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    3870 Bonding system.

    In my adventures doing upgrades I discovered a #12 black wire under the lower helm that’s disconnected with a ring terminal on the end. The other end is connected to an anode on the bottom of the hull. Then there’s also a zinc anode mounted on the stern. All these are connected together and also connected to all the thru hulls, stuffing boxes, etc. Is the black wire supposed to be connected to the ground buss under the lower helm?
    Gibraltar, Mi.
    1986- 3870- Hino 175's
    1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
    14' Zodiac Bay Runner

    #2
    From what I can figure out reading Nigel Calders “Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual”, the AC and bonding system should be separate. What you may be looking at is a previous owner having connected the AC to the bonding system thinking it should be, hence the wire being black instead of green. My bonding wires are getting kind of ugly at the connectors, so I’m getting ready to replace the system. An interesting ABYC thing is that wire splices should be soldered instead of crimped.
    What say other members?
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    MMSI 367770440

    Comment


      #3
      Our boat is 14 years newer so ymmv. The factory grounding system on our boat is green wire. I believe it also had a white or yellow stripe. All the under water metal and metal components inside the boat in contact with seawater are wired together and then to the transom anode. I replaced virtually all of it when we first got the boat because it had failed. It was not tinned wire and the terminal ends were not sealed. Water had gotten into the strands and wicked up the wire creating corrosion and resistance. My marine electrician measured the resistance and said replace it. He recommended I do it myself to save some money. It was not hard just took time. He came back to inspect and test and all is well!
      2000 4788 w Cummins 370's, underhulls, swim step hull extension
      12' Rendova center console with 40HP Yamaha
      MV Kia Orana
      Currently Enjoying the PNW

      Comment


        #4
        ABYC states that "Solder shall not be the sole means of an electrical connection".
        Best way is a by using a adhesive heat shrink connector and crimped with the proper style terminal crimper
        You could get by with a soldered connection but you should also use a heavy duty adhesive heat shrink tubing..

        https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=L&ai=...0QwI3AE&adurl=
        Last edited by boatworkfl; 12-21-2017, 07:54 PM. Reason: add info
        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
        Twin 350 GM power
        Located in Seward, AK
        Retired marine surveyor

        Comment


        • Woodsea
          Woodsea commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes yes yes! I forgot to mention that important part. I used closed terminal crimped connections and used marine heat shrink to seal the connection. Thank you!

        #5
        Boat work, the book I have is admittedly 20 years old, so, in your experience, how would you do branch connections from the main 8ga line? My plan is to replace the soldered and electrical taped connected system from 1988 with a soldered marine shrink wrap branch connections. Or, as you are alluding, should the branch connections be butt connections using marine connectors and maybe belt and suspenders marine shrink wrap over that? I plan to replicate and update the system as installed as it looks, without doing any electrical test, looks like it needs more than just ring connect replaced.
        P/C Pete
        Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
        1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
        Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
        MMSI 367770440

        Comment


          #6
          I usually use a terminal block or bring it to the engine if it is a zinc bonding wire in the engine room or aft compartment, be sure every bonding wire is connected.
          I have one 8 GA wire on both the port and stb sides for the zincs then connected to the engine.
          I only use 8 GA unless it is electronics then I use 10 GA. to the helm bonding terminal block which is connected with 8 GA to the bonding system.
          Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

          Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
          Twin 350 GM power
          Located in Seward, AK
          Retired marine surveyor

          Comment


            #7
            FYI -- the ABYC specs below seem to apply. They seem to say that all grounds are common -- DC, AC, bonding. This topic sometimes starts fights.

            11.17.1.1 The shore grounded (white) and ungrounded shore current carrying conductors are connected from the shore power inlet to the boat's AC electrical system through an overcurrent protection device that simultaneously opens both current-carrying conductors. Fuses shall not be used instead of simultaneous trip devices. (See E-11.10.2.8.2.)

            11.17.1.2 Neither the shore grounded (white) neutral conductor nor the ungrounded current carrying conductors shall be grounded on the boat. (See E-11.5.5.2.1.)

            11.17.1.4 The shore-grounding (green) conductor is connected, without interposing switches or overcurrent protection devices (See E-11.5.5.5.), from the shore power inlet to

            11.17.1.4.1 an optional galvanic isolator, and then to

            11.17.1.4.2 all non-current carrying parts of the boat’s AC electrical system, including

            11.17.1.4.3 the engine negative terminal or its bus.
            "


            And...I agree with Pat. Use proper crimps and heat-shrink. Don't solder. Bonding systems carry miniscule currents so they must be very low resistance. Use large high-quality wire and good connectors.
            100T MMC 2307794

            Comment


              #8
              Heading back to work on 2 sets of tunnels, gel coat tomorrow then lay up one more set.
              Taking an extra set to Alaska next May.
              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
              Twin 350 GM power
              Located in Seward, AK
              Retired marine surveyor

              Comment


                #9
                Confusion reigns supreme! Boatworkfl, going back to Sunbirds original question, could it be that the black wire with a ring connector at his helm may be the electronics bonding wire? In that case, should it be connected to an electronics only negative 12v buss? Then my question is, in your opinion and experience, why connect the 12v electronics both to the battery which is connected to the engine plus the bonding system that is also connected to the bonding system? It appears to me as the department of redundancy department department.
                I can see where this can get like the right brand of oil or the classic Ford vs Chev vs Mopar situation.
                I’m having my boats electrical system audited on January ninth, his findings and solutions are going to be very interesting.
                P/C Pete
                Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
                1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
                Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
                MMSI 367770440

                Comment


                  #10
                  Black is negative ground to the 12 volt system.
                  There is a possibility that someone used black rather than green for bonding, that being said, at some point the 12 volt negative is connected to the bonding system at some common point.
                  Try and trace that black wire, you can disconnect it and turn on your electronics and see what does not turn on, if everything turns on then someone used black rather than green wire.
                  On older boats that have changed hands wiring can be the wrong color.
                  I was one of a few in surveying school a while back that passed the ABYC test.
                  I never use the wrong color wire when wiring anything on a boat, I may have 100 ft of one color but none of the proper color, so I buy the correct color.
                  The only difference is: New boats have yellow as the 12 volt neg. ground, where as the older boats have black, it was changed to avoid confusion with the 120 volt system.
                  When I re-wired my 3870 all wire was ripped out and wired according to the new standards, excepting the batteries and main engine and power to the buss under the helm, I got to good of a deal on 2/0 marine battery cable.
                  Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                  Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                  Twin 350 GM power
                  Located in Seward, AK
                  Retired marine surveyor

                  Comment

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