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I'm replacing some wiring and the circuit breaker for my shore power 115 outlets. I found the breaker I need at West Marine but they offer any where from a 5 amp to a 50 amp. Not sure witch one I need. I'm guessing the 30 amp but not sure. I just purchased the boat so I'm unfamiliar with it, also several hours away from it so I cant just go look. Its a Watkins 29 if that helps. Thanks
 

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You have just one breaker for the whole boat? If so, I would think carefully about allowing all 30 amps to go to AC outlet.

Check the gauge and other specs of the smallest wire in your system. Then do some searching online for what amps it will carry safely. If your outlet is connected with 14 AWG, I would make the breaker 15 amps or less. If you have a panel that splits the current among multiple circuits, you might do 30 amps for the whole boat (master breaker), but then split that into multiple circuits that match the gauge of the wire and rating of the outlets.

I believe that "standard" AC outlets are 15 amp maximum. 20 amp outlets have a "T-shape" hot slot that accommodates the special plugs that 20 amp appliances require.

DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrician. Verify anything I say with a qualified source. (Free Internet advice may be worth less than you pay for it.)
 
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A proper shore power panel for 30 amp service has a double pole breaker (30 amp) as a main breaker with other breakers for each circuit, usually 15 amps, each wired with 14 gauge wire. The wire from the shore connection to the panel is 10 gauge wire. The panel includes reverse polarity indicator lights. This is a good example of a proper panel.



Many older boats came with just a single double breaker of 30 amps and that should be corrected so any individual circuit cannot draw more than the current it is rated for, typically 15 amps. I would think any good surveyor would consider this a requirement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok I think I was about to screw up. I was getting ready to order the 30 amp. This breaker only controls the 115 shore power outlets. Maybe I should wait till my next trip down and pull it and then order.
 

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You have two circuit breakers but no 30amp main ????
Is the polarity indicator wired across both circuits ?
 

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You have two circuit breakers but no 30amp main ????
Is the polarity indicator wired across both circuits ?
I'm assuming the double pole main is above the reverse polarity light. There certainly has to be one.
 

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Boatpoker,

That pic you posted scares me to death. Too many violations and No-No's to count. And on a gasoline boat, too!

Scares me so much I gotta go get a stiff shot of rum!

Bill
 

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I'm replacing some wiring and the circuit breaker for my shore power 115 outlets. I found the breaker I need at West Marine but they offer any where from a 5 amp to a 50 amp. Not sure witch one I need. I'm guessing the 30 amp but not sure. I just purchased the boat so I'm unfamiliar with it, also several hours away from it so I cant just go look. Its a Watkins 29 if that helps. Thanks
Probably 15 amp. You will likely have a 30amp main breaker which feeds a 30 amp dual on your panel, that feeds 15 amp outlet breakers from there.

Since you have a new boat, make sure all the outlets are GFCI after the panel. Many older boats also don't have a CO detector. I would look into that too. Cheap money for insurance.

Congrats on the new boat.

Brian
 

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Probably 15 amp. You will likely have a 30amp main breaker which feeds a 30 amp dual on your panel, that feeds 15 amp outlet breakers from there.
Brian
The 30 amp main double pole main breaker will feed the 15 amp circuits directly if done properly.

Agree with a GCFI on the first outlet in line on each circuit - it will protect any outlets downstream on the same circuit.
 

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Funny but scary.:eek:

The op's picture looks like a factory panel to me. He should have taken a pic of the entire panel.
About 80% of the boats I see have significant electrical issues caused by inexperienced hands. I'd guess about 15% are potentially lethal and I don't understand why more people don't die.

Just for fun I threw up a little photo album of the stuff I see on a daily basis. I think it will be easy to see why I am a little cynical on the topic.
 

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About 80% of the boats I see have significant electrical issues caused by inexperienced hands. I'd guess about 15% are potentially lethal and I don't understand why more people don't die.

Just for fun I threw up a little photo album of the stuff I see on a daily basis. I think it will be easy to see why I am a little cynical on the topic.
I agree - I too have seen issues such as live AC wires a few inches from bilge water covered with electrical tape and other disasters waiting to happen. I've wondered why more boats don't catch fire or injure as well.
 
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