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    I'm lazy and it's a trip hazard

    The two shore power inlets, 120v 30amp each, on our 3818 are on the aft starboard side of the salon as is common to most of the 38's I've seen. We don't have air conditioning and have only have used a second, separate, 30 amp cord once since we bought the boat. But, there wasn't an outlet to plug it into on the dock, so it really didn't matter. We have been using a Y adapter that when plugged in, ends up in the place where it would be most convenient to put my foot when going onto or off the side deck from the cockpit. I'm thinking I could eliminate one of the plugs and replicate the Y inside the boat, in a proper box, and eliminate the need for the adapter. Obviously, there would be fewer connections at arrival and departure, and less for me to catch a shoe on when setting the fenders.
    If, at some point, there's a need to provide separate sources for each of the two panel busses, reversing the modification would be easy. Is there something I'm missing?
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
    MMSI 367770440
    1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
    Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

    #2
    I don't see an issue as long as the unused inlet is disconnected completely.

    You will need some sort of power distribution block. Alternatively you may be able use something like this with three jumpers: https://www.bluesea.com/products/260...5A_-_6_Circuit. Either one would have to be in a box.

    Your boat probably has dual galvanic isolators, one per inlet; you will only need one. This would be a good time to replace the isolator with a modern one that has a monitor light. As an alternative consider replacing the isolator with an isolation transformer.

    If you do not install an isolation transformer, consider upgrading the electrical system by installing an Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) . This is like a whole boat GFCI and is required for new boats without isolation transformers. Blue Sea Systems makes some that can replace the main double pole breaker, or go in an auxiliary enclosure. Marinco and Hubbell make some that go in a shore power inlet housing, allowing you to replace the unused inlet with one of these.

    I've also considered doing the same thing to my boat. In my case I'll probably go with an isolation transformer.

    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
    Anacortes, WA

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Norton, I've been looking at both the isolation transformer and ELCI setups. I'm not sure which way I'm going to go. One thing is that I'll make the connections easy, like a buss with large screws or nuts.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
      MMSI 367770440
      1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
      Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Pcpete View Post
        Thanks Norton, I've been looking at both the isolation transformer and ELCI setups. I'm not sure which way I'm going to go. One thing is that I'll make the connections easy, like a buss with large screws or nuts.
        I just did a quick check at Fisheries Supply: Blue Sea ELCI in a separate enclosure: $344, Pro Mariner Fail Safe Galvanic Isolator: $329, 30A Isolation Transformer: $916. For about $250 more you get all the advantages of an isolation transformer. Incidentally, I've seen the transformers retailing for a lot less online.

        1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
        2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
        Anacortes, WA

        Comment


          #5
          my thoughts are, as convienient as it would be to have only one power inlet and one cord, to combine the two circuits INSIDE the boat, (even if using a "removable" Y adaptor or link) if it ever gets over amped its going to cause a real mess.

          have the y adaptor outside the boat when using one cord, if it should get over amped the smoke and damage that will ensue will not be too much of an issue, especially if the cord connection to the Y adaptor is kept up off the deck...

          its my opinion that it would be better to relocate one or both of the inlets so it will be farther out of the way.... or use a loop of line and make a prussic hitch around the cord to hold it up out of the way on a small hook that is strategically mounted for the task.


          NU LIBERTE'
          Salem, OR

          1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
          5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
          N2K equipped throughout..
          2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
          2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
          '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
          Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

          Comment


            #6
            Pete is you do as you plan I suggest leaving documentation of the modification on the boat for the next owner. Hope this doesn’t happen but if you were to pass away unexpectedly leaving this documentation now would be the only way the next owner would have a chance of understanding the modifications.
            1997 Maxum 2400 SCR 5.7LX Bravo II

            Mike

            Comment


              #7
              No issue, just jumper line 1 and line 2 at the panel main breaker and disconnect the leads to the secondary inlet you do not want to use also at the panel. Very easy, very quick and safer than using a Y adapter. You could even get fancy and install a rotary switch to disconnect/reconnect as required however in your case you never have used 2 cables so why go through the expense or trouble. Same as my Avanti, never used 2 cords so ended up wiring it just like I said. In my case I had a 14,000 btu AC/heater and even this did not draw over 30A. No more freakin expensive Y adapter to fumble with every time you leave or get to dock, heck I even went 1 step further and installed a smart plug which save me from using that darn locking ring which never seems to want to thread on straight.
              Cheers, Hans
              2007 Carver 41 CMY
              Twin Volvo D6-370
              Montreal, Canada
              Midnight Sun I Photos

              Comment


                #8
                This is an easy modficaton and as Norton rider posted above would be great to combine with a upgrade to a isolation transformer. Defender seems to have a great price for these.

                KEVIN SANDERS
                4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies and thoughts. I have resources available to me that allow me to buy things like this at a significant discount, it's just a matter of having the job getting to the top of the list.
                  Mike, I'm a bit of a documentation nut. Pictures, receipts, log book entries and a computer notes file. I'm still having trouble, emotionally, with getting rid of some copies of documentation from my previous boat. The guy that bought it sold it again so there's really no reason to keep it, but....
                  Centerline, my power draw is below 30amps. The dual circuit setup was standard on the 3818 to allow for the addition of power hogs, like air conditioning. There's really no need, at this point, for two power inlets. I may repurpose one of the inlet fixtures to the stern. We primarily stern tie so having the connection there really reduces trip hazards.
                  Sun, because of the way the panel is laid out its easier to combine the two leads from the plugs, without trimming them for length, in a way that meets the abyc guidelines, so that should a future owner need the additional plug, my change can be reversed. There's no way that I'd leave an unused socket in place.
                  Ah, the joys of armchair maintenance and upgrades.
                  P/C Pete
                  Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                  1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                  Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                  1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
                  MMSI 367770440
                  1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
                  Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

