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Old 12-08-2020, 15:45   #1
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Shore power questions

I have never actually used shore power. I have a cat with plenty of solar to keep the house bank full. Normally I am dumping power by maybe 10:30AM while running a couple of fridges, fans, charging my computers and cameras, and my Torqeedo; and what ever else is needed. I have run a grinder off the inverter while doing fiberglass work.

Thing is I may be moving on my boat for the rest of the Florida summer since my condo is in a college town and 20,000 students from all the COVID-19 hot spots will soon be driving to town.

My plan is to install a window shaker to sleep and live in comfort. I have used a 30amp cord connected to my Honda 2000 at times; mostly to keep the Honda in running shape; just turn the knob to shore power.

The thing is I am not sure running the AC and an induction oven and maybe some other 120v stuff off the inverter is the best choice. I was following another discussion where some guy was talking about running his AC from shore power directly but never got the details.

So my first question is how realistic is it to bypass the inverter on my boat and go directly from shore power to the 120v stuff I want to use. Next just what is needed to do this. I am wondering if I could just connect some type of 30 amp power strip (if such a thing exists) to the 30 amp cord I use with the Honda.

I have always been more of an anchor out cruiser but COVID-19 has changed my plans at least till hurricane season and summer end and I can get back to anchoring out.
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Old 12-08-2020, 17:05   #2
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Re: Shore power questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
I have never actually used shore power. I have a cat with plenty of solar to keep the house bank full. Normally I am dumping power by maybe 10:30AM while running a couple of fridges, fans, charging my computers and cameras, and my Torqeedo; and what ever else is needed. I have run a grinder off the inverter while doing fiberglass work.

Thing is I may be moving on my boat for the rest of the Florida summer since my condo is in a college town and 20,000 students from all the COVID-19 hot spots will soon be driving to town.

My plan is to install a window shaker to sleep and live in comfort. I have used a 30amp cord connected to my Honda 2000 at times; mostly to keep the Honda in running shape; just turn the knob to shore power.

The thing is I am not sure running the AC and an induction oven and maybe some other 120v stuff off the inverter is the best choice. I was following another discussion where some guy was talking about running his AC from shore power directly but never got the details.

So my first question is how realistic is it to bypass the inverter on my boat and go directly from shore power to the 120v stuff I want to use. Next just what is needed to do this. I am wondering if I could just connect some type of 30 amp power strip (if such a thing exists) to the 30 amp cord I use with the Honda.

I have always been more of an anchor out cruiser but COVID-19 has changed my plans at least till hurricane season and summer end and I can get back to anchoring out.
A lot of boats use the inverter when at anchor or underway and shore power when at the dock.

Many boats have a switch to select the AC outlets to "Inverter" "Off" "Shore power".

Some inverters are combined with battery chargers and when shore power is present they just pass it through to the outlets.

But it is very simple to just plug a multiple outlet strip into the the 30Amp shore power cord (with a 30amp-15amp adaptor). Best if the outlet strip has a circuit breaker and an on/off switch, many do. This might be the same cord you plug into your Honda 2000.

HOWEVER, Be aware of the wattage (or ac amps) of using with induction cooking and air conditioner at the same time.
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Old 12-08-2020, 18:04   #3
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Re: Shore power questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
I have never actually used shore power.

Good for you


Quote:

So my first question is how realistic is it to bypass the inverter on my boat and go directly from shore power to the 120v stuff I want to use. Next just what is needed to do this. I am wondering if I could just connect some type of 30 amp power strip (if such a thing exists) to the 30 amp cord I use with the Honda.

There are two ways to do this.


1) You can use the shore power features of your boat. If it doesn't have any, you can add them.


2) You can just sort of run cords from the pedestal to your AC and stuff.


#1 is the officially sanctioned ABYC compliant way of doing things. You have to have a shore power inlet on your boat, and a transfer switch, and you should have either an isolation transformer or a galvanic isolator. All that stuff has to be in good working condition.


For #2 there are commercially available adapters that will allow you to run a heavy duty 20 amp extension cord from a shore power pedestal and then plug in a power strip or something. There are several things to watch.


a) Don't overload anything. Add up the amps and if you're over about 16 or so for a 20 amp cord you're pushing it. Or measure with a meter. Use watts divided by 115 for stuff that lists watts but not amps.


b) Grounding is a potential problem and you can damage aluminum saildrives etc this way if there are grounding problems on your boat, nearby boats, or in the marina wiring. The workarounds and fixes are complex and are a topic in their own right.


c) Keep the metal blades on plugs clean and bright, check for overheating connectors and replace them when you find them


d) There is an electric shock hazard if handling cords/connectors that are wet particularly if the marina doesn't have some sort of ground fault or residual current interrupter at the pedestal. I like to put outdoor connections between cords inside bread bags and tape them which helps somewhat.



e) The cheap power strips are junk, be sure you get a good one, ideally one rated for 20 amps. See for example https://www.tripplite.com/waber-by-t...p-plug~UL62015 though that has the unusual 20 amp plug on it that nobody uses, though you could cut it off and replace it with a 30a shore power plug.


Hope this helps.
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Old 12-08-2020, 18:30   #4
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Re: Shore power questions

our boat has 3 seperate power circuits

the normal 12v system
a 240v inverter system
a 240v shore power system

there is an AC switchboard controlling all the AC equipment (aircon, hw boosters, power points, water maker etc) and this allows switching from shore power to generator

the inverter only supplies AC to dedicated power points scattered around the boat

strongly recommend that any AC power is hard wired professionally (this stuff will kill you). don't cut corners !

cheers,
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Old 12-08-2020, 19:09   #5
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Re: Shore power questions

If your inverter is already wired correctly you don’t need to do anything.., Just plug in.
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Old 12-08-2020, 19:17   #6
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Re: Shore power questions

I run my AC nearly 24/7 on shore power when at the dock, trickle charger, misc chargers and whatnot.

Why would I put wear on my systems when I have cheap to free shore power feet away?

Even use a removable solar panel which is stowed on land with the dinghy if I’m going to be at the dock or just day sailing for any stretch of time.
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