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Old 22-11-2020, 10:17   #1
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My wife needs reassurance

We have a 50 foot 30amp shore power cord and always need to use a 25 foot extension on the rare occasions we are at a dock.

The connection between the extension and primary cord shorted in wet weather.

Rather than shell out more than $200. for a 75 foot shore power cord I cut off the connections and spliced them together, crimping on appropriately sized butt connection lugs, staggering them and using heat shrink tubing to seal each connection as well as the whole splice for added strength.

Replacing a 50 foot shore power cord for $100. is fine, but I balk at spending $200. if I don't need to.

We're at anchor and it will be awhile until I can test it, in the meantime my wife is nervous about using it.

My plan is to plug it in and keep an eye on it with a temp gun, assuming that if the splice was a problem it would get hot.

So please check me out here. Is splicing a shore power cord a fine thing to do if done correctly?

I don't see why not, but "you don't know what you don't know" and I do value a happy wife!
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Old 22-11-2020, 10:20   #2
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

Getting hot is one way to check it. But is it watertight? What happens when it hangs in the water and rain? Did you use the crimp sleeve with the hot glue inside?
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Old 22-11-2020, 10:44   #3
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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Getting hot is one way to check it. But is it watertight? What happens when it hangs in the water and rain? Did you use the crimp sleeve with the hot glue inside?
Yes, the heat shrink tubing, multiple layers, is watertight.

"Hot glue?" I've used heat shrink connectors a lot but the only "glue" is in the outside jacket where it seals, not inside where the wire is.

In this case I used larger gauge butt connection lugs that are exposed and don't have jackets, typically used for battery cables, and sealed them with the heat shrink tubing.

There's a big difference between a 12v battery cable and a 120v AC power cable, which is the source of my wife's nervousness, hence this question.
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:05   #4
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

I have always spliced on new ends to 15 amp cords working outdoors.(northern canada, freezing and breaking)
But a 30 amp cord that you rely on unsupervised(through the night) would be a little more concerning to me.
I just replace ours because of burn Mark's on the plug end. Amazon was around 8 bucks for a 50 foot. They might have a bigger one for an acceptable price
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:35   #5
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

Do your favourite mainas and harbours allow damaged and/or spliced shorepower cords? They have to be happy with it, as well as your wife.
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:38   #6
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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I have always spliced on new ends to 15 amp cords working outdoors.(northern canada, freezing and breaking)
But a 30 amp cord that you rely on unsupervised(through the night) would be a little more concerning to me.
I just replace ours because of burn Mark's on the plug end. Amazon was around 8 bucks for a 50 foot. They might have a bigger one for an acceptable price
A new 75 foot power cord is close to $200. not including shipping.

I don't want to just replace the plugs because I want to eliminate connecting 50' and 25' cords to get the length I need.

8 bucks for a 50 foot cord would not be for marine shore power.
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:40   #7
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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Do your favourite mainas and harbours allow damaged and/or spliced shorepower cords? They have to be happy with it, as well as your wife.
In my 40 years owning keel boats and keeping them in marinas, I've never had a marina inspect a shore power cord!

The splice would be on deck, 50 feet away from the power pedestal.
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:48   #8
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

It is all about the details. Like the wire size used etc.
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:55   #9
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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In my 40 years owning keel boats and keeping them in marinas, I've never had a marina inspect a shore power cord!

The splice would be on deck, 50 feet away from the power pedestal.
Location, location, location...

In New Zealand your entire shore power system requires an inspection and Electrical Warrant of Fitness every 4 years and your shore power cable must be inspected and tagged annually.

https://www.bayofislandsmarina.co.nz...itions-of-use/
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Old 22-11-2020, 11:58   #10
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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In my 40 years owning keel boats and keeping them in marinas, I've never had a marina inspect a shore power cord!
But you've never had one with visibly repaired damage that can be seen from a casual walk by. lots of marinas have a clause in the contract relating to shorepower cords ... and their insurance no doubt does too. If anyone is walking the docks, they ARE looking (at least casually) at your shorepower cord.
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Old 22-11-2020, 12:10   #11
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

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A new 75 foot power cord is close to $200. not including shipping.
You own a relatively large and expensive yacht, are you kidding? $200 is nothing in boat bucks.

Marinas in this part of the world would expect to see a 'certified' sticker on the cord (and a compliance cert for the boat) before you'd even be allowed to plug in. As would the insurance company when something goes wrong. And personally I wouldn't want to be parked in the vicinity of your boat.

Don't blame your wife for not wanting to risk her own life.

Also more than a quarter of fires that destroy boats are caused by a source other than a fire on the boat itself. In more than 70 percent of those cases, it's the marina that burns. A high percentage of those fires start on someone else's boat. That means that every boat owner has a responsibility to prevent fires on board, not just to keep his or her boat safe, but also to keep the people, boats, and property around their boat safe.

