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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 11-18-2011
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Getting shocked with engine running

Last weekend I received several strong shocks from the binnacle when the engine running but didn't notice them on battery? Ground fault somewhere? Suggestions?
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Old 11-18-2011
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If you can reliably duplicate the condition start switching off circuits. If you can isolate it to one circuit than it will be easier to find.

Most likely a hot wire is touching something in the binnacle. Shouldn't be too hard to find.
If what you find however is that the wire insulation is in really bad shape you should run new wire.

I just did this for my bilge pump.
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Old 11-18-2011
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Were you plugged in to shore power or were you away from the dock?
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Old 11-18-2011
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I didn't know you could experience a shock with 12 volts. Is your motor a gas motor with spark plugs? I'd be looking at sources of voltage greater than 12, either the ignition system or maybe the 110 system if you have an inverter that's on for some reason.
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Twelve volts isn't going to shock you.

Most likely you were plugged into shorepower and the neutral and ground wires were reversed.

Bill
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Old 11-18-2011
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You shouldn't have any AC systems running to your binnacle. If indeed it was shorepower that shocked you, doesn't that mean that your AC and DC systems are not properly isolated?

I agree that 12 volts is not enough to shock you.

Lastly are you sure it wasn't just an unusually strong static discharge? In your cockpit, you're not grounded, so I don't see why you'd get a shock anyway.
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Old 11-18-2011
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What kind of voltages does an autopilot have?
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Autopilot is 12 volts

Really we need more information.
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Could a person put the positive lead of the voltmeter on the binnacle and then the negative lead on the Neg 12 volt terminal first, then the negative bus bar for the 110 system second and see which one makes the needle jump? If the binnacle is hot, seems like one of these tests will show it. Otherwise, let the wife pilot the boat for now on. I hate shocks.
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I was away from the dock but didn't have time to trace. I'll go out tomorrow and see what I can find
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