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Author Topic:   Bronze Transom Electrode
mikee332 posted 09-02-2002 07:01 PM ET (US)   Profile for mikee332   Send Email to mikee332  
On the transom of my 1987 18-Outrage I have a round,flat object about the size of a silver dollar below the waterline. There is a wire coming from it that goes to the console but is not attached to anything. It looks original, as the wire that passes thru the transom goes thru some nice clam shell fittings. At first I thought it my be some type of transducer but it doesn't project out from the transom enough. Any idea's?
gvisko posted 09-02-2002 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
I have the same thing on the 83 Outrage I bought last week. I thought it was a ground or some kind of zinc. Someone out there will know. gvisko
Tom W Clark posted 09-02-2002 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The part in question is a grounding plate for the fuel tank. All the Whalers with a built in fuel tank used to have them. Its purpose is to help discharge any static electricity that may build up and prevent a spark during fueling.

It should wired with a 10 gauge green wire that goes straight to the fuel tank and is attached to a lug right next to the fuel pick up at the rear of the tank, not somewhere in the console.

Current Whaler practice is to ground the tank via the engine, and not a grounding plate.

It is not a sacrificial anode, nor is part of a bonding system.

There is a good discussion of this part here:

Bigshot posted 09-03-2002 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have one on my Hydra-sports that we installed the electronics too. Just extra protection against lightning, etc. Use it but do NOT paint it.
jimh posted 09-04-2002 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed TOPIC; was "What's this???"--jimh.]

All metallic components of the fuel system are bonded together with a green 10 AWG wire. The sintered bronze grounding plate is also connected to the fuel bonding system. Its purpose is to drain off any static electricity that could build up.

kingfish posted 09-04-2002 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

As per the link in Tom's post, let me know if you'd like the source where I found mine-


Backlash posted 09-04-2002 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
My 1991 21' Walkaround came with a grounding plate centered on the transom below the waterline. As Jimh mentions, this green 10 AWG wire not only runs to the fuel tank, but also to every piece of metal on the boat; bow rail, hand holds, etc.
Tom W Clark posted 09-04-2002 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

"every piece of metal on the boat"?! That's a lot of wire!

On the Whalers of the 1980's the only the tank and the fuel fill were grounded for the purpose of discharging static electricity and helping to prevent a spark during fueling.

Interconnecting all the metal parts on a boat IS a bonding system and serves a slightly different purpose.

Capt_Tidy posted 09-04-2002 01:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
I was wondering where that green wire ran to... I'm slowly rewiring the whaler on an as need basis. I have a spool in the locker ready for any occassion.

On the 25'Outrage it looks like someone has completed the grounding, maybe thinking it was for corrosion... the green wire has been sliced with leads running to the -ve panel (therefore grounded to the engine and ignition) and both rear support brackets, both -ve battery leads (redundancy lives on), the tank selection switch, and the fuel filter. The splices looks professionally done as compared to other modifications.

I've cleaned up the wiring (removing all the dead leads) but my thoughs were to simply have the green wire run to another zinc plate as well and maybe complete the orginal installers idea.

FYI... I have been re-reading all the pages re: 360 degree rear nav light... looking for a solution to the tall rear lamp post that is always in the way. What a pain this light is. I was simply going to add an rear facing light to the stern below deck (and out of the way) and play dumb... if stopped, the 4 foot pole 360 degree light pole can raise it's ugly head.


Backlash posted 09-04-2002 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Yes it is a lot of wire! I've got green #10 AWG running to the bow rail, 4 different 12" SS hand holds, fuel tank, fuel fill, radar arch, etc. The only thing not bonded are the gunnel mounted rod holders. You are right...this is a bonding system.


mikee332 posted 09-04-2002 05:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for mikee332  Send Email to mikee332     
Thanks Tom, for clearing that up.
CaptCornchowder posted 09-06-2002 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for CaptCornchowder  Send Email to CaptCornchowder     
I recently had some work done on my boat. When painting the hull the transducer and grounding plate were painted. The yard manager told me they used speacial paint for that purpose,now I have heard of transducer paint, but the ground? Seems like an insulator to me dah. Also my fish finder does not seem to be working properly. I have not payed the bill yet as I am trying to find out if I need to replace the transducer and plate. Your help would be greatly apreciated.

Thank you,cc

jimh posted 09-06-2002 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The bronze electrode is actually a sintered bronze casting which is specially designed to have a very porous surface and thereby create a large contact area with the water. The last thing in the world you want to do it to paint it. When painted it is essentially useless.

CaptCornchowder posted 09-07-2002 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for CaptCornchowder  Send Email to CaptCornchowder     
Thanks Jim, Could painting have an afect on the transducer?
kingfish posted 09-08-2002 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Painting the bottom of the transducer certainly could.

What is up with this boatyard painting those two devices in with your transom? Are you missing anything like a couple of kids or something that they also thought would be OK to paint in while they were at it?

If I were you, given the poor judgement they've exhibited so far, I'd be dam sure the rest of the paint job was up to snuff before I parted with any cash...


CaptCornchowder posted 09-09-2002 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for CaptCornchowder  Send Email to CaptCornchowder     
Thanks for the heads-up King,I,m in a discusion now with the boat yard now. The transducer isn't the best, but seemed to work a lot better before.
Thanks for the reply, cc
lhg posted 09-09-2002 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Since I'm looking at the BW factory parts drawings for the Classic Outrages, I can tell you that the real purpose of the tank grounding green wire is to protect the fuel fill, which is where you can get a static discharge spark from an external object, such as the gas nozzle. From the bronze disk on the transom, the wire goes to a tab on the rear of the tank, near the withdrawl. Then there is another tab on the tank at the fill tube entry to the tank, from which a green wire goes to the gas fill fitting on the gunwale. So when the boat is in the water, and you put in gas, the static electricity travels back to the ground in the water and doesn't blow up your boat!

This system should not be altered, and should be intact, and is ONLY for the fuel fill fitting/gas tank protection. I am continually amazed at how many Whalers have been "hacked up" by un-informed owners and service shops.

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