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  #1  
Old 09-28-2007
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Shore power cables

I have always been meticulous about making sure my shore power cable never gets slack in it and dipping into the water.

I find myself continually moving cables on neighboring boats that work themselves loose and end up in the water.

How detrimental is it to have a power cable dipping into the water?
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Old 09-28-2007
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Like you, I try hard to avoid having shore power cables dip into the water. But that's because I'm paranoid. And, it's just not good nautical practice.

Usually, however, it's not a problem so long as the insulation is intact. Still, I don't like the idea of AC cables in the water. And, I've seen some pretty nasty situations where cables dipping into the water in wintertime were actually frozen into the ice. This could be downright dangerous, as boat movements could very well cause the ice to cut through the insulation.

Bill
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Old 09-28-2007
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It would be interesting to compare voltmeter readings of adjacent seawater, before and after shorepower cord immersion.
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As long as it's STO/STOW marine cable, and the jacket's intact, it's not a problem. It may be sloppy, and it may be bad practice, but it's not an electrocution hazard, in and of itself. If it was, you'd never want that cable lying anywhere it might get wet--such as on the deck of your boat, when it rains?

Jim
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Old 09-28-2007
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It really is best to not have them in the water.... it is all too easy for them to have bad insulation and to get stray AC current in the water that way.... doesn't take much to kill you stone cold dead.
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Old 09-28-2007
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why not tie a bungy cord to the power cable and have the slack within the boat. when the boat moves away from the dock the bungy would stretch and slack pays out, and when boat moves back in the slack is still in the boat and not hanging over/in water.
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That would take far more effort than most of the boat owners are willing to take.
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Originally Posted by trantor12020 View Post
why not tie a bungy cord to the power cable and have the slack within the boat. when the boat moves away from the dock the bungy would stretch and slack pays out, and when boat moves back in the slack is still in the boat and not hanging over/in water.
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My shore power cord comes over the bow. It's secured on the shore side with a lightly-applied tie-wrap and on the boat side with a couple short lengths of small stuff that secure it to a couple stanchion bases. I leave about as much slack over the bow as I do in my warps--maybe a bit more. My warps don't drag in the water, so neither does my shore power cord.

Not that tricky, really.

Jim
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The angled dockboxes at our marina are nice for cable storage whenever we leave the slip.

I simply coil the cable and lay it inside the box with it plugged in.

While connected, the cable runs through a gunwale chock -



Extends over the bow to the dockbox electrical panel.
Note the kayak buffer (g) :



This guy directly cross from us combines the cord with his water hose on the hose hanger.
Perhaps not the smartest location, since it stays plugged in, but still better than others,
. . . who just lay it on the dock PLUGGED IN - whenever they leave.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
That would take far more effort than most of the boat owners are willing to take.
After nearly losing the new boat to a chafed-through dockline (I wasn't used to the harder angle the higher fairleads put into the line vis a vis the dock bollard), I am pretty meticulous now about lashing 18 inch pieces of reinforced nylon hose over the contact points with the hull (save on paint as well). I would say maybe 3 out of 10 people have either sewn-on leather anti-chafe or some hose variant on their dock lines at my club. I am aware even nylon hose can melt, but my dock is quite sheltered and I know the roughly 15 degree part of the wind rose that will give me direct issues.

On a mooring I favour sewn-on former firehose (rubber-lined heavy fabric). And I keep my power cord out of the water...hey, my boat's enough of a giant anode as it is!
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