The GFCIs on my boat have never tripped each other. And they have tripped individually at appropriate times, both with the test button and with occasional device malfunctions (usually a defective switch).
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  #97  
Old 03-21-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
Minn-

Evans Starzinger has had great success using dyneema soft shackles as anchor snubbers.
I can point you to some of his online resources if you're interested.

Make your own snubbers. Least expensive solution, and you can trust them, because YOU made them!
Point away. I like having a never ending list.
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  #98  
Old 04-12-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

There should be an injunction issued against me doing any sort of carpentry. I thought I'd be industrious and make myself some bookshelves out of mahogany and marine plywood I got for $1 from Fairwinds marina, but the results are less than stellar. Oh well, at least I now have a bookshelf on my bulkhead, where before there was none.

I also came up with a new definition. TOOLBOX: a place for storing tools when there is no deep water around.

I bought some rope to make my own boat fenders, based on the instructions in The Marlinspike Sailor. While searching for alternate plans, I ran across this article in Popular Mechanics that shows how an oil company made outboard oil bottles that could be re-used as small boat fenders, a pretty cool idea.

Today I'm planning to finish glassing in the lower part of my companionway and finish the mahogany companionway frames, also made from scrap lumber.
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Last edited by willyd; 04-13-2014 at 08:56 PM. Reason: a word
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  #99  
Old 04-13-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Lol, I struggle with carpentry too.
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  #100  
Old 04-13-2014
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Re: 2013/2014 Maintenance Season

Looks like my Cetol natural teak is ok for year 3!
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