Monday, August 12, 2013


Annapolis, MD

When we bought Cara Mia, one of our To Do items from the surveyor's tick list was 'Replace Shore Power Circuit Breaker.' Well, three years later, that was still on the our To Do list. LOL

Chip decided to conquer this 'small' item, but the chore followed the old adage about working on boats: Triple the amount of time you estimate it should take.

The circuit breaker was working -- or was it not working? Well, the circuit part was working, because all these years, we've been able to use shore power. However, the breaker part was not. When flipped to the off position, it didn't turn off.

He removed the casing to find a number of problems.

  1. It was wired wrong. Both wires, hot and neutral, were wired to the top post. Nothing on the bottom, which rendered the breaker useless.
  2. The plastic plate attaching the breaker to the casing was broken (that black disk).
  3. Water had infiltrated through the break causing the whole breaker to corrode.
SO, he called around about replacing the 'thingy' that was broken. Have you ever tried to explain boat parts on the phone? Very embarrassing. After several long conversations, he found that they don't sell the single piece, you have to buy the whole setup for close to $100.

At this point, we had a little brainstorming conflab, not to say our brains are little. We pondered options -- while the inside temperature of the boat slowly rose. No power = No AC. 

We thought about gluing the little plastic piece together. We thought about gluing the plastic piece to something strong and thin. We thought about finding plastic and cutting our own piece. Then we decided to use one of our favorite go-to fixes: make one out of a sheet of rubber gasket. 

It worked great, and it might seal the breaker better than the old one. The stainless steel cap keeps the whole thing out of the sun and weather, so it should up beautifully -- for about 69 cents. YAY, Chip!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome that you were able to find a cheap solution to the problem. I love when things work out that way.