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Topic Title: Wiring a house boat
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Created On: 28 April 2010 06:33 PM
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 28 April 2010 06:33 PM
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deckstar

Posts: 4
Joined: 28 April 2010

Hi, new to the forum and wanted some advice.
I have a project to design and install a wiring system for a house boat, basically he has a 240v 16A incomer via a shore supply, and wants a ring main and some lights installed.

There will also be a generated to power lighting and sockets when the boat is not connected to the shore supply. I was going to use artic grade flex cable and fit a 2 way 17th ed board with a 10A (for sockets) 6A (for lighting)

Should i just wire it as a garage would be wired? Making sure i earth the hull and any extraneous parts.

Does anyone else have any ideas or have maybe done something similar?

Thanks
 28 April 2010 07:03 PM
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gizmo

Posts: 16
Joined: 27 April 2010

Classed as a special location by the regs see 709.

Artic flex for which part of the installation exactly?
 28 April 2010 07:46 PM
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paulskyrme

Posts: 866
Joined: 12 February 2003

I would not use sollid cored T&E due to the vibrations and movement of the structure a boat is much more "alive" than your average building Boo Boo.

Paul
 28 April 2010 08:14 PM
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deckstar

Posts: 4
Joined: 28 April 2010

I was speaking to a guy who has wired his own hose boat before and he was advised to use Artic flex throughout the install.
 28 April 2010 08:16 PM
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paulskyrme

Posts: 866
Joined: 12 February 2003

On a Uo of 230V a.c.?

Geoff?...




Paul
 28 April 2010 09:29 PM
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ArthurHall

Posts: 737
Joined: 25 July 2008

With earthing you also need to consider corosion on a boat due to galvanic action.
The BMIF British Marine Industries federation publish a Code of Practice for Electrical and Electronic Installations in Small Craft.
Its a sort of regs book for boats and covers 12V DC systems, 230V AC systems, generators, earthing and much else.
 28 April 2010 10:06 PM
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deckstar

Posts: 4
Joined: 28 April 2010

i think it has a wooden hull so not sure if it will cause much corrosion issues. yeah its a 230v ac system.
 28 April 2010 10:28 PM
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John Peckham

Posts: 7616
Joined: 23 April 2005

Where's GB when you want him as he is our nautical expert?

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 29 April 2010 12:01 AM
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ericmark

Posts: 319
Joined: 12 February 2008

I would agree with flexible cable the same as a caravan. Not sure about ring main with 16A supply I would have thought radial would be enough. As to earth as already stated may need diodes or isolation to stop electrolysis not just hull but prop and stern tube could also be affected. My son has used 16A sockets to swap from inverter to shore supply and has also run a cable length of boat so he can power from bow as well as stern simple plug and socket arrangement so no problem with exposed pins.

Main problem is normally shore earth. Needs to be same material as boat. Steel in my sons case not copper coated steel and of course TT supply. OK TN-S is allowed but unless dedicated transformer as one would get with marina how can anyone be sure it's TN-S and not TN-C-S?

TN-C-S is banned.

I will watch to see what others say. I am at the moment waiting for my son to complete his wiring and we are wondering about RCD types. Likely type AC will work but with modified sine wave inverters not sure and I would fit type A to be on safe side. Once everything is up and running will test with RCD tester but would like to hear if anyone has any problems using type AC?

Many years ago I came across caravan consumer units with warning lights and change over switches mainly for use abroad so if neutral and line are reversed one push of button would correct it. My son has a martindale tester which he leaves in one socket although once re-wire finished he will only plug the double insulated battery charger into shore supply so it will not matter as there will be no earth.
 29 April 2010 08:43 AM
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sparkyali

Posts: 7
Joined: 26 October 2007

Hi, new to the forum and wanted some advice.
I have a project to design and install a wiring system for a house boat, basically he has a 240v 16A incomer via a shore supply, and wants a ring main and some lights installed.

There will also be a generated to power lighting and sockets when the boat is not connected to the shore supply. I was going to use artic grade flex cable and fit a 2 way 17th ed board with a 10A (for sockets) 6A (for lighting)

Should i just wire it as a garage would be wired? Making sure i earth the hull and any extraneous parts.

Does anyone else have any ideas or have maybe done something similar?



the British Marine Industries federation do have a code for small craft which is worth a look as someone said earlier,
artic grade cable is a good bet, as you can also use it for the shore power cable outside. you must have a differential breaker (30mA) covering the entire installation on board, often installed as soon as the cable gets on board or in the main distribution panel.
no ring mains, all radial

with regards to the generator, you must have a changeover switch or a interlocked contactor arrangement so the two supplies cannot be paralleled, and make sure the generator windings are wired as L-N. in other words the earth and neutral must be tied together inside the gen if the boat is wired as a polarised system (uk) this enables you to use single pole breakers.

with regards to the earthing, the AC earthing arrangement is a different system to the galvanic earthing. the galvanic earthing is just to protect the underwater metalwork from corrosion, not electrical safety. try companies like MG DUFF for advice on galvanic earthing arragements.
the galvanic system is connected to the electrical earth at one point only. the electical equipment is all earthed to the distribution board earth.
a good idea for a small installation like this is to fit a galvanic isolator. this breaks the shore earth as soon as it comes aboard and prevents galvanic currents straying with the shore through the earth connection. you can get them from companies like sterling marine i think.

hope this helps
ali
 29 April 2010 09:00 PM
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deckstar

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Joined: 28 April 2010

cheers guys very interesting. Anyone else with any views i'd rather have a overload of info than not enough!
 29 July 2013 09:06 PM
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POWERelectrical

Posts: 2
Joined: 06 February 2009

HI everyone, sorry to drag up an old thread i just come about this thread after doing a search. I am currently undertaking a new build houseboat installation. I am using artic flex to run radials into plastic boxes with stuffing glands. I am connecting this into a main switch consumer unit with RCBO's fed with SY cable into a commando socket. Does anyone have anything else or add or suggest? thanks in advance. I have also had my client request i look at there 240v/24v/12v sea faring narrow boat as it has flood damage can anyone recommend a course or litriture. thanks again.
 29 July 2013 09:50 PM
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hertzal123

Posts: 330
Joined: 26 August 2007

A friend with a narrow boat informed me you need the boat wiring to marine standards in order to get an insurance cert,It may also have to be inspected by a third party.
Regards,
Hz.
 29 July 2013 09:54 PM
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POWERelectrical

Posts: 2
Joined: 06 February 2009

Thanks, As per the spec supplied with the drawings its says that:

The electrical installation shall be installed, tested and
commissioned in accordance with the requirements set out in
BS7671 (The 17th Edition of the I.E.E. Regulations) and in
relevant British Standards or Codes of Practice by an electrician
registered with a Competent Persons Self-Certification Scheme.

Im not sure if there has been a change with the marine regulations as what im wiring is more of a flat on water than a boat as it had no engine. I suppose it is like a static caravan altough they are not covered by part P?
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