Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Re-purposing 12-Volt DC Secondary Circuit for 120-Volt AC Shore Power Primary Power Circuit
|Author||Topic: Re-purposing 12-Volt DC Secondary Circuit for 120-Volt AC Shore Power Primary Power Circuit|
posted 01-15-2012 08:36 PM ET (US)
Hi all. I just picked up a 2006 235 Conquest which has receptacles electric reels and downriggers. I'm wondering whether I can leverage these receptables to pick up shore power. Is this possible? Has anyone dones this befoe? Thanks.
posted 01-15-2012 11:51 PM ET (US)
Ok, so we assume that you mean using the 12VDC wiring infrastructure to run a 120VAC shore power connection. You never mentioned the shore power needs (15A/20A/30A...), but I'll assume 30A as typically found at marinas and such. (Otherwise you would use extension cords.)
You would have to take the associated wiring off the DC side and wire it to a dedicated AC portion. Off hand I would not re-use these components in this fashion at all.
First you want it to be a trust-worthy system that you don't loose sleep over. And second it should be done to ABYC standards; that way if the boat burns down, you aren't holding the bag for negligence due to bad wiring. The later implies that you very likely need to run new wire, and new connections.
I would install the proper 30A (or whatever) shore power receptacle, main breaker to the side of the cabin, battery area or whatever works best.
While re-using some stuff may start off as a money or effort saver. In the long run, for safety, and robustness, new wiring is worthwhile.
posted 01-16-2012 08:04 AM ET (US)
Gotcha, leave the current set-up as it was intended for. And if I really want shore power, set it up correctly in alignment with ABYC standards.
Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it.
posted 01-16-2012 05:00 PM ET (US)
You've got a nice boat with a replacement cost of around $100,000. I cannot see any wisdom in trying to save $100 on wire and wiring receptacles for 120-VAC shore power primary power wiring by trying to re-use some existing 12-VDC circuit fed from a secondary power distribution panel intended to power accessories in the cockpit. It makes no sense at all.
I don't recommend you attempt to self-install any 120-VAC power on your boat. From your question it sounds like you are not familiar 120-VAC power installation on a boat. Connecting a boat to 120-VAC shore power can create a dangerous hazard from electrocution, both for you and others on the boat, and for swimmers in the water near your boat. You should never attempt such an installation without a thorough understanding of the proper electrical practices, standards, and necessary safety equipment.
posted 01-25-2012 04:05 PM ET (US)
Yep, agreed. It's too bad because I just don't see myself using electric reels or downriggers.
Are there any other marine electrical appliances/toys that share that same male/female prong configuration? Here's a pic for reference:
posted 01-25-2012 06:31 PM ET (US)
I don't think so. Looks like you are destined for a life of answering the question, "what are those things for?"
posted 01-25-2012 10:53 PM ET (US)
That particular four-pole twist lock connector seems to have become popular for use with 12- and 24-Volt DC branch circuit wiring in small boat applications. If you have the NEMA (that's National Electrical Manufacturer Association, not NMEA, National Marine Electronic Association) designator for the plug you can find their recommended application. See
A good source of information about electrical wiring appliances, receptacle, plugs, connectors, and so on, can be found in
Generally the arrangement of the contacts of each particular plug is designed to prevent it from mating with other non-matching plugs so that circuits of different voltages, phases, and types cannot be connected inadvertently.
The plug shown in the image (linked above) appears to be a particular MARINCO 12-volt, 24-volt DC plug. See
posted 01-26-2012 02:04 AM ET (US)
You could always take up fishing.
posted 01-26-2012 04:40 PM ET (US)
Is there a NEMA designator for the receptacle shown? Or only for AC.
posted 01-26-2012 10:50 PM ET (US)
On closer reading, it looks like NEMA plug designators are only for plugs carrying AC. The Maretron 12- and 24-Volt connect appears to be their own design and does not have a NEMA designator.
posted 01-27-2012 10:28 AM ET (US)
Thanks Jim ,also why four contacts? Do they carry 12v and 24v at the same time?
Buoy, the receptacles in the cockpit of your 235 Conquest could be used to power a DC compressor for easily inflating water toys to tow behind your boat.
Obtain some of the correct male plugs for the outlets and attach them to power the DC items of your choice. Determine if they are 12v or 24v , what gauge wire,and are they connected from one battery or seperate batteries.
posted 01-27-2012 11:45 AM ET (US)
The Marinco site mentions an electric trolling motor and charging system. So I guess some reworking will be needed.
posted 01-29-2012 10:46 AM ET (US)
Conch--I am not familiar with the Marinco four-pole receptacle and its typical use in distributing 12- and 24-Volt power. I do note that the product literature mentions that you can mate both a 12-volt plug and a 24-volt plug.
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.