Installing An ELCI Prevents Electric Shock Drowning
Anyone who has come in contact with even a mild jolt of electricity knows the muscle spasms it can generate. Complete immersion after falling or unknowingly jumping into water that has been electrified by a boat’s faulty wiring can trigger total body immobility and even stop a heart, tragically resulting in a drowning fatality. The cause is typically stray AC current exiting the boat and traveling back to its source on shore via the water instead of the ground wire. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to help prevent such occurrences.
An ELCI is similar to a residential GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter). If it senses a problem with the ground, whether due to a damaged or severed wire or an incorrectly connected piece of equipment, it shuts off the power within a fraction of a second.
Some safety-minded marinas have installed GFI devices on their power pedestals, but many have not. The American Boat and Yacht Council, the organization that sets boat manufacturing safety guidelines, mandates the inclusion of an ELCI on all new boats.
For owners of older boats familiar with marine wiring, installing an ELCI requires attention to detail but is straightforward. Connecting six wires is all it takes. Alternately, ABYC- and NMEA-certified electricians are eminently capable of undertaking the task and can also test the entire electrical system.
What the ABYC does not address, however, are the shortcomings of a twist-type shore power connector. Working in tandem with the ELCI, the SmartPlug provides over 20 times the metal-to-metal contact of a traditional plug and inlet – a design that hasn’t changed in over 80 years. This maximizes the electrical transfer, and reduces the arcing, resistance and resultant overheating that leads to fire.
SmartPlug Systems’ ELCI solution consists of two components, a ground fault sensor used in tandem with a UL-489 listed circuit breaker with built-in shunt trip and auxiliary switch. This combined package provides power and fault status indicators and identifies between a ground fault versus a short circuit trip. The trip level of the sensing device is <30mA (27mA nominal) with a trip time of <100mS (60mS nominal) to meet ABYC’s E-11 Standard. The package is available in 30A and 50A versions.
2500 Westlake Ave N, Suite. G,
Seattle, WA 98109-2262
A Clean Boat Starts With Brite Wash
Many owners mistakenly use strong generic soap on their boats believing harsh equals effective. Nothing could be further from the truth. It instead removes any previously applied protective products, makes it difficult to rinse and pollutes the environment with chemical runoff. Brite Wash is safe to use on any onboard surface without stripping wax or polish, it leaves a brilliant, clean finish and is biodegradable therefore harmless to aquatic life.
Brite Wash is scientifically formulated to powerfully clean gelcoat, clear coat, paint, metal and rubber. It is even safe to use on delicate surfaces such as isinglass, plastic and vinyl.
Made in the USA, Brite Wash is highly concentrated, so a mere three ounces is all that is needed to make two gallons of solution. It effortlessly cuts through dirt, grime, bird droppings and salt without leaving unsightly spots behind. A 32-ounce bottle of Brite Wash is $11.98, 1 gallon is $28.98.
3119 SW 42nd Avenue,
Palm City, FL 34990
Removable Chafe Guards Save Lines, Protect Boats
As wind, currents and wake action move a boat in its slip, dock lines are constantly rubbing against the pier and vessel and being abraded. If the line breaks, replacing it may be the least expensive thing to worry about as an unsecured boat can do a lot of costly damage. Secure® Removable Chafe Guards from Davis Instruments are the quick and easy solution to protect braided and three-strand cordage in high-wear areas and increase their usable lifespans.
Made from rugged UV-stabilized nylon webbing, Secure Removable Chafe Guards are 16-inches long and sold in pairs. Inside is 100% Velcro® hook fasteners that grip .375-inch to 1-inch lines without slipping. Rolled onto the rope snugly, it is compact and pliable enough to fit through chocks.
Secure Removable Chafe Guards have a wide range of uses. They prevent chafing over a cleat, cap rail or anchor roller, and when two lines cross. If a line needs to be adjusted, they’re easy to move into position.
Available in white or black, Davis Instruments Secure Chafe Guards cost $29.99 a pair.
3465 Diablo Avenue,
Hayward, CA 94545