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Posted By Topic: Shipyard Shore Power

Aug 07 2019 08:12

I work in a shipyard that hauls boats out of the water to be worked on. We have a set of pedestals that provide power and water to the boats when they are on the hard which is all fine.

The company has recently decided to increase the size of one of their fabrication workshops to allow boats to be stored inside and worked on.

If we plan to plug the boats into the existing outlets (63A, 32A and 16A) that are there.

Do I need to change all these outlets to comply with 3004.1:2014 2.5 (each outlet individually protected, RCDs on every outlet. No more than 6 outlets.)

Or is it fine as it is an existing installation and we are not changing any of the wiring. Just changing the purpose of the outlet?

Aug 07 2019 10:17

For existing sockets, technically you are not installing; so at that level the rules for installing don't apply, and the sockets can stay as they are.

For new sockets, technically what you describe is outside the definition of a "marina" [Clause 1.4.5 of 3004.1: 2008]; so even new sockets don't have to comply with 3004.1.

Because it's not a marina, there's also no requirement to have it periodically assessed under ESR 75 every 5 years.

However strict application of the ESRs is not the only consideration; there are other aspects to consider.

Unless the existing / proposed socketsare types suitable for the plugs on the boat supply leads, you should change so as to avoid having to use adaptors. The three types listed in 3004.1 [3.1.2] are "3112", "3123" & "60309"; but the most common by far for NZ boats is 60309; same as is used for caravan parks.

Another thing to consider is RCD protection. It's likely that there aren't any on existing sockets, and they wouldn't be specifically required for new sockets. There may or may not be any on the boats. Must doing maintenance on boats would be a high risk of damage to leads etc, for RCDs would be highly desirable. And in some cases - eg a confined engine room - the work site could be a "substantially conductive situation" thus triggering ESR 89 restrictions on supply to electric tools; the easiest option being double-insulated tools supplied through an RCD.

So RCDs would be at least a very good idea. They would also be a "reasonably practicable step" under WHS requirements.

Whether you protect just a single socket per RCD (as for a marina), or (for example) an entire pedestal; comes down to cost vs inconvenience. When someone damages a cord, you want to avoid shocks but you might not want to cause a whole bunch of people to stop work.