Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-03-2023, 21:23   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 3
Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

Hi all,

I recently purchased an aluminum sailboat and am in love. The boat is a beast. We had an extensive survey done and the hull is in great shape. No signs of corrosion. Problem is, I just checked for stray currents by installing a leak detector from dolphin and the gauge is maxed out (above 8mA).

The boat is ~45' with solar, wind, 2 DC panels, and no generator. So the electrical system moderately complex.

I'm hoping to get some advice on where to start. I'm a bit overwhelmed and am concerned that we have many circuits with leaking current so unplugging them one by one and trying to identify a change using the simple gauge may not be effective.

Anyone out there been in this situation?
SoggyHalyard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2023, 23:02   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 391
Re: Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

I'm not an electrician, but instead of unplugging loads one by one, I would first disconnect the shore power, the solar and the batteries and check that I got a zero reading. If not, then maybe stray current originates off the boat? See if you get same readings in a remote anchorage away from marina? If source on boat, then maybe you will have to try each load separately.
osprey877 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2023, 23:22   #3
Registered User
 
double u's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: forest city
Boat: no boat any more
Posts: 2,470
Re: Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

check on leak from engine first, they are very difficult to isolate 100% from the hull. Have a vented loop before the saltwaterpump, so there is no connection via the saltwater in the cooling circuit.
Have a heavy switch in the ground going to the engine & turn it off, when the engine is not in use.
__________________
...not all who wander are lost!
double u is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2023, 04:09   #4
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Boat: Bestevaer.
Posts: 13,913
Re: Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

Congratulations on the new boat.

If you have double pole isolation of the circuits, this is an easy problem to track down.

Turn all circuits off. The stray current should disappear. Then turn on the circuits one by one until the fault occurs. You then need to trace the defective circuit and eliminate where it is in contact with the hull.
noelex 77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2023, 09:05   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: PNW
Boat: 35 Ft. cutter, custom
Posts: 1,239
Re: Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyHalyard View Post
Hi all,
I just checked for stray currents by installing a leak detector from dolphin and the gauge is maxed out (above 8mA).
Others have already commented on several things/areas to start investigating.
On metal boats, (particularly aluminum,) the need for prevention of stray electron flow should be approached with almost a religious fervor.
Are any devices such as inverters/battery chargers/refrigeration units/water heaters, etc., directly fastened to any metallic framing or brackets that are in contact with the boats structure?
It's all detective work.
Engines can be totally isolated, and the first step, (of several,) is not using the engine as a "Grand Central Station" bus bar with a plethora of wires and using something like a "Drivesaver" to break the electrical path to the prop shaft.
__________________
Beginning to Prepare to Commence
Bowdrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-03-2023, 17:13   #6
Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,953
Re: Aluminum Hulled Sailboat - Stray Current

Bilge pumps, vhf antennas, engine control cables and engine alarm circuits are all potential culprits. Iíve had to convert a number of engines to ďabove groundĒ wiring when repowering alloy vessels, mostly Ovniís but several larger boats too. You need to get this right and Iím surprised your new yacht didnít already have the leakage detector installed from new.
skipperpete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aluminum, boat, current, hull, sail, sailboat

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stray Current Detector Ian R Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 12 27-12-2018 20:02
Painting inside bottom of aluminum hulled dinghy exMaggieDrum Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 4 21-05-2015 16:55
Stray Current MartinMayer Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 32 10-01-2011 05:48
How to Measure Stray Current in the Water erict Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 11 03-12-2010 12:07
Stray Current Corrosion . . . Boracay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 29 29-09-2010 06:13

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:27.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.