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Old 11-05-2020, 03:20 PM   #1
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Smart Plug Electrical Pedestals

We boat mostly the Hudson River, Lake Champlain and the NYS Canal System and have not seen any pedestals for the new smart plug connectors. Would be very interested hearing from anyone with local knowledge.


I have (2) old style Marinco 30 amp power cords, one new in the box. If there actually is a change in progress I would probably change the connector on the used cordset. Have not seen an adapter that could be used between the power point and the old style twist lock plug. I would prefer a plug & play adapter that I could just add to my adapter bag.



Appreciate any information.


Leonard
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Old 11-05-2020, 03:32 PM   #2
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I have not heard of any locations or companies adopting smart plug for pedestals. That switch would be huge. Boat inlet and boat end of cord set is their target market AFAIK. That is typically the problem area with boat motion and proximity to do some real damage in case of fire. Not much movement at the pedestals and fire hazard not nearly as big of an issue.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:18 PM   #3
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No, Smart Plug is only on the boat end. That is where I would be concerned about a fire. If the dock end catches fire it is bad but not as bad as on the boat end.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:40 PM   #4
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Not only that but a change on the dock end would require all boaters to change their cords or at least have an adapter which would of course defeat the purpose.
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:19 PM   #5
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The L5-30 plug isn't a very good design but I donít ever see all the docks in the US moving to something better.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:06 PM   #6
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To change to the Smart plugs we can do our boat one at a time and as long as the plug has approvals we have a good setup.

FOr the marinas to do it would entail hundreds of new receptacles for each marina plus the wiring changes. Maybe it can come when a marina does an electrical overhaul.

As suggested there is not the movement at the pedestals that there is on the boat.

I secure the dock end of my cord by a slight backwards twist so when I insert the plug and release it the cord is still trying to turn the plug in the locking direction. FOr winter connection I tie the cord into place with small stuff and also secure the cord body even before that. Now someone can accidentally kick or brush against it and it will not come undone.

My previous marina , a yacht club insisted that the cord plug be secured into the receptacle by tying or bungees as long as it was secured. There were still problems but it definitely reduced them.
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Old 11-07-2020, 10:12 PM   #7
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I have not heard of any locations or companies adopting smart plug for pedestals. That switch would be huge. Boat inlet and boat end of cord set is their target market AFAIK. That is typically the problem area with boat motion and proximity to do some real damage in case of fire. Not much movement at the pedestals and fire hazard not nearly as big of an issue.
I agree with your assessment.

At last yearís Miami boat show I stopped by the Smart Plug desk. They do have shore side connections now. They told me that three or four marinas had made the switch.

It will be slow going if it ever does become mainstream.
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:09 PM   #8
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And if marinas start to adopt it, it will be a pain for transient boats.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:40 AM   #9
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Marinas will not change over very readily , big expense , customer resistance and little gain .

Most likely will be an adapter setup for the few marinas that might change.
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:48 AM   #10
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Till boat manufactures switch over....not sure why marinas would...


They will just piss off the majority of boat owners if the vast majority of boats still have the older style lugs.


Look at the ethanol transition.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:25 AM   #11
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Over the decades marinas have switched from 15 to 30 to 50 to 100 amp outlets. And they did so whenever technology and consumer demand were available. It’s not like every pedestal only has one kind and many marinas provide various adapters now. Why would one more type necessarily be a problem. Other than general resistance to change. Dadgumit! If a L5-30 was good enough for Commodore Barry, it’s good enough for me.
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Old 11-16-2020, 08:32 AM   #12
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Over the decades marinas have switched from 15 to 30 to 50 to 100 amp outlets. And they did so whenever technology and consumer demand were available. It’s not like every pedestal only has one kind and many marinas provide various adapters now. Why would one more type necessarily be a problem. Other than general resistance to change. Dadgumit! If a L5-30 was good enough for Commodore Barry, it’s good enough for me.

The outlets on boats demanded it...


The standard plug types chnaged in popularity and more amperage need aboard vessels, the boat manufacturers installed them and the marinas followed...I doubt the other way around.


So until the majority and the momentum is towards smart plugs...I doubt the marinas will switch...unless it becomes "code" or mandated by some governing authority.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:33 AM   #13
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Marinas will not change over very readily , big expense , customer resistance and little gain .

Most likely will be an adapter setup for the few marinas that might change.
Smart Plug makes an adaptor to carry with you. Of course, everything they make is expensive.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:05 AM   #14
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...a change on the dock end would require all boaters to change their cords or at least have an adapter which would of course defeat the purpose.
Actually, making everyone go out and buy new cords IS the purpose.

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Smart Plug makes an adaptor to carry with you. Of course, everything they make is expensive.
My point exactly.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:52 AM   #15
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In colder climates the L5-30 is dangerous. If you use it anywhere near full capacity for an extended time it will fail. I would say that 15% of the boats in my marina have made the change to Smartplug. Only recently has the marina been willing to change the socket in the pedestal to Smartplug. So far I have not seen anyone make that change but give it time.
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:42 AM   #16
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"If you use it anywhere near full capacity for an extended time it will fail."

More likely the marina will install metered electric .
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:25 PM   #17
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You can order a pedestal receptacle kit to replace it yourself, if your existing pedestal is Eaton Cutler Hammer light house series.

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Old 11-20-2020, 04:44 PM   #18
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We boat mostly the Hudson River, Lake Champlain and the NYS Canal System and have not seen any pedestals for the new smart plug connectors. Would be very interested hearing from anyone with local knowledge.


I have (2) old style Marinco 30 amp power cords, one new in the box. If there actually is a change in progress I would probably change the connector on the used cordset. Have not seen an adapter that could be used between the power point and the old style twist lock plug. I would prefer a plug & play adapter that I could just add to my adapter bag.



Appreciate any information.


Leonard
Leonard, I wouldnít wait to make decisions. The primary improvement they have for electrical safety is on the boat end. Short of regulatory change, I donít see any major shift for a few years. Even with regulatory change, I think you would see a gradual requirement over 5 to 10 years. During that time people would use adapters, but the major players would come up with their own cord solutions. My next boat will be boat end Smart Plug, with traditional at the other end.
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Old 11-22-2020, 09:10 AM   #19
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Smart Plug pedestals

What you are missing and has been said, IT is unlikely there will be Smart Plug pedestals.

The Smart Plug is for the BOAT SIDE. The dockside is still a Marinco plug.

An expense that is well worth the cost.

Here (https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=3472833) is a picture of the cord.

Here, (https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=3472949) is the combination of receptacle & cord, the best way to buy the package.

It is an easy DIY project to swap the receptacle out.

They make ends but my suggestion, don't risk water, moisture intrusion, buy the sealed cord.

BTW, they have great support as well.

Any questions, let me know.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:26 AM   #20
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What you are missing and has been said, IT is unlikely there will be Smart Plug pedestals.

The Smart Plug is for the BOAT SIDE. The dockside is still a Marinco plug.

An expense that is well worth the cost.

Here (https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=3472833) is a picture of the cord.

Here, (https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=3472949) is the combination of receptacle & cord, the best way to buy the package.

It is an easy DIY project to swap the receptacle out.

They make ends but my suggestion, don't risk water, moisture intrusion, buy the sealed cord.

BTW, they have great support as well.

Any questions, let me know.
Actually, as I stated earlier in the thread, Smart Plug does make dock side connections. They stated to me that they “have 2 or 3 marinas that have made the switch” to the dock side Smart Plug receptacles. So, it is for both sides, though in practical application today and for the greatest safety improvement, the boat end is what is overwhelmingly where their market is.

The reason I am reinforcing this, is that if one wishes to improve the safety of their home port, then the capability is there to upgrade both ends of the cord. In my case, it would make sense. Changing out the pedestal connection at the dock behind my home would make sense, because I leave the home port plugs on the dock when I leave, and have spares on board. Others may want to do the same.
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