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Old 22-01-2018, 06:15   #1
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not installing shore power connector?

I'm refitting a 37' Cooper Seabird which includes rewiring everything. The goal is to have solar and wind, with a 2k watt inverter and large battery bank. So, it's occurred to me that the idea of shore power would, theoretically, be obsolete. What I mean is, if my systems are stand-alone and stable, would I ever really plug into shore power and pay for electricity? If not, then why install a shore power connector at all?

The only scenario I've come up with for that would be when I'm actually working on the system itself. And in that rare scenario I could just use a heavy duty extension cord from the outlets on the pier to run any power tools for that short time.

Am I overlooking something significant or is the idea of a shore power cable quickly becoming obsolete for those with solar/wind generation. The idea of not even installing a shore power cable connector "just feels wrong" but I can't figure out why. Has anyone opted to just not even install a shore power connector? Anyone can't remember the last time they used shore power? Anyone considering removing their shore power connector?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 22-01-2018, 06:19   #2
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

I think you have the right idea. You can always use an extension cord when you want to plug something in to shore power. By not installing all the shore power wiring, plugs etc. you keep things safer and simpler on board.
Anyway, that's what I did and I like it so far...
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Old 22-01-2018, 06:49   #3
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

We have a shorepower connector, but also have an air conditioner.

We do not have a battery charger, so if it wasn’t for the AC at the dock, or the dehumidifier when we’re off the boat we have no reason to keep the boat plugged in.

If we lived in an area where we didn’t “need” ac or a dehumidifier then we also would not have a shoe connector.
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Old 22-01-2018, 07:01   #4
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

The answer depends on how you use the boat and what auxiliary charging you have, what kind of batteries, etc.

If you have enough solar and wind to top off the batteries to float on a regular basis, particularly if they are AGM, then you can probably get away with no shore power.

If you don't use power-hungry devices while at the dock, or wind/solar cover your usage, then you can probably get away with no shore power.

That said, if the boat is already wired for AC and all you're looking at is replacing the plug, the runs, and a new charger I'd probably go ahead and do it while I was in the process, or at least make it easy to add later if your experience post-refit leads you to conclude you'd like it.
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Old 22-01-2018, 07:25   #5
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

That's a good point about making it easy to add later. I'll have to give that some thought and see what that would look like.
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Old 22-01-2018, 07:42   #6
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

I am in the process of removing all my existing 110v wiring. I am like you, in that I don't see the need for it in my existing future. Everything will be 12 volts, although I will also have an inverter "just in case."

My main reason is simplicity, but also space does figure in a little. I have a 28' Cape Dory, so everything matters. It's just one less thing to worry about.

One thing I am doing is where I had a couple of 110v outlets I am replacing them with ones that contain two2 12v cigarette style outlets AND two USB sockets. I believe they will be very useful as more and more things are being made to plug into USB sockets. The outlets I find on Ebay for less than $10 and I also found blank teak plates to mount them in. It winds up looking like a factory install !
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Old 22-01-2018, 07:49   #7
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

It is not the best solution for everyone, but with the wider use of larger solar arrays it is an option worth considering.

In our old boat we only hooked up about every two years so to do without would not make much practical difference.

The only consideration is in a marina or on the hard there are many nearby boats so the problem of shadowing of solar panels is greater. The shelter and turbulence tends to reduce wind generator output. If nearby boats are occupied and your wind generator is not one of the super quiet models, it may not even be practical to run one at all.

On the other hand, there are considerable savings and simplification when not installing shore power. Not running around trying to find the right adapter and free outlet is a nice bonus.
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Old 22-01-2018, 07:55   #8
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

I tried to factor in longer periods of less sun/wind by adding additional batteries. But worst comes to worst, I suppose I could run the engine for a bit. Not easy on the hard, and certainly not quieter than a turbine (louder for a shorter period is better? I dunno).
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Old 22-01-2018, 08:02   #9
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

If worst comes to worst on the hard, you can buy a cheap local battery charger and run it from an extension cord.
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Old 22-01-2018, 08:10   #10
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

Only time you may need it is if you are leaving the boat and want to run s dehumidifier or if in colder climate and you want heaters on. I have no direct shorepower but do have a charger and plug in. I could connect it to shorepower but mostly just use it when I need to connect to a portable generator.
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Old 22-01-2018, 08:14   #11
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker62 View Post
I am replacing them with ones that contain two2 12v cigarette style outlets AND two USB sockets.
Use the Blue Sea twist-lock ports, backwards compatible with the (horrible and unsafe) original ciggie port design, but all your own regularly used consumers replace with the twist-lock plug.

Anything above 6A I'd go with Anderson plugs, PowerWerx makes some panel-mounts.

Also note USB-C is here, other changes will come, so consider more Blue Sea ports and just insert the flush dual-USB outlets, easy to swap out later as needed.

And put a switch/indicator light on each port to cut down on vampire draws.

A voltmeter mounted there can also help remind people energy is a limited resource, some even think it looks cool 8-)

https://m.ebay.com/itm/12v-Sockets-U...n/112034903200

BTW the "BMW / merit" style ISO design is also great, not ciggie port compatible, so ensures spots always available for your critical devices.
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Old 22-01-2018, 08:38   #12
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

I know its a smaller boat, but on my C&C25 I removed the entire AC system, including the shore power connector. It was remarkable how much wiring and components there were. It was wonderful to remove all of it from the boat. I made the boat as simple as possible. And I found I enjoyed my boat that much more. I think you are ahead of the curve...you should do it!
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Old 22-01-2018, 09:06   #13
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

OP--you haven't bothered to mention your location, but I would want ac power for convenience, especially for running power tools, vacuum, heater, etc.
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Old 22-01-2018, 09:50   #14
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

Reminds me of a time when I was diving with friends on the island of Roatan. We had been doing a number of dives with tanks and I decided that I had enough of my stupid snorkel banging me on the head so I left it off one day. Well I ran low on air and swam to the surface and started swimming for our tender. About half way there I totally sucked the tank dry and guess what, it’s a bitch swimming with a dry scuba tank on your back. I found a large mushroom shaped coral head and perched myself on it. My buddies saw me and picked me up. Point is when you need it you need it, and it isn’t at that point always easy to get it. I would recommend that you at least have some sort of abbreviated set-up.
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Old 22-01-2018, 10:23   #15
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Re: not installing shore power connector?

You mentioned a 2k inverter. So what's the plan with that?
You going to plug into the inverter or hard wire some outlets through out the boat?
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