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Rigging a 120 V Plug In The Engine Bay?

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    Rigging a 120 V Plug In The Engine Bay?

    My boat's previous owner always kept a running space heater in the cabin, and a shop lamp in the engine bay to help keep components from freezing during our mild winter season, and I've kept that up religiously since we bought it.

    However I've never really liked the shop lamp setup. It's connected to an extension cord that gets pinched in the engine bay hatch, and runs around the side of the deck to the cabin hatch where it goes inside and plugs into a standard outlet. So the cord itself is a tripping hazard, which may eventually get its insulation pinched off by the engine bay hatch, and to top it off there are probably better ways to keep the engine warm than with a light bulb.

    I've had my eye on a bilge heater for awhile, but it would still depend on an extension cord for power unless I rig something up for it in the engine bay. Whatever the case, I would need to avoid any chance of electrical sparks to be safe. Has anyone done this to their boat? Thanks.
    "Binti B"
    1996 2855 Ciera Sunbridge
    Richmond, BC

    #2
    I believe I would route a new AC cable from the main panel back to a permanently mounted heater and direct connect it to one of the spare AC breakers on the Shore panel. I'd run it along the same path for the HWH. The pipe to route AC on our 2655 had ample room for more cables. Eliminate all spark hazards.
    2004 Monterey 282 Cruiser
    Twin Volvo Penta 5.0GXi-E
    SX-M 1.6gr Outdrives
    Docks @ Punta Gorda, Florida

    Comment


      #3
      You definitely don't want a light bulb in your bilge, it's a fire hazard if it breaks and causes a spark. Not sure a 120 outlet in the bilge is good either. Sounds a little iffy.
      Glen Sherwood
      1987 3270 twin 305’s
      Coupeville, WA

      Comment


        #4
        I have a bilge heater and run the long power cord through the inspection port to the mid berth window and plug it in the outlet in there. I have a 2004/ 285 with the Pali engine compartment heater. In the warm season I just store the heater.

        Mike
        2004 Bayliner 285 350 MPI Bravo III
        2007 Bayliner 192 Discovery 3.0 135HP (sold)
        2000 Ciera 2455 sold
        Redmond, Washington
        The one on the Left (Wet) Coast

        Comment


          #5
          I run two Pali heaters, one in engine room and one in laz. Very safe units. The prior owner had two, separate, 120v outlets added to engine room for wolverine block heaters and a three bank mariner pro battery charger.
          Guntar
          1999 3988
          Cummins 270s

          Comment


            #6
            Do the heaters create a lot of potentially salty humidity? Seems like it might be better to leave them cold, unless you live in Minnesota.
            Glen Sherwood
            1987 3270 twin 305’s
            Coupeville, WA

            Comment


              #7
              Squid, no AC outlets in the engine bay. Hard wire a marine ignition protected heater in if you want to keep stuff warm. Personally I just “winterize” everything.
              Dave
              Edmonds, WA
              "THE FIX"
              '93 2556
              Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P

              The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
              Misc. projects thread
              https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

              Comment


                #8
                if you run an extension cable into one of the holes that are fishing pole holders on the port side, it will fall into the engine compartment and you don't have to do the engine hatch pinch. Like the guys say, no light bulbs, as they break easy, but there are lots of safer things that help like a dehumidifier. I think an iguana heater is safer than a light bulb, but really, anything that can make a spark in a gas engine room is suspect. I always taped my vents closed in the winter to keep the cold wind from blowing through. I also took all the hoses loose where ever water was and sucked it out with a shop vac
                Tally and Vicki
                "Wickus" Meridian 341
                MMSI 338014939

                Comment


                  #9
                  Is it against regulations to have AC outlet in the engine bay or it is just not recommended. I don't see any inherent danger of having a outlet in the engine bay. The outlet will be energized only when the boat is on shore power when the engine is not running. There is no spark from the outlet when devices are plugged in. There is spark only during the process of plugging and unplugging devices. I think you should be safe as long as the electrical devices you put in the engine bay are sealed and ignition protected.

                  I have a Goldenrod in the engine bay and also draped off the vents during the winter to minimize the amount of moist ocean air from entering the engine bay.

                  Joe
                  1986 2850 Commend Bridge on hydrohoist
                  A260 and AQ280 with DP lower unit

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by builderdude View Post
                    Squid, no AC outlets in the engine bay. Hard wire a marine ignition protected heater in if you want to keep stuff warm. Personally I just “winterize” everything.
                    +1

                    A gasoline-powered boat should not have outlets in the engine compartment. Either hard-wire a heater or plug it in outside the compartment by propping the hatch a bit. The heater must be designed for gasoline engine compartments - ignition protected.
                    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                    Anacortes, WA

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Is it against regulations to have AC outlet in the engine bay or it is just not recommended. I don't see any inherent danger of having a outlet in the engine bay. The outlet will be energized only when the boat is on shore power when the engine is not running. There is no spark from the outlet when devices are plugged in. There is spark only during the process of plugging and unplugging devices. I think you should be safe as long as the electrical devices you put in the engine bay are sealed and ignition protected.
                      No Nos for gasoline engine bays as per USCG regs:

                      AC outlet in engine bay.... whether GFCI or not.
                      extension cord and female/male connections
                      tungsten incandescent light bulbs
                      any electrical item that is NOT "ignition source protected"



                      And yes.... properly winterizing is our best bet!

                      Imagine that an unexpected storm rolls in.
                      Temps drop to near freezing
                      Electrical power goes out at the Marina.
                      You are not notified until 3:00 AM (several hours after the fact).
                      The wind is blowing the rain sideways that is soon to become snow and ice.
                      You brew a quick cup of coffee.

                      You grab what tools you think you'll need.
                      Temps drop even further.
                      You get to the Marina and carry your tools down to the boat.
                      You forgot to bring gloves.

                      Your hands and tools are near frozen.
                      You have nothing but flashlights to work under.
                      You also forgot to put your socks on.
                      Suddenly, that cup of coffee is wanting to find a way out.

                      You are fumbling around trying to loosen drain fittings (not the one involving the coffee).
                      The water that you hope will drain out, is now beginning to turn slushy.
                      Your bladder is now talking loudly to you.

                      You start swearing, but there's no one to hear your chosen words.
                      Your wrench slips and 2 of your knuckles get scraped.



                      Suddenly, the thought occurs to you of how easy it would have been to have simply winterized!




                      .
                      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                      Comment

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