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Rerunning Shore Power

Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Hey y'all,

Good morning! We down here in Houston are miserable today, between the cold rain and loss of the World Series. I, however, am miserable because of something else. For some God-forsaken reason, Mr. Frank Butler decided that it would be a fantastic idea to design the Catalina 25 with the shore power plug in the forward anchor locker.

Problem 1: The anchor locker floods with water after any amount of rain, which places the entire electrical system at risk of being damaged or totally screwed.

Problem 2: The plug itself is a regular AC plug. It's almost like the boat's entire electrical system is connected to a super long extension cord like you'd see in your garage.

Tomorrow, I'll be bringing a gasket to install with marine caulk under the lid of the anchor locker. I'll also be stopping by Y.E.S. Electrical to get a quote about fixing the electrical issues my boat is having:

- interior lights don't work, except for one on the bulkhead
- two out of three AC plugs in the cabin work
- fore and aft nav lights stopped working two months ago, mast lights never worked
- breaker panel randomly stopped working three weeks ago

Usually, I'm the kind of sailor to fix problems himself. In this case, I have almost no experience with electrical work, and just want to get this monster taken care of. If y'all have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:
Nov 3, 2018
75
Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 Firth of Tay Herrington Harbour North
You are doing the right thing by having professionals inspect and fix (or replace) your wiring.

Up in the DC area, we had some nice parties last night.....
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Jan 22, 2008
533
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Simon, I'd be surprised to find out the household outlet in the anchor locker is original Catalina design and not some previous owner modification. I've used them before, YES is good, but it will cost you a lot. If you can wait till we can coordinate a time when we can both be at your boat, I'll take a look at it and try show you how to check things with a volt meter, make splices, etc. DC side is easy on that size boat, AC is tricky and dangerous if you're not trained or experienced. I replaced my shore power connection with a Smart Plug, don't use anything else. I also installed an ELCI breaker, might be overkill on your boat.
 
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Simon, I'd be surprised to find out the household outlet in the anchor locker is original Catalina design and not some previous owner modification. I've used them before, YES is good, but it will cost you a lot. If you can wait till we can coordinate a time when we can both be at your boat, I'll take a look at it and try show you how to check things with a volt meter, make splices, etc. DC side is easy on that size boat, AC is tricky and dangerous if your not trained or experienced. I replaced my shore power connection with a Smart Plug, don't use anything else. I also installed an ELCI breaker, might be overkill on your boat.

Hey Bill! Good to hear from you, meeting with you would be awesome! There are so many things that need to be done to my boat, but this is by far and away one of the bigger projects. I would LIKE to rerun the shore power plug to the cockpit with an actual proper plug (forgot what they're called, big, yellow things).
 
Jul 23, 2018
24
hunter 31 misty aquia
Im pretty sure that C25s with shorepower have the connector on the forward port side of the cockpit coming. Its a normal 30A shorepower connector. Your's sounds like an owner mod gone badly.
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Im pretty sure that C25s with shorepower have the connector on the forward port side of the cockpit coming. Its a normal 30A shorepower connector. Your's sounds like an owner mod gone badly.
Oddly enough, that's exactly where I want it. 30A, that's what it's called! Well, I suppose the previous owner didn't take into account all these issues, but the work was at least done cleanly...it looks factory! I've never set foot on another Catalina 25, so I just assumed the plug was factory.
 
Jul 23, 2018
24
hunter 31 misty aquia
here is one

these are supposed to be good as well, but you need adifferent cord


you can see the connector right in front of the sheet winch

 
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
here is one

these are supposed to be good as well, but you need adifferent cord


you can see the connector right in front of the sheet winch

Thank you so much for the info.! I'll have to replace the cord anyway, so honestly it's all about which one is cheaper!
 
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Likes: Alansails
Jun 21, 2004
1,292
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
If you decide to install a 30 amp Marine AC power inlet, by all means, spend a little more and install a “Smart Plug”. One of the better mods that I did on my boat. Absolutely more convenient and better conductor with less resistance.
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Jan 7, 2011
1,641
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I was pleasantly surprised to find my O’Day 322 has 30 amp plugs in both the anchor locker (well-drained locker I should add) as well as in the cockpit lazzarette . I usually dock bow in. Really nice to have a short cord to the anchor locker for power.

