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Avoiding Electrical Hazards on Your Boat

Avoiding Electrical Hazards on Your Boat marine electric systems

Modern boats often feature electrical components that sit underwater, posing a significant hazard.

Cruising the open ocean is an unforgettable experience full of lifelong memories. But from defunct equipment to failed system communications, several electrical mishaps can turn your boating experience into a nightmare. If you go boating regularly or spend a lot of time near boats or marina docks, you must exercise caution in and around the water. Modern boats and dock infrastructure often feature extensive electrical components that sit underwater, posing a significant hazard to those nearby. Here are some things you can do to prevent an electrical disaster.

Maintain Your Boat

When you perform regular boat maintenance, keep an eye out for corrosion on wires, connections, or your boat’s battery that could cause electrolysis. Electrolysis occurs when an electrical current passes through water, creating a chemical reaction. In boating, when this current meets metal, it produces electrolytic corrosion. Electrolytic corrosion is a common cause of electrical fires and can destroy your boat. To prevent electrolysis from happening, you can take the following preventative measures:

  • Use protective paint on metal surfaces
  • Use corrosion inhibitors
  • Clean your anodes
  • Don’t mix metals
  • Regularly check your wiring

Keep Electrical Components Away From Water

It’s no secret that water and electricity never mix well. One of the common mishaps is water leaking into electrical compartments. During your inspection, look for signs of water damage or leaks around the seams of your vessel. In addition, never leave food and beverages around control panels and circuit breakers to prevent electrical damage.

Inspect Your Wires and Cables

The wires and cables in your boat are the lines of communication to your various electrical systems. Before leaving the dock, inspect all your cables and wires to ensure they are in good condition. Look for loose connections, signs of fraying or tampering, and burnt surfaces or spots. This preventive measure can prevent boat fires or complete electrical system malfunctions.

Invest in Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

A ground fault circuit interrupter ensures the water is safe despite potentially faulty underwater electrical components, such as wiring, lights, etc. GFCIs are specialized devices that automatically shut down electrical circuits when the device detects the current will pass through water or a human body. GFCIs instantly interrupt the electrical flow, so the electrical field created by current leakage will be minimal. A properly-installed GFCI prevents electrocution to anyone in the water. Once your GFCI is installed, you must inspect it monthly to ensure it is working properly.

Marine Electric Systems, LLC is a Leader In the Maritime Industry

We here at Marine Electric Systems have over 30 years of industry experience. You can trust our team for reliable service and expert craftsmanship in the Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore city areas! We’re highly certified and adhere to all ABYC and NMEA regulations. We specialize in top-notch electrical solutions for recreational, commercial, and government boating clients. Anything from electrical refits, to navigation systems, or boating maintenance. To stay up to date on our services, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact us at 410-263-0807

This entry was posted on Friday, December 16th, 2022 at 10:01 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.