Surveyor’s Notebook: a Terminal Mess

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...
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This photograph is one of my all-time favorites. I surveyed the boat in question immediately after an electrician—and I use the term advisedly—had installed a battery charger. After checking the rest of the boat, I got to the battery compartment and was faced with the snake’s nest you see here. I could not believe a so-called marine electrician had actually left the boat like this. There were seven connections to the battery post when there should be an absolute maximum of four, as well as red cables, which should only be used for positive conductors, connected to the negative battery post. One of the smaller cables does not have a proper terminal at all, and the stranded cable is simply squished between some of the other ring connectors. Finally, there are no covers on the terminal posts to shield them from a potential short, and although you can’t see this in the picture, the battery was not fixed in place and was free to slide about on the shelf. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, the installation of the battery charger was even worse. The incoming 120-volt cable was actually attached to the rudder quadrant with zip ties!)

Lifelong boat addict and marine surveyor Mark Corke can be reached at surveymyboat.com

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