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W-N-T-D-E - Simply put.... What Not To Do - Ever


In most circles, this is simply known as a “rats nest” of problems waiting to happen. Avoiding this doesn’t take a PhD or a note from your boss (unless she’s married to you.) What it does require is a large dose of common sense, consideration for the safety of others and the ability to plan and foresee potential problems before they become one! This is even more simple than plotting a course from your dock to the local pub! But if you dont’ take care of this, you might not make it to the pub! Our friend “Murphy” is an international character.. .I’ve personally seen him operate in the strangest of places and most often when you’re least prepared to deal with his problems. The only way to keep his sorry ass out of your boat is to work at it every day and then work at it again tomorrow!

Batteries are unsecured - meaning that when your boat turns over, you’re going to have a great chance to get clobbered by the “free falling” battery problem. Then there’s the almost immediate loss of power from having wires stretched, broken and exposing a lot of loose ends possibly to you or someone else along with shorting and a quicker than usual dispersion of battery acid going just about anywhere.

Terminals are unprotected - You don’t need new condoms, but you should be thinking about what happens when you drop the pliers out of your shirt pocket as you’re kneeling over this mess and suddenly see nothing but sparks everywhere. If you’re on the lucky side, someone will be able to identify your face when they do the accident report!

Two batteries are simply “plopped down” in the box and the Cap’n says “yep, she’s been totally refitted and has new batteries!” Well think again Cap’n.... you’ve just setup yourself and your crew and passengers with another violation by not having a tray below the batteries to catch all of that oozing juice that’s going to spill out while you’re rockin’ your way across the bay!

Wires are unsecured - meaning as your boat flops around in the water, so do the wires and if you were on the cheap side when you bought them (as in buying non-stranded marine cables) then they’re going to flex and bend and break and that’s when your fun starts.

Do you think there’s any chance at all that the owner has any “overcurrent protection” for the battery charger? I’d make a serious bet that he’s not read that portion yet (NFPA-302-8-11.5) in case you want to look it up!

The small red box by the positive battery on the right should look familiar. It’s sold at hundreds of fishing tackle shops and even at some of the more well known places but it’s nothing but trouble in the waiting. It simply permits you to attach more wires to an already troubling situation here while you’re thinking ... yep this ought to isolate that darn fish locater and make those humpies look like real! It ain’t goin to happen that way! All this installation is going to do is help to sink this boat quicker than normal and yes, the violation here is simply in having so many single wires running all directions while being unsecured to anything except at times... the bottom of your shoes!

We can’t tell for sure just where this box is sitting relative to the engine but it looks like it’s just above as the red oil filter is showing to the bottom left. Liquids still run “downhill” even on your Nordica 16, so think about the worst case that could happen in your installations and then work twice as hard to make sure it cannot happen!

When you want to see the details about those “violations” - look up the NFPA - 302 standards related to almost all of the very simple things that will help to keep you alive and afloat longer. Yep, they’re just rules, but they will save your life if you pay attention to them.

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