If you are new to boating, having a good understanding of shore power is essential since improper usage of AC power can be hazardous. Shore power transfers AC power to your boat when you plug it into the power source on the dock. You do this to top up your batteries or power any AC-powered items on your boat. These could include a microwave, refrigerator, power tools, or a TV. Let’s dive deeper into what shore power is and why it’s vital.
The Basics of Shore Power
While docked at port, boats require power to maintain the lights, heating, cooling, and other essential functions. Typically, this power is provided by running the ship’s diesel auxiliary engines. Shore power delivers electrical power from the shore to a boat while it’s docked, allowing you to turn off the engine and save fuel. Therefore, shore power effectively reduces air emissions and improves local air quality. Shore power technology also reduces fuel costs by providing boat owners with an alternative to running diesel engines while docked.
Using Shore Power on Your Boat
Most boats have a switch marked ‘shore power’ in the cabin. To operate shore power, you would connect your boat to a shore-side power source, typically a power pedestal. This is where the marina has run an AC plug to which you can connect. There should also be a circuit breaker, which you must turn on when you are ready to use the power and should always turn off before unplugging your cord.
Safety Considerations When Using Shore Power
Shore power can potentially be hazardous if your cord or inlet fails due to improper maintenance. So, you must use proper safety precautions when connecting or disconnecting from shore power. When you disconnect your cable from the boat, examine the end of the cord and the inlet. If there is any discoloration or evidence of melting around the plug’s blades or the inlet’s slots, you must replace the damaged portion before plugging back in. You should also regularly check the blades of your plug for any signs of corrosion. Blade corrosion can easily cause poor electrical connections, leading to overheating or fire.
If you accidentally drop your cord in the salt water, immediately turn off the breaker at the power pedestal, disconnect the plugs, and rinse everything with fresh water. Dry it off and let it sit for several days to ensure it’s completely dry before using it again.
Marine Electric Systems, LLC is a Leader In the Maritime Industry
We here at Marine Electric Systems have over 30 years of industry experience. You can trust our team for reliable service and expert craftsmanship in the Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore city areas! We’re highly certified and adhere to all ABYC and NMEA regulations. We specialize in top-notch electrical solutions for recreational, commercial, and government boating clients. Anything from electrical refits, to navigation systems, or boating maintenance. To stay up to date on our services, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact us at 410-263-0807.