The most important things to understand about electricity are that unless you respect it, can cause fire or even kill you.
We expect all users of The FitOutPontoon will be sensible, level headed individuals so please excuse us for pointing out the obvious.
We also appreciate that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing and the benefit of a professional will be that it is their livelihood that is at stake if they get it wrong.
We do cover some theory in this site, and where possible we will give guidance based on sound principles. For example, we explain how to correctly size wiring and to work out current loads. Aside from that, we recommend your electrical work is entrusted to the most competent person you can find.
That may be you, so if you’re not a qualified marine electrician there are some very good basic electrical courses
available that are specifically aimed at the canal boat market. Anyone who has a passing interest in the subject could do a lot worse than enrolling on a day or two course.
A good course will teach you by classroom theory as well as practical application. You will learn not only about DC circuits for the leisure system but also about DC in the engine room.
Unfortunately, many older boats suffer from poor quality fiddling, where accessories have been added to wiring systems that are barely able to cope. The biggest problem with canal boat electrics are that they are for the most part hidden away behind panelling.
Your Boat Safety Examiner or Marine Surveyor will be able to advise those of you contemplating a new purchase whether or not he/she feels there is anything that could be improved for the future.
If you are having a new boat built, you shouldn’t have any concerns. Just ask your builder to try and make things accessible for when something breaks in the future!
Always ensure your or others work conforms to the Boat Safety Scheme and Recreational Craft Directive.