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  #1  
Old 01-08-2010
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Shore Power Question

For the PNW folks,

How often will a transient slip have 15A "household" type power, as opposed, or in addition to the 30A twist lock "normal shore power"? My boat does not have 110V, but I would like to be prepared to have some heat or charge the house battery. Can I get by with a good 12 gauge extension cord? I'd like to avoid the extra cost of a "marine" shore power cord and adapter. I see you can save some browsing ebay.

Thanks,
chuck.
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Old 01-08-2010
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You can often buy the adapter at hardware stores. I found mine in one of the misc. tables. Mine is a short cord with the thirty amp grounded male on one end and the 15 amp female on the other. Less than ten bucks.

Some marinas also have both on the fixture.
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Old 01-08-2010
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I'll keep an eye out.

My mantra for this project/boat is "Have fun with what I have." (i.e. keep spending to a minimum). Almost impossible to live up to. But it's a good foil.

cheers,
chuck
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Old 01-08-2010
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Some marinas do have standard 110/120 volt power available, as well as a mix of 20, 30, and 50 amp outlets. We carry adaptors for pretty much all the expected possible combinations - ie to be able to plug our standard 30 amp shore power cord into 20 amp or 110V outlets.

If you're using an extension cord through a hatch or a port to run a heater etc, many marinas will now inspect those cords and they'll need to be rated for at least outdoor, if not underwater service... in other words you can't just take the one off the christmas tree and take it down there Adequate wire guage/current rating is only part of it.. the insulation and jacket need to be of the proper type as well. (such cords often slip partially into the water if not properly secured)

Here's a link to the designations:

https://www.americord.com/glossary/

Not that "W" and "W-A" are outdoor rated, but only "UF" appears to be underwater rated.
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Last edited by Faster; 01-08-2010 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 01-08-2010
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This is what I was lookin' for. Thanks for the input Faster.

B/C analysis sez: Prolly best off buying a 30A shore power cord and adapter.

Cheers,
chuck
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Old 01-08-2010
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As for the 110AC extension cord, go with the shortest length you can and oversize it, 20 vs 15 amp. A space heater, coffee maker, etc will draw a lot of power and an undersized cord can melt down on you in a hurry.
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Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBrown View Post
As for the 110AC extension cord, go with the shortest length you can and oversize it, 20 vs 15 amp. A space heater, coffee maker, etc will draw a lot of power and an undersized cord can melt down on you in a hurry.
True, and always be conscious of what's being plugged in - you can't run a heater and a coffemaker together on the same cct., or plug in a shop vac while your heater's on... a blown breaker may be just an inconvenience, or it may be inaccessible behind a locked box.
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Old 01-08-2010
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Yes loads are things to be aware of.

It's just that I have a 25' 12 guage cord that I use if I ever need to put the compressor on an extension or any other situations where resistance and voltage loss need to be tempered.

I'll keep an eye on ebay for a deal on a 30A shore power cord.

Cheers,
chuck.
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Old 01-20-2010
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Stick to the marine quality

I recommend you only consider a marine 30 Amp cable from the dock to a 30 Amp receptacle on the boat. Household extension cords, even exterior rated, just can't handle the exterior marine environment. The higher standard is for good reasons. Marine power cables are more UV tolerant due to the light reflected from the water. They have much greater insulation which protects against stray currents should the cable ever droop into the water. The marine cables are also designed to protect against oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, acids, and other chemicals that are on the water the cables are drooping into. They are designed to handle greater abrasion and temperature extremes, as they must flex with every wave for months or years on end.

It is very dangerous to have an extension cord run into the boat. It should go to an on board receptacle which in turn feeds the boat. Again the standard is written for a good reason: The ability to disconnect a boat from the shore power cable, while on board, allows the boat to be removed from an inaccessible dock. If the dock or neighbouring boats are on fire, your boat can be towed away to safety. Someone can slip or cut your docklines from on board, but they cannot cut through an extension cord without risking electrocution. They may not be able to pull the extension cord out through the closed hatch. Not having an exterior receptacle could force a good samaritan to abandon your boat and move on to rescue others.

This marine grade stuff is a considerable outlay of boat bucks, but as a starter at least run a marine cord onto the boat to an exterior rated cord that goes inside. That way it can be unplugged from on board. Keep the total lengths as short as possible to avoid voltage drops. With a set wattage load, as the voltage drops the current goes up, often to an unsafe extreme.

Household exterior rated cords are usually fine for temporary-attended use. Once the job is done they should be removed. Having a proper marine cord will make it easier to travel. Marinas don't ban proper shore power cables, but many ban household ones. Insurance companies don't stop payouts because you used the correct equipment, but they could slam the file shut if they found out a non-marine cable contributed to the fire. In the long run a couple hundred boat bucks is worth the peace of mind.

Sorry for the long reply. But once I get started...

Cheers,
Dana
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Old 01-21-2010
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Thanks Dana, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Using the proper marine cord and adapter seems like a done-deal.

Shocking, I know,
chuck.
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