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Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.

Peter Kennedy has been in  business since 1991 designing, installing and servicing marine electrical systems. The purpose of this blog is to offer support to both professional installers and  do-it-yourself boat owners who wish to undertake this work themselves.

Wiring Unlimited

Posted by George Kaye on 9/3/2019 to Electrical Standards
Wiring diagram
The wiring unlimited book is a great reference for anybody learning how to wire Victron Energy products. The book outlines electrical wiring systems containing batteries, inverters, charger and inverter/chargers. Victron Energy aims for this book to help clear up any confusion the consumer might have with wiring their products.

How to deal with a boat that is tripping the dock Ground Fault circuit breaker

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 6/11/2019 to Circuit Protection

Recently boaters have been coming across docks fitted with ground fault circuit breakers on their shore power receptacles.  This is in accordance with the latest edition of the National Electrical Code and applies to all new construction.  Eventually, as docks get rebuilt, all docks will be wired to this standard.  Unfortunately for some boaters their boats are having a hard time using these receptacles because they trip immediately on switching on the power.  This article is an attempt to explain what this is all about and what can be done about it.

An overview of wiring standards for boats in the US

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/16/2018 to Electrical Standards
he standards that apply to wiring your boat in the US are the ABYC standards and the Code of Federal Regulations Title 33 CFR Sections 183.401 - 183.460 The ABYC standards are voluntary and the CFR standards are mandatory. The ABYC standards incorporate the CFR standards so a boat built to the ABYC Standards should automatically meet the CFR standards. This article is a brief introduction to the subject

Duplex and Triplex wire versus using Single Conductors

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 8/4/2018 to Electrical Standards
Should I use duplex and triplex wire for my rewiring project or is it easier to use single conductor wire?

Sourcing High Voltage DC Equipment

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 7/13/2018 to Circuit Protection
I get asked all the time about high voltage DC applications.  Most equipment we sell at PKYS tops out at 48 Volts DC rating, only a few items are rated higher, and quite a lot have lower ratings.  Finding equipment for high voltage applications is not that easy.  

IP Ratings explained

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 2/27/2018 to Electrical Standards
Many of the items we sell have an IP Rating. Here is an explanation of what they mean.

Dont do this

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 6/12/2016 to Electrical Standards
Its a total No-No to connect AC Neutral to Ground on board a boat.  One boat did by accident, see what happened.......

ABYC standard for ELCI's explained

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/12/2015 to ELCI's
ABYC standard for ELCI's explained
We all know that electricity and water don't mix.  What we may not be aware of is how many drownings occur every year because of electrical current in the water.  The new ABYC standard requiring ELCI circuit breakers on shore power service to boats is an attempt to reduce the amount of stray electrical current in the water - read below for an explanation of what this is all about.

Voltage drop tables

Posted by Administrator on 7/15/2015 to Electrical Standards
I am always referring to these tables so I thought I would put them in my blog where they will be easier to find

Sizing wire for AC circuits

Posted by Administrator on 7/8/2015 to Electrical Standards
This post gives a few pointers for sizing wire in AC Circuits

A comparison of ANL and MEGA fuses

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 6/19/2015 to Circuit Protection
ANL and MEGA fuses are similar high amperage DC fuses but there are some big differences. Here is a comparison.....

Ampacity Tables

Posted by Administrator on 5/31/2015 to Electrical Standards
I end up looking up this table so often I decided to post it on my blog

An explanation of the interrupt rating for circuit breakers and fuses

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/9/2014 to Circuit Protection
In extreme cases a fuse carrying an excessively high current can vaporize and the metal can be deposited on the base of the fuse block in a way that permits it to continue to carry current. Similarly with circuit breakers, if the level of fault current goes above a certain level the circuit breaker can become inoperable while still conducting current. Fuses and circuit breakers all have an interrupt rating which is a measure of the current that a circuit breaker can safely disconnect in the event of a fault. The interrupt rating may be different for AC and DC and may vary at different voltages..........

When and where do we need to install a battery switch?

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 1/8/2014 to Electrical Standards
The ABYC standards say that a battery switch is required for all DC systems. One of the main reasons is that if a fault such as an electrical fire is discovered the system can be turned off quickly and easily. However certain circuits are exempt from the requirement to be protected by a switch. Do you know which ones?

Overcurrent Protection

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 11/5/2013 to Circuit Protection
ABYC Standard 11.10 OVERCURRENT PROTECTION is a key section of the standards. The principal is very clear, an overcurrent device, such as a fuse or circuit breaker, needs to be placed within seven inches of where the conductor is connected to the source of power. The overcurrent device is protecting THE WIRE from carrying more current than it is able. What follows is an outline of this part of the standard but please see the disclaimer at the end.

ABYC publishes new safety essentials iPhone App

Posted by Administrator on 11/1/2013 to Electrical Standards
This iPhone app won an award at the 2013 IBEX Show. "Boat Essentials" is used to file a float plan or to check, suggest and schedule maintenance of the safety equipment on your recreational boat

USCG standards for Electrical Systems on boats

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/28/2013 to Electrical Standards
Federal Regulations on electrical systems for boats are covered by 33 CFR 183.401-460. The regulations, although mandatory, are somewhat limited in scope. They are available for free online:  33 C.F.R. PART 183—BOATS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT  In addition the ABYC has published a booklet explaining and simplifying the rules. What follows here is a brief discussion of the material covered by the regulations, please see the disclaimer at the end.

An outline of ABYC Standards for Electrical Systems

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/23/2013 to Electrical Standards
This is an outline review of the ABYC standards relating to Electrical Systems. It just highlights the subject area of each standard. Further Blog Posts will delve into the details of the standards. The ABYC standards are a voluntary set of standards written and maintained by the American Boat and Yacht Council. They cover the design, manufacture and outfitting of small craft built in the US and compliment the compulsory standards written by the US Coast Guard. Each ABYC standard is updated every five years.  The USCG standards are covered in a separate Blog post.

ABYC standard for installation and wiring

Posted by Peter Kennedy on 10/22/2013 to Electrical Standards
ABYC standard E11 covers AC and DC wiring on boats. In this post we are going to look at one small part of the standard relating to installation. In particular this standard refers to how electrical conductors should be routed and supported. In the standard its referred to as 11.14.6 Installation-General