ABYC Suggested Warning Label

Shore-Power Inlet Warning - A permanently mounted water-proof warning sign shall be located along side each shore power inlet location on the boat. The warning sign shall include the informational elements shown below except item (3) is not required, if a polarity indicator is not required.

Suggested Warning Sign
Including provision for the use of polarity indicating devices.

To minimize shock and fire hazards:
(1) Turn off the boat's shore connection switch before connecting or       disconnecting shore cable.
(2) Connect shorepower cable at the boat first
(3) If polarity warning indicator is activated, immediately disconnect                cable.
(4) Disconnect shorepower cable at shore outlet first.
(5) Close shore-power inlet cover tightly.

What You Need Before You Start
  The basic tools and supplies that make wiring aboard a boat a very easy task, in addition to the items listed, you may have occasion to use an electric drill and a saber saw, particularly when you're adding another shore power cord or a new receptacle.

A. Multipurpose Crimping Tool - This tool allows the insulation to be easily stripped from wires without damaging the wire conductors. The same tool is used to cut wire and to crimp the insulated, solder-less connectors on to the wire. For  optimum connections, the crimping tool should be compatible with the insulated connector (i.e.: tool and  connector from the same manufacturer).
B. Wire Cutters - This form of pliers is strictly used for cutting  wire conductors. Their shape and design makes them ideal for performing clean, even cuts of multi-stranded marine wire.
C. Screwdrivers - Both a Phillips head and a straight slot screw driver will be used in marine wiring projects.
D. Tester - To check that all current is off before you begin work on AC electrical items, be sure you have a voltage tester.
E. Crimp-on Connectors - Available in a variety of wire and stud sizes, these connectors crimp on to multi stranded wire  and fasten securely to the terminal screws of receptacles and  breakers.
F. Cable Clamps and Support Clips - Available now in nylon or metal with rubber insulation. Cable clamps are an effective  way to support wiring in a boat. Wiring should be supported every 18 inches to prevent unnecessary flexing.
G. Electrical Tape - It is a good practice to apply electrical tape around the wire and the insulation of the crimp-on  connector to prevent moisture from entering the connection. Electrical "tracer" tape comes in a variety of  colors and is an effective means of identifying various circuits during installation.

Helpful Hints For Wiring

1. When wiring a plug or connector, the ground wire should be a 1/4" to 1/2" longer than the hot or neutral, if the conductors are pulled out of the device, the ground wire will be the last to come off.

2. When installing receptacles or switches, allow an extra length of wire to remain in the box. Should the device have to be repaired or replaced, the extra length allows the device to be pulled out from its box.

3.  After wiring a switch or receptacle and before installing in a box, wrap electrical tape around the device, covering the terminal screws. This eliminates the chance of an arc and the possibility of a stray grounding conductor contacting the terminals.

4.  Regarding wire gauge, a good rule is: "Where there is doubt. use the next heavier gauge". Lighter wire is not only risky but also makes appliances sluggish. The National Electric Code allows the following capacities for insulated conductors.
   Gauge AWG       Ampacity
         14                  15
         12                  2O
         10                   30
         8                     40
         6                     55

5.  The recommended torque for terminal access is 12-17 in. lbs. for 20 amp systems and 30 amp systems and 21-24 in. lbs. for 50 amp systems.

Electrical Service At Marinas

Perhaps the most frustrating moment for the new boat owner occurs when he arrives at a marina only to find that his boat's shore power cord will not plug into the dockside power source. Although the National Electric Code has established standards for marinas, many marinas in existence today were built prior to the adoption of the Code in 1978. For this reason, the knowledgeable yachtsman has several adapters aboard if he travels from one marina to another.

Newer marinas have locking type shore power receptacles that will allow your boat's 30 ampere, 125 volt or 50 ampere, 250 volt shore cord to be plugged in without an adapter (Fig 15). A smart yachtsman with a 30 ampere or lighter electrical system will carry an adapter with a 15 ampere, 125 volt straight blade plug with a locking screw (Fig 16).

Boats utilizing two 30 ampere electrical systems would be wise to carry two of the 15 ampere, 125 volt straight blade adapters as well as two "Y" adapters -- one being a 50 ampere, 115/250 volt straight blade crowfoot with grounding clip (Fig 17) and the other being the 50 ampere, 125/250 volt locking type (Fig. 18)

It is a good policy to try and ascertain the type of shore power connection available at your destination before you begin your voyage. It is not enough to rely upon the local cruising guide, because they usually only tell you whether the power is 125 or 250 volt.

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