Recently I had a good friend ask me to do some work on his boat. He wanted to add some lights and a rewire a couple of his graphs. Of course I would oblige as this is something I love to do.
This is an older Tracker boat and when you get into boats that have had many hands on them you are certain to get into some crazy messes. This time was no different.
I added a second fuse panel to the helm as the original was over taxed and the only way to be safe in an electrical system of a boat is to have your items protected. In my opinion the only way to go is with fuses.
Too often I see installations with two items on one fuse or even supply wires going straight to the battery. This is just a disaster waiting to happen. It can cause issues if you have a blown fuse or if there is no fuse then you could have a fire.
Always protect your equipment with a properly sized fuse and/or circuit breaker. I personally prefer fuses on everything except the trolling motor. The trolling motor is best served with a circuit breaker.
When my buddy’s boat was finished there were LED lights that he wanted to mount to the underside of the gunnel. We ran out of time to mount the lights, but I made certain to wire them up properly and connect them to their own fuse.
Ironically I got a call from my friend and he had blown a fuse. The lights had exposed wires on their ends when the coils were unrolled and when those wires touched they took out the fuse. This was a fine example of what could happen out on the water and instead of shutting the entire electrical system down it just affected the lights.
Fuses are simple and cheap. I urge all boat owners to think about these little devices that could save some major expenses for you in the future. Oh and don’t forget to carry spares!
Stays safe on the water!