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I need a new shore power cable and am wondering whether the cable I have for my caravan will suffice. However having looked around the marina some boats seem to have mega chunky cables, so am wondering if boat cabling is higher ampage for some reason. 

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Provided the connections are blue (240v) as opposed to yellow (110v) and the cable is rated to at least 16amp then no problem at all , many private boats use leads from caravan suppliers .

Make sure the boat end has the correct fitting though .

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I have a 40 metre lead made up of 1.5mm2 cable and it's fine with the immersion heater on and a fan heater on low plus battery charger, I always fully unroll it though otherwise it will be a heater in it's own right, I also have a couple of shorter leads made from old site leads with the plugs changed.

It's not the external size that counts it's the mm2 of the conductors, as long as they can handle 16A it will be fine, the chunky stuff is generally more flexible at colder temperatures (called arctic cable) but no higher rated.

If you have a 32A to 16A converter (usually home made) it should have a fuse inside the plug to protect the cable in case of overload.

My long lead is a screwfix regular extension lead with plug changed, I use a 13A plug to 16A socket converter at the boat end inside the cockpit when I need the length.

Blue is the proper colour for 240V leads but yellow (110V) shows up better in grass to less of a trip hazard, the colour does not change the current rating of the lead at all.

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11 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

I have a 40 metre lead made up of 1.5mm2 cable and it's fine with the immersion heater on and a fan heater on low plus battery charger, I always fully unroll it though otherwise it will be a heater in it's own right, I also have a couple of shorter leads made from old site leads with the plugs changed.

It's not the external size that counts it's the mm2 of the conductors, as long as they can handle 16A it will be fine, the chunky stuff is generally more flexible at colder temperatures (called arctic cable) but no higher rated.

If you have a 32A to 16A converter (usually home made) it should have a fuse inside the plug to protect the cable in case of overload.

My long lead is a screwfix regular extension lead with plug changed, I use a 13A plug to 16A socket converter at the boat end inside the cockpit when I need the length.

Blue is the proper colour for 240V leads but yellow (110V) shows up better in grass to less of a trip hazard, the colour does not change the current rating of the lead at all.

With the length of your cable and your intended load I would be more inclined to make up a 2.5 mm2  3 core cable.

 

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my quick calculations estimate that the 1.5mm cable will drop 18 volts over 40m, whereas a 2.5mm one will only drop 11.5V, this will put the 1.5mm cable out of range of the standard allowed 5% volt drop, in fact the 2.5mm cable is borderline at just 0.5V over the minimum.

 

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Hi Foxy you need a cable sufficient to carry the max load you intend to use, boats tend to have more electrical items than caravans and the distance from the supply is often greater, Arctic cable is more suited as it is more pliable when cold than cheaper leads, colour ie blue 240v yellow 110v is mandatory on building sites for safty where different voltages are used.2'5 blue artic cable is the one to choose for most applications on most boats,as  you may wish to add more items in the future this will also carry safely the 16 amps max supply that is mostly available on moorings John

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