Is AC power really needed on a boat that never sees a dock? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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Old 09-24-2008
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"Extension cords down hatches and companion-ways can be serious trip and fire hazards and can be lethal if accidentally cut through.. "
Sure, but going by that logic you'd dig a pit and lower the boat into it, because jackstands collapse and people fall off decks and boarding ladders on the hard.
And you'd have workmen install hardlines for their tools before they did nay home construction or repairs.

Fire hazard? Cut through? I've never met a hatchboard that could damage an AC power cord, nor a hatch that could damage it by dropping on it. Learning to gaff lines (secure them out of the way or tape them down) so they are not tripping hazards, is simply part of knowing how to safely run lines. We don't use ratty home zip cords for yard lines, the long heavyduty power cords are way more rugged than that.
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Old 09-30-2008
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I looked at the pictures of your old wiring and I agree with you, a new well planned system is the way to go. Make sure you follow ABYC standards when designing and installing your new system. Use marine grade wire and make sure you size things properly for the loads encountered. As far as the AC system goes, since your new panel has a provision for it I would install it, but it does not have to be a front burner item. Do a great job on the DC system first. If you have not done this before you will find it a rewarding experience.
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Old 09-30-2008
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If you don't have a use for AC, don't install it, period. As for resale value, you can think of that when you want to sell. Install it then and it'll be new and shiny

My boat, which has been quite well taken care of by the PO didn't have 110 because he was never at the dock. No problem. Come to think of it, my last boat didn't have 110 volt either.

On both boats, since I'm a live-aboard I added 110V. I used a home depot outdoor rated breaker box with home rated breakers. I never figured out why the boat ones are so expensive. Both installs have worked flawlessly and were about 1/10 the price of going the "marine" route. I did use marine wire though which was pricey. I'm a liveaboard though and I knew I needed 110. If you don't. don't add it. Same goes for anything else. If you don't need an inflatable pool table, for example, don't add it.

BTW I'd give your wiring install 2 stars out of 4. Not great, but not as bad as I've seen. The connectors are on busses (not all tied to a screw which goes into wood) and the connectors are even all facing the same way on the busses. I'd re-do it but I doubt you're about to burn to the waterline.

Enjoy the boat!


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Old 09-30-2008
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As of right now, my electrical system is a lawn mower battery wired straight to a Davis Mega-light(about 10' off deck on backstay, anchor light) with a small solar panel. Everything that was in those pictures, has seen the dumpster and is gone.

I think im going to go ahead and install a 120v-ac system anyway since ill already be geared up to do wiring, plus the panel ive got has both AC/DC on it. Ill be getting a Honda eu2000i to replace my aging Onan 1400w genny before the end of the year, so i will have a source of AC power.

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