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Thread: Is AC power really needed on a boat that never sees a dock? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-30-2008 09:59 AM
SVDistantStar 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.
09-30-2008 01:15 AM
MedSailor 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!

09-30-2008 12:32 AM
JHJensen 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.
09-24-2008 09:53 PM
hellosailor "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.
09-24-2008 08:17 PM
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I feel the same way: On a mooring, don't need it. On the hard or an overnight transient dock? Extension cord. "Good enough for gummint work". Stick the AC on the back of the ToDo List, wait till you get down that far.
Sure, if you don't already have some form of AC system installing one is probably not high priority on the ToDo list, but connecting up the shorepower whilst on the hard and using your AC outlets for power tools is not only neater and more convenient, it could also save your life.

Extension cords down hatches and companion-ways can be serious trip and fire hazards and can be lethal if accidentally cut through..
09-24-2008 04:37 PM
hellosailor Distant Star-
If you don't use AC, you don't need AC, and if you have no inverter hardwired into the boat, you don't need to provision AC outlets at all. On the other hand, the resale and convenience points are real, and the cost of doing a minimal AC installation--and doing it right--isn't going to add much to THAT monster project.
You can certainly stick an AC inlet (with GFI as close to it as possible) in the cockpit somewhere. Then just run one good run to a double breaker at your electrical panel (and many boats just add a separate AC breaker panel, so it can' t be confused with the DC breakers at all) with one good double socket next to that. That's "good enough" and clean and cheap and simple, you can always run an extra leg forward from there when and if you want to, or if you want to gussy it up to sell it sometime in the future.
Or, simply leave that little extra space next to the breaker panel, and know that if you change your mind, you can come back to add AC.

I feel the same way: On a mooring, don't need it. On the hard or an overnight transient dock? Extension cord. "Good enough for gummint work". Stick the AC on the back of the ToDo List, wait till you get down that far.
09-24-2008 01:28 PM
sailhog DistantStar,
Presumably you're going to want a live AC recepticle for power tools when you work on your boat. Or is everything cordless these days?
09-24-2008 12:53 PM
SVDistantStar Ive got a bracket on the back of the boat for an outboard. You can see it in my sig pic. Ive got a 9.9 longshaft motor that i use on it right now, but used to have a 40hp Evinrude on there. Or if i dont have the outboard on the boat, ill use my skiff tied along side to move it.

09-23-2008 07:42 AM
tommays If i understand there is no motor ?

Just wondering do you move the boat buy sail only ?
09-23-2008 06:52 AM
SVDistantStar Well ive got holes where outlets used to be, but the outlets went into the trash as did the wires. I got a used Newmar switch panel that has both AC/DC on it, so i will probley put in at least 1 or 2 outlets somewhere.
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