Tom’s Tips About Plugging In

By Tom Neale, 10/10/2012

1. No matter what system you use, it’s a very good idea to secure the shore power cable, where it comes aboard, by an appropriate method. This could be a line around a stanchion and the cable or some other method to prevent it from moving on the boat and stressing the connection on the boat as the boat moves around in the slip. The cable should have enough play between the shore power pedestal and the boat to accommodate boat movement without pulling at the plug at either end. The cable should also be secured at the pedestal end so that if someone, for example trips over it, the cable won’t be jiggled in the pedestal receptacle.

2. While shore power cables are supposed to do OK if looped into the water, it’s asking for trouble to let them loop into the water. Try to rig it so that this doesn’t happen as the boat moves about.

3. If the end of the cable goes into the water, the issue is entirely different, particularly if it’s salt water. Salt water leaching up the strands of the wire can cause great corrosion damage well into the future. Follow manufacturer corrective instructions immediately if this happens.

4. Keep in mind that people walking about the dock may trip over the cable and move it—to their detriment and yours. Some marinas have slots in which you can lay the cable in order to protect the cable and dock walkers who are not looking where they are going. When you tie, try to figure the best method to avoid this problem. Of course, if the power cable is immediately adjacent to the slip there is less of an issue.



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