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sunfishin 11-17-2008 10:59 PM

Bonding wire size?
I'm rewiring some old stuff on my Baba 35. The original bonding wire is a #10 or maybe #8. I'm wanting to replace this with at least the original size, but wondering if it would be better to go larger. Would this benefit me (or the boat) in any way? or just throwing money away?

sailingdog 11-18-2008 06:29 AM


Is this the lightning bonding or grounding bonding wiring that you're talking about. For lightning bonding, you'd want heavier wire... for grounding I don't think it makes much difference.

sunfishin 11-18-2008 12:49 PM

Thanks Sailingdog for the reply. It's just grounding bonding I'm wondering about. So, do you think I could go to a smaller size, like 12?

badsanta 11-18-2008 01:12 PM

I have a 31 foot island packet. The factory recomended #6 That was pricey but I did not need to much

sailingdog 11-18-2008 02:05 PM

I'd stick with 10 AWG... for purely mechanical reasons... it's a lot stronger than 12 AWG and less likely to break or tear if it gets stepped on, something dropped on it, etc. Going with 8 AWG generally requires a different crimp tool and crimp connectors. :)

Shortman 01-17-2009 07:49 AM

specs on my 85 Pearson 34 are #8 & I was thinking that might be too small (but I'm not going to change it all). A lightning strike is not exactly a small dose of electricity.
Fastenal has a hammer strike crimper for cable lugs for $12-13. Just bought, first use will be this spring but sure looks fine.

theartfuldodger 01-17-2009 10:17 AM

wondering if one should use at least number 6 as when one hears of sailor's using their anchor chain row over the side of the boat fasten to their shrouds, and when they do receive a strike there is always some damage to the row if not the anchor, what do think the result would be with number 8, it would likley be fried.

sailingdog 01-18-2009 09:25 AM


It depends on whether the wiring in question is for galvanic protection ground bonding or lightning protection bonding. One requires wire, but it doesn't have to be particularly heavy, the other requires fairly heavy wiring due to the amperages and voltages involved. IIRC, the typical weight of wire used for a mast lightning ground protection system is 2 or 4 AWG—which requires a specialized crimping tool to terminate.

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