'All electric' boats will be overloaded

Published: Friday, 19 October 2018

REGARDING the proposed electrical hook-ups for 'all electric boats'? Has anyone looked at the technical aspects? Asks Keith Gudgin.

Firstly a smallish domestic mains cooker will require somewhere around 6kW of electrical power
A couple of small convection heaters will need 4kW. Even a portable kettle uses 3kW. Add all these together and you will need an electrical feed capable of well over 13kW (13,000 watts). And that's without any lights, pumps, TVs, computers etc as well.


The common three core flex (2.5mm csa) used for connection is rated at around 25 amps. The blue and white plug and socket that most boats use is rated at 16 amps. 13kW equates to 56.5 amps which will overload the cable by over 200% and the plug and socket by 350%.

I would imagine that installing the electrical equipment and overloading the wiring like this would invalidate the boats insurance. It would certainly be very irresponsible and impose a very high fire risk.

Rated no more than 10 amps

I have also found that most of the outlets on the electrical posts in marinas are rated at no more than 10 amps. This gives you a maximum power availability of 2300 watts.

I really can't see the new posts at Paddington allowing any more than 15 amps (3450 watts) as the sockets on the posts are rated at only 16 amps and the electrical regulations would not allow them to be approved and certified if they were fitted with larger circuit breakers.

Not feasible

I really don't see this as feasible for visiting boats. The all mains electric boats appears to be an option only for permanent house boats with a proper certified electrical feed.