Grounded Electrical System

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
For those of you with trimarans or smallish catamarans with outboards: What do most of your boats use for grounding the electrical system?
I finally removed the Electro-Scan sewage treatment device from my Corsair 28, and found evidence that the electrical system on the boat was grounded to it.  Briefly, the Electro-Scan has electrodes in the wastewater that kill the bacteria before the waste is discharged overboard.  I think that allows it to function as a ground, as long as the y-valve is directing the sewage overboard. When the plastic y-valve is directing the sewage to the holding tank, there is no continuous path to the water.

I know most of your boats do not have this device, and many have outboards that are stored up, out of the water.  So how is your electrical system grounded? Is it grounded at all?

Do you use a bronze through-hull as the ground? I'm reluctant to use my bronze through hull as ground, since I don't want any stray currents causing it to galvanically corrode.

 

offtherails

Member
270
6
Sydney
There's a good article on West Marine website, link below. Depends on how much stuff you want to protect, if you moor the boat, lightning protection etc.

Also depends on how much you ( and insurers) want protection. Many small tris live out of the water on trailers, often with mast down, so different problems.

Ask Corsair or a  marine electrical expert would be my recommendation. But then I gave up on moored boats and bought a WETA so I'm not (current)ly an expert.

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Marine-Grounding-Systems#:~:text=It consists of the green,things are considerably more complicated.

 

Sailabout

Super Anarchist
plastic thru hulls?

Boat grounding,... is best if your electrical installation is isolated ( 12v 12v isolated power supply) but rigging is grounded for a lightning path. All ships are like this.
This stops your mast wiring from being an antenna with a vague ground saying to the lightning, pick me me me.

 
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Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
My through hulls are bronze. The West Marine article was informative. It definitely recommends against using through-hulls for ground. It assumes I have a metallic keel or engine block to connect ground to, though. I guess I just "ground" the electrical system to the negative terminal bus and call it good. Fortunately, Southern California seldom has lightning. 

 
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