When it comes to wiring projects, marine wiring requires some extra attention. A constantly moving environment surrounded by saltwater poses several unique challenges for electricians. Making sure that your Boat Battery Cables are in line with the American Boat and Yacht Council’s standards will help prevent possibly life-threatening electrical issues. At EWCS Wire, we manufacture a wide range of marine compliant wire and cable. If your business specializes in wiring on boats, we can help you get a great deal on high-quality supplies you need.
There are many misconceptions about how boats can be wired. Even when dealing with low voltage systems, rigid standards have to be followed to ensure marine electrical systems are wired safely. When wiring these systems, it is helpful to forget a majority of the rules pertaining to home electrical wiring and instead focus on ABYC guidelines.
The first major difference you will notice with our boat battery cables is their flexibility. Boats are constantly moving and those vibrations can cause conventional wiring to crack or come loose from terminals. Our marine wiring features a large number of copper strands as opposed to the solid copper wiring used in terrestrial wiring. This increased strand count gives our cables improved flexibility. Combined with using slightly longer than average lengths of wire will allow your battery cables and other wiring to flex and move without undue strain. This will keep your connections and insulation from breaking over time.
Marine cables should also be tinned. While this is not technically a requirement for marine cables, at EWCS all of our marine wiring is made with tinned copper. Electroplating the copper strands with tin greatly reduces the reactivity of the wire without lessening its conductive properties. This means that when you use our tinned copper cables, you are less likely to experience issues related to conductor oxidation. In marine applications where exposure to salt and water is common, this tinning process can extend the life of your cables significantly.
Another level of protection on our marine cables is the insulation. Standard rubber and plastic coatings may be eaten away by exposure to certain chemicals found on boats, particularly near engines. Boat battery cables require a coating that is still extremely flexible but can resist degrading due to chemicals or vibration. The insulated coating on our marine cable conductors protects them from acid, abrasion, alkali, gas, moisture, and oil. With all the possible sources for exposure on a boat, this level of protection is essential for preventing shorts and exposed conductors.
When wiring marine systems, securing the connection points is crucial. Techniques like electrical tape and wire nuts are not safe for marine applications. Instead, you need to add terminals to the end of your wires. This will require purchasing the correct terminal ends, typically ring tongue terminals, and a crimping tool to secure them to your wires. Once you have crimped the connector securing, adding shrink tubing to the connection point will offer an extra level of protection. Combined with adding extra slack to your wires, using these terminals will help ensure that your wires will not be jostled loose over time.
If you need high-quality boat battery cables or other marine wiring supplies, we are here to help at EWCS. We have been manufacturing heavy-duty cables for both building and marine applications for over 20 years. When you order your cable from EWCS, we offer both manufacturer direct pricing and fast shipping. If you have any questions about our inventory or you are interested in a custom cable configuration or length, feel free to contact our team at sales@EWCSWire.com.
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