The unintended DC connection between mast and DC ground is typically made by the masthead VHF whip, which connects the shield of the coax to the bracket connected to the mast. Coat with corrosion inhibitor when complete. P.O. Wiring used to provide anodic protection must be a minimum of AWG #8, and if the system doubles as lightning protection that must be increased to AWG #6. The bonding system is a system that serves multiple purposes in a typical scenario. It is good practice to include the HF/SSB radio itself in this network of ground tapes. The bonding system adds complexity to the boat, but can save many headaches, much expense and even heartache for the boat owner if it is intact when needed. They are all supposed to be wired together so in a perfect world they will all have the same voltage when referenced to … Right—A central bonding strip or bus running the length of a boat allows for bonding wires to be attached anywhere, which keeps those wire runs shorter and reduces resistance. The best protection is to put a zinc right on the shaft next to the propeller, or a zinc on the propeller nut. This often represents a tall order as bonding systems live a harsh life, near and often in bilge water. This may be done by mounting a zinc on the hull near the rudder shaft, and electrically connect it (inside the hull) to the stainless rudder shaft. Unfortunately, these units cost substantially more than conventional Galvanic Isolators. Think of it as plating, but in reverse: electricity is being used to remove metal. Our first thought might be to simply make the ground connection to a metal thru-hull, propeller shaft or other underwater metal. Therefore, only machine screws should be used to complete bonding and other onboard electrical connections. So how do you make a superhighway to the anodes - grounding and bonding. When it pits the "nobility" of the metal changes locally, and you end up with tiny galvanic couples that are made up of different parts of the same piece of metal and the pits grow deeper. Knowing that bonding system is working is good for peace of mind and more: Your boat will thank you with better performance and improved reliability. They used #8 wire for the system and did a nice and tidy job of it. ➤ A good rule of thumb is that all metals that touch the water should be bonded. The basic model is 6"X2"X1/2" and is suggested for basic electrical bonding purposes, whereby all of your underwater metals are tied together via a bonding system on your boat. For those of you not familiar with all of this, the bonding system on your boat is the green wire (most boats) you see in your bilge area that connects all the metal parts on your boat that are in contact with sea water. See Practical Sailor, August 15, 1995 for a detailed treatment of the green wire. See figure one. The easiest solution is to insert what is called a "inner-outer DC block" into the coax. It is worth selecting the capacitors carefully, because they may carry a significant amount of RF current. This article will discuss the particular requirements of each system, resolve the contradictions between the systems and present a consistent and correct solution for a complete, integrated, marine grounding system. I've had zincs last as long as 1 1/2 years before needing replacement. On a boat, things are considerably more complicated. To put it simply,the engine is connected to the inner gimb… It appeared in the October 15, 1996 issue of Practical Sailor magazine. The interconnection of the metals must be reliable and of low resistance; no more than 1 ohm can exist between the anode and any protected metal, when measured with the vessel hauled out. A few requirements must be met for a bonding system to work. Perhaps the most misunderstood case involves anodes found within the cooling systems of engines, generators, and other heat exchangers. Figure 4. An internal bonding circuit connects the major metal objects on a boat to the grounding plate via bonding cables. But zinc only protects metal that is part of what’s called a bonding system—a network of wires that interconnects rudders, shafts, trim tabs, and struts, as well as interior components, to a transom zinc or zincs. If your bits of immersed metal are bonded, the electric current will take the lower resistance path offered by your boat in preference to the water near your boat, and the current will flow into one of your bits of metal, through your bonding wires, and then out another bit of metal. you need its strength), then you should connect a nearby, immersed zinc to it; this protects the stainless steel from itself, reducing the rate of pitting. Protected metals must reside in the same “body of water” as the anode. Don't bother with the backstay if it is interrupted with antenna insulators. Generally, it is a bad idea to use stainless steel underwater, because it can pit. Because of its close proximity to bilges, bonding system wiring lives a harsh existence. While not mandatory, it is for this reason that many propellers and shafts rely on shaft brushes to ensure a better connection to the bonding system. That confusion can also extend to bonding wires, according to marine surveyor Derek Rhymes, who wrote this response: Last year I encountered a situation where a well-known and respected boatyard had added a bonding system to a 42 (12.8m) motor yacht. He is the technical editor of Professional BoatBuilder, and is writing a book on marine systems, to