For many of you who have been following us through our trials and tribulations, you know that getting through the ETL certification process has been a difficult (and expensive) journey. Well, all of our hard work and patience has finally paid off. As of October 12th we have been officially blessed with the ETL mark and are now for sale internationally. With having this mark, it states that we meet or exceed all test parameters set forth by the Underwriters Laboratory for electrical plugs and receptacles.
For us, this is very good news. We have continually come up against responses from OEM manufacturers and international dealers “What about your certifications?”, now we have an answer that everyone can get behind. “Yes we are certified and yes you can buy them” and we have seen a dramatic increase in our sales numbers by now having passed this milestone. Now that we have started this process with our 30amp combo kits and individually packaged units, we move on to our molded cord-sets and then shortly after, the 50amp line.
When this adventure started we were committed to creating a safer product which protects the boater and addresses all of the primary causes of shore power failure and fires. You may have already seen this throughout our website and in blogs…but we believe that it’s all about protecting the boater NOW!
SmartPlug does recognize that the dockside end of the shore power connection is also very problematic and contributes to the unsafe reputation that the twist-type has made for itself. SmartPlug Systems is making significant progress in working with the appropriate regulatory bodies to change the standard for dockside shore power. We anticipate having dockside products (including dockside outlets and SmartPlug-to-SmartPlug cordsets) available in 2011. Unfortunately, changing a system that has been used for over 70 years takes time, but in the meantime we want our product available for you to use and provide you with the peace of mind that you know you’re doing everything you can to protect you your boat today!
SmartPlug 30 Amp Dual Configuration Cordset
The SmartPlug Dual Configuration 30 Amp Cordsets [C30503 & C30253] are arriving soon (July 2010) and are packed full of new features to protect your boat and provide you with that extra piece of mind! Anticipated to hit the shelves in July 2010, the SmartPlug cordset offers a new solution to the problems of marine shore power. It’s safer, easier to use and much more reliable than any marine cordset available today. We’ve put a lot of time and thought into how best to improve upon the existing problematic standard and make a product that you can feel good about purchasing. Here are some of the key features:
- No Adapters Needed
- The SmartPlug Dual Configuration cordset was designed to protect the boatside end of the shore power connection first, while allowing for integration with older twist-type connections on the marina end. Simply install a SmartPlug 30 Amp Inlet on your boat and plug the SmartPlug end of the cordset into it. The dockside end of the cord connects directly to the older twist-type marina connections.
SmartPlug 30A Dual Configuration cordset with SmartPlug Inlet
- It’s Weatherproof
- Water intrusion leads to corrosion, and corrosion leads to electrical arcing and overheating. SmartPlug’s fully molded cordset – along with its weatherproof face seal on the boatside end – eliminates moisture intrusion.
Weatherproof face seal
- Tinned Copper Wire
- SmartPlug Cordsets are the first to use tinned copper wire (10/3) for the ultimate in corrosion resistance and durability. Tinned wire is considered the premium choice for the marine environment as it lasts up to 10 times longer than non-tinned wire. In fact, marine industry experts recommend the use of tinned wiring throughout the boat for these same reasons.
SmartPlug cord with tinned copper wire
- Sleeved Design
- One of the primary causes of failure in the old twist-type design is that the electrical pins bear any weight or tension on the cord. This is of greatest concern on the boatside end of the shore power cable where most of the movement occurs. The SmartPlug’s sleeve design means that the body of the connector bears that tension, rather than the electrical pins, keeping those points of electrical contact secure.
- Multi-Point Locking System
- Locking side levers on the connector – along with the SmartPlug Inlet’s locking cap – ensure a rock solid connection on the boatside end.
Multi-Point Locking System
It’s no secret that a significant number of AC electrical boat fires are due to faulty shore power. But did you know that the common twist-type plug that was designed in 1938 was never intended for marine use? The design as we know it today was originally developed for industrial use with only incremental improvements made to adapt it for marine use twenty years later. Well, no wonder…..
Burnt twist-type plug
SmartPlug Systems was recently featured in The RANC (The Real Association of National Cruisers), a leading Spanish publication, founded in 1973. The publication goes to press just twice a year, and having our 30 Amp Inlet and Connector Retrofit Kit featured in the #68 Spring/Summer edition 2010 feels honorable. This edition coincides with the start of the most active season of navigation, boat racing, and cruising for Spanish and European cruisers and sailboat owners. The magazine is predominantly distributed to marinas and yacht clubs in Spain, but The RANC’s high-quality audience extends into other European countries as well. The RANC is heavily involved in the international sailing scene, and is involved with IRC certifications, the system of handicapping sailboats & yachts for the purpose of racing.
You can now ask for SmartPlug Products at your local West Marine stores. The world’s largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories can now take your order for the SmartPlug 30 Amp Inlet and Connector Retrofit Kit (#B30ASSY), the 30 Amp Connector (#BF30), and the 30 Amp Inlet (#BM30S). SmartPlug Systems is thrilled to be working with such a well known boating retailer. We expect that with the addition of West Marine as a dealer SmartPlug products will reach a far broader consumer audience. Today, West Marine has over 300 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada supplying everything the boating industry demands from the rope that started it all, to the latest in marine electronics.
