Every year boats catch on fire from poor or overloaded electrical systems. Most boat owners don’t understand the danger they are placing themselves in. I have spent many hours with my customers doing what I call my monologue. In an attempt to create an awareness of the importance and understanding of marine electrical systems. In writing these articles I hope to touch on the changing and common issues affecting marine AC systems.
American Boat and Yacht Council or ABYC has given us guidance on how boats should be wired governing shore power systems, generators and inverters as well as DC systems and battery installations. E-11 covers details about breakers, fuses, wire sizes and wire tie spacing requirements.
The electrical system on a vessel is a major cost of construction due to the cost of the parts and the amount of labor hours it takes to build a good sound safe system.
Over time nonqualified owners and even professionals add or try to upgrade the electrical systems. Over time the electrical system starts to lose its integrity leaking current causing an unsafe condition.
I hoped to make these articles as concise and easy to understand as possible. I think it is important to understand how your electrical system works from the ground up. I hope you feel compelled to call a well-trained tech the next time you plan on adding a device to your electrical system.
Good luck Steve