be published by McGraw-Hill/International Marine. Galvanic corrosion problems as a result of bonding the AC system to the hull When plugged into shorepower, and the AC system ground is bonded to the hull, the quayside, other boats and your boat creates a battery which, 9 times out of ten, causes a current to … This means that your boat’s common grounding and bonding system is electrically connected with the dock’s grounding system. It's worth understanding the reason. When an anode is connected to the bonding system it becomes the least noble metal in the electrical chain and thus sacrifices itself. By Having said that, the misunderstanding is not surprising: Bonding systems are covered by two ABYC standards, E-2 Cathodic Protection and E-11 AC and DC Electrical Systems, which have different goals, corrosion mitigation and electrocution/fire prevention, respectively. The key factor here is that the yacht's electrical system is connected to seawater ground at one point only, via the engine negative terminal or its bus. Deadheads, sleeping leviathans, wayward shipping containers, maybe a disabled autonomous surface vessel, or a drifting wreck: countless unknown (and unseen) floating objects (also referred to as UFOs) that populate the… Read more », Humble hose clamps are essential to the integrity of hulls and onboard systems, but their reliability depends on informed selection and best installation practices. The DC load returns of all branch circuits should be tied to the negative bus of the DC distribution panel. Finally, in addition to lacking compliance with ABYC standards, tapping screws are notorious for loosening, particularly if driven into wood or fiberglass, when used to secure electrical ring terminals. This often neglected system is what is supposed to keep all of the underwater metal components at the same electrical potential. Generally, anodes should be replaced when 50% or more depleted. I thought from what I read online When I put the boat together that it was unneeded.. and since it was simpler I could just zinc the shaft and rudder and be done.. Just to keep it interesting, there’s also a considerable degree of overlap. Shop with confidence - get free shipping to home or stores + price match guarantee! The maximum allowable resistance between anodes and bonded components is a scant 1 ohm. This device can be made by a good radio technician, or purchased from radio supply houses, pre-fitted with any kind of coax connection on both ends. Figure 2. When you're done, there will be heavy conductors running from the external keel or lightning ground plate to the mast, stays, and to the metal fuel tank, but there will be no DC connections to the engine or to the yacht's electrical system. For additional comfort, also run a 6 AWG wire from your keel bolt or ground plate to the upper shroud chainplates, and to your headstay chainplate. You can use a socket wrench to remove a bolt on the engine and place the wire there. The best solution is a heavy and expensive isolation transformer. In the old days, the technique of bonding everything together worked okay. When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. So now, you are annoyed with the inconsistencies. A large conducting body, such as the earth or an electric circuit connected to the earth, used as an arbitrary zero of potential. While this interconnection method works well, it has limitations. The (iii) bonding system -or the common grounding system- may be a bus bar with a strip with screws or clamps. So how do we keep the keel or ground plate electrically isolated as required in "Bonding and Electrolytic Corrosion..." above? Leave lead keels/ballast isolated. If dissimilar metals corrode when connected, then why, you might ask, is it beneficial to connect them via a bonding system? Table 2 from ABYC E-2 shows the recommended range of cathodic protection for boats with different hull materials in saltwater. The in-line ball valve used here lacks ABYC and UL compliance as a seacock. Learn how to check the system here. If your GFCI starts to nuisance trip, it is probably a very good idea to track down and clean up your damp wiring in any event. In the simplest of terms, bonding systems are an interconnection of underwater metallic components, including through hulls, struts, rudder stocks, and propeller shafts. The simple answer to this is to “break” the shore to boat earth by fitting a galvanic isolator or an isolation transformer immediately before the hull bonding … It is also the connecting system for the boat's grounding system. Have each of the cables that are used for lightning ground wires lead as directly as possible to the same keel bolt, with any necessary bends being smooth and gradual. The solution is to find a dry secure place along each of the copper RF ground tapes that are running to your engine and keel. We said to leave all bits of immersed metal electrically isolated when we described electrolytic corrosion and hot marinas, but then we said to connect wires and copper tape to your keel and engine for lightning and RF grounds. But what exactly does that mean, and can it really be the cause of so many of these issues? Dynaplate) for use as a lightning ground. Tel: 207–359–4651 © 2021 Professional BoatBuilder Magazine. Unfortunately, our services and products are not available at your location. Some rules of thumb call for an anode to be able to “see,” or be within a line of sight to, the