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It’s always a good idea for new yacht owners to take a moment to create a checklist of necessary marine electrical products to keep on board. These are products that are designed to keep your yacht in safe, working order while on the open waters.
In addition to the standard safety products like fire extinguishers and life jackets, it’s a great idea to keep some of these marine electrical products on board as well. Most marine electrical products are very similar to standard electrical products, they are just rated for use in marine environments. For example, they are designed to be more durable and to withstand water damage.
The following is not a comprehensive list of every electrical marine product, but it does cover some of the basics that every boat or yacht owner should be aware of. If you’re creating a checklist for your vessel, the following products are definitely ones that you should consider including. It also doesn’t hurt to keep a few extras on hand for just in case.
Many new yacht owners fail to realize the importance of using marine grade wire on their vessel. To the uninitiated, all wire may seem exactly the same. But there are some very fine differences that make marine grade wire a must-have on any yacht. Now if you’re having work done in a shop or by an experienced marine electrician, it’s likely this is the type of wire that is already used on your ship. But if you’re a boat owner that likes to do their own electrical repairs and installations, it’s definitely good to understand differences in marine grade electrical wire.
The most significant difference between marine grade wire and the more common automotive wire is the gauge size. Most marine wire is roughly 12 percent larger than the automotive wire of the same gauge. This is important because it allows it to better handle a large amount of current necessary to power a yacht.
A second major difference is the type of wire strands used in the braid. Marine wire uses much finer strands and all of them are tinned. The use of fine strands in the wire makes it so that the wire can survive the vibrations of the boat without bending. The additional tinning of each strand protects it against corrosion.
It’s always a good idea to keep extra marine grade electrical wire onboard because you never know when you may need it. If you are someone who feels comfortable working on your boats electrical system, always remember to use the appropriate wiring materials and always make sure to work in a safe, dry environment.
Next on the list of marine electrical products is marine grade cable. Most people will think that marine grade cable is essentially the same as marine grade wire, but it’s actually very different. A wire is a single conductor while marine electrical cable is two or more insulated wires wrapped in a single jacket.
Marine electrical cable also has male and female sockets for connecting to a yacht’s power supply. In a way, it can be thought of as an extension cord that has marine wire on the inside instead of standard wire.
In addition to all of the benefits of marine-grade wire, the insulation used on these cables is vastly superior to the insulation on an extension cable you might use in your home. The insulation is designed to help the cable withstand the sometimes-harsh environment that you might experience at sea.
Electrical connectors some in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to invest in a diverse collection so that you can easily repair any connections that might get damaged while your boat is docked or at sea.
To start, do an inventory of all of the connector types that you are currently using on your boat or yacht. Once you have an idea of the most common connector types that are used on the yacht, then you should certainly invest in duplicates of that connector type. The most common marine connectors are sold in containers that might have as many as 250 connectors inside. By purchasing several of these containers in different gauge sizes you can be prepared for whatever might happen.
The most common types of marine electrical connectors are ring terminals, spade terminals or fork terminals, flanged spade terminals, blade disconnect terminals, bullet disconnect terminals or snap plus, butt connectors, step-down butt connectors and three-wire connectors.
Marine electrical connectors are used to join electrical terminations in order to create an electrical circuit on board your boat. Considering these marine electrical products can be used to keep some of your most important onboard electrical systems running, it’s definitely a good idea to have spare electrical connectors on board.
You should keep at least one spare marine-grade electrical panel on your yacht. These panels come in various sizes and with varying numbers of connections available. Some also include additional features like meters that show voltage and current usage. You should inspect the existing panel used in your yacht and attempt to find a panel that matches it. At the very least, it should support the same number of connections and positions.
A standard electrical switch can quickly suffer from rust and corrosion if misused at sea or exposed to the elements for too long. Marine electrical products are designed to withstand corrosion and rust, but they can still suffer from physical damage and need to be replaced.
A marine-grade switch is a bit more expensive than a standard switch, but that’s due to the higher quality of these switches. Depending on how often you use your yacht and the way in which you use it, you can more easily determine just how many spares you should keep on board. Similar to connectors, you can make a bulk purchase of more than 100 switches and you’ll likely never need to buy another switch afterward.
Just like any other electrical plugs, marine electrical plugs and sockets can be easily damaged, whether on a yacht or at home. While at home, this may just mean you have to charge your iPhone using another socket, but when on board, losing access to a plug or socket could turn in to a real emergency.
When a wiring fault occurs the socket is often the first component to suffer damage. That’s why you should keep an extra supply of plugs and sockets on the yacht. They are fairly easy to replace and aren’t nearly as expensive as some marine grade equipment. However, always make sure you know what you are doing when it comes to marine electrical work and always work in a safe, dry environment.
These are only a few of the most important marine electrical products you’ll need on your yacht. Even if it’s brand new and in perfect working condition, keeping extra supplies on board is a good idea. You’ll be prepared for any crazy accidents that might happen. And don’t forget to keep some electrical tools handy for when repairs are needed.
If you’re looking to purchase marine electrical products of any kind, Tess Electrical is here for your marine electrical product needs. We have access to thousands of marine electrical products, yacht supplies, boating products and more. Our experienced sales and service staff can help you find the marine electrical products that will work best for your boat or yacht.