Ground on a boat? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-28-2019 Thread Starter
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Ground on a boat?

I am working on installing a wind generator and the manual says the tower itself as well as the third wire coming out of the generator must be grounded. I see that my boat has a thick (4 AWG?) green ground wire run to the negative main battery terminal. My boat also has a zinc saver device galvanic isolator installed which seems to be connected to the AC ground wires.
So the question is whether the wind generator ground should be connected to the green 4 AWG wire?
Your help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-28-2019
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Re: Ground on a boat?

Seems logical that if it's a DC generator that it should be connected to the DC ground ... I'm guessing they mean the bonding system (i.e. the solid bare copper wire connected to all the metal parts)

Is that generator designed specifically for boats or are you using a unit designed for home use? I find it odd that they would would use that terminology, but if it's designed for marine use, maybe contact the vendor and ask for clarification?
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-28-2019
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Re: Ground on a boat?

Chassis common or reference, is often called "Earth Ground", but it isn't in any mobile context.

True Ground is pounding a rod deep into moist soil, with some geology need to go way down.

Electricians experienced in high-voltage Floating systems where gear really is supposed to be Earthed are relatively rare.

But well under 48V and DC only, using chassis common is likely good enough, at least unlikely to be fatal if you screw up.

Don't feel reassured by that? Get in a pro to at least check your plan and inspect the result afterwards, if not actually do the work.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-28-2019
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Re: Ground on a boat?

The ground (earth) wires on my boat are black . My ground starts at the engine block .
https://www.emarineinc.com/Grounding...tems-On-A-Boat

https://www.emarineinc.com/Grounding...ms-on-a-Vessel
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-28-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Ground on a boat?

Its an AirBreeze generator very much marketed for marine use. There is a section devoted to installation on boats but rather vague. My boat does not have a bare copper wire or strip. Just green wires grounding to the negative terminal on the battery bank.

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Re: Ground on a boat?

Transport Canada “Constructions Standards For Small Vessels”, TP1332E and ABYC "AC and DC Electrical Systems On Boats" Standard E-11 require that AC and DC grounds be bonded and show a resistance of less than 1ohm.
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-01-2019
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Re: Ground on a boat?

Kriss - follow the big black cables from the battery to where they terminate. Should be on the engine block, or a large bus bar that connects to the engine block. That’s your ground.

It is most likely a bad mistake to connect to the green wires. Those are usually either for AC grounding or for bonding metal through hulls together (unless a previous owner did something creative with green wire!) and in either case are dangerous to rely on as a ground for any DC system.

I learned the hard way on this kind of thing, and really wish I had gotten a qualified marine electrician to do the work and educate me along the way.

Be careful.
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Re: Ground on a boat?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
Transport Canada “Constructions Standards For Small Vessels”, TP1332E and ABYC "AC and DC Electrical Systems On Boats" Standard E-11 require that AC and DC grounds be bonded and show a resistance of less than 1ohm.
What exactly does it mean bonded? Are the AC and DC grounds supposed to be connected to the same thing?

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Re: Ground on a boat?

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Originally Posted by bigdogandy View Post
Kriss - follow the big black cables from the battery to where they terminate. Should be on the engine block, or a large bus bar that connects to the engine block. That’s your ground.
Yes, that 4AWG green wire connects to the black cable bus bar next to the engine block and connected to it.

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Re: Ground on a boat?

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
what exactly does it mean bonded? Are the ac and dc grounds supposed to be connected to the same thing?
yes !
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