end of the cable but may also reveal itself as a discolored or burned
appearance around the female connector. Although the problem
may result from high current loading, the typical cause is poor
mechanical contact between the male and female parts of the connector, particularly when the plug is retained in the socket solely
by its three contact blades. Fortunately both the male and female
connectors on the shore power cable can be replaced without difficulty by following the very clear instructions supplied with the
Prevent this type of failure by supporting the cable with a
length of line tied to the shore power pedestal, relieving some of
the strain on the connector.
Doing A Slow Burn
Q. My dock has a 240-volt, 50-amp twist-lock connector. I
use a splitter to feed the two 120-volt, 30-amp inlets on the boat.
Last week I noticed that one of the terminals on the female end
of the 30-amp power cord was burned. As far as I know, the cord
has never been overloaded. I’ve kept the terminals clean with spray
cleaner. What could be causing this problem? Also, can the connectors on the power cord be replaced or should I purchase a new
cord? — William Boxmeyer
Water Intake Valve That’s Not Cool
Q. I’m the second owner of a 1984, 30-foot Bertram. The cooling water intake valves for the engines were open when I bought
the boat and I haven’t been able to close them even after using
vinegar, WD- 40, and hot water in my effort to free them. I want to
be able to close them but don’t want to break the handle by using
too much force. What do you suggest? — John Garner
A. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for one or more of the connection blades on a 30A twist-lock connector to show signs of
damage from overheating. The problem usually shows at the male
A. It is very important that these valves and all others that control the entry of seawater into the hull be easy to operate. Based on
the age of the boat, it is possible that you are dealing with a rubber
plug type of seacock, in which case there will likely be a hex nut or
wing nut on the side opposite the handle. If the nut is present, try
loosening it a couple of turns and then tapping on the shaft at the
center of the handle to free the rubber plug so that it can rotate.
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