Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
Thanked 102 Times in 91 Posts
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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.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
Last edited by TakeFive; 03-21-2014 at 06:20 PM.