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Author Topic:   SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL: Electrical Ground or Common for 12-volt Systems on Fiberglass Boats
alfred posted 09-03-2008 08:21 AM ET (US)   Profile for alfred   Send Email to alfred  
I looked at the wiring diagram [for a Boston Whaler 190 OUTRAGE], and it looks like the earth point is the bus bar. Is that correct? If not, could anyone point me in the right direction? I would like to know where I can ground the electronics if I get any noise.
jimh posted 09-03-2008 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The usual common point or ground in a 12-volt system on a fiberglass boat is the battery negative terminal. The engine block is usually bonded to the battery negative.
alfred posted 09-03-2008 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for alfred  Send Email to alfred     
Many Thanks Jim.
Chuck Tribolet posted 09-04-2008 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
It is very common to have a negative bus bar in the console,
which is then tied to battery negative. Battery negative
will be tied to the motor via the starting cables, and thence
to the water though the motor and lower unit.


alfred posted 09-04-2008 09:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for alfred  Send Email to alfred     
I was just thinking ( which is often dangerous!) if the unit has a neg wire, then why is there a need to ground it again? (shows how little I know about the subject)
seabob4 posted 09-04-2008 10:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for seabob4  Send Email to seabob4     
After all, it is called a "common ground". That side of the 12V system ties all return paths together. It's not like you have a rod stuck in the ground at the corner of your house. 12V DC is Direct Current, and flows from your battery(s) and back to your batteries. Picture a circle. 120V (or in your case 240V) AC travels in a straight line. But it does not return to it's source. Hence, a ground buss bar dissapating to the water will suffice. But DC needs a return path back to it's source.

How are the tabs going? You know, the orange wire?

alfred posted 09-05-2008 04:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for alfred  Send Email to alfred     
Cheers Bob thanks for that. Orange wire done!

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