Shore Power Cables

steveej

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Hi all,

Looking at shore power cables and the options seem to be 10m or 25m at the chandlers. That is a big difference between the two.

What is standard assuming I only have a little boat 22ft and just want to bring a power cable down below for Laptop etc.

Is the 25m better in that you can use it as an extension lead if working on the boat in a yard?

Thanks
 

Tranona

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The length you get depends on where the shorepower is located in relation to your boat. 10m is OK if it is at the end of your pontoon, but sometimes you need 25m (or more) to reach the point. It is not an extension lead as you need to have a 240v system on your boat and of course a socket wired it. In some boatyards they use ordinary domestic sockets in the yard, others use the 3 pin marine type. You can make up your own extension lead to a domestic socket for use when the boat is ashore, but would not be ideal if the boat is afloat.
 

prv

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On Ariam I have multiple 10m lengths which can be linked together if required. One piece reaches the socket at our home berth (though for complicated reasons we're not plugged in full-time, only to use tools etc) but for most marinas I find I need two but have a coil of spare on deck. I've been in situations (usually rafted) where I would have needed three or even all four (both to cross the raft and then to reach an unoccupied socket) but since we have an excellent battery system that rarely needs shore charging, I just didn't bother.

So I would say that 15m is a sensible minimum, a bit more might come in handy from time to time.

However, the crucial point is that there is nothing boat-specific about these cables, so a chandlery is almost certainly the wrong place to buy them. Go to a caravan place if you must have it ready-made, or just buy the cable and connectors individually from an electrical supplier. I used TLC when I did mine as they have a branch near the boat, but nowadays I'd probably get it cheaper from a small supplier via eBay. Then you can choose whatever length you like.

Pete
 

Halo

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I have just made up a new one. I went for 18m of 3 core 2.5 mm cable. This will cover 90 % of berths in my experience. I would have a separate cable rather than going bigger as they are unwieldy and heavy if they get too large.
 

maby

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We have a 10m metered cable that is required by the marina where we usually live plus a couple of extension leads that can be daisy chained with it for extra length. The result is pretty versatile - when the power tripped out on our pontoon a couple of weeks ago, we were able to add extra cables to get to a place where it was still working. Also if we visit a marina where the power is included in the berthing fee, we can miss out the metered section and not put extra money in MDL's pockets!

I also made up a 32A to 16A adaptor a few weeks ago when we booked into a marina that put 32A sockets on a lot of the fingers.
 
As you don't have a 240v system on board, you may as well get a cable with a standard 3 pin socket on the boat end, rather than a normal boat cable, with an adaptor plugged in. You can get them on amazon which will do the job, like this 10 m one (I'm sure there are longer ones if you look......)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Camping-Ele..._cp_200_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=1T8JK0YNA7WBJN8PBMH4

If you want an RCD included, (which would form part of a "proper" 240 v instalation on a boat) you could go for one of these.

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/mobile-mains-kit-p155317

Note, the blue plug on each of the linked cables is a normal 16A one, which will plug into most marina power supplies
 
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VicS

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Hi all,

Looking at shore power cables and the options seem to be 10m or 25m at the chandlers. That is a big difference between the two.

What is standard assuming I only have a little boat 22ft and just want to bring a power cable down below for Laptop etc.

Is the 25m better in that you can use it as an extension lead if working on the boat in a yard?

Thanks

0000023365.gif


I don't have a 230v system on board.

I have two batteries that trickle charge from a solar panel for instruments and radio etc.

I was just thinking of using a cable and adaptor (link above), which I assume will work

I have two cables that I use in the garden and the boat yard . One is 100m. The other is 50m.

Sometimes the 50m one is long enough , but it is only rated at 10A, or 5A if still partly wound on the reel. The reel has a thermal trip built in. More often than not I use the 100m, one which is a 15A cable. Sometimes I have needed both!

Until recently the yard sockets were ordinary square pin domestic type but the yard power supply has now been upgraded so I have fitted my 50m cable with a 16A blue plug as I expect that to be long enough in future.

I may refit the original 13amp plug and make up a 16A to 13A adapter, as illustrated, to use in the yard or I may make up a 13A to 16A adapter to use at home. Undecided.

I assume you are looking at blue "Arctic" grade cable. This is much better than the orange garden stuff as it remains flexible at low temperatures. Some of the orange garden stuff loses all flexibility on anything cooler that a mild day.
For ruggedness the 2.5mm² is to be prefered over 1.5mm²

BUT
For outdoor/ yard use HO7 rubber covered cable is the preferred option!


Don't pay chandlery prices for cable or connectors. Arctic cable and the blue 16A plugs and sockets are available from Toolstation and I guess Screwfix.

Don't forget to protect yourself with an RCD.
 
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prv

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I may refit the original 13amp plug and make up a 16A to 13A adapter to use in the yard or I may make up a 13A to 16A adapter to use at home. Undecided.

