DC circuit in aluminium boats

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by Mat-C, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Mat-C
    Joined: May 2007
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    Mat-C Senior Member

    Let me preface this by saying that my knowledge of electrical systems is well... err... lacking.....
    Am I correct in thinking that the DC wiring in an aluminium boat is done any differently to any other material?
    Could someone post a simple wiring diagram for such a boat? Or a link to one?
    Thanks as always....
     
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    This one: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/on...ft-27778.html?highlight=simple wiring diagram and lots of others if you search this forum section for 'simple wiring diagram'.

    Steel, aluminium, wooden or grp boats can all be wired the same way.
    With Al you must be extra careful when making connections to the hull because the latter is nearly always the least noble, so attention must be paid to keeping the contact area dry (grease, coating, sealant etc). This applies to all mechanical parts: any stainless screw in aluminium needs a smear of sealant if you ever want to be able to remove it later.
     
  3. goboatingnow
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Ireland

    goboatingnow Junior Member


    They "can" but they most definitely should nor be. aluminium needs to be treated differently. See Alubat boats or consult some of the specialist books on the subject. Most people haven't a clue about aluminium.

    By the way stainless screws should be smeared with zinc cromate paste. ( nor any old sealant) when set in aluminium. A common one is Duralac, actually barium chromate ( it's carcinogentic wear gloves)

    Here's a good discussion on stainless and aluminium. http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154287




    Dave
     
  4. BertKu
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: South Africa Little Brak River

    BertKu Senior Member

    I like to disagree with you that aluminium boats need different care. Just the fact that a badly configured and installed electrical circuit gets away on a wooden or non metallic boat, does not mean that aluminium need different care. The trick lies in having a solid well thought out electrical circuit and properly installed and wired up. Then all boats can have the same circuitry.

    Stainless steel on any metal boat needs special sealing and protection from moisture. Also on a non metal boat, but making contact with 2 different metals. But that is what you are trying to prevent. 2 different metals with moisture is bound to become a tiny little battery and it will corrode. Sealing with any sealant will help. If one can guarantee that the sealant will seal and keep all possible moisture out, and maybe CDK is able to do so.

    Like anything in life, you have advantages and disadvantage on anything you do. Do you want to have health problems by using zinc chromate paste or have maybe a slightly higher risk in corrosion, but use something healthier.

    Both does the same thing sealing the stainless steel and protect from moisture entering the two different metals.
    Bert

    .
     
  5. goboatingnow
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Ireland

    goboatingnow Junior Member

    It's not a question of any old sealant. Some like silicones actually can promote corrosion between stainless and aluminium. Duralac has been shown to be one of the best sealants for anti corrosion issues. Just avoid it on your skin.


    Dave
     

  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A very good product for corrosion protection between dissimilar metals is Tefgel. Tefgel also lubricates the threads to prevent galling. Duralac works great but its best used when the fastener will be covered with paint.

    http://tefgel.com.au/
     
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