Marine and boat applications can be a tricky beast to handle. These applications are subjected to harsh environments on a frequent basis, which can lead to electrical problems. A small electrical problem could result in a safety hazard for those on board and the boat itself. It is best to take care of your marine application before these problems even start. A boat is a job that should take no shortcuts.
According to BoatUS Marine Insurance, electrical system failure is the cause of 32% of onboard fires. This is the highest of any other category. A high quality wiring and connection job can prevent these issues as well as keep your marine application running stronger for longer.
“Regular” wire cannot stand up to the environment that marine applications face. Del City recommends a tinned marine grade wire.. The electroplated tinned copper wire and PVC jacket, makes Ancor wire compliant to UL1426, BC-5W2, US Coast Guard Charterboat CRF Title 46, ABYC, and CSA TEW standards. What do all these certifications mean? Your wire will hit marine grade status, which can withstand flame, moisture, corrosion, chemicals, UV threats, and temperatures up to 105° C (221° F.) Tinned marine cable must also be oil resistant in engine compartments, be watertight where moisture may accumulate, and be marked with size and type to fit these specifications.
Not only is the proper wire necessary for a safe marine application, but a proper connection as well. Many wire problems happen at the connection point. According to the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), a connection should not only be soldered, but be connected manually as well. Crimping can provide extra protection to “cold joints” which could break under lower temperatures or cause strain. When in doubt, use marine grade products. Water applications can face rougher or more unique environments than normal electrical applications, and can cause danger if not handled properly.
When it comes to the other parts of your electrical application, a land and marine job should not be treated the same. For example, a normal battery fuse could be severely harmed if water were to come in contact with the fuse. You will need a marine rated fuse that adds high current protection as well as protection from the environment. The same philosophy works with circuit breakers where not all are created equal. A marine circuit breaker is both weatherproof and waterproof with a different design for heavy-duty or high amp applications. Without a protected electrical circuit system, your boat is susceptible to a multitude of safety hazards, non-compliance, or even complete system shutdown.
The bottom line on marine applications is better safe than sorry. More copper in your tinned marine grade cable makes for a more secure connection under harsh environments while the tinned aspect makes it more resistant to corrosion. Del City wants you to be safe with you boat and offers marine grade wire, circuit breakers, fuses, and terminals.
More questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our technical support at 1-800-654-4757 or check our our other blog posts!