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Old 08-14-2016, 01:35 PM   #21
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It is a very easy job. The terminal screw heads are color coded so it's hard to get it wrong. A guy from Smart Plug came to my store and convinced me that the Smart Plug was enough better than my regular plug that I'm going to change even though my twist lock is working fine now.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:46 PM   #22
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In my experience the 50 amp cord ends are able to handle the amperage. I have only seen one 50 amp inlet burn up in many years running marinas. But I sure ave seen a lot of 30 amp connections smoke. The 30 amp cable ends and inlet are not able to carry a full load for long. It is easy to get a new Smart Plug cord end, but it requires a new hull inlet too. A bit of $$ outlay. However the downside of a fire in your hull inlet is even more $$.

Physically the 50amp/120 connectors are a lot better than the 30 amp connectors. However, the Smart Plug connectors are rock solid.

My confusion is that I have a 50amp/120v plug, but I have 30 amp circuits on the boat. I end up using a 30amp shore power chord with a 30amp/120v to 50amp/120v adaptor.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:05 PM   #23
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On my survey a few yrs ago, the Surveyor's Recommendations included putting in a Smart Plug. Since the insurance co wanted the SRs followed, they contributed $150 to the cost of the refit of my power cord. I bought the SP for about $180, did the swap myself, so got a much better plug to boat connection for about $30. (really cheap in $US).

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Close the seacock? Whatever for? My engine water seacocks are not very accessible, but can be seen and after 36 yrs the Stb one still looks good. I changed out the Pt one 2 yrs ago because I didn't like the rusty handle, and could no longer move it. If I couldn't inspect, I might close them, but since I can see them, and am not ever going to mistakenly stand on them, due to their inaccessibility I don't worry about them failing. Also, I have never had any morine organisms take up residence beyond the seacock. I once had an oyster grow to cutting off the flow in my salt water pump intake screen, but that could be seen and cleared from the outside.
I like to be able to get under way without a long list of SOPs. I turn off AC power, check the gear shifter positions, and turn the key. while the engines are warming up a tiny bit, the power cord comes in and the lines come off. Usually under way before my dock neighbours can show up with a helping hand. I prefer that, as helping hands usually slow the process down quite a bit. Checking the oil and water is for after a run.
A friend has a cover over his throttles with a brief check list stamped into its metal.
1 item "make sure wife is aboard".
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:14 PM   #24
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Close the seacock? Whatever for? My engine water seacocks are not very accessible, but can be seen and after 36 yrs the Stb one still looks good. I changed out the Pt one 2 yrs ago because I didn't like the rusty handle, and could no longer move it. If I couldn't inspect, I might close them, but since I can see them, and am not ever going to mistakenly stand on them, due to their inaccessibility I don't worry about them failing. Also, I have never had any morine organisms take up residence beyond the seacock. I once had an oyster grow to cutting off the flow in my salt water pump intake screen, but that could be seen and cleared from the outside.

Well closing sea cocks is a matter of personal preference. I grew up on boats and running boatyards and marinas. I've seen a number of sunken boats. Never saw a sunken bot with all its sea cocks closed. there are a lot of other hoses and fittings connected to the sea cock which could be a source for leaks. can you clear your sea strainer with out closing your sea cock?

If you live in the warm salt waters of the lower Chesapeake on down through FL and into the gulf you will get barnacles and stuff growing in your sea strainers.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:18 PM   #25
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Right you are. I have cleared eel grass out of the sea strainer once, in 40 yrs of boating). I didn't need to close the seacock, as the litre or so of water that went into the bilge was of no concern. Nothing grows here when you take away the light.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:36 PM   #26
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Gimme some guidance here. I have 30 amp service. Looking on line at "smart plugs" it appeared the plug pattern was different than my standard, locking Marinco cord and female on boat side. Also the replacement plugs are EXPENSIVE. On sale I find 30 amp cords +- $70. What am I missing?
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #27
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The standard Marinco or Hubble hull inlet and cord end will over time develop a bit of corrosion. This leads to heat build up when the cord is carrying a heavy load and eventually if not caught in time leads to a fire. A company called Smart Plug has created a different hull inlet and plug end. You have to change both. Yes it is a lot more than the price of a new cord, but every year there are several boat/marina fires attributed to the hull inlet connection. Unfortunately the power post receptacle is defined by the electrical codes and so making a change in the fitting at that end requires changing every 30 mp dock fitting in the country and so it is virtually impossible to ever expect that t end to change. But if you use the smart plug you at least move the possible source of fire off your boat and over to the dock.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:44 PM   #28
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My reason for the smart plug is two fold, first my wife can plug it in easily. Secondly you can see power at a glance just looking at the end.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:48 PM   #29
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My sea cock is down in the engine compartment. Left it open for years but for awhile now I've been closing it. One needs to exercise it anyway. Haven't forgot it as I tie one of those orange flexible ties on the throttle as a reminder. They work as long as they are'nt taken off just before getting distracted. They can be forgoten quickly since you are used to them.

But re my sea cock if I lift one of my eng comp hatches I can reach the cock lever .. just barely. But I've been doing it.

