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Old 08-05-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
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30 amp vs 50 amp Shorepower

I recently purchased a 1985 37' CHB with 50 amp shore power. At my slip in Texas I will have 50amp, I get that. What if I want to truck to Florida and do the ICW. Will there be 50 amp at most marinas and/or what do I do if there is not 50 amp? Which is better and/or is there a preference? I do have a generator. Thanks, James
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #2
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I recently purchased a 1985 37' CHB with 50 amp shore power. At my slip in Texas I will have 50amp, I get that. What if I want to truck to Florida and do the ICW. Will there be 50 amp at most marinas and/or what do I do if there is not 50 amp? Which is better and/or is there a preference? I do have a generator. Thanks, James
If you have any 240 volt usage on the boat a 50 amp 240 service is necessary. You can get a reverse "Y" to connect to two 30 amp outlets. If the 50 amp is 240 volt make sure the reverse "Y" is wired that way. I have a 50 amp service and never have had a problem finding 50 amp outlets on the east coast.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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Many places have 50 amp receptacles...many do not but you can still use your electric with either a Y to 2 30's or a single 30 even with the correct adapter.

I am getting ready to upgrade from 2 30's to a 120/240 50 service because of the flexibility it offers...

If I already had it the most I'd have to worry about is a couple of adapters.
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Old 08-05-2013, 08:22 PM   #4
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50 amp/30amp service

Many older vessels had 50amp/125VAC inlet. Very hard to find a marina now with 50 amp/125VAC service. Normal plug in box will have 1 50 amp-125/250VAC plug in and 2 30 amp-125 VAC plug ins. With a adaptor you can plug your 50 Amp-125VAC cable into a 30 Amp 125VAC service,but are limited to your amp draw. Do you have 3 male blades or 4 male blades. 4 bladed unit will be 50 amp/125/250 VAC. Get a West Marine catalog and look at dock electrical section.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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even if he does have a 125 50 amp, he can also adapt to a 50 amp 120/240 outlet and have his full 50 amp service.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:46 AM   #6
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I am getting ready to upgrade from 2 30's to a 120/240 50 service because of the flexibility it offers...

If I already had it the most I'd have to worry about is a couple of adapters.
Consider leaving your 2 30 amps in place as well as adding 50 amp receptacle. I had a friend that just did this(he is on here occasionally). I am not an electrical guru so I don't know how he wired everything but I am sure you can figure it out!

He's the kind of guy that has a beer fridge on the flybridge with an exterior temperature display to tell him how cold his beer is....no shit!!!
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Consider leaving your 2 30 amps in place as well as adding 50 amp receptacle. I had a friend that just did this(he is on here occasionally). I am not an electrical guru so I don't know how he wired everything but I am sure you can figure it out!
This is doable but you will need to wire all three power sources- the 50 amp and the two 30 amp to a 240 V transfer switch to keep it safe. A y adapter will be cheaper than the switch!!!

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Old 08-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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This is doable but you will need to wire all three power sources- the 50 amp and the two 30 amp to a 240 V transfer switch to keep it safe. A y adapter will be cheaper than the switch!!!

David
agreed...no use for 30's once you have the 50... unless you can have the 30's on sub panels and feed a separate string of receptacles for a total of 160 amps...now we are talking!
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:55 PM   #9
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So a single 50 is superior to twin 30's?
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
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So a single 50 is superior to twin 30's?
Depends, I have a Cable Master that reels in the 50 amp chord by electric power. Otherwise the chord is heavy and unwieldy. I had 2 30 amp chords on my last boat, and they were easily handled. I like the 50, but not certain I would if the chord had to be man handled.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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Depends, I have a Cable Master that reels in the 50 amp chord by electric power. Otherwise the chord is heavy and unwieldy. I had 2 30 amp chords on my last boat, and they were easily handled. I like the 50, but not certain I would if the chord had to be man handled.
I was just thinking about the available power but I can see where the 50A cable could be quite unwieldy.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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I like the 50, but not certain I would if the chord had to be man handled.
Good point! I use to have a 50 on another boat and it did not have a CableMaster. (It was areal bitch!)
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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a single 125V 50 amp...no advantage..it only carries 50 amps while 2-30s carry 60 amps.

but a 120/240 50 amp brings in 2 legs at 50 amps each so the boat will receive 100 amps if wired that way...that's what make's it "superior" in my mind..but some don't need the power (which is hard to believe on most cruisers who 3 season it) or don't want to deal with the heavier cord.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:56 PM   #14
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On my sandpan, it popped one leg of the 30's last weekend when I turned on the hot water heater along with one A/C unit and a shop vac running.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #15
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Here's Marinco's guide to AC plugs and adapters. There sure are a lot of different plugs and adapters.

http://www.marinco.com/files/media/guides/AC%20Boater'sGuide.pdf
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #16
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On my sandpan, it popped one leg of the 30's last weekend when I turned on the hot water heater along with one A/C unit and a shop vac running.
Your boat's like ours with 2-30 amp circuits. When we installed the AC units, we put both units on 1-30 amp and everything else on the other. Rarely do we trip the house 30 amp breaker and when we do, it's pretty easy to figure out why.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:15 PM   #17
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I'm just tired of juggling aplliances...50 amp 120/240 service for me...
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:30 AM   #18
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agreed...no use for 30's once you have the 50... unless you can have the 30's on sub panels and feed a separate string of receptacles for a total of 160 amps...now we are talking!
I am pretty sure that is what he did!!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:14 AM   #19
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agreed...no use for 30's once you have the 50... unless you can have the 30's on sub panels and feed a separate string of receptacles for a total of 160 amps...now we are talking!
From the factory my Bayliner has...

Three 30 amp panels each with its own 30 amp shore power inlet, and separate 30 amp breaker.

There is also a rotary switch that can route

1. All three to their separate shore power inlets through their own breakers.
2. All three to shore power inlet #1 through its single breaker
3. panel 1 to shore power inlet #1 and panels 2,3 to panel 2's shore power inlet, and panel 2's breaker.

The generator has a single breaker that feeds separate generator breakers that are interlocked with the shore power breakers.

This factory setup provides significant flexability as to shore power, covering almost any combination of shore power availibility.

I carry onboard a 30 amp cable, and a 50 amp cable with a 30 amp wye adapter.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:45 AM   #20
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From the factory my Bayliner has...

Three 30 amp panels each with its own 30 amp shore power inlet, and separate 30 amp breaker.

There is also a rotary switch that can route

1. All three to their separate shore power inlets through their own breakers.
2. All three to shore power inlet #1 through its single breaker
3. panel 1 to shore power inlet #1 and panels 2,3 to panel 2's shore power inlet, and panel 2's breaker.

The generator has a single breaker that feeds separate generator breakers that are interlocked with the shore power breakers.

This factory setup provides significant flexability as to shore power, covering almost any combination of shore power availibility.

I carry onboard a 30 amp cable, and a 50 amp cable with a 30 amp wye adapter.
When I worked at the Marine Max that sold Bayliner Pilothouses, I was amazed at the size of the electrical panels....

The flexibility is nice and I might wind up with something that's close but will have different panels and switching...and more amps if I ever need them (doubtful once I go to a propane stove).
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