Wood boat A/C and D/C final ground

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by rasorinc, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    My wood boat build, 30' x 8'-6", will be using an Outboard Engine. It will be a V hull cruiser live aboard for 3-6 months a year as I travel around. I will be in camp grounds living in it while on a trailer and while floating with ENGINE UP. I have 3 house battery's, and a 4,000 watt gen set plus a gavanic isolator for campground and shore power in front of the combo A/C and D/C electrical
    panal. Lots of appliances and electronics on board with charger, invertor, and convertor. I will post the system layout here soon. Now my A/C and D/C systems each end with their seperate ground bus bars. These I need to extend to a final grounding point in the boat.
    What should this grounding point be?
    Should I have two-one for a/c and seperate one for d/c?
    Should I ground my two steel LP tanks? (in a vented wood box rear deck)
    My plastic fuel tank has metal fittings, should these be grounded? (under rear deck)
    Should I run ground fault circuits on everything?
    Should I ground my generator?
    If Lightning hits and destroys my system and all hooked to it, I'm homeless with no money to replace all the stuff.
    All electronics and electrical system are marine quality and USCG approved.
    I will be in lightning prone areas. Is there a system out there to protect me and the boat and electronics if hit??

    Thanks in advance, any and all comments welcome. My research reading still leaves me wondering about these questions. Stan
     
  2. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Too much here for me to answer right now. Perhaps the best course of action would be for you to get a copy of one or both of these books.

    http://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-Me...=boat owners mechanical and electrical manual

    http://www.amazon.com/Boatowners-Il...8&qid=1378377224&sr=1-4&keywords=charlie wing

    You can and should (IMO) address the lightning issue and do what you can to mitigate damage. That said though the evidence indicates that if lightning wants your boat it will get it (for instance there are examples of a power boat being struck that was docked between two sailboats). Long chapters are written in the books mentioned that address exactly the issues you are facing. You also have issues with bonding and stray current corrosion protection with all that AC and DC gear on board. The texts above address those issues as well.

    Good Luck,

    MIA
     
  3. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 3,324
    Likes: 146, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1819
    Location: Adriatic sea

    CDK retired engineer

    Use an underwater ground plate connected to the DC ground, the engine and everything else that used DC. Tie the AC PROTECTIVE ground (not the return) to it and use a GFI on the AC input.
    Also connect the metal fittings of the fuel tanks to it, plus any other metal objects like a handrail that could act as an antenna if lighting is near.
    In case of a direct hit, you are toast anyway. No magic device can prevent that.
     
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