How to Wire Your Vessel Properly? Check These Basic Tips
From a short fuse that could blow up on you unexpectedly to minor sparks here and there, wiring problems could arise in any electrical system, and your shiny boats are no exception.
Both new and experienced boaters alike are confused when it comes to wiring a boat. If you are someone with absolutely no clue as to how the system works, we highly recommend going to a professional.
For the rest of the crowd who know how their boat works, here are some tips to wire your boat correctly to save the repair fee.
1. Colour code the wires
It is essential to colour code your wires to make them less messy. The standard colours are red for positive and black for negative. This approach may vary concerning your boats.
2. Know your boat
If you can get your hands on the schematic diagram of your boat’s outline, that could save a lot of time and effort for anyone working on it. Also, keep a record of all the modifications and repairs done on the boat previously. It reduces the chance of error and makes tracking a fault easier.
3. Terminals and connections
Make sure your terminals are correctly and functionally tightened. Also, avoid loose connections at all costs as these could lead to short circuits or blowouts, resulting in heavy damages.
Your power consumption and battery life could also be affected adversely if your connections are not secure and proper.
4. Look up your electronics
Before jumping on the bandwagon to fill up your boat with the latest accessories and fancy gadgets, research their power consumption and durability. Most of the recent electronics are known to eat into your battery.
A deep cycle over a starting battery is highly advised for these applications since they are better at holding the charge.
5. Insulation & Connection
The proper wiring of the boat requires the electrical system to be appropriately connected and insulated. Ensure you make secure electric connections, especially in the engine spaces. They should be “oil resistant” and are properly crimped. Insulation resistance is also a critical factor in marine electrical systems. The barrel & insulation vary from one brand to another, so we recommend using a suitable crimper for crimping the terminals. When you use the correct insulation technique, you minimize the chances of electric shock, short circuit, fire and other accidents on your boat.
6. Zip ties and multimeter
Having a multimeter handy could save a lot of time and often pinpoint the problems accurately within just seconds. A good multimeter is moderately cheap and could be used without any complicated steps. Only measure the current in Amps and the potential difference in volts, and you have the essential readings down.
Use zip ties to secure your wires and cables in place. A messy wiring scenario is any electrician’s nightmare, and they have a good reason for it. Keep in mind to use a ferrite ring or RF coils to reduce the radio frequency interference.
7. Voltage drop and battery usage
The longer your wiring runs from the battery to the switch panel is, the more voltage drop you’ll have. It is crucial to lowering the voltage drop and for that large cables could be used.
If you do not have circuit breakers in your switchboard panel, please insert a fuse block before the panel to protect your circuit.
Although it could seem easy to wire or rewire your boat by looking it up online, doing it yourself works if you have prior knowledge about the inner workings. It is always better to ask for professional help when in doubt. We at Alberni Power and Marine are ready to assist with our top-notch types of equipment and experienced staff.