by Mark Corke
I often see poor electrical installations on boats, but here is a real classic. The owner of this boat wanted to install a switch for the air conditioning water pump, but there was no room for it on the shore power breaker panel.
Bonding circuits tie all the underwater metals together and hold everything at the same potential, and thus reduce the amount of galvanic corrosion. 
As part of a general refit of the boat, I wanted to install a toilet that was somewhat more streamlined and—more importantly—used fresh water for flushing. Boat toilets have a reputation for being smelly with a tendency to clog.
Bilge pumps live in a hostile environment. On most boats they sit in at least a little saltwater and are expected to uncomplainingly pump water that may be contaminated with all sorts of detritus.
Many boat owners look upon insurance surveys as a necessary evil, a rite of passage to be endured to propitiate their insurers. It’s important to remember, though, that insurance companies understandably want to protect themselves and make sure that a boat is an insurable risk
Leaking portlights are a common sight on older sailboats, and they aren’t uncommon on newer ones. Often the owner does not notice small leaks, but over time they get worse and worse until they cannot be ignored.
A survey of the boat in question immediately after an electrician—and I use the term advisedly—had installed a battery charger, I got to the battery compartment and was faced with the snake’s nest you see here...
According to Boat US, boats sinking at docks account for a disproportionate number of insurance claims. Frankly, I’m not surprised. Even a modest boat often has six or seven through-hull fittings below the waterline. Should one of these fail, the inrush of water will swiftly sink the boat
I see wire nuts on boats all too often. Many times they are installed by an owner as a temporary measure, “just to make sure it’s working,” or by electricians more used to working on houses than boats. Just to be clear—wire nuts have no place afloat...
Splicing three-strand rope is a fairly straightforward process and a useful skill. Splicing joins together two ropes of equal diameter and does not weaken the rope to the same extent that tying a knot does. 
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