Latest Upgrade - SmartPlug Shore Power - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-15-2010 Thread Starter
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Latest Upgrade - SmartPlug Shore Power

Dragonfly II's main AC breaker was tripping between boat visits every 2-3 days. I found since my slip is near the fuel dock, I get more wake action than normal. This increased activity would eventually stress the boat end of the cable and the power inlet. The stress would lead to internal power arcs and a burnt shore power cable, inlet, and could be the rest of the boat!

After some research, the SmartPlug retrofit kit seemed to be the way to go. It is thermally protected and ends the orientation search when connecting the standard 30 amp connector. It also has more contact surface providing a more reliable connection. Although the 7yr warranty seems very limited, its a good design improvment and an easy install.....no breaker trips since.

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-15-2010
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If you're talking about this beast:



It's a nice piece of gear. A lot more robust than the typical 30 amp plug. I installed it on my boat earlier this year and have been very happy with it.

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post #3 of 6 Old 08-17-2010 Thread Starter
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SD

Yep...thats it. It is a great upgrade. I am just surprised this has not really taken off with the amount of burnt shore power cords on my dock alone.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-17-2010
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Unfortunately, a lot of people are too lazy or too ignorant to fix the cause, and will just keep buying new power cords.

IIRC, it only took me about 20 minutes to do the inlet socket and the cord.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-17-2010
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I've always thought this product was a great idea and it looks to be very well engineered and well made, but I do wonder how much the company behind it is actively pushing it as an industry standard. If they're not trying to license/sell/give/etc the specs for their connectors to boat builders and cordset manufacturers, it's hard to see it catching on big.

Oh and while they're at it they should also work on the shoreside connectors - there's a lot of room for improvement there too although that's probably an even harder industry standard to change.

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-17-2010
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They do appear pretty active in trying to get it accepted as a standard. However, the issue is the cost of upgrading old fixtures and without a big supply of Smartplug cords, there's no reason to upgrade the fixtures...and without the fixtures, most people won't upgrade the boats... but the fact that they're now selling cords that are SmartPlug on the boat side and standard 30-amp on the shore side is a good start to transitioning from the older, twist-lock plugs to the newer SmartPlug fittings. .

They do have shoreside connectors, that are much the same as the boat side fittings—much like the 30-amp cord and fittings are essentially the same.

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Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
I've always thought this product was a great idea and it looks to be very well engineered and well made, but I do wonder how much the company behind it is actively pushing it as an industry standard. If they're not trying to license/sell/give/etc the specs for their connectors to boat builders and cordset manufacturers, it's hard to see it catching on big.

Oh and while they're at it they should also work on the shoreside connectors - there's a lot of room for improvement there too although that's probably an even harder industry standard to change.

Sailingdog

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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