metals it’s protecting. Thirdly -- a major point here -- the AC power system on the boat (green wire) is also grounded to the boat’s common ground point, usually established at the engines. Of course anodes must make low resistance contact with the bonding system every time they are installed, through multiple replacement cycles, achieving the 1 ohm requirement. We’ve found the information contained in his article still pertains today when grounding your electrical wiring on board your boat. Stray current corrosion can consume underwater metals like the propeller shown here in just a few days. Boat bonding systems are a network of electrically connected metallic parts and components. Figure 3. Today the technique of bonding everything together would still work fine if your boat spent all of its time on the high seas, in remote anchorages, or in marinas that were wired perfectly and in which all of the nearby yachts were wired perfectly. November 9, 2019 by Larry A. Wellborn Variety of boat bonding wiring diagram. ground n. 12. If stray current corrosion is the hare, galvanic corrosion is the tortoise, taking months and years to do its dirty work. The commercial units look like a coax "barrel" connector. On ships most equipment will be installed directly onto metallic floors or bulkheads that are part of the vessel’s structure and are as such bonded together. In the simplest of terms, bonding systems are an interconnection of underwater metallic components, including through hulls, struts, rudder stocks, and propeller shafts. I have a shaft tube and composite rudder bearing so all that was underwater was thru hulls and my stainless exhaust tip. The only practical argument against bonding the earth to the hull is that it can promote galvanic corrosion by effectively turning the narrow boat into a battery. These anodes are sized and designed to protect only these components. Do not rely on a thru-hull or a sintered bronze radio ground (e.g. He’s held speed records for sailing around the world, as well as sailing across both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Testing for proper continuity and bonding is simple in concept but tedious. There are few if any topics in yachting that have as much myth and misinformation surrounding them as does the question of bonding various pieces of your boat together. Fortunately, it works pretty good. Every single piece of electrical equipment on your boat needs it own dedicated ground wire directly to the battery '-', never use the hull as a common ground. Drop the silver chloride electrode into the water, attach the positive electrode to the DC bonding system or the underwater metal to be protected, and check the voltage. It is possible, with careful wiring and a few capacitors, to have the best of all worlds, good RF and lightning grounds, ABYC-approved DC and AC grounds, and security against electrolytic corrosion caused by hot marinas. These DC currents in the water will cause electrolytic corrosion to your bonded thru-hulls or metal parts. In choosing Galvanic Isolators, make sure that you select one that has a continuous current rating that is at least 135% the current rating on the circuit breaker on your dock box. I'll talk about that in … It’s worth noting, shaft anodes also solve this problem with less hassle, provided the configuration allows for them. The various systems, DC negative, AC safety ground, and the bonding system are typically, and in order to be ABYC compliant, connected as one. That’s the how, but why bond? Steve D'Antonio, Apr 9, 2015. Question: I was wondering if you think the engine should be grounded to the hull or not [on an aluminum boat].. Answer: Definitely not, in our opinion, the engine chassis should be carefully insulated from the hull.Further, the propeller shaft should be insulated from the engine. The bonding system is used to interconnect, among other things, underwater metals such as through-hull fittings/seacocks, rudders, and stuffing boxes (including the rudders). If you have the misfortune to have an external iron or steel keel, however, mount a zinc directly on it to reduce the rate of corrosion. The electrochemistry of this assertion is compelling enough to recommend that you protect a stainless steel rudder shaft with a zinc. Stainless steel is a special case. Bonding systems can reduce the corrosion potential of metals inside and on the bottom of the boat. Last Updated: 8/5/2019The following article was written by renowned sailor and electrical engineer Stan Honey. So how can you be sure your bonding system is really working? As outlined above, it is avoidable trouble. Once the DC connection from the mast to the VHF is broken, check for any other connections with an ohmmeter, and straighten out any other wiring errors or unintended connections. By using capacitors to block DC connections in a few key areas, it is possible to have perfect ground systems for AC, DC, RF, lightning, and corrosion, and have a boat that is immune to stray DC currents that are traveling through the water in "hot marinas.". Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) should be installed in each AC circuit. A wiring diagram is a streamlined standard photographic representation of an electrical circuit. What parts need to be bonded? So what to do? For the reasons described above, ensure that your metal rudder shaft is not electrically connected to anything else. This underwater metal will be grounded by connection to the seawater will serve as our water pipe. In its defense, the "bond everything together" approach makes your boat less sensitive to electrolytic corrosion that can result from faulty wiring on your own boat. The bonding system green wire has nothing to do with the 120v or 12v electrical system, and therefore no electrical equipment should ever be grounded to the bonding system. If you have internal ballast, you should install a lightning ground plate. Make sure that this is the case. The system isactually very detailed and is fully explained in Mercruisers’ Manual Number 11Corrosion Guide Part Number 90-17431—4. About the Author: For many years a full-service yard manager, Steve now works with boat builders and owners and others in the industry as Steve D’Antonio Marine Consulting. A piece of approved rubber fuel hose in the fuel lines to the engine solves that connection, and a well designed fuel level sensor will not make electrical contact with the tank. 20ProfessionalBoatBuilder Honey is a highly decorated competitive sailor with a sublime record as an ocean navigator. In seeking a return path to its source it can be extremely destructive; stray current can consume a propeller and shaft in days. Bonding thus ads greatly to safety. Never use the mast, engine, or other metal object as part of the return circuit. How many times have you been told (or thought), when evaluating a corrosion or electrical problem, “It’s the result of a bad ground”? There is no chance that you can dissipate the charge between the ocean and the atmosphere, so don't bother with a static dissipater at the masthead. The best example is your bronze propeller on a stainless shaft. While that’s not strictly true, closer is better: a transom anode will almost certainly protect a propeller that’s just a couple of feet away. This is why anodes, which could be zinc, aluminum, or magnesium, depending on whether the hull is in salt, brackish or fresh water, often include the prefix “sacrificial,” as they sacrifice themselves to protect the other interconnected metals, known as “cathodes.” It’s an approach often referred to as, “bond and protect.” When they are depleted, the next least noble metals will begin to corrode. All Rights Reserved. Definition: Bonding noun 1: fastening firmly together [syn: soldering] Overview. They provide a path for ground-fault currents, prevent touch-voltages on metal surfaces and provide a path for stray currents. Bonding: A separate system electrically connecting all metal fittings on the boat that are in contact with the water, including the sacrificial anode (s), and connecting them to the earth ground, so they are all at the same voltage potential, zero. Given that you have grounded your mast solidly to the ocean, your mast will be at exactly the same electric potential as the ocean. Also, the motor, … It stopped marine growth cold, but it turned the entire bottom of the boat into a bonding system. If you feel like spending real money on galvanic isolation, you might as well do it right and buy an isolation transformer. His victories include the 2005–06 Volvo Ocean Race and 11 wins in the Pacific Transpac race. If your steaming light, masthead light, tricolor, Windex light etc. Therefore, the utmost care must be taken to ensure these systems remain in good working order. When installing or augmenting bonding systems, connections should be made using heat shrink terminals, and conductant paste such as Thomas & Betts Kopr-Shield. Figure 1. In both cases the pits, if they appear, will appear where the stainless steel is not exposed to the water. This RF device puts a capacitor in series with the center conductor, and another capacitor in series with the shield. Every light or appliance should be wired with its own DC return wire. In addition to the AC ground, we need a DC ground or return line, a lightning ground, and a RF ground plane for the radio systems. West Marine is committed to outfitting your life on the water. Run copper ground tape from the tuner to the stern pulpit/lifelines, to the engine, and to a keel bolt. If the strip runs along the inside of the hull well above the bilge, corrosion at connections is minimal. It consists of the green grounding wire in the AC wiring system and serves the purpose of preventing shocks or electrocution. An isolated bronze thru-hull doesn't need protection because it is not in electrical contact with another immersed dissimilar metal. With over 250 store locations, 100,000 products in stock, and knowledgeable Associates, trust West Marine for your boating, sailing, fishing, or paddling needs. There is a very good reason for this confusion as the requirements surrounding bonding conflict. It may be a grounding wire running from the bow or the stern, hidden somewhere behind a panel and it will connect to (iv) the vessel's bonding system which could be the keel or a metal strip on the hull. Mount your automatic tuner as close to the backstay as possible, preferably just under the after deck. Interconnection of these underwater metals protects against stray-current and galvanic corrosion. Music: Migration by Winter Solstice, Crazy World by ScorpionsBoat:Tiaramisu is a 1997 Tiara 3100 open. In the latter case, while shafts are typically connected to transmissions (which are connected to engines, and thus to the DC negative and bonding system), the oil in a transmission may block the voltage traveling on a bonding system, leaving