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Old 09-07-2009, 11:31   #1
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Boat: Pearson 30
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Question Need Advice: Temporary Shore Power

I have a Pearson 30 that is kept on a mooring and used for day sailing. I have a 30 amp alternator on the engine that does a good job keeping the batteries charged throughout the season and I have a 10 amp Black & Decker battery charger I use in the off season to keep the batteries (2 group 24 deep cycle/cranking wet cells) topped off.

I'm planning on taking a weekend trip to another port about an eight hour sail away, so I'll be drawing power for a lot longer than usual. At the other port I'll have access to shore power, but my boat does not have any shore power connections. Since this is something I'll probably only do once a year, I don't want to go through the expense of installing a shore power system on the boat.

At the other harbor I'd like to be able to charge my batteries using shore power, and if possible, also charge the batteries in my laptop from AC. My battery charger is not designed for outdoor or marine use, and the harbor, of course, has a standard 30 amp connector.

Does anyone have an recommendations on how I can charge the batteries off shore power? I'd like to be able to do this safely without having to spend a lot of money.

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:44   #2
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Location: Towson, MD Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Pearson 39 Yawl "ZigZag"
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Get a shore power to standard plug adapter (or buy a plug and wire it yourself) and use a heavy extension cord to a breaker protected power strip to your B&D charger and laptop..

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:50   #3
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Yep, what he said!
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Old 09-07-2009, 14:55   #4
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Dang nabit, I do LOVE a practical, reasonable ($$$) response. Oh, I know! Get the adapter on eBay! probably a better price, but make sure you know what the internet retail for such is prior to eBay, and don't go over that price!
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Old 12-07-2009, 22:52   #5
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The responses to the question are good...I just did the mod for a friend's boat. The 30 amp Marinco male end retails for about $20 at West Marine and I cut off the male end of the extension cord and installed the Marinco.

However, I would be remiss if I did not caution you about using an automotive battery charger on board a boat. Most of them tie the neutral to the safety ground at the transformer in the charger, which can lead to problems should a fault occur in the charger that could be reflected in your DC system. The charger is an interface between shore AC and vessel DC. A properly wired marine rated charger able to meet your modest requirements should cost less than $100.

One other problem with your automotive type charger is the lack of over current protection in the B+ output from the charger. Many quality marine rated chargers are "self limiting" and do not require the OCPD.
Charlie Johnson
ABYC Master Technician
JTB Marine Corporation
"The Devil is in the details and so is salvation."
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