Good on you Paul I had a good laugh.
Good engineering is a compromise between what should be done and what can be done. What is done in land-based installations may not be achievable in a pleasure craft. Massive 2-volt cells have no place in pleasure craft and to see one explode covering a vast area with acid is scary. Today’s electrical installation
in pleasure craft can be as complex if not more than a land-based power station, which is operated by an array of professionals, you will hope. There is no reason why safety
procedures that are associated with land-based installations may not have a place in pleasure craft.
Yes batteries need sometime to be carefully paralleled (a full battery connected with a faulty battery can have serious destructive consequence) and, at best, for only that time that it is required to do so if no other method of preventing self-discharge is used.
Some boat owners to prevent water
sloshing back into their cockpit
install suitable non-return valves on their cockpit
drainpipe. To prevent electricity from sloshing
from a battery to an other battery an electronic non return valve (a blocking diode) can be installed. At charging
or at starting time, a suitable switch is operated to by-pass the diode. The charging
process can be automated by the use of a relay controlled by a voltage sensing device who’s logic can be programmed to cut in when the load on the charging device diminishes. The wiring
should be suitably protected by current
limiting devices (fuses, CB, fusible link, etc) suitable for it’s location (ignition proof, waterproof, etc), correctly sized and chosen by taking into consideration the need for essential spare parts
(fast DC fuses).
35 years ago when I was sailing in the Timor Sea and the Indian Ocean
on my 43 ft RASTA I had nickel cadmium alkaline cells (advantage; they can be totally discharged, disadvantage; cost and caustic (nasty stuff)) to run my HF DSB (which was as big than the bulkhead) and navigation
permitting I would bring on deck
my home made charger, which consisted of a Briggs & Stratton engine and a Morris Messenger generator. The boat had no engine. All the other lighting
was with kerosene. I had a DF, a neon sounder and a sextant
and the sea was as enjoyable as it is today.
Accidents do happen. When a coroner is involved, he can make clueless recommendations. Then the legislators move in. In some countries, Law’s already exist and have stiff penalties attached to them, but are rarely enforced (shortage of inspectors). However legislators have better tools at their disposition they are called insurers. When an insurer for reasons of risk refuses to insure, then for the one who cannot do without an insurance
that may be the end of the sailing season. Already some insurers are refusing to insure home made steel
boats with a good survey
Let’s play safe and we will sail longer