According to a fire report conducted by Boat US, fire is one of the leading causes of boat damage/loss in the United States. Outdated wire harnessing and wire complications (such as exposed wire) top the list of sources of these fires. The wiring structure is the powerhouse of your boat, which explains the importance of addressing any faulty electrical situation.

Securing the electrical integrity of your boat depends on how well you implement the following three best practices: secure, organize and maintain your cables/wiring:

1. Secure/Enclose Exposed Wires and Cables
Any exposed wire is hazardous as this makes it vulnerable to water, wind, and salt corrosion. It’s also a good practice to systematically inspect cables for cuts and tears. Adding a layer of heat shrink tubing to your wiring (especially focusing on where the wire comes into contact with your equipment) is an effective way to minimize this vulnerability of being exposed to these harsh marine conditions. When choosing wire connection options, spade terminals and marine rings should be the top picks. You can achieve that watertight seal by securing them with adhesive lined heat shrink tubing.

2. Organize Your Electrical Wiring System
With the extensive electrical wiring sources on your boat, it’s crucial that you develop a comprehensive organization of your electrical system. Hopefully the following tips will help you find what works best for you in wire management:
– Place clear heat shrink tubing at the end of each wire and label them
– Create a wiring diagram to keep track of all your cables
– Use different colored heat shrink to decipher one wire from the next
These organizational tips will help prevent wires from tangling and will help you make the most of the space on your boat.

3. Routinely Maintain Your Electrical System
The electrical system on a boat is complex as it needs to be resistant to corrosion and damage, but also flexible enough for certain connection requirements. Here are a few tips for achieving a proper balance between these competing demands:
– Secure your wires with cable and zip ties, which allow for a certain amount of slack needed to offset the movement of your boat
– Proactively inspect your electrical system and equipment to prevent any potential problems, such as electrical outages or fire, from occurring
– Periodically assess if there is any exposed wire on your boat and add additional insulation as needed
– Ensure that wires are installed properly

Overall, whether you use a boat for personal or professional reasons, following these three steps will help the boat operate safely and efficiently.

Three Ways to Keep Your Boat in Peak Condition