Hello all -
I am preparing the boat for our second winter in the water
in Toronto, and expecting serious cold. We need to run heat plus agitators and thus I will be adding a second 30A shore supply inlet (SmartPlug I think). I have one socket in the aft cockpit
and would like to place the second socket towards the bow to give me additional options for routing the shore supply cable when only one cable is in use. However, a bow location would be about 40' of cable away from my AC panel, which I plan to retrofit with ELCIs at this time. I was considering BlueSea ELCIs that will also provide a polarity indicator and main 30A breaker.
According to ABYC however, the distance between socket and ELCI is not to exceed 10'. After some searching, I believe I have five options:
- Forget about it, just put the socket into the aft cockpit. (+) Building to ABYC rules. (-)Less flexibility and more cables to trip over, step on and otherwise abuse.
- Install the ELCI within 10' of the socket. (+) This is according to ABYC rules. (-) This means a break in the cable in an inconvenient location and more importantly the polarity indicator out of view. I consider this a potential problem.
- Install the socket inside the boat, close to the ELCI in the panel - as suggested somewhere else on this forum. Then run a longer standard shore power cable through a gland in the bow. (+) This is according to ABYC rules (I think). (-) It's a bit of a hack, and moreover - since it's awkward to swap out cords that run through the entire boat on the inside, it will be hard to use the proper cable for the dock outlet and this will mean using extension cords all the time. Also - while shore cable takes a lot of abuse, it is actually lower quality than my interior installation cable, e.g. it's not tinned.
- Add only an ELCI close to the socket, and have polarity and breaker in the AC panel. (+) Again, according to the rule. (-) I would need to piece things together from single components and I would still be stuck with a break in the cable with its problem potential.
- Ignore the rule, lead a properly dimensioned #10 marine grade 3-strand to the AC distribution panel in a single run and install polarity, ELCI and main breaker there. (+) No additional breaks, all the controls in one place. (-) More than 10' distance between socket and ELCI.
All of the solutions have some trade
off, but in terms of safety
I believe ignoring the rule for this situation looks like the best option.
But I might be missing a really good reason for the 10' rule.
Insight much appreciated.