What Happens When A Boat Has Wires Running Through The Bilge?

You Might Be Shocked To Find Out!

I’m not sure how many times I’ve commented on this topic here, but After a recent visit to a new boat it seems I need to remind all electrical and electronic equipment installers out there that water and electricity don’t mix. The photo above is on a brand new sailboat. The large stud you can see in the center of the photo is one of the keel bolts on the boat. OK, we have some ground wires attached to it. Not normally current carrying, and there to maintain earth ground potential with the water the boat’s floating in. Fair enough. But the yellow and red connectors at the top of the photo are indeed going to have current flowing through them from time to time, and those certainly aren’t water-tight connectors.

I realize this whole issue can be a real challenge on today’s modern, shallow sump boats. There simply isn’t much room to isolate these cable runs under the floor boards from whatever water ends up in the low point of the boat. All I can say is: more effort needs to be put into this! Those connections are pretty much guaranteed to end up soaked in water sooner than later and will create a problem for whatever device these cables are feeding. Keep this stuff out of your bilge folks!