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Negative Battery Switching Troubles

We recently had to trouble shoot a problem on a boat that had negative battery switching instead of positive. In North America, everything is switched (and fused) on the positive side of the battery. In Europe, some boats have both positive and negative battery switching (i.e. Beneteau) however, we have never seen a negative only battery switching before.

Fusing Electric Motor Circuits

Generally electric motors have their own over-current device. When this is not the case the fuse or breaker should be rated to the full load potential of the motor (provided that the wires run for the circuit are adequate). These breakers or fuses need...

Improper Fusing: Common Reason for Fires on Boats

Preventing fires in general is very important, but it is even more important while on a boat. The reason for this is that unlike a house, a boat is hard to escape from if it is on fire. And it is important to note that boat fires are commonly caused by electrical issues!

Protecting Your Boat From Galvanic Corrosion

Protecting your boat from various external elements is crucial in the long run. Our boats are made of many processed materials that want to return to their normal state by undergoing electrochemical processes - in other words, these materials want to corrode. Galvanic corrosion occurs when two dissimilar metals, for example copper and steel, are connected and submersed in an electrolyte (water) - this creates an electric charge.

Where Is Your Ignition Key Power From?

We come across this fairly regularly; the ignition key power is coming from the wrong place. We see it more often in boats where battery systems have been modified at some point, more so than with factory wired setups. If the ignition power is coming from the house battery and the house battery is dead, disconnected, or a main fuse is blown; the engine is not going to start even if the engine battery is full.

Keeping Clear

We all know storage space on boats is hard to find and easy to fill. When storing gear on boats we need to think about the items we are covering up.

Multiple Downstream Fast-blow and Slow-blow Fuses

It is normally necessary to have multiple fuses or breakers downstream of each other. For example, you might have a main battery fuse, a main DC panel breaker, and individual breakers for each circuit on a panel. From one circuit you might have a couple of fuses downstream if you're feeding multiple devices off one breaker, like a chartplotter and GPS.

Fuses Blowing? Why Going Bigger is NOT the Solution

We were recently on a boat that kept blowing fuses to one of its electronic devices. What is the standard mistake made in this situation? Trying some bigger fuses! There are two reasons we use fuses. One is to protect the wire feeding a device (in case of a short or too much current); the other is to protect the device/appliance at the end of the wire.

Be careful where you work!

We recently went to check up on a recently installed radar that had stopped working and discovered the radar fuse had blown. After replacing it and turning the breaker back on, there was a pop - the replacement fuse had immediately blown as well. This means that either the positive and negative power wires were shorted together (touching) somewhere along the length, or there was a serious fault with the power inside the unit.

The trouble with battery mixing

We've heard (and seen) stories of battery shorts from improper fusing. A shorting battery will heat up, possibly explode, and the wires carrying the current will melt - a sure way to catch a boat on fire! A strange series of events can cause a battery to short when you'd least expect it: topping up your batteries when there is no fuse protection.

Page 1 of 2    Total Results: 14