Electric Boat Gremlins of July

Early in the month during a tour, all electronics on the boat suddenly shut down. This happened maybe twice over a period of days, but I was so busy running tours and recovering from same that I didn’t take the time to investigate the cause. After all, by just switching the dash switches on and off a few times everything restarted OK.

However, on the following Wednesday morning as I was getting ready to untie the boat from my slip in the harbor with six clients aboard for a 10-hour whale watching tour, the electronics suddenly shut down a third time. I briefly considered running the tour without the electronics, but immediately passed on that foolish thought.

Looking under the steering side dash where all the wiring is located (where a flashlight was needed, even in broad daylight), I discovered that one of the ground wires had been laying across the hot (positive) main terminal from the batteries and its insulation had worn through, causing power to go through the ground wire and had melted off its insulation. The hot ground wire had then melted through positive wires to the electonics, causing shorts in several places.

I informed my passengers that I had to run a new ground wire and at least cover the bare spots in the positive electronics wires with electrical tape. They all understood, and to my relief, none of them became upset. I worked steadily on the wiring for about an hour, and to my prayerful thanks and relief, everything worked properly and we were on our way with but an hour delay.

Thank you Lord for helping me stay calm and focused and for all three of my couples’ mellow acceptance of this snag in their vacation.

Electric Boat Gremlins of July

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