The first thing to say is that I don’t yet know much about boat electrics. Neither does my dad even though he’s an electrician by trade – boat electrics are completely different to the systems you find in houses on land and have to meet a set of standards set by the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS).
It’s normal for a boat to have two different systems:
- One for 12v electrics which can run off one or more batteries (I’ll be having two I think) – the batteries are charged by the boat’s engine (plus solar panels and other methods if you like – I’m definitely planning to have a solar panel or two in time.)
- One for 240v electrics which operate only when the boat is hooked up to mains electricity.
When you’re working out your electric systems, the first thing to do is work out what appliances you’ll need to run. You need to know how much electricity is likely to be used at each point in order to know which wires to use and how much.
I plan to be moored permanently on my boat at a spot where I can hook up to the mains, but I want to be able to run a few basic appliances when cruising too. So here’s my first sketch for where I want my electricity points to be: