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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 05-28-2012
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electrical safety

Are there any issues with running electrical appliances from an inflatable plugged into the boat? AC and DC. Ie running the DC power inflator to top of the dink that's in the water or running a heat gun to strip varnish off rub strake.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: electrical safety

I construct a "Kill Switch" by securing the electrical source cord to a fixed point on the deck such as a stanchion and then a short line from the plug to the tool that will not reach the water. By doing this, the plug will pull free if the electrical device approaches the water.
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Re: electrical safety

I assume your AC plug has a ground fault. Make sure it has one.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: electrical safety

Broke, I'm a little paranoid about electricity because I've been bit by it. It tends to leave a memory.

And then one day I found myself sitting on the edge of a dock, using a long extension cord and a Dremel to clean up some hull punctures (storm damage) in order to get the boat ready for an offshore race and said to myself, gee, AC, extension cord, legs over the water, what could possibly happen here?

Really, these days GFIs are cheap and you'd have to be NUTS to use AC anywhere near the water without one in your cord or socket. It will save your life if the AC gets wet, and even a thin film of unsalted moisture on an AC cord can conduct surprisingly well.

DC, less to worry about, you probably can't get hurt by it. So the inflator...not an issue. But the heat gun? Oh yeah, that's got the potential to set the boat on fire, or electrocute you if it gets dunked. If you can tie off the cord, or clip a loop of it to the lifeline, so that it simply can't REACH the water, that's good protection. If you can work from on deck, hanging over the side, that's good protection. But I wouldn't touch that job without a GFI. And it is a good idea to make sure there's an "apprentice" with you, to call 911 just in case. All it takes is one "oops", one wake toss.
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