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Old 25-02-2013, 07:57   #1
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Shorepower Inlet Required?

If my interpretation of ABYC E11 is correct, then it is OK to hardwire the shorepower cord to the boat, and do away with the (sometimes) problematic twist-lock inlet device.

[11.10.2.8.3 Additional Overcurrent Protection - If the location of the main shore power disconnect circuit breaker is in excess of 10 feet (three meters) from the shore power inlet or the electrical attachment point of a permanently installed shore power cord, additional fuses or circuit breakers shall be provided within 10 feet (three meters) of the inlet or attachment point to the electrical system of the boat.]

If I must have an inlet connection, I like the SmartPlug, but it is rather expensive, and you still have to conform to the traditional twist-lock at the other end. Doesn't look like marinas are going to switch.
I believe the direct, hard-wired approach is simpler, easier to weatherproof, and obviously cheaper. Yes, you need to be careful that your shorepower cord does not become a dockline, but you need to do that anyway.

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Old 25-02-2013, 13:32   #2
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Re: Shorepower inlet required?

Absolutely. My main power cord is on a Glendinning reel and is permanently wired into the boat.
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Old 25-02-2013, 13:40   #3
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Re: Shorepower inlet required?

So what do you do with the big cable when you unplug from the dock? They're pretty beefy. With a inlet you can remove the whole thing, seal the inlet with the cover plate, and put the cord down below somewhere.
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Old 25-02-2013, 17:27   #4
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Re: Shorepower inlet required?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
So what do you do with the big cable when you unplug from the dock? They're pretty beefy. With a inlet you can remove the whole thing, seal the inlet with the cover plate, and put the cord down below somewhere.
Yes, you need to have a solution to that. The Glendinning reel coils the cable in a big bucket. You could do it manually too. Without a good place to coil the cable that goes hand in hand with the permanent attachment point, then I think an inlet plug works best.

But I have to say that the Glendinning reel and storage bucket is a real sweet setup, especially with a 50A cord which is a bear to handle otherwise.
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Old 25-02-2013, 17:32   #5
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Re: Shorepower inlet required?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
So what do you do with the big cable when you unplug from the dock?
Dedicated deck box - power cord exits the cabin side within this box, and is simply coiled in there when not in use. Keeps the cord out of the sun, out from under-foot, and avoids having to remove it and take that big inflexible coil down below! - could also be on a spool, as suggested above.

Lots of other "stuff" can also be stored in that box.
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Old 25-02-2013, 17:50   #6
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Re: Shorepower inlet required?

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Dedicated deck box - power cord exits the cabin side within this box, and is simply coiled in there when not in use. Keeps the cord out of the sun, out from under-foot, and avoids having to remove it and take that big inflexible coil down below! - could also be on a spool, as suggested above.

Lots of other "stuff" can also be stored in that box.
For what it's worth, the Glendinning system doesn't coil the cord onto a spool. My use of the term "reel" was probably misleading. It's just a motorized thing that sucks the cord in or feeds it out. Storage of the cord is coiled in a bucket.
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Old 25-02-2013, 18:14   #7
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Re: Shorepower Inlet Required?

I also have concerns with the traditional three prong twist lock connectors, but the problems I encounter are always on the marina's post off my boat. There's not much problem in maintaining a good surface area clean contact without arcing when you control the terminals and when the power is turned on and off; however, at the marina end others have inserted or removed the terminals under load or without secure contact and scorched the contacts making the problem continually worse. Hardwiring onboard would not solve this problem. As a mobile cruiser, my best tactic is to inspect the shore plugs and not accept a slip with a burned out power plug. I also tie a short supporting line to secure my shoreside terminal and counter twist the cord before inserting it to the shore plug so that the tension in the cord helps secure the fit. Hardwiring on the boat's connection would not solve the problems that I regularly encounter.
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Old 25-02-2013, 19:16   #8
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Re: Shorepower Inlet Required?

Good points, and I agree that the biggest problem is with the dockside connections. I would like to see them install some version of SmartPlug, with a sensor that keeps the power off until the connection is either made, or broken.
Regardless, in any electrical installation, the possibility of fault or failure increases with the number of connections. Most problems with corrosion, arcing, loose or poor fit, all of which generate heat, occur at a connection. Any time you can reduce the number of connections, it is a good thing!
So, I still like the idea of eliminating the shore power inlet.
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Old 01-03-2013, 13:13   #9
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Re: Shorepower Inlet Required?

We have two cords (30A). One stays on our dock, the other comes with us on the boat when we travel. Many of our friends are amazed at how clean our shorepower cord looks! We tell them we have two: one we leave, the other is a new one we bought when we got the boat in 1998. It still looks new. They can't get over the fact that we actually bought a second one! A hard wired device just wouldn't work for us. 14 years and no problems, either at "home" or "on the road." Hard wired sounds like an unnecessary complication.
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