Marine Electrical - Lights, Wiring, Batteries & Switches

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Boating Know How
Electrical Parts for my boat

Different Types Of Boat Electrical Parts

The joy or fun of boating is ability to operate a watercraft in the most efficient manner. Although many boats come with the essentials, you may need to upgrade some parts if you are seeking maximum satisfaction. In addition, ... read more the various boat electrical parts need to be replaced in case of fault or aging.

Some of the electrical parts that will be found in most vessels consist of the following:

Navigation Lights

Marine Boat Lights

Proper lighting is necessary if activities are to progress on smoothly without unnecessary interruptions. There are varied types of marine boat lights. Each type will be suited for a particular application. For instance, underwater lights are used to attract fish, spreader lights illuminate the deck as well as the water, and deck lights are fixed on the deck, while LED strips or ribbons are used in tight corners or for ornamental purposes.

Marine Battery Chargers, Batteries & Accessories

The boats power source should always be given priority. This is the heart of the operations in the vessel. A boat's battery supplies power to various instruments, electronics and other accessories. Battery chargers are used to charge the boat’s batteries. A power cord running from the boat to an offshore power source is used while the boat is docked at the marina.

Boat Wiring & Cable

One area of the boat that is usually overlooked is the wiring and cabling. Boaters will let the cables hang loose, fray or even become exposed. Some will also opt for low-quality replacements instead of top notch wires and cables. This will place more strain on the connections as well as the battery or power system. Heavily insulated or marine grade wires are the most suitable.

Marine Electrical Panels & Circuit Breakers

Electrical panels are the points where the electrical connections intersect. A good panel needs to have additional slots where extra connections can be made. It should also be made from durable and heat resistant material. Circuit breakers should also feature in a mariners list of boat electrical parts. The breaker cuts off power supply when it senses an electrical overload or short-circuiting.

Marine Shore Power & AC Distribution

While docked at the harbor, a boat may access the offshore power through connections placed at the dock. The AC power is used to power the boat as well as charge the batteries inside the boat. It’s important to make sure the connectors at the port are compatible with the boat system. The cabling also needs to be of high quality to avoid short-circuiting which may damage the boat. While using the offshore power, it’s always advisable to disconnect other appliances.

Marine Electrical Terminals

Electrical terminals are the points where electrical connections meet. This point will usually handle high voltages and current. Poor connections may lead to leakage of current and electricity as well as overheating. BusBars which are flat or hollow strips are usually placed in points that have many connections. They allow easy and safe connections without compromising electricity flow.

Marine Electrical Meters

Different types of meters will be found on the boat. Some will come as standard features while other may be added later by the boat owner. Common types include a voltmeter which measures electricity/power in volts, ammeter (measures electrical current in amps), oil pressure meter, vacuum gauge and many more. Whether repairing, upgrading or installing, always go for a quality meter.

Marine Fuse Blocks, BusBars & Terminal Blocks

Overloading the system, technical fault, natural catastrophe, or accident may affect the electrics hence damaging essential components and electronics. This can be avoided by using fuse blocks which burnout and cutoff the power. Terminal blocks allow the disconnections of multiple circuits. BusBars are used in areas where high current is prevalent. They allow easy dissipation of heat. You should replace the boat electrical parts with the same type and quality.

Chargers

Marine Engine Instrumentation & Gauges

To monitor the boat’s performance, marine gauges and instruments are used. They gauges will measure temperature, electricity, pressure and more. Instruments are used to check the weather, gauge, direction, wind speeds, marine life and more. An aging instrument or gauge may start giving unreliable information hence needs to be replaced immediately.

Boat Heating & Air Conditioning

Different weather and climate may affect the temperature on the boat. It can either be too cold or hot. A good heating system will come handy in the cold while an air-conditioning unit is effective in the hot temperatures. The best accessory should be energy efficient, easy to install, and also environmentally friendly.

Marine Switches - Battery, Ignition, Rocker & Toggle

The electrics in a boat have to be in ship-shape. This is the only way to maximise efficiency and minimize wastage and cost. The battery, switches, toggles, cam switches, rockers and sockets should work in harmony. A faulty part affects other parts. For example, a bad switch will inhibit the flow of electricity or current from the battery to the power sockets.

Marine DC Power Plugs & Sockets

Many boats especially the small and mid-size vessels operate on direct current (DC). The voltage will come as 12, 24 or 36 volts. The electrical system consists of wires, plugs and sockets. Plugs attach to the devices or electronics while sockets are fixed on the boat and are the power points. High-quality accessories don’t suffer from power leakages or loose connections.

Solar Power Boating Accessories

Different types of electronics, meters and accessories place lots of demand on the boat’s battery. To subsidize or backup the battery, solar power unit is used. It consists of solar panels which turn sunlight into electrical currents, a battery to store the power, the charge controller that regulates the amount of power to avoid under or overcharging the battery, and an inverter (optional) that increases the power from 12volts to 110/220 volts AC.

In order to get the best service from your electrics, it’s paramount to go for quality and certified products. Settling for poor quality or substandard products will cause more harm than good. For example, the part may cause the system or electronic to overheat thus damaging it. Too much heat may also lead to a fire. Such mishaps are best avoided by buying boat electrical parts from credible dealers.
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Boat Wire Color Coding

Anyone baptized into the world of boating post-teen can confirm the existence of a hidden secondary hobby all boaters are conned into when taking-on a new (especially new-used) boat: keepin' the damn thing runnin'. ... read more

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While the task of doing so can is highly diverse based on the boat/motor you buy and how you use it, learning the tricks and resources of the trade will make the process easier, less time-consuming, and far less frustrating.   Not to mention that one mistake in maintenance/repair can be more costly than taking the boat to the mechanic to get the entire problem taken care of. One of the most potentially frustrating trouble-shooting and repair categories is boat wiring. While there is in fact 'much ado' about wiring, the wiring color-code system (in conjunction with an understanding of wire sizing, routing, etc) will be the electrical scale from which you compose.. your boat's wiring layout.  To view the Boat Wiring Color-Code Chart, click Here

Thanks to Ancor by Marinco for providing the chart.  Photo by Shandchem
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The harsh marine environment is undoubtedly hardest on a boat's sensitive electrical system; a good reason to never settle for anything but the best marine-grade electrical components and parts. Thanks to the our wide selection, great prices, and quality products from trusted brands such as Attwood, SeaSense, Innovative, Aqua Signal, Perko, Blue Sea Systems, and more, our electrical category is heaven to all our DIY customers looking to do the job only once. We carry every type of boat navigation light, over 9 different categories of electrical switch types, and many options for fuse and busbar blocks, circuit panels and breakers, and battery terminals. You can be confident in getting quality and selection with fast shipping on all the marine electrical parts and accessories you need for your boat.
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