|Electricity and water don't mix, so they say. Sometimes they have to co-exist in closer proximity than would be desirable - aboard a boat, for example, and it's a matter of having to live with it or return to the dark ages without it. So we have to try and cope with the problems
We have a better understanding of electrics since it was explained to us, by
Peter, the local British electronics expert in Horta, in the Azores, that all wires, large or small, are filled with smoke and that
all is well unless you let the smoke escape...
These pages will cover everything electrical and electronic, including
those devices which consume power, and those which generate it. You can't have one without the other!
Batteries; 12-volt and 24-volt systems; generator and inverter supply of 110/220v
power; wiring, connections, switches and fusing methods, lighting and all else which falls under the heading of 'electrical'.
As Chris Price, our Steel Boat Editor remarked recently:
"Not many of us go to sea without at least some electronic devices today. Even a basic echo sounder
makes a trip easier and safer and, on a cost versus peace of mind scale this must, surely, be
one of the best inventions since sliced bread.
Contrast this level of technology with the bridge of a modern ship, which has more screens than
one of those huge cinema complexes in the capital cities of the world, and
the difference in levels of use of electronics by mariners today becomes
Whether you're a reluctant user of modern technology or wildly
enthusiastic about every last chip of it, why don't you tell us about it?
On the subject of depth sounders, The Skipper went out
with a local fisherman, in the Azores, whose vessel sported a very flashy
combined GPS, radar and depth sounder.
When The Skipper commented on how exciting it looked, the fisherman told
him that he had had it for three months and that, although he could switch
it on he hadn't yet figured out how to use any part of it! Perhaps the
manual didn't include Portuguese. Perhaps the gentleman hadn't had the
benefit of schooling and couldn't read the manual. The equipment was very
expensive-looking and The Skipper was regretfully unwilling to tinker with
it, for fear of causing more harm than good. Before he could wonder how
the fisherman would manage in the shallows, he pulled a lead-line from his
pocket and wielded it with the air of one who wouldn't need to worry about
depth-sounders, at least, though whether he could see twelve miles with
the naked eye was quite another matter!