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1970Columbia34 02-22-2009 08:50 PM

Lighting Ground?
Question for you guys, on the bottom of our boat we have a steal plate about the size of a index card that looks to be used for grounding of the mast. There is a larger wire coming from the mast to this plate and one wire going to a keel bolt. what is the best way to do this just to the keel or to this plate as well. also are there other things that should be hooked to the ground at this plate or keel bolts like the engine or better systems? thanks


sailingdog 02-22-2009 11:50 PM

Photos would help. If it is a grounding plate, it probably isn't steel, but tinned copper.

peikenberry 02-22-2009 11:54 PM

If it is a ground plate for lightning protection then nothing else should be connected to it. It is there to dissipate the current from the lightning into the water. If you hook up other things to it then residual currents will go to those items in a lightning strike. Those residual currents will fry your equipment.

1970Columbia34 02-23-2009 07:09 AM

yeah I forgot to take a picture of it. And we will go with its metal some some kind it has bottom paint on it so I can't tell if its steel or copper, knowing the previous owner if the right way to do it was copper then its copper he was really good about doing things the right way. So really the ground for the boat as far as the motor and lights and stuff just uses the negative on the battery for a ground? I am just trying to clean up some wiring while we are working on putting the new motor in.


peikenberry 02-28-2009 09:15 PM

on 12 v DC systems the ground is usually the enginre block (if you have an engine) and the negative battery terminal is connected to the engine block. If no engine then the negative terminal is the ground. here's a typical sail boat wiring diagram

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