“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Two Electrical Projects Knocked Out this Weekend (bigger project found)

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Boy, have we been neglecting this blog.  Over a month since my last post.  I have six posts in draft that I have to proof and add photos.  But work has been crazy and keeping me from this blog and other things.

This weekend I had a chance to jump on a couple of quicker electrical projects.

The first was installing the Smart Plug system.  After reading about several boat fires caused by running high loads (i.e. heaters) on the old twist and lock plugs and the typically well done article from Maine Sail/Compass Marine I was terrified.  It was time for this upgrade.  I ordered the refit kit from Amazon Prime for about $170.

The project was barely a cup of coffee long.

Here are the videos on the Smart Plug website that are very easy to follow.  And the written direction they provided were very easy to follow.  They even had one of the coolest things I have seen integrated into directions.  To scale wires so you could get the sizing perfect without using a ruler.


The boat side of the project took about 25 minutes.  Could have been shorter but I found some corrosion on the leads that were hooked up to the old plug so I cut about an inch off and restriped the wires to get rid of it.

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The plug side took a little more time but the total project was finished in an hour and a half.


You can definitely see and feel the upgrades to this system over the standard twist and lock.

The other project I worked on was something that has been on the list for 4 years.  Smitty came with a mast head TV antenna.  It’s a nice powered, HD antenna but it has never worked right.  A couple of weeks ago we were in Gloucester and the weather wasn’t looking great.  I tried to catch the weather but the cheap rabbit ears we have been using couldn’t get any local channels.  So I decided to tackle this project plus installing a 12 volt outlet for the TV so we could use it at anchor if we wanted.  As usual with boat wiring it came down to bad connections done by the previous owner.


I cut those out and replaced all the power and antenna connections and the system now works great.  We have about 40 channels, most of them in HD.  We were able to watch the Patriots game on the boat yesterday in a nice, clear picture.

While doing this work I decided to check out the wiring for the wind instrument and radar.  Looks like I have another project to add to the list.

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One thought on “Two Electrical Projects Knocked Out this Weekend (bigger project found)

  1. Good on the PO for using terminals. Could be worse. Looks like fun.

    We looked at the smart plug setup ourselves a few weeks back. Ended up just replacing the old shore power connector instead. Looks nice and I like the strain relief setup.

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