Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by sunnydaze, Apr 1, 2010.
the breakers should pop at 60 amp preventing damage to the cord, that's the point of CBs. there are typically 3 breakers to protect from pulling over 50amp: on the pedestal, at the inlet on the boat, and at the panel.
but yes, it can happen although i still believe that improper procedures are teh worst culprit when it comes to shore power cord damage
I try to avoid plugging if i only get 208v... that happened last week in George Town, Exumas... i found 206V so i disconnected and ran on one of the gennies
the boat that burned yesterday was a 57 Carber with two POB who bailed out and where picked up. burned to the waterline. news footage said it happened off Key Biscayne, I hear it was pretty windy in So Fl yesterday so looking a sea conditions on the footage i suspect it happened on the bay.
I tend to wonder if some of the fires are due to economy...I will leave it like that. The ones that maybe, put others at risk, unless the unwanted live aboards are lurking to cut the fire away from docks. It makes you wonder why live aboards are unwanted in some marinas
The lazarra and viking that burned a couple of years back were not due to the economy neither was the Patron fire. The Patron had several contractors working on it less than half an hour before it caught on fire, there were some very questionable wiring issues by two of the contractors therefore nothing to do with the marina. The earlier fire that started in the Lazarra causing the 74 viking and the boats surrounding it to get damaged actually had the owners kids trapped in the forward staterooms, so somehow I doubt that was caused "due to the economy" and from what I understand there was an issue with an air conditioning unit that may have caused the fire.
As strange as it may seem that two large yacht fires occurred in the same marina, almost in the same spot, I would say it's nothing more than a coincidence.
Actually, the problem that we keep seeing is due not just to high current draw but due to loose or bad connections. High resistance in the connection causes heat. A shore power cord that is plugged into a pedestal that has no lock ring on it (many dont) also causes problems. As the boat rocks, the cord moves and the contacts in the plug arc. After they have arc'ed a few times you have carbon build up on the contacts (both on the cord and the socket) then you have a high resistance connection that builds heat. Sometimes enough to start a fire. We have seen them catch on fire on the pedestal and also at the boat end. We always replace both cord end and pedestal socket at the same time.
A loose connection behind the shore power panel in the boat will of course do the same thing.
During the last ecconomic down turn back in the early 90's the insurance companies learned to get serious. A successful, local doctor here traded his license for a 6x9 jail cell after his boat was brought up from about 180'. Don't think there is too much of that going on anymore. The old 'it'll cost too much to check it out so just pay the claim' attitude is gone.
I heard from a reliable source (though not confirmed) that the Patron fire was from bad wiring on a large stereo system that was installed in the vessel.
Your source is wrong as the stereo was in storage and not plugged in to anything.