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Old 18-04-2020, 12:12   #1
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What do you plug in? AC and DC...

We are planning our electrical layout and trying to figure out were to stick both DC (and what style) and AC outlets on the boat. Would love to hear what your practical experience is with outlets you use all the time, which you don't, and where you wish you had more!

Thanks, guys! Your feedback helps more than you know!!!
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Old 18-04-2020, 13:24   #2
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

We have three AC outlets in our catamaran. There is a well chosen extension cord that allows reaching every corner of the boat. We use the AC outlets for the vacuum cleaner, the ice maker, the sewing machine, and for charging power tools.


We have dual port USB outlets for charging personal electronic devices. The USB port locations are carefully selected so that devices can be charged while in use at any of the common sitting places and bunks. There is a woven basket where devices that need charging can accumulate and be readily found.

All outlets and ports are below deck and out of the weather.
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Old 18-04-2020, 13:44   #3
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

I have two AC circuits a Port and a Starboard, probably 10 outlets in all, maybe more. Why not they just daisy chain and are very easy to install.
Anything DC that draws much amperage is wired direct, on its own circuit, Engel for example.
Our CPAP’s and USB chargers are run off of cigarette lighter plugs, they can run anything, where a USB plug is specific, and when they go bad you have to remove them and wire in a new one etc, when the USB charger goes bad if it’s plugged into a cigarette lighter, just unplug it and plug in a new one, carry spares, cause they do go bad.


I have tried many different USB chargers and this is the best I have tried, plus it’s a baby inverter so you can run your laptop or other small AC device without using the big inverter if you choose to
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 18-04-2020, 14:02   #4
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

We have one AC outlet in each area of the boat with dedicated plugs for high-amp devices (e.g. microwave) which have their own breakers. Having said that, I have made it my goal to totally limit AC appliances wherever practical. The only devices on my boat that use AC are the hot water califont (if the engine hasn’t already done the heating), the microwave and the watermaker. And then of course the plethora of USB charging devices for all the toys via their own chargers. As far as possible everything else on the boat is 12v.

For DC, I have two plugs on the chart table and two on the steering binnacle. I have changed to using a product called a Merit plug (at least that’s what they’re called where I live). The plug clips into the socket and has almost zero chance of falling/being pulled out.

I have USB ports on the chart table, in each cabin and in the cockpit for charging as well as running devices off the house. These are 12v powered.
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Old 18-04-2020, 14:32   #5
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CassidyNZ View Post
We have one AC outlet in each area of the boat with dedicated plugs for high-amp devices (e.g. microwave) which have their own breakers. Having said that, I have made it my goal to totally limit AC appliances wherever practical. The only devices on my boat that use AC are the hot water califont (if the engine hasnít already done the heating), the microwave and the watermaker. And then of course the plethora of USB charging devices for all the toys via their own chargers. As far as possible everything else on the boat is 12v.

For DC, I have two plugs on the chart table and two on the steering binnacle. I have changed to using a product called a Merit plug (at least thatís what theyíre called where I live). The plug clips into the socket and has almost zero chance of falling/being pulled out.

I have USB ports on the chart table, in each cabin and in the cockpit for charging as well as running devices off the house. These are 12v powered.
The merit plugs, are they an alternative to the car adapters and usb?
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Old 18-04-2020, 15:07   #6
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingAdrift View Post
The merit plugs, are they an alternative to the car adapters and usb?
A drop-in substitute for normal car cigar lighter plugs (fits the same hole) but far more secure. Iíve seen car lighter plugs with USB on the same fixture but Iíve not seen these Merit plugs combined with USB.
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Old 18-04-2020, 15:30   #7
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

What everyone else says, but dedicated USB outlets are just about mandatory in this day and age. We have 10 outlets providing 20 connections on our little boat and sometimes that still ain't enough! Cigar lighter style outlets - mehh! - they're all but useless to the point I'd call them "legacy" so only a couple required in some strategic locations. For 12 volt supply that I don't want to be constantly fiddling with to keep it conducting electricity (like a handheld spotlight in the cockpit), I prefer to use a positive locking socket and just swap the plugs out on stuff that would otherwise be supplied with a cigar lighter plug.
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Old 19-04-2020, 08:57   #8
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

double usb charge points in all cabins (3) and usb x4 at nav station
4 x AC in main saloon , 1 in each cabin and 1 at nav station
Waterproof USB X2 at pedestal
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Old 19-04-2020, 09:02   #9
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

I put my 110v outlets in both cabins exclusively on an inverter. That way, I am able to shut down the generator during the night and still have power.
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Old 19-04-2020, 09:33   #10
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

110 VAC: 1 in v-berth, 1 in head, 3 in salon, 3 in galley, 1 in aft cabin. All are duplex outlets.

Used for electric tools and appliances. Charging points for crew mobiles, tablets, Bose speaker, Garmin Explorer, microwave, bread machine, instant pot, etc.

All 12 VDC circuits are hardwired to breaker panel.
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Old 19-04-2020, 09:41   #11
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

As far as AC goes I would keep it simple.
-One good outlet near the companionway and good extension cord. For drill, vacuum cleaner etc.
- Another near appliances of course like a microwave or etc..
-If you are going to heat with an electric one down low for that.
Once you are free from the dock you're going to be using the invertor anyway.
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Old 19-04-2020, 09:56   #12
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

We went with Leviton 110v outlets with dual usb charges built in (6 outlets overall on two circuits). These are powered by a pretty efficient 1000 watt Magnum inverter that gets left on 24/7 since it has very low standby power usage. We also have a 2500 watt (some generic brand) inverter powering the galley, head and engine room 110v. This one uses a lot in standby, so is turned on only when needed.

We could have done more with DC, but I dislike automotive style dc plugs, and since power usually isn't a problem, we focused on AC.

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Old 19-04-2020, 09:57   #13
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

USB at every berth and the chart table. Phones, iPads, some torches, portable GPS and handheld VHF all recharge from USB sockets.

AC socket at every berth, galley and chart table and each head for the hairdryer. Dedicated sockets for the toaster and boiling water tap (saves using gas to heat water) all running off a Victron charger/inverter combi
Dedicated circuits for the calorifier, aircon, watermaker, charger/inverter all running off shore power or generator.


DC "cigar lighter socket" at helm station for handheld searchlight.
Dedicated 25A DC socket in sail locker for dinghy inflator and low level anchor light (I prefer to hang a light in the foretriangle in anchorages)
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Old 19-04-2020, 10:26   #14
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

A fellow Nauticat owner, cool! Feel free to join our Nauticat owner's forum at https://nauticatusa.freeforums.net/

When we purchased our 1985 N43 we immediately installed 12v USB charging plugs in all staterooms, both helms, and both sides of the salon table.

The ability to charge your phone, tablet and laptop, wherever you are on your boat, will be the outlets most used, and 12v is more energy and space efficient.

Along with a USB charger, a magnetic phone mount on the cockpit helm is useful, so you can be at the helm for many hours if needed, hands free and your phone won't die on you.

We also added AC outlets so that each side of the aft cabin berth had one, and each side of the salon table (where we spend most of our time).

Many, but not all, of the 12v outlets we installed are dual plugs to accommodate barrel plugs on one side and USB on the other. We find that we rarely use barrel plugs anymore.
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Old 19-04-2020, 10:27   #15
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Re: What do you plug in? AC and DC...

I have this in the galley. The sockets are cigarette lighter and double USB (2 @ 2.4A).


Allan.
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