                  Comment


                    #10
                    PcPete,

                    As I understand it you want to install a "built-in" Y-Adapter, implemented safely and out of anyone's way and eliminate the second incoming plug and Y-Adapter. Why not go a little further and implement this idea using relays and a Xfer switch so that the second plug becomes isolated while the first plug feeds both circuits on the boat whereas at the flip of the Xfer switch the boat reverts to its regular structure. I am sure most experts on this forum can assist in the proper circuit diagram for this implementation.
                    Retired, computer expert / executive
                    Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
                    Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
                    D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
                    bdervisoglu8@gmail.com
                    bulent@pacbell.net

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Pete, we also have 2 30 AMP shore power inlets on our Uniflite ,
                      we never use a Y adapter... often times this will cause those newer upgraded GFCI dock side pedestal breakers to trip .
                      in the summer time , we only use 1 30amp cord feeding both buss bar 1 & 2.
                      when we're cruising over to Seattle downtown tomorrow for NYE fireworks party... I'll be plugging in 2 separate 30amp cords, since her drawing load will be heavy , having all 4 built-in 120VAC heaters going.
                      I have 2-3 position (SP1, SP2, GEN) manual transfer switches for both buss bar 1 & 2.
                      Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                      Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                      93 3058 sold
                      92 2855 (day boat)
                      91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                      Longbranch WA
                      Life is Good

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Monty, part of my plan is to eliminate the need for the second plug and set up for a future additional connection on the transom. I can see where some switching will be needed to deactivate the connection not in use when another is active so there is no possibility of anybody getting a shock.
                        Joon, part of the reason I need to keep both busses active is the way things are connected. We haven't been doing much winter cruising as in the past. However, im hoping to change that. Glauben has a red dot that's connected to the starboard engine, there are three King pikawat heaters and I'm installing, replacing a dead one, a diesel furnace. I should be able to get by with 15amp service, like at my sisters, without any serious issues.
                        P/C Pete
                        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                        1980 Encounter Sunbridge "Misty Blue" (Sold)
                        MMSI 367770440
                        1972 Chevrolet Nova Frame off Resto-mod in the garage
                        Boating on the Salish Sea since 1948

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Pete, our set up is similar ... of course you need to keep both busses active so do I, but simply by flickering my switches.
                          we also have a red dot hydronic heater, a forced air diesel heater & 4 built-in 120VAC heaters.
                          In the winter time, we are mainly tie to a guest marina... when I'm paying for their shore power, why would I want to burn my expensive diesel?
                          I'll have all 4 heaters going to keep her nice & toasty.
                          think of 2 manual transfer SWITCHES as a built in Y adapter, but properly installed in a proper box.
                          Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                          Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                          93 3058 sold
                          92 2855 (day boat)
                          91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                          Longbranch WA
                          Life is Good

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Centerline2 View Post
                            my thoughts are, as convienient as it would be to have only one power inlet and one cord, to combine the two circuits INSIDE the boat, (even if using a "removable" Y adaptor or link) if it ever gets over amped its going to cause a real mess.

                            have the y adaptor outside the boat when using one cord, if it should get over amped the smoke and damage that will ensue will not be too much of an issue, especially if the cord connection to the Y adaptor is kept up off the deck...

                            its my opinion that it would be better to relocate one or both of the inlets so it will be farther out of the way.... or use a loop of line and make a prussic hitch around the cord to hold it up out of the way on a small hook that is strategically mounted for the task.

                            Actually, using a Y-adapter connected to two 30A inlets is nor as safe as having a single 30A inlet. Here's why:

                            First of all, these boats came with two 30A inlets and two separate 30A shore power breakers. This was done to provide power to optional equipment, namely air conditioning units. The intent was that two separate 30A power cords be used, each going to a 30A shore power outlet. This provides 60A of usable power. Most boats in the PNW do not have AC units, so the extra power is not required; 30A is plenty for all loads.

                            Since Bayliner split the AC loads between the two 30A circuits its not practical to run the boat on just one power inlet, so most people use a Y-adapter to run both inlets from a single 30A source. This can actually cause problems. For example, assume one circuit is drawing 20A and the other circuit is drawing 15A. Neither shore power breaker on the boat will trip because the load on each is less than 30A. If the breaker at the shore outlet is doing its job it should trip, but if it's defective and does not trip, the shore power inlets, Y-adapter, and/or shore power cord will overheat. The closest breaker to the overload load should always trip first. This will not happen when using a Y-Adapter.

                            If a boat with two 30A inlets is modified to have a single inlet and a single shore power circuit breaker for all loads the situation described above will not occur. An overload on the boat will trip the boat circuit breaker.
                            1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                            2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                            Anacortes, WA

                            Comment


                            • Centerline2
                              Centerline2 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I would agree if the panel and circuit breakers were all wired as a single circuit, but as i am to understand it the OP's POA (plan of action) is that he wants to keep the circuits separate and STILL use just one cord and inlet and then reconnect the Y adaptor INSIDE the boat..... yes, it can be done safely, but what makes the difference is what side of the panel he is working on and how he rewires it to run both circuits with only one power cord..

                            #15
                            Norton said it well &
                            2 switches similar to this...
                            Joon, Kathy, Jaden & Tristan
                            Uniflite 42 AC, DD 671N
                            93 3058 sold
                            92 2855 (day boat)
                            91 Fourwinns 205 (lake boat)
                            Longbranch WA
                            Life is Good

                            Comment

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