Shore Power

About powering boats with electricity

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treetall100
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Shore Power

Postby treetall100 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:17 pm

Anybody have info on shore power and safety to a boat. I'm planning on using an extension cord from my cottage to power up my golf cart batteries. The boat will be in the water at the dock full time except winter.

I'll be using the female socket from the golf cart or possibly install the charger permanently in the boat...but it's big and heavy and weight constraints are an issue for me.

So is a GFI breaker good enough at the breaker panel? Is there something else I should be considering?

Signed X ________worried about being shocked!_
Last edited by treetall100 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Patrick Morais
~ Lo Voltage ~
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

upspirate

Re: Shore Power

Postby upspirate » Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:30 pm

This will be an interesting reply....I haven't ever head anything different about wiring/grounding an electric inboard boat.

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galamb
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Re: Shore Power

Postby galamb » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:42 pm

So just to be straight, you are simply running a cord down to the boat to power the battery charger? and you don't otherwise have an AC system on-board?

If that's the case, then simply plugging the charger into an extension that is fed by a GFCI outlet should be sufficient. The ground fault circuit should "pop" if there is any fault which could possibly energize the water around the boat.

If you are permanently mounting the charger and installing a recepticle on the boat itself (that you would plug the extension cord into) then you should go the additional step of tapping the ground (on the boat side connector) to your bonding system (if wired) or simply run a green wire to the negative post on one of your batteries. That would prevent a stray current getting into the water and possibly electrocuting someone.
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treetall100
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Re: Shore Power

Postby treetall100 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:27 pm

Yes Graham you are correct...no A/C on my boat...it's just to charge the batteries. I just needed info from the dock to the cottage.

So just a ground fault should be enough!!! I am considering buying the shore power type extension with the locking plug ends (twist to lock) but they are quite expensive!
Patrick Morais
~ Lo Voltage ~
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Grand Chillin
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Re: Shore Power

Postby Grand Chillin » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:33 pm

Patrick,

Why don't you just run (bury) a feed wire straight from your breaker box using a ground fault breaker and for added safety install a GF outlet at your dock with a weather proof box?
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Oyster
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Re: Shore Power

Postby Oyster » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:22 am

treetall100 wrote:Yes Graham you are correct...no A/C on my boat...it's just to charge the batteries. I just needed info from the dock to the cottage.

So just a ground fault should be enough!!! I am considering buying the shore power type extension with the locking plug ends (twist to lock) but they are quite expensive!

No, when you get right down to it twist locks are not expensive. Its a part that is designed to do exactly what you are asking. They are manufactured as an additional measure of safety. Every single boat that you see in marinas and built professionally with the need for shore power use twist locks.

I'll be using the female socket from the golf cart or possibly install the charger permanently in the boat...but it's big and heavy and weight constraints are an issue for me


If you decide to place your charger on shore, the length of run to provide battery power to the batteries on the boat sitting in the water is yet another issue of expensive wires and wiring depending on the distance for sure. So if I was doing this I would fabricate a simple enclosed box on shore for the charger using underground cable even run in pvc to a box on the dock. There is a caveat to this and that is your dock height do you deal with any increases in water runoff rising the water height either from rain or boat or ship swells in your area?

upspirate

Re: Shore Power

Postby upspirate » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:24 am

One question I have after your question is answered, is there any difference in bonding/grounding an electric powered inboard boat?

I know you treat metal boats different

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treetall100
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Re: Shore Power

Postby treetall100 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:35 pm

As to the shore power...my dock is on piers and does not move and is attached to the shore...it used to be a boat house but the previous owners turned it into a dock. There is a wire from the basement of the cottage going underground to the dock but who knows where it ends up..(disconected at the panel).

So I have to find the wire, install a GFI breaker and will also make a water proof charging station (box) at the dock with a GFI outlet too. I think I should be covered on all counts. I'll keep the the charger in the waterproof box on the dock and charge from there! I've built and wired my own homes in the past so should be a piece of cake.

As far as upspirate's question on bonding (grounding), as far as I know...nothing is different on the golf cart motored boat...everything get bonded to the negative terminal on the batteries and fused with a 40 amp fuse.
Patrick Morais
~ Lo Voltage ~
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


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