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Old 28-02-2021, 12:33   #1
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How to install shore power on a boat?

I searched the threads and none of them directly address this. Well one did and no one replied.

I have solar/ battery on boat self contained. I will upgrade that to modern good system later. Current one is rather... jury rigged.

But we just moved to marina with 50 amp service. There is no plug-in for shore power on boat.

What do I need to buy and install to get shore power. For now as a separate system not hooked to the battery banks. Just so we can plug in 120v American appliances and have them work out of wall outlet.

Went to West marine and they did not know. All else fails can I just get a 50 amp to 30 amp then plug a 30 amp to 110v adapter together? That was only solution west marine had but they didnít know if that would be safe. Being Sunday he said come back tomorrow and they will call marinco and ask.

Iíd rather install a permanent system. Preferably Victron as that is what I will replace my current solar system with later.
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Old 28-02-2021, 15:43   #2
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

A Boater’s Guide To AC Electrical Systems
https://productimageserver.com/liter...de/42690QG.pdf
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Old 28-02-2021, 16:00   #3
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Yeah.

My boat donít have any of that.

I think what I need to buy is something like this victron:
https://battlebornbatteries.com/prod...ger-3000w-12v/

There are several varieties. I guess I will have to call them tomorrow. To see which one.

Was trying to do this for a couple hundred dollars but looks like Iím going to have to bite the bullet. Or just wait and do without until I can save up enough money.
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Old 28-02-2021, 16:07   #4
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

you need a compleate AC system. including shore plug, main ac panel with main double pole elci breaker and sub breakers. and then outlets, battery charger, inverter etc as needed.

for example here is a small main 120v ac panel. you need an overall plan before deciding what size panel you need though.

https://www.bluesea.com/products/810...2B_2_Positions

99% of boats already have an AC system installed from factory.

this is going to cost you $1000's. the required elci breaker alone is hundreds.

if this is a 35' boat? 30a 120v service to the boat should be all you need. which will be cheaper then trying to wire in a 50a 240v service. I'm surprised a 35' slip has a 50a plug and not a 30a.

running a 15a extension cord into the boat coming from a 50a dock breaker would not be safe or permanent. is there not a 15a outlet on the dock as well?
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Old 28-02-2021, 17:20   #5
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

I did mention how this boat was wired completely wrong. Right?

Yeah I’m going to have to start over.

But I’m trying to squeak by until next tax refund a year from now. Then I will completely rewire it with modern victron and battleborn system. I don’t mind the expenses just don’t have it right now.

50 amp is because I have a cat and all the slips wide enough for me to fit are longer. So I’m paying for a 42 foot slip. Wife loves this marina, she just transferred her job to FL and her job is within walking distance. So changing marinas not an option.

Will see if west marine / marinco can do a 50 to 30 to 110 conversation safely tomorrow. No there is no 30 amp plug. That looks cheapest way for now. 3-500 bucks. We’ve been getting by just running our generator off and on for half a year now and doing fine. But will want shore power when we need to turn on AC unit in height of Florida summer.
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Old 28-02-2021, 18:37   #6
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

If you are starting from nothing to wire your boat for 50 amp AC and you are having to ask such basic questions I would suggest you contact a pro to do this job.

120 or 240 V AC can kill you or it can introduce stray currents that could eat up underwater metal bits and even sink your boat. Not something you want to attempt for your first project.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:44   #7
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

What are you trying to power with 120V AC?
The answer could be as simple as an adaptor and a construction extension cord with a built in GFCI.
When it comes time to add the shore power connector, I suggest giving serious consideration to the newer 'smartplug' cords.
https://farleyoutdoors.com/boats/out...QaAu9CEALw_wcB
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:15   #8
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "simply use an extension cord" on a boat! The 50 amp supply to which you want to connect has every potential to be lethal for you and your neighbors in the marina. That is why the ABYC electrical code controls every action having to do with shore-power AC connections on sea-going craft. In the strongest possible terms, I and your neighbors and the owners of the marina and the local fire department all urge you to wait and install AC power safely. If you haven't the experience and resources to follow the instructions in Nigel Calder's excellent book, the Boatowners MEchanical and Electrical Manual, find someone who has and hire them.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:17   #9
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianopraze View Post
I did mention how this boat was wired completely wrong. Right?

Yeah Iím going to have to start over.

But Iím trying to squeak by until next tax refund a year from now. Then I will completely rewire it with modern victron and battleborn system. I donít mind the expenses just donít have it right now.

