When docked, a marine vessel generally requires a source of electricity other than its own batteries in order to enable operation of electrical appliances onboard without depleting the batteries. Electrical power is typically provided from an onshore power supply cord
to a receptacle on the boat via a marine power cord. However, marine power cords are prone to wetness and resultant corrosion due to the risk of precipitation and proximity to water.
Although this method largely prevents moisture intrusion, a bag is not always handy and is not quickly and easily installed and removed. In addition, this method does nothing to prevent corrosion due to humidity build-up or small amounts of moisture. Moreover, this method does not structurally protect the terminal end from mechanical damage, such as being stepped on or crushed by equipment, which could occur if left unprotected.
Salt water is especially damaging to electrical connections, as dissolved salt increases the conductivity of the aqueous solution formed at the surface of a metal and enhances the rate of electrochemical corrosion. In addition, using a wet power cord is dangerous due to the risk of electrical shock or shorting. If moisture were to enter the connection when electricity is flowing, the connection could short out, potentially tripping the breaker of the onshore power supply.
The Wengen and Koblitz techniques, utilizing a gel, are simply not suitable for use in marine power cord and related applications. The Franey technique of placing sacrificial metals within the polymer cap is only a passive technique, and thus may not provide sufficient protection in corrosive environments, such as marine applications.
The preferred embodiments are directed to a cap that seals the terminal end of a marine power cord against dirt and moisture, and where the cap inhibits corrosion of the electrical connections. The preferred embodiments relate to a positively buoyant plastic cap having a threaded section for mating to a corresponding section on the terminal end of a power cord, forming a moisture-proof seal. The preferred embodiments also comprise a corrosion-inhibiting compound dispersed within the plastic material of the cap.
The disclosed devices and methods comprise a combination of features and advantages which enable it to overcome the deficiencies of the prior art. The various characteristics described above, as well as other features, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the following detailed description.
An alternate embodiment includes a cap having a corrosion-inhibiting compound integrally dispersed within a plastic insert coupled inside the cap. The corrosion-inhibiting compound is released from the composite plastic cap, or composite plastic insert, in gaseous form actively preventing corrosion of the electrical contacts of the power cord