Getting a marine survey done to your boat is a great way to ensure that everything onboard is safely operating and up to class.  Your vessel is subject to a lot of wear and tear given the harsh marine environment it operates in.  Overtime, saltwater corrosion can compromise many of your yacht’s vital components such as electrical systems, propeller shafts, and boat wiring.

A marine survey can help identify these issues and provide an estimate to fix them.  While there are different types of marine surveys that you can get done, for this article we’re going to focus on marine electrical surveys and how we assess corrosion and electrical issues onboard.  Here’s a list of what we look for in these types of surveys.

Marine Switchboard Inspection

  • Ensure main bus bar connections are tight
  • Check for any damage to bus bar supports
  • Ensure earth bar is bonded properly to frame and ship’s hull
  • Ensure cable entries in switchboard are sealed properly
  • Ensure internal wiring is fixed securely
  • Look for any signs of overheating at connection junctions
  • Test insulation resistance of each terminal
  • Test and calibrate voltmeters, ammeters, and watt meters
  • Test all switches
  • Test synchronization of generator output

Marine Emergency Power System Testing

  • Check manual and automatic startup of emergency generator
  • Check for proper voltage, amperes, and frequencies of all emergency electrical components from emergency switchboard
  • Ensure all emergency electrical equipment is properly functioning
  • Check electrical interlock between main and emergency switchboard
  • Test emergency battery and battery charger

Marine Battery Inspection

  • Check for tightness and condition of all battery connections
  • Check for corrosion in both the negative and positive battery terminals
  • Use voltmeter to test voltage levels
  • Check for proper electrolyte levels
  • Test specific gravity of batteries with hydrometer
  • Check for dry environment and proper ventilation
  • Look for signs of overheating in battery charger
  • Ensure all connections to battery charger are tight
  • Check for proper functionality of indicator instruments

Boat Wiring Survey

  • Test for insulation resistance of all 440V and 220V main circuits
  • Check cable ties for proper attachment throughout boat
  • Ensure all wiring is elevated and in a dry environment
  • Check for wire chafing or melted wire along circuits
  • Check all wire connections for tightness and signs of corrosion

Boat Equipment Inspection

  • Check that all navigation lights are working properly from the main switchboard and emergency switchboard
  • Test the float switch and manual override switch of bilge pumps
  • Check connections and fuses from the battery to the pump
  • Check functionality of communication equipment from both the main switchboard and emergency switchboard
  • Ensure fire alarm system is working from both the main switchboard and the emergency switchboard
  • Test all instruments for proper functionality
  • Check condition of propeller and shafts for evidence of corrosion

Here at Ward’s Marine Electric, our marine surveyors are highly specialized in dealing with large vessels and motor yachts with complex power management systems.  We are one of the few marine surveyors near Fort Lauderdale that can thoroughly inspect a mega yacht for safe and reliable electrical performance.  Be sure to contact us the next time you need a marine survey done!