Electrical Question

Discussion in 'LOCAL KANSAS TALK' started by StiffPole, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. StiffPole

    StiffPole New Member

    Messages:
    88
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas,
    Does anyone know if you can run a ground wire from the (-) post of your battery to a spot on your aluminum boat, then another wire from the (+) post of your battery to a 12 volt device you want to operate, then just ground the device to a spot on your boat, which would save running the second wire the entire distance back to your battery. I hope that makes sense, clear as mud, right.:0a28: Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I believe that has been discussed before, and the general consensus was DON'T DO IT. I am sure some of the more knowledgeable guys will post here pretty quick, but don't get in a hurry to do it without getting their input.
     

  3. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    I don't think you want to do that. Others will chime in on why, but I would think that adding a charge to your boat would cause corrosion issues, not totally sure about that. Also you might shock up fish that way... not sure if there's enough power to do that, but it might turn your boat into a big shock survey machine. I've always heard though that it is bad to use your boat as a ground like you would your vehicle. Others will probably know the reason, I just know its not good to do.
     
  4. boombalaty

    boombalaty New Member

    Messages:
    1,536
    State:
    Kansas
    Will it work... yes. Is it a good idea no. Aluminum has much less current carrying abilities than copper. If the 12 v item you are hooking up is electronic like a fish finder or digital trolling motor improper grounds can actually cook your equipment. If you need something in a large gauge wire go to your local car audio shop and buy some power cable. It is available in 10, 8, 4, 2, and 1/0ga. They will also have all the necessary terminals. The wire is nice and flexible and has good insulation. If you cant find any locally shoot me a pm and I can get you whatever you need for a good price! (I am part manager/owner of a small shop):wink:
     
  5. StiffPole

    StiffPole New Member

    Messages:
    88
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas,
    I am just tired of always having bad connections. Right now I have a couple of auto cig. lighters wired up to some clips that I just clip to my deep cycle battery when I head out in my boat. My fish finder also has a couple of clips that I hook up to a little lawn tractor battery. The cig. lighters end up just laying in the boat, they get rusty, then about the time I am scooting along the river pretty good, all of a sudden it is dark, I gotta locate the plug and twist it 2 or 3 times before my spotlight comes back on. I like using blacklights when I am fishing, and I have a 12 volt flourescent type blacklight but it just doesn't put out the light of my 110 blacklights, so I got an inverter and run them. If the inverter doesn't have excellent connections it shuts down. I decided to mount my batteries inside of my bench seats, drill holes and mount the cig. lighter outlets, solder all the connections and hopefully eliminate alot of headaches. I thought if I could ground my battery to my boat it would save me a few wires to run. I used to really be into car audio myself, so I have alot of stuff I can transfer to my boat, I have some really long jumper cables made out of 1/0 gauge Stinger power cable.:big_smile: I was just trying to plan the easiest, yet dependable way of doing it.
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The reason not to do it.
    Your boat will disinegrate.
    The idea behind using zincs on boats and motors is it's a sacrificial anode.
    Lesser then aluminum. Water carries current. Moving water more so then still water.

    If you use an aluminum boat hull as a ground bar you just blew the whole save the boat with sacrificial anodes idea out of the water. No amount of anode will overcome that.
    Your boat will start pitting. Pitting leads to pinholes, and eventually your aluminum boat is an aluminum foil boat.

    Electrical current an aluminum just dont mesh.
    I wouldn't slip an aluminum boat at a marina on a permanent basis because of current leakage from other boats or dock wiring.
     
  7. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    The electolysis would kill your aluminum boat. Take the extra time to run the ground wire/wires. There are many ways to make very secure dependable connections. Here is a post on some wiring tips I wrote.

    Tips & Tricks, Boat wiring connections
    Alot of us here modify our boats and wiring is usually involved. It is really tough to keep connections water tight and secure. One of the things I use alot are SolderLocs, Its used like a wire nut for making connections between two or more wires. The beauty of the SolderLoc is in it's design, it's like an exposed wire nut with a solder ring around it, encased in heat shrink with epoxy in the open end. You just chose the correct size for the wires, twist the wires together and insert them into the SolderLoc and twist it on as if it were a wire nut. Now heat the solder ring with a butane soldering torch and watch for the solder to run, then continue heating down the shrink tube to shrink it tight and the epoxy will melt sealing the open end where the wires were inserted. It is about as permanent and watertight a connection as you can get. They can be found at about any electrical supply house.

    Heat shrink tubing (with epoxy coating inside) and liquid tape are other items I use alot, especially when attaching a terminal to a wire. I'll bare my wire, slide on a piece of heat shrink tubing, and attach my stake on or solder on terminal, then seal the terminal where the wire is exposed on the end with liquid tape. After the liquid tape dries I'll slip the heat shrink tubing up and shrink it onto the terminal and wire, the epoxy inside melts and glues the connection together and the liquid tape seals the open end where the terminal sticks out. This is a very watertight and strong connection.

    Need a quick inline fuse? Cut into your hot wire, slide on a 2 " piece of heat shrink tube over the ends bundled together, and attach a couple of insulated female spade connectors using the method I described above. Shrink the heat shrink tube on about an inch below the connectors to hold the package together, and plug in the appropriate size ATC style fuse. Quick, easy, and it works!

    These are just a few things I do to make sure the job stays done. I hope it helps someone out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  8. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
  9. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
  10. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Since the majority of electric eating "toys" on my cuddy will be toward the bow half, and/or switched at my "helm station" and the batteries near the stern, I plan on installing T blocks under the "dash".

    Running all those extra wires back to the batteries would just get silly, there will be plenty headed back there already.
     
  11. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,187
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Its far from the truth that a aluminum boat in water would be a ground source. It is rather a conducter of current. You really need to run number 8 power leads (pos and neg) to a isolated fuse panel and then fuse your cig lighters, nav lights and other accessories to a switch panel. Do not run your fish finder to the fuse panel, run those wires directly off your deep cycle battery. Get rid of all those alligator clips and use spade or terminal ring connectors.
     
  12. 1 4 Fishing

    1 4 Fishing New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    Oklahoma
    No i have tryed that it did not work for me