Lifting the same hatch cover I can reach my valve levers on the fuel manifold just barely. The problem is being sure what valve lever you reach. Fliped the wrong one departing Prince Rupert once and went dead in the water quickly. Couldn't get the air out before the CCG was alongside. Hanen't done that one since. The main engine hatch cover is much harder to open.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:51 PM   #30
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How do you see power at a glance?
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:52 PM   #31
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No one has mentioned the anti-corrosion goo you can use in connections. Formulations come in many flavors and for various dissimilar metals.

Ditto the comments about checking both sides of a plug-receptacle when one side is exhibiting distress.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:03 PM   #32
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I will probably go ahead and buy 2 new 25ft 30amp cords and 2 new power inlets for the boat. After looking closely at the circuits, it's time to replace. As I sit here running both A/C units I can't help but think about those old plugs and outlets
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:05 PM   #33
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In my case, I am religious about spraying both ends of the cord with CRC 656 at every use. When I saw the inlet temperature rising. I applied a very light coat of Kopr-Shield conductive paste. It did not help. then i took the hull inlet out. two of the clamp screws were loose. So I took the unit off, applied Kopr-Shield to the tinned 6 ga. boat cables and reconnected it all. Still had a 25 degree delta. So I replaced the hull inlet with a new Marinco inlet. again Kopr-Shield as above. Now the delta was 19 degrees. I was at this time pulling 26-28 amps through the cord for 30 minutes before I recorded the temperature after each change in the system. When my new smart Plug inlet was installed the temperature differential dropped to 3.5 degrees. That is pretty convincing data as far as I am concerned.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:50 PM   #34
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How do you see power at a glance?
Induction?
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #35
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How do you see power at a glance?
Smart Plug cords have a LED in the boat end that lights up if the shoreside power is on.

I have Smart Plug systems on both boats and find that they are easier to use.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #36
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In my case, I am religious about spraying both ends of the cord with CRC 656 at every use. When I saw the inlet temperature rising. I applied a very light coat of Kopr-Shield conductive paste. It did not help. then i took the hull inlet out. two of the clamp screws were loose. So I took the unit off, applied Kopr-Shield to the tinned 6 ga. boat cables and reconnected it all. Still had a 25 degree delta. So I replaced the hull inlet with a new Marinco inlet. again Kopr-Shield as above. Now the delta was 19 degrees. I was at this time pulling 26-28 amps through the cord for 30 minutes before I recorded the temperature after each change in the system. When my new smart Plug inlet was installed the temperature differential dropped to 3.5 degrees. That is pretty convincing data as far as I am concerned.
Don't know what would be the upper limit of your normal load, but if I were pulling much above 20 amps I would be switching to a 50 amp service from the panel out. Wouldn't need to change the main panel or the breaker. I like the smart plug design, but as mentioned, it does nothing for the power pedestal connection. In a better world, boat manufacturers should switch to building with the 50 amp connection and appropriate wiring to the boat panel.

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Old 08-14-2016, 04:46 PM   #37
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[QUOTE=O C Diver;469661]Don't know what would be the upper limit of your normal load, but if I were pulling much above 20 amps I would be switching to a 50 amp service from the panel out.

Normally when we are on one single 30 cord, we are pulling about 15 amps or even less. In this case I was intentionally pulling a heavy load for a long time. I ran the batteries down to 70% SOC, then turned on the AC and the water heater and then slowly cranked up the output of the charger so that I could achieve and hold a heavy load near the upper design limit of the connections. I want to know that my hull inlet is not going to burst into flame one night when I am sleeping. When we are living on just one cord, we do have to manage our loads becasue short term loads like the micro wave can easily push it over 30 amps and then a beaker shuts off. I wanted to see what the equipment could take and what sort of temperature differential it would create. As a general rule a 10 degree differential is worth noting and a 20 degree differential is telling you something has to change. I initially saw 30 degrees on the inlet using the load i had intentionally created.
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Old 08-14-2016, 04:52 PM   #38
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[QUOTE=bcam;469659]Smart Plug cords have a LED in the boat end that lights up if the shoreside power is on.

So you are connecting the dock to the hull inlet with the dock breaker turned on? If the boat's inlet breaker is on then you will draw a spark as you connect the cord. Over time doing that you will build up resistance in that connection. We always advise to turn off the power at both ends of the cord and make the connections with a dead cord. Then turn on both connections once the connection is made. The hull inlet breaker will light up and tell you the connection is power is on. Also some cords have an LED in the plug end so once the boat connection is made the shore pedestal breaker can be turned on and you will see that blue or red led indicating power is on.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:44 PM   #39
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I replace the plug on mine after it tried to weld to the pedestal. I didnt use this sites info, but it seems comprehensive.

Installing a New Shore Power Cord End | Boating Magazine
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:14 AM   #40
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Smart plugs are far too expensive and will never take over .

The cheapest concept is to install a 50A240V plug and inlet on the boat and keep the std 30A 120v power cord and dock end.

When you overload/or corrode, the dock CB should blow or at least the fire will be at the dock , not at your power inlet.

240V 50A inlets and plug ends can be found used.Avoid SS pins if you can.

There is an ancient 120V 50A plug and socket style that could work for the boat inlet , but IF you are going to buy it new , might as well spring for the 240 /50 as eventually it may be needed for an upgrade.
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