I'd go for the latter. Then if it's a wet day in the yard you don't have a 13A plug and socket dangling in the rain and puddles. I know the 16A ceeforms aren't truly waterproof, but they must be better than a 13A designed for indoor domestic use.

Pete
 

VicS

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I'd go for the latter. Then if it's a wet day in the yard you don't have a 13A plug and socket dangling in the rain and puddles. I know the 16A ceeforms aren't truly waterproof, but they must be better than a 13A designed for indoor domestic use.

Pete

Probabaly but if its a wet day in the yard I wont be there!
 

steveej

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Does anyone have any experience with battery charging?

The boat has 2 x 110Ahr batteries charged by a 10W solar panel on trickle charge. This gives me a capacity of say 110Amp hrs, Lets assume the boat uses 40 amps a day which gives me say 2 and a half days of power.

Maybe a little more than this assuming the solar panel provides 5 amps a day.

There is an outboard motor so I cannot use this to recharge the batteries. What is the best method of using shore power to charge the batteries? assuming I stop off in a marina every few days?
 

maby

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Does anyone have any experience with battery charging?

The boat has 2 x 110Ahr batteries charged by a 10W solar panel on trickle charge. This gives me a capacity of say 110Amp hrs, Lets assume the boat uses 40 amps a day which gives me say 2 and a half days of power.

Maybe a little more than this assuming the solar panel provides 5 amps a day.

There is an outboard motor so I cannot use this to recharge the batteries. What is the best method of using shore power to charge the batteries? assuming I stop off in a marina every few days?

The "best" way would be to install something like a Stirling Marine battery charger (http://www.mailspeedmarine.com/12v-90amp-battery-charger.html) which will manage your batteries very well to maximise life expectancy, but they are expensive beasts - over £200... Halfords will sell you a well specified car battery charger for a lot less than this, but its current output will be a lot lower than the Stirling so its going to take quite a long time to push 100Ah into your battery bank. If I were spending long periods away from shore power, I would probably invest in a little suitcase generator to reduce the demands on my batteries and allow me to recharge them whenever they needed it.
 

lw395

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Or you could look at more solar power, it's got a lot cheaper over time.
Then you could look at what your 40Ah a day is going on, and see if it can be reduced.
A lot of people manage on much less!
If you want to recharge 110Ah over night, as well as providing that night's power, you'll be wanting a pretty serious charger, 15A or more continuous bulk charge.
 

VicS

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Does anyone have any experience with battery charging?

The boat has 2 x 110Ahr batteries charged by a 10W solar panel on trickle charge. This gives me a capacity of say 110Amp hrs, Lets assume the boat uses 40 amps a day which gives me say 2 and a half days of power.

Maybe a little more than this assuming the solar panel provides 5 amps a day.

There is an outboard motor so I cannot use this to recharge the batteries. What is the best method of using shore power to charge the batteries? assuming I stop off in a marina every few days?

Everybody has experience of battery charging ..... and everybody is an expert ! :)

I assume by "40amps per day" you mean 40Ah per day!

Your usable capacity is 110 Ah ( assuming your two batteries are wired in parallel) so as you say about 2½ days worth of power

You may be over estimating the average output from your solar panel a little but the manufacturers spec may give a typical average output in Ah per day

5Ah per day is pretty small compared with your expected daily use of 40Ah per day, only extending your range without connecting to a power supply to 3 days at best.

You need a charger that will recharge your batteries from 50% SOC overnight, or say 12 hours. You should therefore be looking for a good mains powered automatic charger with a max output of at least 10 amps, preferably a little more.
Even consider a 20 or 25 amp charger if you want to recharge quicker but larger than that will not be any benefit.

Ctek offer a good range of compact automatic battery chargers .. http://www.ctek.com/gb/en
 
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ProDave

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On Ariam I have multiple 10m lengths which can be linked together if required. One piece reaches the socket at our home berth (though for complicated reasons we're not plugged in full-time, only to use tools etc) but for most marinas I find I need two
Pete

Be careful

these are NOT "waterproof" connectors.

At best they are splash proof, and a plug plugged into a socket will repell water falling vertically (i.e rain water) it will just run off.

BUT an in line plug and socket is most certainly not a waterproof combination and you need to be very careful where that is placed.
 

V1701

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+1 for Ctek charger (the smallest model is a bit weedy so wouldn't go for that) and a mobile mains unit with 20m cable (£30ish ebay)...
 

VicS

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+1 for Ctek charger (the smallest model is a bit weedy so wouldn't go for that) and a mobile mains unit with 20m cable (£30ish ebay)...

Yes the range starts at 0.8 amps which only suitable for very small batteries or as a maintenance charger.

A good choice for the OP might be the M200
M%20200_0.jpg
. . . . . http://www.ctek.com/gb/en/chargers/M 200

A marine spec charger, waterproof to IP44 meaning it is resistant to water splashes, with silent "night mode" operation and a max output of 15 amps
 
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