Do I Have to Ground the DC System on My Boat?

Question:

Hi Jeff, love the shows!  I'm doing a total re-wiring job on my boat.  The previous owner used extension cords, parallel 18 gauge as a single wire, and solid wire for the shore power. My boat is nothing but DC now. I've gone to an electric drive as well (48 VDC). I will have 2 DC systems, house and motor. Do I have to ground a DC system? How and where would I do that? The shaft is isolated from the motor. Do I ground to a thru hull?  Thank you so much for your input. - Jeff

Answer:

All of the DC systems 48 volt and 12 volt should have a common connection point, typically the best place to do this would be the engine chassis.  Your through hulls and shaft should also be connected to this common grounding system.

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