Getting a boat is much easier than actually making it functional. There is a lot that needs to be done before it is ready for seafaring. One of the most complex parts about getting your boat all set up is wiring it properly. Before you attempt to do this at home, here are some basic things that you should know about the process and what it really entails:
Improper wiring can be extremely dangerous
Wiring a boat is highly complicated, and for a good reason. A slight problem with wiring can cause electrical failure in your boat. At worse, it can leave you electrocuted or make your equipment fail on the high seas. Make sure that you know how to do it and have enough experience before you attempt something like this. If you are in doubt about whether you will be able to do it right, you are better off hiring a specialist electrician to do it for you.
Always pay attention to waterproofing
Everything you use for the electrical work should be made specially for use in the water. Get marine electrical wires instead of regular wires as the former will be waterproof and protect you from electrocution. Your circuit breakers and other bits should also be waterproof. Don’t skimp on tape and adhesive that will prevent leaks and protect against water.
Take care of all the details
When wiring, all the tiny details carry immense weight. Be aware of whether your boat is older or newer as the wiring is different in newer boats. Always opt for the best products. Make sure that all the safety features are in place. You will often have to comply with certain regulations and face inspections. Read the manual thoroughly so that you know which details to keep an eye out for. Be aware of whether your batteries are secured, and always take the extra step and place them in waterproof battery boxes to prevent any damage.
When dealing with a large and complex project, it is always best to be as organised as possible. Mark all your wires properly, and try to keep your AC and DC wires separate as much as possible. Don’t cram too many wires together as this will only increase confusion and risk. Secure them properly so that nothing comes loose during operation. Make notes while you work, and rely on checklists to make sure that you have secured everything that needs securing. Remember that everything has many different steps, so you must keep track of a lot of different things at once.
Watch out for corrosion
Be prepared for corrosion; saltwater causes metals to corrode quite fast. Always opt for a corrosion-resistant or insulated option whenever possible. This is especially true if you are going to be away for months or if you are preparing the boat as a houseboat.
There is expert advice available from experienced marine electricians whenever required. Remember that the important thing is to get the work done well so that it lasts and doesn’t pose unnecessary risks.