Smart Plug

py26129

Super Anarchist
2,880
217
Montreal
I am considering replacing the Marinco 30a shorepower plug with a Smart Plug, this spring. Our boat spends a lot of the summer plugged into shore power. Mainesail is quite fond of them and that's a good endorsement but I was wondering whether anyone here has any 1st hand experience with them and whether they would recommend them.

TIA

smartplug-30a.jpg


 

py26129

Super Anarchist
2,880
217
Montreal
That was the plan, replace the receptacle and the female end of the power cord. and stay compatible.

 

Blue Crab

benthivore
16,507
2,717
Outer Banks
After the boat end on my Marinco cord failed the second time, I bought the Smart Plug retrofit. End of worries. I also began using a 50A circuit plug adapter on the male end into the pedestal. It seems more secure to me. YMMV.

 
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WHK

Super Anarchist
1,657
116
Newport, RI
I replaced the boat end on my J/109 after the blades on the standard connector heated up due to resistance on a replaced standard plug less than 9 months old. I've seen electrical fires start at the dock due to these type of poor resistance connections. The Smartplug connector is much easier to mate since the shape is a no brainer to align - no looking for the blade with the tab to align. They also provide great support. I had the rubber seal on the cord side of the plug separate. I emailed them and asked if I could buy the seal. They asked that I email in a picture and sent me the entire replacement connector with the seal at no charge. You shouldn't think twice about changing out the connector with the boat side kit.

 
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sledracr

Super Anarchist
4,937
1,026
PNW, ex-SoCal
I installed the smart-plug receptacle on my boat last summer, and use their cord. Very happy with it. No longer noticing that the standard connector is warm.

Plus, as said above, it's simple to plug in the smart-plug connector, which is good because my boat-end socket is in an awkward place to get to, and it was a pain to get the twist-lock plug lined up.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,927
3,103
If the marina that you plan on plugging into doesn't have the receptacles on the docks, there is no benefit to it.
I disagree. If there's gonna be an overheat/fire situation, better it be at the dock end than at the boat end. Would it be best if both ends were Smart? Of course, but you definitely get more than 50% of the good with the boat end.

 

jack_sparrow

Super Anarchist
37,393
5,094
If the marina that you plan on plugging into doesn't have the receptacles on the docks, there is no benefit to it.
The marina end of the smart cable is standard not smart. Some countries like US have a plug standard unfortunately still written around the twist action. Some countries have industrial style screwed collars which is arguably superior to the smart. Unfortunately no one seems to make small marine quality screwed collar variety recepticals (only big clunky industrial) suitable for smaller boats so the Smart Plug people have spotted a good market. Marinco won't be happy having dominated it for so long.

 
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Alaris

Super Anarchist
1,853
671
Annapolis
Digging this thread up. What are the current thoughts on the smartplug? I feel like the upgrade makes sense for living aboard just on peace of mind alone.

I’m also rewiring the dock for unrelated reasons so I can do both ends.
 

ghost37

Member
194
39
Boston
Totally worth it. It's a no-brainer. In addition to the secure connection, the cord itself is far more flexible and easier to wrangle than a standard cord. If peace of mind is the goal, I'd recommend using the install as an opportunity to review and update AC wiring on your boat, too. One other thing I'd recommend for living aboard is installing an ammeter to keep an eye on what you're drawing.
 

Alaris

Super Anarchist
1,853
671
Annapolis
Totally worth it. It's a no-brainer. In addition to the secure connection, the cord itself is far more flexible and easier to wrangle than a standard cord. If peace of mind is the goal, I'd recommend using the install as an opportunity to review and update AC wiring on your boat, too. One other thing I'd recommend for living aboard is installing an ammeter to keep an eye on what you're drawing.
The boat does have an ammeter, so I do have that part covered! Thanks for the tip.
 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,342
1,044
The Gorge
I added the smartplug / cord combination to the old boat. It was almost easy. Screw holes all lined up with old Marinco ones but I had to file out the corners so the square plug could go in the round hole. Comes with a cord storage bag, which is nice if you seldom use the shore power and want a neat way to store it.

One thing I didn't like was that the back of the receptacle leaves hot terminals exposed. It needs to be in a box, but there wasn't room for that.

Guess I should get busy and buy one for the new boat, as the cordset is pretty sketchy-looking. So many things to fix...
 

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