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Old 11-06-2016, 05:03   #1
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Installing shore power and wiring

I'm looking for the best way to get my boat wired for shore power. Im fairly competent, and don't need anything to outrageous. I'll only be running a coffee maker, dehumidifier, fan , A/C occasionally, and maybe a TV down the line but wouldn't miss it if I didn't have it, and a battery tender. I wouldn't need to run them all at the same time. I can turn the A/C off to make coffee if needed.

I was looking at this https://www.ezacdc.com/boat-wiring-p...l-shore-power/

It looks pretty straight forward and basic. Anyone have any experience with them? is there a better way? Again she's a 27' Catalina that is going to mainly stay in the Santa Monica bay and Catalina on occasion, I stay on her a couple nights a week and not permanently living on her, so I don't need all the comforts of home.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:25   #2
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

My advice would be to buy a shore power receptacle, and a small ac 110 volt electrical panel with a meter and 6 or 8 15amp breakers. Then run outlets to the panel. Everything you need to know about wiring is in Nigel Calders book.
If you have an A/C unit it will need to be wired directly to the panel.
The system you are looking at is kind of Mickey Mouse, better off doing it right the first time.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:40   #3
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Marinco no longer publishes their excellent:
BOATER’S GUIDE TO ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC) Electrical Systems
But here it is at the C30 site:
http://www.catalina30.com/TechLib/Wi...Electrical.pdf
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:57   #4
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

by ac im talking a small portable one. 8 amps
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:09   #5
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
[...] and a small ac 110 volt electrical panel with a meter and 6 or 8 15amp breakers.
On a 27 foot boat you will not need 6 or 8 circuits. One or two would be plenty. You can get a BlueSea 8029 1 circuit AC panel for about $100 (you'll need to buy an additional breaker for the 1 circuit). A voltmeter might be nice to have, but not essential. Keep in mind that ABYC requires the AC panel to be in close proximity to the shore power inlet, and don't forget to get a GFCI.
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:30   #6
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

I'm in agreement that buying something like a small 2-breaker marine AC panel is the best starting point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
Keep in mind that ABYC requires the AC panel to be in close proximity to the shore power inlet.
ABYC E-11 - 11.10.2.8.3 specifies that the main AC breaker should be no more than 10 ft from the shorepower inlet connector. This should give the OP alot of latitude for inlet and panel mounting in a 27 ft boat.

ABYC E-11 excerpts

Again, the OP is doing something that's pretty common, so there's a good choice of suitable and safe products. It's well-covered in several books, and any decent chandlery should be able to advise on this as well.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:20   #7
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
ABYC E-11 - 11.10.2.8.3 specifies that the main AC breaker should be no more than 10 ft from the shorepower inlet connector. This should give the OP alot of latitude for inlet and panel mounting in a 27 ft boat.
I agree, 10 ft gives a lot of latitude (I didn't recall the distance when I wrote my post above), but you do need to keep it in mind. For example, an arrangement seen on many boats, with the shore power inlet in the anchor locker near the bow and the electrical panel near the companionway, would exceed the 10 ft distance even on a 27 foot boat.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:41   #8
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
I agree, 10 ft gives a lot of latitude (I didn't recall the distance when I wrote my post above), but you do need to keep it in mind. For example, an arrangement seen on many boats, with the shore power inlet in the anchor locker near the bow and the electrical panel near the companionway, would exceed the 10 ft distance even on a 27 foot boat.
Seem to be misinterpreting this.

If the main breaker is more than 10 feet away from the SP inlet, one adds another breaker near the inlet. The main panel, with its main breaker, can be anywhere.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:02   #9
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

If you are going to do this correctly, you'll need independent breakers for the AC, the outlets, the battery charger, and other items.

You should also install a galvanic isolator, GFCIs, and the main breaker should be double poled with polarity indicators.

Be certain to use marine grade wiring and connectors, definitely not household or automotive parts.

Do it right and your boat will be safe and you won't hurt anyone, do it wrong, your boat will be damaged and you can kill someone.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:21   #10
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

A small matter that has nothing to do with safety or legal requirements - only with convenience and daily living aboard:

TrentePieds came to us with the inlet (rated 50A) mounted in the cockpit on the main bulkhead JUST EXACTLY where I want to lean my back when I'm reading a book and/or having drink. Total lack of forethought!

