Surveyor’s Notebook:Electrical Alert - Sail Magazine

Surveyor’s Notebook:Electrical Alert

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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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. So, he simply attached it to the waste pipe under the galley sink. When I questioned him about this, um, unusual installation, he replied that it had been working fine for years!

What’s worse, this is a 120V breaker and all it would take is an accidental contact with its live connections to bring your boating days to a premature end. Clearly, water and electricity do not mix, and all breakers should be correctly mounted in a suitable panel. The ABYC rules on shielding are very clear: “Energized parts of electrical equipment shall be guarded against accidental contact by the use of enclosures or other protective means.” Plastic electrical tape is not one of these! If you do not have room on your breaker panel for another switch, mount it somewhere away from moisture and make sure hands cannot come into accidental contact with the terminals.

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

Related

m7803_DSCF6698-1

Challengers Christen Britannia and Patriot

October 16 proved an exciting day for America’s Cup fans with the christening of both the UK’s Britannia and America’s Patriot. Britannia will be helmed by four-time Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie. Olympic Gold medalist Giles Scott will serve as ...read more

gallery1 (1)

Sunset Harbour Yacht Club

Sunset Harbour Yacht Club is a private equity club, consisting of 125 memberships that are associated with slips ranging in size from 45’ - 170’ and a parking spot for each slip. The slips for sale in our Equity Club Membership are very similar to a membership in a golf club, ...read more

OffshoreDoubles

Video: Launch of Offshore Doubles

Doublehanded sailing is one of the fastest growing sectors of the sport, and a new non-profit aims to keep the momentum up. Offshore Doubles was founded to promote community and engagement for doublehanded sailors, whether they’re couples racing on the weekends or professional ...read more