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

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2008
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Is AC power really needed on a boat that never sees a dock?

Im redoing the wiring in the boat since most of it is shot. The boat stays at anchor all the time and never gets hooked into shorepower. Ive already started removing the old wiring and will be working on the rewire soon. I just don't see a need for 120v on the boat anymore. If i only do the 12v system, ill save alot of money on the rewire.


Heres the reason for rewiring the boat.



How the boat hasn't burnt to the waterline, i don't know.
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Old 09-21-2008
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I would keep at least some AC capability. Maybe you don't really need an outlet in every cabin, but having at least one AC outlet on board is very useful. Also, it's good to have the ability to hardwire a battery charger.

Yeah, you don't ever plug into shorepower, but that may change some day. Or you may want/need to sell the boat at some point -- shorepower is a big selling point.
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Old 09-21-2008
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I agree with JRP and suggest simplifying it heaps..

Buy a small Aqua-Signal or similar AC power panel (the smallest you can get) and connect one outlet and maybe the battery charger to it - nothing else. At least that way if you ever find yourself at a dock with shore-power you have some use for it.
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Old 09-21-2008
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I figured i would leave my shorepower inlet and run it to a breaker and an outlet near the batteries for a charger. I don't have an inboard motor, so ill be putting my batteries where the fuel tank used to live under the cockpit. As of right now, the only time there is 120v on the boat is when ive got the genny out there and running.
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Old 09-21-2008
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That sounds to me like a good plan..

Make sure you use a GFI (earth leakage) breaker that disconnects both active and neutral and install it as far as practical from the DC power panel and wiring (ie. on the opposite side of the cabin if you can). Connect the outlet earth directly to the shorepower inlet earth.

Most of the small AC power panels have an indicating light or similar to show that power is on - a helpful safety feature especially if you don't usually use shorepower - and are pretty easy to mount.

Good luck with your project!

Cameron
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Old 09-22-2008
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The AC panel I'd recommend is this one:

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Old 09-22-2008
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Quote:
Is AC power really needed on a boat that never sees a dock?

Only for future re-sale. If you don't care about that then it's entirely up to you if you'd like to get rid of it.

If you never, ever have a need for using an inverter and 120V on board than go for it but if you see any potential need for 120v, even for a few minutes to run a vacuum or something, then I'd say keep it..
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Old 09-22-2008
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SV - You didn't really state how you use the boat, so tough to suggest AC or not. We've been discussing small generators on other threads, so ultimately if you use the boat for long weekends or something, you could simply bring a 1000watt generator and atleast have the ability to brew some coffee; with a low wattage coffee maker, of course. Or, since you are looking to save money now, simply wait awhile and then add a small inverter like a Xantrex, which comes with two AC plugs.

Either way, yes, you can live without AC.
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Old 09-22-2008
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I'd have to agree with having at least a basic AC system of shorepower receptacle to breaker panel.
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Old 09-22-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36
Only for future re-sale.
That's what I'm thinking. When the day comes that you want to sell it, not have any AC power on-board at all means you have to find just the right buyer, which means a longer time to sell and probably a significantly lower price.
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