The existing shore power installation was dangerous,
at best. I investigated the "marine" options for improving the setup,
and was shocked (figuratively) at the cost involved for a complete
Instead, I opted for a compromise: everything wired up correctly, but
using house-grade parts from Home Depot. I feel comfortable doing this,
as I sail in fresh water only, and figured that this was already an
infinite improvement over what was here previously!
Shore power enters via a 30A cable from the shore, into a proper Marinco
inlet. From there, Ancor 10/3 wire carries it to the first breaker (in
the black box), which trips both hot and neutral together. From there,
it feeds into the second box, which splits the 30A feed into two 15A
circuits. The GFCI protection is at the outlets, which also have
In the third and fourth photos, you can see the pink pull strings I use
for pulling through additional wire through the conduit. As any
physicist knows, water doesn't flow uphill, and you can't push a rope.
Well, you can't push a wire either. I've tried!
This is how the boxes normally look, from inside the locker, and from
the cockpit. It is important to turn things on/off in the correct
order, to prevent accidental electrocution. 120V is not to be trifled
with. To hook up the boat: attach the cord, then turn on (1) the dock
breaker, (2) the 30A boat breaker, (3) the 15A circuit switch. To
disconnect the boat, it's the exact opposite -- start downstream: turn
off (1) the 15A circuit switch, (2) the 30A boat breaker, (3) the dock
breaker, and then disconnect the cord from the boat.
This is the back of the main 120V outlet, beside the main electrical
panel. Note the drip loop -- the wire does not feed into the top of the
junction box. Rather, it feeds up, so that water cannot drip into the
outlet and cause a short circuit.
And a few photos of hooking up the shore power, at 50 Point Marina in
Stoney Creek, Ontario:
© 2015 Melissa Goudeseune