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Troubleshooting Shore Power
The majority of dock power troubles can be linked
to two simple problems: overheating and saltwater
If you suspect a bad connection, turn off the dock power at
the outlet and unplug the dock cord couplings at the outlet
and boat. Inspect the male and female plug ends for signs
of melting or corrosion. Inspect the outlet and the boat's
inlet for heat and corrosion damage.
Replace the connector immediately if you find signs of
overheating. Be sure to inspect wire ends for signs of
corrosion or overheating when replacing connectors.
Marinco suggests that many dock cord connectors are
replaced unnecessarily because boat inlet and dock outlet
connectors are at fault. Be sure to inspect all components
with equal care.
If your dock cord connector gets dunked in saltwater,
disconnect quickly and rinse well in freshwater. Dry
thoroughly before use.
Identifying Shore Power
This can be tricky, especially when you're standing in the
pouring rain with your cell phone, trying to place an order
for the adapter you need in order to get plugged in. Check
the charts at right carefully to ensure that you choose the
correct cordsets and adapters for your boat.
Note: these connectors aren't all the same size (despite
the illustration). The 15A and 20A straight blades measure
1 3/8" diameter. The 20A and 30A measure 1 13/16", and
the 50A is 1 15/16". The connectors are usually marked
with the rated voltage and amperage, but you may have to look carefully.
The diameter of the circle formed by the connectors is the best indicator of
20A, 30A and 50A units. Examine connectors carefully, and never try to force
mismatched connectors together.
Pigtail and Y Adapters
While docks for smaller boats are usually equipped with 30A power pedestals,
and docks for larger boats are equipped with 50A pedestals, you may find
when you arrive at a new marina that the pedestal at the dock doesn't match
your shore power cord. Let's say, for example, that you've got a powerboat
equipped with 50A, 125V service but the harbormaster sends you to an end-
tie, and the dock only has 30A service.
To get connected, you'll need a pigtail adapter. These devices have a male
plug at one end, and a female connector at the other, but in different plug
configurations. In this case, we'd use a 30A to 50A adapter that makes the
conversion from the 30A power pedestal to the 50A shore power cord on your
boat. Note that these pigtail adapters have the same waterproof covers and
rings as other shore power connections, so it's a safe and secure connection.
We'll mention some fine points here. The boat in the above example was wired
with a 50A circuit because the builder anticipated that it would consume lots
of power while docked. You can't pull 50A out of a 30A circuit, or at least you
can't for very long! Therefore, you have to restrict your use onboard to less than
30A, or you'll spend your time resetting the pedestal breaker.
There is a way for this vessel to find the power it needs in this situation, and that's
by using a Reverse Y Adapter. This converter connects to both of the 30A outlets
on the shore power pedestal and determines if the hot and neutral are correctly
polarized, and if the hots are opposite phase, and if both male plugs are connected
properly. If not, a special circuit in the Reverse Y does not allow current to flow. If the
wiring is OK, the Reverse Y provides 50A of 125/250V power to your boat.
Another variation on the Y cable allows you to connect into a single pedestal
outlet, and split the output between two boats or two inlets on the same boat.
Once again, there's no free lunch: your two circuits will be limited to the 30A
capacity of the connection. That may mean some cooperation if two boats are
trying to use the same outlet without tripping the breaker.
Easily Engaged Locking (EEL) System
Marinco's new system addresses some of the problems with traditional shore
power. Marinco uses the traditional old NEMA-configured patterns for the contacts
on the entire range of connectors, so their new products are backward-compatible
with your old dock outlets, boat inlets and adapters. They've done away with the
threaded sealing ring and created a clever one-handed locking system. It has a
better waterproof seal using
their new jaw clamp, an
integral LED light to help you
find your way to the boat inlet
in the dark, a secondary lock
for a more secure hookup,
and an LED power indicator
so you'll know that power is
flowing through your cord.
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-2015-2016 Master Catalog
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