April 2004 --
Running wire for the Starboard AC
was a bit of a challenge as I wanted to
keep the AC runs away from the
Nav Station DC and signaling wires.
So I used a long drill bit to align pilot holes through the entire new nav station table, directly under the AC panel.
The wire for the Nav station inverter plug
is also protected
by hose as it
through the desk.
Ivory plugs from
run off shore power
without touching the inverter.
To left is the template for the shore AC plug, in the cabinet under the nav station. I traced the AC box onto paper, and taped it to the right spot, then outlined it with masking tape so that power tools wouldn't mar the finish.
The ivory plug is low and out of the way,
since it will only be used at the dock.
AC wiring connections should be just as corrosion resistant as any other connection on the boat.
All AC wiring is connected to the plugs using Ancor ring terminals, sealed with heat shrink.
By The Way -- AC Plugs should always be installed
with the ground on the bottom. This is because they're supposed to look like
little faces. The ground is the mouth and the slots are the eyes. How would
you like it if you spent your entire life with your
head on upside down?
This picture (left) just shows how the wire is labeled.
Gray plugs denote the inverter-fed AC run,
while plugs that are connected
directly to shore power are Ivory (see AC Panel.)
It's *possible* to run all
my AC plugs through the inverter,
since the Xantrex has a relay to switch AC loads
over to the shore feed when shore power is on.
I didn't wire it like that, because
I only want a few plugs to provide inverter power.
I don't want to have a space heater plugged in,
then have a brain fart and accidentally drain my batteries.
The Gray Plugs will make me think before plugging a load in.
It was tough to fit a drill
with a hole saw inside the panel space, but this right angle adapter from Vermont American (from Home Depot) allowed it to fit.
Then I fit a section of hose
through the holes, so that the
AC wiring can pass through
the back corner inside the desk,
without leaving exposed wiring.
The nylon tie-wrap blocks are epoxied to
the fiberglass, after roughing it up with my Handy Dremel Tool.
Every time the wire passes
through a bulkhead or the liner,
it's protected it from chafe
with a section of hose.
Below is a pic of how the wires run
behind the starboard bench.
The starboard plug up in the V Berth is in
the original box.
It's a good spot, up high and tucked in at the end of the shelf.
I replaced the plug because I had to pull it all apart
to run new wire, so why not?
Besides, the old plug was brown and I never could find it.
Odd, but I didn't know that the plugs don't match the face plate until I saw this picture. This plug is barely visible, so it really doesn't matter. I have noticed that I fumble around *a lot* less now that it's a light color (and the ground is on the bottom.)
In the main cabin, this new four gang jack has two plugs that are on the shore AC run, and two that run through the inverter.
The idea is to avoid using the gray plugs, so I don't do something stupid and drain my batteries. Perhaps I'm being paranoid about that, but I have been known to be forgetful.
I just don't want to accidentally leave an AC appliance plugged in and spend 6 hours sailing or away from the boat at anchor, then discover that I have wasted my batteries.