Consumers looking to purchase SmartPlug Products online have that option. Go to www.westmarine.com. Click on Shop Categories/Electrical/Shorepower Phone & TV/Brand: SmartPlug Systems.
In addition to West Marine, our largest National Retail Dealer, SmartPlug Systems is poised with a strong Dealer & Distributor network in the US, Canada, & US Virgin Islands. Refer to www.smartplug.com for a complete updated listing of Dealers and Distributors.
The 30 Amp Inlet and Connector represent just the tip of the iceberg with SmartPlug Systems planned roll-out of marine shore power products. Currently in production and available in Summer 2010 are the 30 Amp Dual Configuration Cordset, and the protective SmartPlug Weatherproof Cover which will protect either the 30 Amp or 50 Amp connector from moisture when not in use. Shortly after these products roll out, SmartPlug plans to release the beginning of the 50 Amp shore power product line to include an inlet, connector, and dual configuration cordset.
Here’s another great example of an emergency response team appreciating that safety and reliability are critical to their work. Thank you to Miami-Dade Fire who has recently upgraded to the SmartPlug 30 Amp system!
SmartPlug Systems has been invited to make formal presentations at the following local NW Yacht Clubs:
6/14/2010 @ 11am. CYC (Corinthian Yacht Club Seattle) Monday Lunch!
6/18/2010 @ 6pm. PAYC (Port Angeles Yacht Club) Dinner Meeting & Program.
7/13/2010 @ 6pm. (TTPYC) Three Tree Point Yacht Club General Meeting & Program.
In March of this year, we attended Everett Yacht Club’s Monthly Meeting as the featured program speakers. The invitation came from Tina Sauers, Fleet Captain who had installed a SmartPlug on her boat, EL NIDO, and was excited to share with the EYC membership just how easy it was to retrofit the inlet and connector.
Our presentations are very informative, to include the focus on safety within the marine environment, the importance of checking your shore power, and the results of loose connections which could lead to corrosion or worst case, fire. We will cater a presentation to the timeline we have available, and bring samples of burnt inlets and connectors. The presentations end with a Q & A period which historically, has been very interactive and informative. We will donate a SmartPlug Inlet and Connector Retrofit Kit as our way of thanking your Yacht Club for the presentation opportunity.
If you would like to schedule a presentation, please contact Christine Scott, Director of Marketing @ SmartPlug Systems, 206-285-2990.
With SmartPlug products out on the market for quite a few months now, we’ve been getting some feedback and questions regarding how everything works. I’ve chosen this blog to highlight the cable strain relief system within our boat-side connector and how it does such an effective job of reducing the stresses on the wiring connections.
One thing that most people (Men) historically have a problem with is reading the instructions. Then when there’s a problem we (Men), usually go rooting around in the trash to find them. For our product, it is very important to pay attention to the instructions while doing the installation of the SmartPlug boat-side connector. As seen below, we have designed a three jaw system to grab the outer jacket of the wire and by holding the wire securely in place we eliminate any stresses on the internal electrical connection.
As shown in the pictures below you can clearly see the difference between a proper and improper installation. In a proper installation all three points of the jaws will contact the outer insulation of the wiring. If you strip the outer insulation too far back the jaw system cannot grab the wire correctly and the individual conductors cannot hold the wire in place securely. The measurements specified in the installation instructions should be adhered to for proper function.
If you have any additional questions about features of the SmartPlug feel free to contact the SmartPlug team at email@example.com.
SmartPlug Systems’ products were recently introduced in the Middle East at two world events: the 2010 Dubai International Boat Show (DIBS) and the 2nd Annual Bahrain Boat Show 2010 in the Amwaj Islands. DIBS is the most important and established event of its kind in the Middle East region and Indian subcontinent. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, the multi-award winning event is among the top five leading international boat shows in the world. DIBS is proud to be the chosen and trusted platform for world leading companies to showcase their World Premiers and Regional Launches.
The Middle East has proven to be a region for companies from all over the globe to showcase their latest designs and innovations. SmartPlug Systems is proud to be presented in this segment of the world markets, and would like to express sincere appreciations to Arabia Marine for bridging this opportunity.
Back in the US, SmartPlug Systems was represented at the recent Strictly Sail Boat Show April 15–18, 2010 on San Francisco Bay at Jack London Square in Oakland, California. We were grateful to share booth space with Svendsen’s Marine Distributing, a SmartPlug Dealer located in Alameda, California. The Strictly Sail Boat Show is the largest sailboat show on the West Coast and is sponsored by Sail America, the trade association for the US Sailing Industry. Sail America plays a vital role for all companies that produce sailing related products and services.
Finally, Ocean Pacific Marine Supply, a SmartPlug Dealer in British Columbia, Canada, invited us to attend it’s annual Marine & Boat Show in beautiful Campbell River April 17, 2010. We were honored to present SmartPlug at this annual event, and our company and the product was extremely well received. Ocean Pacific is a boatyard and marine supply operation in Campbell River, BC. Since 1985 they have provided complete outfitting and repair services for both commercial and pleasure craft.