Viking engineers have designed your yacht’s electrical system to safely and efficiently supply and operate hundreds of onboard functions. Some simple power management practices will go a long way toward keeping all electrical machinery and devices running smoothly. Monitoring AC and DC power consumption and distribution becomes even more important when electrical accessories are added to the boat.
Whether your Vikingis equipped with a conventional circuit breaker panel (left) or a digital display (right), you can easily monitor electrical power consumption by periodically checking the voltage and amperage readings.
Optimal power use differs at the dock and underway. At sea, the generator(s) do a fine job of operating the various electrical components. A 92 Convertible‘s two 40 kW generators (above) produce 334 amps of power capacity – enough to supply several 100-amp houses on a city block. (That said, your total load must not exceed the generator output rating.) In comparison, most dock service dispenses a maximum of 240 amps. The reliability of shore power is lower, too, because you’re sharing juice with other vessels in the marina.
Shore power distribution depends in part on the number of boats tapping into the same line and the condition of the shore side equipment. Your slip position may also come into play since long docks are notorious for voltage drops, which cause fluctuations in available power.
As electricity travels throughout a marina, voltage loss potential increases due to the growing number of discharge points at each slip. Electrical current (amperage) is continuous and inversely proportional, meaning that as voltage decreases amperage increases. When this happens, electrical systems begin eating up amps at a higher rate to operate the accessories.
If the amperage exceeds a circuit breaker’s rated capacity, it automatically trips and shuts off the power to protect the components. Tripping may occur with individual circuits on the boat or the dockside breaker. Start by checking the component’s corresponding breaker and the shore power breaker, both located at the main distribution panel. Next, try the incoming shore power ELCI breaker in the engineroom (above). If resetting any of these three circuits does not restore power, go to the dockside pedestal (below) and turn this breaker off and on again. More often than not, the problem traces back to the dock’s electrical distribution network.
For more detail about power management, please check out the article dedicated to this topic in Valhalla magazine .