If you own a boat or a yacht and have connected to dockside shore power, you know how unreliable shore power can be when it comes to powering your vessel. Switching from generator power to shore power carries with it a long list of potential hazards that include galvanic corrosion, fire, shock and even electrocution for nearby swimmers. In addition to these, shore power voltage can fluctuate depending on the marina, which can cause damage and power failure to your onboard electrical components.

What if there was a way to safely operate your vessel with shore power without running the aforementioned risks? That’s where transformers comes in. There are two types of transformers that can help you mitigate these risks while connected to shore power: Isolation Transformers and Boost Transformers.

1. Isolation Transformer – Separate Your Boat’s Power From Shore Power

One of the primary functions of an isolation transformer is to separate your vessels AC power system from the land-side AC power. This is done by magnetic induction inside the transformer as opposed to being connected to shore power via a wire. This protects you in a number of ways. First, it eliminates the risk of stray current finding its way into nearby waters, which can be lethal to nearby swimmers.

Second, the isolation transformer will protect your boat from galvanic corrosion that may come from nearby boats at your marina. Because you’re not hard wired to the shore power AC, any stray currents from nearby boats will be isolated and stopped at the transformer, saving your sacrificial anodes onboard from galvanic corrosion.

2. Buck/Boost Transformer – Provide Consistent Reliable Voltage Even When Shore Power Voltage Fluctuates

If your docked at a marina with inconsistent power voltages, it can cause many onboard power issues on your boat. Onboard electronics are designs to operate on standard supply voltage. If voltage drops, it can create brown out conditions which can affect the ability of these electronics to operate. In the case of voltage surges, it can cause circuit breakers to trip or even worse, it can cause damage to your onboard electronics.

That’s where buck/boost transformers come into play. In the case of voltage drops, the transformer will boost (increase) the voltage coming into the ship by 5-15%. In the case of voltage surges, the transform can buck (decrease) the voltage coming into the boat by the same margin. This can prevent brownouts, power failures, and/or damaged electronics when shore power voltage changes.

Here at Ward’s Marine, we supply a number of transformers that perform all of these functions for your yacht or boat.  We even manufacture our very own boost transformers right here in our Fort Lauderdale location.  Call or stop by our showroom to see our full line of transformer products, and say goodbye to the risks associated with unreliable shore power!