electrical grounding system

13 years 11 months ago #534 by tom jones
capns: I would welcome your comments, insight and recommendations as I consider putting in a electrical ground system on Bluejacket (Brewer 42).

My electrician says the hard copper wire run throughout the boat connecting metal below waterline with the dynaplates is actually more of a lightning grounding system than an electrical grounding system. He advises that I connect all metal and chainplates and life lines with 6 gauge wire (green) and and tie them to separate forward and aft grounding plates. He is ok with the bow dynaplate but suggests i add a grounding plates in the aft area. He recommends using the rudder base plate and tapping a #10 thread and running my ground wires to that in the aft section.

When we haul out he also suggests installing a big - big zinc plate in the aft section and use that as the electrical ground for metal equipment aft of midship.

I have a few questions. what is your understanding of the hard wire running throughout the boat? Lightning or electircal ground?
What do you think about using the rudder base plate as a ground

I might add he is not performing any of the work he recommends; I am doing all the work.

Finally i havent done this before and i am a little confused if each piece of metal grounded must be separately led to the ground or can I run the wire in a series, running it from piece to piece and then lead that to the ground plate.

would like to hear from you. thanks

Tom Bluejacket

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

13 years 11 months ago #535 by Lisa Cornelius

We had an expert electrical guy at the Rendezvous last year. Paul Fleury handed out great references.
I still have copies. I can loan to you, if you send back. or get some new ones here:
Paul Fleury pfleury@att.net "Galvanic/Electrolytic Corrosion" (Paul Fleury)

There is a lot of bad info out there...snake oil... be careful

On a sailboat you are dealing with Several different problems:

Direct Current Grounding

Alternating Current Grounding

Galvanic Corrosion

Electrolytic Corrosion

Cathodic protection, anodes

Radio Frequency Grounding and Noise Reduction

Lightning mitigation

Each of these problems has different solutions.

Here are some links to study and understand, absorb:




Patrick Cornelius

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

13 years 11 months ago - 13 years 11 months ago #536 by Lew Streeter
My advice is to follow the abyc recommendations, then you will never have a problem with an insurance company.
Second: I have always found Nigel Caulders books to be some of the best for simple explanations of all types of electrical problems and solutions in the marine environment and simple inexpensive solutions are probably the best. Remember this boat is not a mega yacht, simple inexpensive solutions are probably the best.
Third: Don't ground to the rudder pintle or gudgeon - they are isolated the way the boat is built.
Lew Streeter

Lew Streeter
Free N Clear
Hull #70
Last edit: 13 years 11 months ago by Deborah Streeter.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.171 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum