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AC & DC electrical systems safety

Neither a degree in electrical engineering, an apprenticeship as a master electrician nor an ABYC certification as a marine electrician are required to find and correct the most common problems with your shorepower system. In the interest of self protection I still recommend you hire a qualified person for such work on a boat.

AC and DC boat electrical systems generate more negative comments in my reports than any other subject and faults in these systems are the most common cause of boat fires according to BoatUS® insurance stats.

If you read nothing else on this site, please watch this short heart rending video by the Ritz family on how they lost their 8yr old son to a very common electrical problem that I find in almost half of my surveys.
Marina electrical safety
OK so you have read everything else here and made your boat electrically safe but what about your marina ? after a recent spate of fatalities in fresh water marinas the Association of Marina Industries put together this very informative booklet on how to ensure your marina is safe.


Electric shock drowning
and hot docks is a must read, The only surprise is that these very common conditions have not killed more people.


Polarity indicators and G.F.C.I.
Simple and inexpensive to check and repair but few do it and most
ignore them.


A Photo Album of Electrical Nightmares
Ya gotta love Darwin's theory at work.

AC DC Electrolysis
Another piece of boating mythology you should know the truth about.


Marine Survey 101
will show you several simple tests to ensure the integrity of your onboard electrical systems.

LED lights
Convert existing light fixtures to LED's on the cheap.
Ed's Tips
Ed Sherman teaches several courses for ABYC and has dozens of tips with a slightly techie nature, His site is well worth a visit but his type size is too damn small.

Quality Marine Services
Captain David Rifkin USN Ret'd some excellent articles on marine electrical issues and electrolytic corrosion. Take a look at Dave's "Documents" page.

Electrical Checklist
This was put together by Robb Zuk on island net.com. It is an excellent effort but likely beyond the average newbie.

Boats and lightning Protection
Another boating topic built on myth and ignorance. Learn about this
complex issue from the premier expert, Ewan Thomson but be aware, many others disagree with some of his positions.
Also note that
I can find no authoritative writings on fresh water strikes on boats which are significantly different than salt water strikes.

Wallace Gouk AMS®
Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, 2000
ABYC® 2001
ABYC® Standards Certified, 2009
ABYC® Certified Corrosion Analyst, 2015
Transport Canada Licensed Master, 2002
Transport Canada Tonnage Measurer, 2004
BoatUS® Approved Marine Surveyor, 2003

A Marine Surveyor for Ontario from Mississauga, Toronto, Hamilton to Oshawa, Whitby, Newcastle, Pickering, Trenton, Kingston, Gananoque and beyond