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
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!
In following our most recent blog regarding SmartPlug products in emergency vehicles, we thought we’d share a few pictures sent to us by Anderson Island Fire/Rescue of their recent upgrade to the SmartPlug in their fleet of first response vehicles. Because reliability and uptime are critical to emergency services departments like Anderson Island Fire/Rescue, we are proud to be able to provide them with a safer and more reliable product. The consensus from the crew is that they are quite happy with the usability and performance of their new SmartPlug 30 Amp Inlet and Connector (B30ASSY) kits. That’s what we like to hear!
Check out the pictures:
Taking a momentary break from our usual SmartPlug marine news we are excited to let you know that we have recently entered into the Emergency Vehicle market. In the past few weeks we shipped out several units to an ambulance company in Virginia who have converted their entire emergency vehicle fleet with 30 Amp SmartPlug inlet and connectors. We also have units on ambulances in Antioch, IL, on fire boats in Anderson Island, WA and in the Miami-Dade department as well as requests for our 50 Amp SmartPlug from the Seattle Harbor Patrol.
Emergency Vehicles are subjected to harsh environments similar to boats. They are exposed to all different types of weather, vibration, contamination by various chemicals such as oil and fuel as a boat would be while plugged in. Since they are currently using the same twist lock plug to supply electricity as the marine industry uses they are susceptible to the same dangers such as burning and melting. Those who have contacted us from Virginia, Illinois, Seattle and Miami have expressed their frustrations and concerns of finding their plugs in this condition and were looking for an alternative with a similar cost.
Once the ambulance company in Virginia received a SmartPlug to test on one of their emergency vehicles they realized there was no better choice. Not only has the SmartPlug offered them a much more dependable and safer option but it has also saved them a large amount of money too!
Come April our product will have been on the market for one year. There have been three specific misconceptions about the SmartPlug throughout the past year and we want to clear those up today! First, the SmartPlug shore power system is available for immediate use and you can upgrade and Protect Your Boat Today! There have been several questions about having to wait because the marina hasn’t yet upgraded. We want to be very clear about this, the marina DOES NOT need to be converted to the SmartPlug for you to be able to get the benefits of the new system. The SmartPlug Inlet and Connector (B30ASSY) kit gives you everything you need. Just replace the boatside end of your existing shore power cord, install the new inlet on your boat and your end of the shore power problem is taken care of.
This brings us to our second misconception, adapters. There are no adapters needed to be able to use the SmartPlug system. As we said above, you just need to replace the boatside end of your existing cord and your old inlet and you’re all set! Once all of our boatside products are available we will be begin releasing dockside products so the marina can also benefit from the protection provided by the SmartPlug System. When the dockside products are available we will be offering adapters that the marina can use for those who have not yet converted to the SmartPlug system.
Finally, because the dockside end of your cord will remain the old-style, you will be able to visit any marina or dock equipped with the old standard while still protecting your boat. Simply bring your converted cord (or one of the upcoming SmartPlug Dual Configuration Cordsets!) with you wherever you cruise.
Happy safe boating!
I just visited one of our local marine stores in town and it always amazes me that we see signs like this. The store is absolutely doing their part to keep their customers aware and safe but it’s the fact that they feel they need to which never ceases to blow my mind. In fact, I just had a discussion with a safety and security marine officer who said he has literally been asked to leave marinas when he asked questions about how fires were related to shore power. With that said, we do encourage everyone to check their shore power! Here are the four major signs that your shore power is failing.
- Corrosion-Pitting on the blades (which looks like little green or black dots).
- Discoloration around the female connector on the face of the plug.
- Deformation of the holes on the connector.
- Any sort of melting, black color or burning plastic on either the inlet or the connector.
Remember next time you have to replace your shore power there is finally a better option, think SmartPlug!
With the Seattle Boat Show and Miami International Boat Show being back to back you can say we stayed very busy this past month and came home with a lot to report! To begin with, we’ve added 6 new dealers; Port Townsend Rigging, Par Yacht Charters, High Seas Electric, Seabrook Yacht Services, Lapwing Marine and AYS. Com-Cor Technical Services joined us as a distributor and has converted 4 ambulances to the 30 Amp SmartPlug. Furthermore, two Fire departments one in Washington and the other in Miami, Florida agreed to test out the SmartPlug on their fire boats and if it performs as they expect, they will be converting all their boats to the SmartPlug system. One of those departments is Anderson Island who is moored at Bremerton Yacht Club in the state of Washington. Just a couple days ago we received a phone call from them telling us how impressed and enthusiastic they are with the SmartPlug and that it has gained a lot of interest from other members. We’re glad to hear it’s living up to its expectations (but not surprised)!
Coming home from the boat shows we are happy to report that we are continually gaining support in the marine industry and now also with first response vehicles. We also had a lot of opportunity to talk in depth with people in the industry about the continued problems caused by the current standard and the need for a change. In addition we had a visit from Bob Bitchin at Lats & Atts that you can check out here! Thanks to all that came by to speak with us. We look forward to keeping in touch!