Something sounds a bit sketchy with your set up....best to get it inspected and fixed by a pro.


sorry about the Series... my Cubs never got close. But Dave Martinez has a Cubs connection (he was a bench coach for the Cubs) so, I was pulling for Washington. And I was really only watching to see if the 2 girls from game 5 snuck back in....

Greg
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
May 7, 2012
669
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
so honestly it's all about which one is cheaper!
Before you make your decision based on price alone, I suggest that you touch base with your marine insurance company. When I initially installed the Smart Plug my insurance company immediately sent me a check for $75. Thereafter, I receive a $50/year discount on my insurance. It did not take long to pay for the much safer AC shore cable and boat side receptacle.
 
Jan 22, 2008
533
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Go with the Smart Plug system! You'll end up replacing the Marinco after it melts in a week or maybe lasts a year if you're lucky. Every one I've seen the hot is melted or has black soot spark remnants, just not enough contact area.
Shore Power - SmartPlug vs. 1938
Look at Maine Sail's article and web site, very useful information.
 
May 24, 2004
6,002
CC 30 South Florida
Uh, just run the extension to the cabin instead of plugging it in at the anchor locker; plug in a "power Strip" and the appliances to it. Avoid the rain until you get that shorepower plug relocated and the faulty circuits fixed.
 

JRT

Feb 14, 2017
1,541
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
May 7, 2011
167
Catalina 30 Lake Lanier
Ditto on the SMARTPLUG recommendation. We did that for our 1985 Catalina 30 and love it. No trying to figure out the orientation in the dark, no guessing if the plug is locked, just an easy, secure connection.

Assuming you have a typical 30A shore power cord and If you are up to a simple conversion, the plug and inlet combo is cheaper than the factory made cord and inlet. I've done both. (One inlet dedicated to marine A/C, the other to everything else.)

I rewired our boat, it is not hard. The power is off as long as the cord is disconnected, so no AC shock hazard while working on it. There is a lot of info on the net about ABYC requirements. (You must use stranded marine wire, not solid house wire!) If you have someone else do it, ask if you could watch so you will know how it was done. (And have the wires labeled.)

If the 'shore power' setup you have now is a PO job, then I conclude you panel is DC only? If so, you will need an AC panel with a main AC 30 amp breaker as well along with a breaker of the appropriate amperage for each individual circuit. It should be completely separated from the DC panel, except for tying the DC ground to the AC safety ground. Refits can get by if there is a physical barrier covering the AC wiring like a plastic box. If you have the money to do it right, I'd recommend an ELCI breaker for the main AC breaker. The 110v outlets in the boat need to have a GFCI at the head of the circuit. (A GFCI outlet that feeds downstream outlets is acceptable.)

Are there any fuses in the 12v running light/mast head light circuits? I'd also look for bad connections. I've found some on our boat that were just twisted and wrapped in electrical tape and that does not cut it. Also, Catalina in the day used tinned trailer connectors that corrode and build resistance until no power flows. Could the masthead lights be burned out? Is the wire running up the mast even connected?

Good Luck!
 
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Likes: Simon Sexton
Aug 1, 2011
3,553
Catalina 270 Wabamun - on the orange ball
I rewired our boat, it is not hard. The power is off as long as the cord is disconnected, so no AC shock hazard while working on it.
All true. Unless, a: you have little to no idea what you're doing, and b: you dont actually plan on plugging something into it.

No disrespect intended, but its not that easy, and the original comment suggested a discrete lack of knowledge.
 
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Simon, so why does the anchor locker flood? Does it not have a drain?
The anchor locker does not have a drain, but I have ordered a new latch for it and will be installing both the latch and a gasket to keep it watertight tomorrow.
 
Nov 1, 2017
585
Catalina 25 Tall Rig Valiant Watergate Marina, Kemah, TX
Could the masthead lights be burned out? Is the wire running up the mast even connected?
That's a good question, and one I had wondered myself for quite sometime until just last weekend. We've replaced our deck plug already, and the volt meter reads positive for the power coming from the deck. However, we believe that the issue with the lights aloft has to do with a bad spot inside the mast somewhere. We came to this conclusion because we've literally replaced everything, lights, plugs, fuses and all.