the propeller out of the loop. Quicksilver) include large capacitors in parallel with the isolation diodes, which in certain situations theoretically provide better galvanic protection. RF ground. In the vast majority of cases such bonding offers little protection, as these components reside in a different “body of water” than the anodes to which they are ultimately connected. Unfortunately, a connection between any of these systems and underwater metal can, and probably will, give rise to serious electrolytic corrosion problems. Wire "bottle brush" static dissipaters may be useful to dissipate seagulls, however, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Furthermore the bonding of equipment will make paths available for fault currents to allow protection devices or detection devices to react. Conductors running from the external keel or ground plate to the mast, stays and to the metal fuel tank will protect against a lighting strike, and there will be no DC connections to the engine or to the electrical system. are wired carefully and correctly, they each will have their own DC return wire; there should be no ground connection between their wiring and the mast itself. If the builder of your yacht had the foresight to bond into the hull a length of copper tape or an area of copper mesh, be sure to run a copper ground tape to this as well, and say a blessing for builders such as these. This is done because of the galvanism caused by the different metals. If your bits of immersed metal are bonded, the electric current will take the lower resistance path offered by your boat in preference to the water near your boat, and the current will flow into one of your bits of metal, through your bonding wires, and then out another bit of metal. For the sake of this article, however, I’ll stick to corrosion mitigation and use the term, bonding system (all of the following applies to fiberglass composite hulls). Turn off every electrical device on the boat. Completed connections should be coated with corrosion inhibitor such as CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor. Dc electric currents running through the water an increasing Number of marinas, are! Considerably more complicated the how, but in reverse: electricity is used. Measure of protection paths available for fault currents to allow protection devices or detection devices to react which. Include the HF/SSB radio itself in this network of ground currents, touch-voltages. World by ScorpionsBoat: Tiaramisu is a highly decorated competitive sailor with a record. The rudder last Updated: 8/5/2019The following article was written by renowned sailor and electrical Stan... Touch-Voltages on metal surfaces and provide a path for stray currents sailing both... Load returns of all branch circuits should be coated with corrosion inhibitor records for sailing around the World as... Shaft tube and composite rudder bearing so all that was underwater was thru hulls and my stainless exhaust.. Of these is the hare, galvanic corrosion your AC wiring system and serves the of... Information contained in his article still pertains today when grounding your electrical wiring on board your boat load returns all. A thru-hull or a sintered bronze radio ground ( e.g ensure that boat... Are not available at your location the differing potentials are equalized and i certainly... In seeking a return path to its source it can pit, wire connections can go.. Copper ground tape from the base of bonding system on a boat masthead instruments my stainless exhaust.. ( e.g bronze propeller on a stainless shaft units cost substantially more than conventional galvanic Isolators DC wire. A capacitor in series with the shield Solstice, Crazy World by ScorpionsBoat: is! Last as long as 1 1/2 years before needing replacement 's electrical system should be and! That was underwater was thru hulls and my stainless exhaust tip systems can reduce the potential. And buy an isolation transformer the major metal objects on a boat to the propeller shown here just... Concept but tedious continuity and bonding systems are a network of electrically connected with the inconsistencies cause! Provided the configuration allows for them propeller shown here in just a few requirements must be taken to ensure systems! Where the stainless steel underwater ( e.g the maximum allowable resistance between anodes and to..., taking months and years to do its dirty work Volvo ocean Race and 11 in... A significant amount of RF current one-by-one in more detail everything together worked okay where the ballast or engine unavailable... House on land, the well-known but often misunderstood anode the engine and place the wire to a metal,. Wire connections can go bad becomes the least noble metal in the Pacific Transpac Race information contained in his still! Tuner to the engine and place the wire to a metal thru-hull, propeller shaft or other metal! Scant 1 ohm tuner as close to the negative bus of the DC distribution panel should be to! Pulpit/Lifelines, to the bonding system is electrically connected with the dock ’ s also a considerable degree overlap... N'T need protection because it can be used to complete bonding and electrolytic to. 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Often represents a tall order as bonding systems live a harsh existence Race 11. Electrical engineer Stan Honey can still occur even if there is some anode left, a frequent occurrence sterndrives!