50 amp is because I have a cat and all the slips wide enough for me to fit are longer. So Iím paying for a 42 foot slip. Wife loves this marina, she just transferred her job to FL and her job is within walking distance. So changing marinas not an option.

Will see if west marine / marinco can do a 50 to 30 to 110 conversation safely tomorrow. No there is no 30 amp plug. That looks cheapest way for now. 3-500 bucks. Weíve been getting by just running our generator off and on for half a year now and doing fine. But will want shore power when we need to turn on AC unit in height of Florida summer.
Install a Transfer Switchtch at Generator output
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:18   #10
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DLLuce View Post
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "simply use an extension cord" on a boat! The 50 amp supply to which you want to connect has every potential to be lethal for you and your neighbors in the marina. That is why the ABYC electrical code controls every action having to do with shore-power AC connections on sea-going craft. In the strongest possible terms, I and your neighbors and the owners of the marina and the local fire department all urge you to wait and install AC power safely. If you haven't the experience and resources to follow the instructions in Nigel Calder's excellent book, the Boatowners MEchanical and Electrical Manual, find someone who has and hire them.
ABYC attempts to control everything because they profit from selling standards documents, that's their business.

Overall I'm in favor of standards. I'm not in favor of fawning over ABYC.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:27   #11
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

If you're planning on running AC in the Florida summer, I suggest you make up a quick power budget to see if a 120v 30amp connection will supply enough power for your needs.
The logical step up is probably to a 240v 50amp connection, I suspect it also represents a step up in cost too.

PS: if you're expecting a big tax refund, you're probably having too much withheld.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:40   #12
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

You will need the following:

Decide on 125v 30a OR 250v 50a service. 125v 30a is more common. You can use a 50a to 30a connector. There are also dual 30a to single 50a 250v connectors. I'd recommend an ELCI main breaker, but a retrofit does not REQUIRE them, but they are very recommended.

1) Shore power cord. I use SmartPlug connectors, much safer and more secure than traditional.

2) Shore Power Inlet. This will mount on the boat and needs to match the shore power cord in amps and style. (Again, SmartPlug)

3) 10 AWG triplex marine cable.

4) AC Panel. This will require a circuit breaker that matches the amperage of your shore power connection. It will also need as many branch circuit breakers as you need.

5} Marine triplex wire for branch circuits. Size by amp draw. 14-3 is OK for traditional 15a outlets.

6) Outlets and outlet boxes. First outlet MUST be a CGFI and rest connected to load side of it.

DO NOT USE WIRE NUTS. Crimp on connectors only.

8< - - - - - OR - - - - - >8

You can go the cheapo route and use a Straight Adapter, 30A 125V Male to 15A 125V Female and a regular extension cord. This is not recommended for heavy, regular use.
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Old 01-03-2021, 10:59   #13
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

If you decide temporarily to use an extension cord, try to also use one of these, as close to the pedestal as is pragmatic.
2 ft. 12/3 SJTW In-Line GFCI Heavy-Duty Cord with Power Light Plug
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Yellow-J...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:08   #14
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Thank you.

Question answered.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:12   #15
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Re: How to install shore power on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianopraze View Post
.....
What do I need to buy and install to get shore power. For now as a separate system not hooked to the battery banks. Just so we can plug in 120v American appliances and have them work out of wall outlet.

Went to West marine and they did not know. All else fails can I just get a 50 amp to 30 amp then plug a 30 amp to 110v adapter together? That was only solution west marine had but they didnít know if that would be safe. Being Sunday he said come back tomorrow and they will call marinco and ask.

Iíd rather install a permanent system. Preferably Victron as that is what I will replace my current solar system with later.
The adapter/extension cord setup is a fine temporary solution to get you up and running.

A complete AC shore power system is obviously more involved but typically has the 1) shore power receptacle, 2) a shut-off disconnect, should be close to receptacle 3) AC breaker panel & a polarity indicator. A galvanic isolator is optional. Everything has to be rated for the correct volts & Amperage including the triplex 3 wire.. ABYC has guidance. you are probably fine with 120V 30A and its cheaper/easier.
On the breaker panel you will want a battery charger, probably outlets, maybe a water heater.. etc you can worry about that later. The first outlet should be GFI and will protect the whole string.

You don't have to have a transfer switch to power your AC of a generator. Just plug the generator into your shore power receptacle or otherwise ensure you don't have both a generator and shore power connected at the same time.
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