Marine electronics can be a great way to improve the safety, efficiency, and enjoyment of your boat. However, it is important to install them correctly in order to ensure that they function properly and last for many years. We unfortunately see a lot of 'warranty' issues coming, that, when isolated from the installation, work just fine.
So, if you want to do the work yourself - here are a key couple of points to pay attention too:
- Use marine-grade wiring and connectors. Marine-grade wiring is made of materials that are resistant to corrosion and moisture. It is also important to use marine-grade connectors, designed to withstand the harsh marine environment.
- Make sure your connections are solid. A loose connection can cause arcing and heat, which can damage your electronics. Take the time to properly crimp or solder all of your connections, and make sure that they are free of dirt and corrosion.
- Use the correct size wire for the amount of current your electronics draw. Using too small of a wire can cause a voltage drop, which can reduce the performance of your electronics. The manufacturer's instructions typically specify the correct wire size for your particular electronics. In addition, keep wiring runs as short as feasible.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation. This will help to ensure that your electronics are installed correctly and safely. The manufacturer's instructions will typically provide detailed instructions on how to mount, wire, and secure your electronics.
- Secure your electronics properly. This will help to prevent them from being damaged in the event of a collision or rough seas. Use marine-grade mounting brackets and screws to secure your electronics in place.
- Have your electronics installed by a qualified marine electronics installer. This is especially important if you are not familiar with marine electronics installation. A qualified installer will be able to install your electronics correctly and safely.
The Weird World of Capillary Action
In short - you need to ensure both ends of your connections are waterproof if you want a waterproof system. Because - as it turns out - water can travel uphill!
Some More Things to Consider
In addition to the above, here are some other tips to keep in mind when installing marine electronics:
- Use heat shrink tubing to seal all connections. This will help to prevent corrosion and moisture from getting into your wiring.
- Label all of your wires. This will make it easier to troubleshoot any problems that may occur in the future.
- Use a fuse or circuit breaker to protect your electronics from overloads. This will help to prevent damage to your electronics in the event of a short circuit.
- Inspect your marine electronics regularly. This will help to identify any problems early on and prevent them from becoming major issues.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your marine electronics are installed correctly and will last for many years to come.