July 2021

It’s been a great summer for boating with seemingly endless sunshine.  I have been wrapping up some major rewire projects and taken care of smaller additions to electrical systems. Also still taking calls to help boaters meet the new 30 milliamp ELCI standard for shore power.  And now I am available to take on winter projects in Bellingham. 

My wife and I recently became residents of Sudden Valley and love it.  This means that the Port of Bellingham is now my preferred place to work. If it’s time to upgrade the electrical, charging, and distribution system on your boat give me a call.

I am fully licensed to work in Squalicum Harbor and Blain, by the Port of Bellingham.  ABYC certified with over 15 years of experience as a full time Marine Electrician on all types of yachts.  As well as charging and electrical distribution, I specialize in shore power, and stray current corrosion.

Isolation Transformers

I have been installing quite a few Isolation Transformers recently.  The reason of course is the new ELCI standard for all new dock pedestal breakers.  So if the docks electrical power needs to be updated or replaced it gets the new breakers.
The ELCI (electric leak current interrupter) is just that, any current that goes out on the black wire into your boat, and does not return on the white wire to the shore, is considered to be leaking through the water.  The actual threshold is 30 Milli amps but for a boat that might as well be zero leak allowed.  And even current returning on the green wire, so not through the water, is still counted as a leak.  But it is a good thing, no one wants stray AC current in the water, or to put anyone in danger, so let’s meet the new standard.
There are only two options to meet the new standard, fix the boat’s electrical system so there are on ground/neutral connections onboard, or isolate the boat’s electrical system from the shore with an isolation transformer.
Depending on how old the boat is, fixing the electrical system which is otherwise working fine, may not be a good option.  The first step is to evaluate what it would cost to fix, or rewire, and if that needs to be done any way for other safety and comfort reasons.  If not then an isolation transformer will stop any  AC current from leaving the boat.  It also has the added benefit of being the ultimate protection against damaging DC current from other boats in the marina.