Whether you own a small 20-foot boat or a 200-foot yacht, your vessel has an electrical system. As such, every boat owner and recreational boater should understand basic marine electrical safety in an emergency. While the casual boater is much less likely to need a complete understanding of marine electrical safety, the more time you spend onboard a boat, the more familiar you should be. Several common electrical problems are easy to spot and troubleshoot to avoid an emergency. Keep reading for some essential information about how to handle electrical emergencies while out at sea.
Overheating and Fire Safety
Overheating is a common electrical problem on boats and can cause severe damage to your engine. One of the most obvious signs of overheating is a rising temperature gauge. If it goes from green to red, the engine is overheating. This indicates it is too hot for operation, so it must be shut off and removed from the water before it catches fire.
If a fire is detected, send out an emergency signal, get everyone in life jackets, and grab your emergency kit. Get everyone out of the cabin. Decide whether or not you can fight the fire yourself; otherwise, abandon. For smaller fires, grab your fire extinguisher and remember PASS: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handles together, and Sweep the stream back and forth.
Isolate Faulty Wires
If you see exposed or damaged wiring onboard your boat, you should report it to the appropriate marine electrician onboard. If there is not an experienced professional on board, you should have the proper equipment and necessary marine electrical supplies and take all safety precautions before beginning.
When repairing these wires, always make sure to power off your boat. If it’s a localized issue like a short circuit, isolate the fault by disconnecting the affected circuit. If you cannot locate the problem, disconnect the entire electrical system to prevent further damage.
Ensure You Have the Proper Equipment
When dealing with emergencies or electrical issues at sea, ensure you have all the necessary safety equipment, including gloves, eye protection, and fire retardant nearby. Also, your workspace should be as dry as possible. Make sure to have all appropriate checklists for the task you are starting. This will ensure you avoid any potentially dangerous mistakes. However, always remember that more complex issues should be addressed by a professional electrician when possible.
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.