Beth Leonard did a substantive article based on insurance claims. Here's a link. But to just emphasise one point: Most AC electrical fires start somewhere between the marina pedestal and the shore power inlet on the boat. BoatUS has long recommended using only marine-grade power cords with proper adapters and replacing them at the first sign of wear on the cord or pitting on the blades of the plug.

Now I don't know what marine grade power cords actually means but I do know I've got one with a big certificate in a bag down below (not at a dock currently). But I would guess OP that you don't know either otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question on a sailing forum.
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Old 22-11-2020, 13:41   #12
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
A new 75 foot power cord is close to $200. not including shipping.

I don't want to just replace the plugs because I want to eliminate connecting 50' and 25' cords to get the length I need.

8 bucks for a 50 foot cord would not be for marine shore power.
Sorry typo, 50 foot cord was$80 not 8.
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Old 22-11-2020, 14:14   #13
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

"Hot glue?" I've used heat shrink connectors a lot but the only "glue" is in the outside jacket where it seals, not inside where the wire is."

Below is the link to the heat shrink with glue inside, rendering it watertight:

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/ancor...09_275_003_003
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Old 22-11-2020, 17:59   #14
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

Spend the extra money. The short story here is that the spliced one will always have the possibility of getting moisture in there, in spite of your precautions. At the length you are looking at, you probably need a heavier duty wire, anyway, to reduce voltage drop at the end of the run. You know what? $200 is a mere nothing if it keeps happiness in the family. It's possible to be too frugal. I can't believe you're shifting responsibility for this decision onto your good lady wife.

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Old 22-11-2020, 18:28   #15
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Re: My wife needs reassurance

Power cords should never be extended in Marina environments.

75 feet 30 amp Marine power cord.

US$154.80

https://megadepot.com/product/marinc...xoCkaEQAvD_BwE

Is each leg of your 50 foot and 25 cord properly rated for a total of 75 feet of length.

The longer the cord the larger the wire size so as to keep voltage drop to proper levels.

For 75 feet, 30 amp 10 gauge, 50 amp 6 gauge

IMHO, it seems like you are being penny wise and dollar, not so smart.

FYI:
http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/Marin...l%20Safety.pdf

HOW TO WORK WITH YOUR SLIP HOLDERS TO BEST PROTECT YOUR MARINA

Sources of electrical hazards can be from boats or from a marina’s power equipment. A marina operator can take precautions and steps to ensure all marina power sources are safe, but a marina operator cannot ensure a boat is free from hazards. While it may seem logical for a marina to require electrical inspections or conduct inspections on boats, there is a great risk of liability in undertaking such actions. One way to avoid liability would be to have a third party, not related to the marina or the boater,
conduct an annual electrical fitness test for slip holders. The slip holder could be required to pay for such a test as a contractual obligation. The test would use either a “pigtail” device with an ELCI installed to detect a fault over a period of time, or a test with a clamp-on meter on a shore cord with all boat systems energized. While customers might balk at an added cost to have this
test performed they can be reminded the test provides a value in knowing a boat’s electric systems are sound.

Another simpler and free means for a marina operator to help prevent electrical problems from boats is to supply slip holders with a list of best management practices and suggestions on how a boater can best protect a vessel from the risk of fire or leaching stray currents. While providing the list is not as reliable as requiring testing, it may make the most sense for a
particular facility and its customers.

Marina operators should distribute the following responsibility code and onboard safety message to all customers annually to remind them of the importance of electrical safety and encourage them to take steps to ensure their boats are safely connected.

Boaters’ Electrical Responsibility Code

PLUGGING IN:
1. Use only shorepower cords and adapters that are in good condition. Common problems include cuts, loose blades, burned ends, or melted plastic around the connections. When in doubt, replace them or have them repaired by an ABYC Certified Marine Electrician.
2. Use the right cord for the right application, 30 amp 110 volt or 50 amp 110/220 volt. Adapters must be approved by the marina management.
3. Purchase and use only products that are “factory assembled” by a recognized manufacturer and have the UL listing mark.
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. Do not use “homemade” adapters or shorepower cords.

4. Support the shorepower cord adequately to prevent damage during wind, wave, and tide action. Make sure any locking rings are fully engaged and in good condition.
5. If an appliance has a 3-prong grounded plug, never eliminate the ground pin by either removing it or using an adapter.
If the ground pin is missing or has been modified, discontinue use of the device immediately.

Onboard Safety
1. Know where your main breaker(s) are located on both the boat and the shorepower source.
2. Do not use any plug-in battery chargers that are not UL rated for marine use.
3. When using “straight blade” portable tools or extension cords always ensure these tools are connected to a Ground Fault
Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected receptacle.
4. Test any Ground Fault outlets on board monthly and consider converting traditional outlets to Ground Fault.
5. Leave non-essential AC equipment OFF when not on the boat, this includes water heaters, outlets, lighting, etc.
6. All electrical installations and repairs must be performed by an ABYC Certified Marine Electrician or must follow the
ABYC Electrical Standards with the use of products designed for marine use.
7. Do not alter the AC electrical system in any way
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