The Catalina27 is a boat I know well from days of yore, and like TrentePieds she has very few places indeed to get really comfortable. So don't ruin the livability of your cockpit by putting the inlet in the wrong place!

TrentePieds has an inboard with a right hand propeller which means I like to come port side to when I can. Consequently the inlet will be moved to port side of the house even if I have to use dynamite to get in through the furniture to wire it!

And don't get too excited about capacity. In a 27 footer your main need for 120V is to feed the battery charger. Once you've done that, the 12V installation will take care of 99% of your electrical needs. One duplex 120V outlet (GFI) in the galley will handle it all, with possibly another at the dinette to plug in your computer, cell phone charger and so on.

On passage a suitable inverter feeding off your 12V system will handle everything.

TrentePieds
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:27   #11
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

One or two outlets, one or two breakers is fine for your application. Home systems don't have a breaker for every item.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:50   #12
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

My suggestion would be to install a 30-amp RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker....functions as a GFCI) within the ABYC's 10-foot requirement which then feeds a marine grade panel with a minimum of 5 circuit breakers. Said panel should also have a panel meter and polarity biased power indicating light.

The reason that I say 5 circuit breakers is based on the OP's list of items to be operated. A.C., Dehumidifier, Coffee Maker (I'll just say kitchen appliances in order to allow for maybe a microwave at a later date), Battery Tender (Keep your boat's life support systems, i.e. batteries, on seperate circuits from house circuits.), And TV (General Purpose Outlets)...You never know when the GF will show up and have a hair dryer that is like, a bazillion watts!.

When planning any electrical system, I always recommend that one doesn't plan for their electrical needs today....Plan for a year from now. This gives you the option of using additional electrical equipment/appliances at a later date without having to upgrade or conduct a major overhaul your existing electrical system, which may actually cost more later. Also may help a bit with resale of the boat later.

Two last points for the DIY installation. First, and VERY important: Only use marine grade electrical wire of the correct AWG for the circuit being served (stranded wire with appropriate insulation values....no household stuff!). To determine the appropriate minimum AWG. Use this formula: Equipment's rated watts divided by "E" (Electrical Voltage) = Amps. I always go at least one size up from this calculation.

Second: When using terminal lugs (which one always should), use a spring lock compression type crimp-tool. The manual ones you find in automotive stores, for example, tend to twist while crimping and can leave a weak crimp which can leave you with a weak electrical connection that you can't see, creating a possible "hot spot" which will deteriorate over time and may possibly become a fire hazard. Terminal lugs, where possible, should only be "ring type" and not "Spade type". Ring type lugs won't fall off and create a short circuit or ground when its retaining screw works it way loose. Spade lugs may fall out and create a dangerous condition in the event its retaining screw comes loose. And finally, All terminal lugs should be either covered in heat shrink to at least one-inch below the terminal lug's wire entry point (preferred method), wrapped in electrical tape to the same point on the conductor, or sealed with something like 3M electrical varnish. This is to slow or prevent the effects of salt air corrosion on the terminal connections.

If you don't have one, get a multi-meter and learn how to use it if you don't know. It's your best friend in the electrical world....
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:24   #13
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Last year I was asked to redo the electrical in a Catalina 27. I was almost finished the two panels ( 1 ac & 1 dc) when the owner up and sold the boat. I got stuck with the two panels. The ac one has a digital panel meter that measures both voltage and current being used. It has an 30 amp main breaker and 2- 15 amp load breakers. 1 for the charger which should be on it's own and the other for the rest of the loads. I have $120 CAD invested in this panel. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:34   #14
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Seem to be misinterpreting this.

If the main breaker is more than 10 feet away from the SP inlet, one adds another breaker near the inlet. The main panel, with its main breaker, can be anywhere.
probably my fault in the way I cited that standard. To be more precise, the actual E-11 spec reads:

Quote:
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. Measurement is made along the conductors.
From which it is valid to infer that you can have up to 10ft of wire between the inlet and the main breaker on the AC panel -OR- you can have more distance if you add another fuse or breaker within 10 ft of the inlet.

Hope this is clearer.
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Old 11-06-2016, 14:00   #15
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Re: Installing shore power and wiring

Get some extension cords. LOL
Seriously if you don't leave anything on when you leave the boat.
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