Home » Boating News

Boating News

Just had to install the electronics yourself, eh?


Should have checked those heat exchangers.

Electric Shock Drowning

Electric Shock Drowning – Swimming in fresh water near docks with AC power can get you killed. The American Boating and Yachting Council (ABYC) defines electric shock drowning as “the result of a typically low-level alternating current passing through the body while immersed in fresh water. The force is sufficient enough to cause skeletal muscle paralysis, rendering the victim helpless and drowning. This type of fault can happen in any natural water but becomes fatal in fresh water due to lower water conductivity. Salt water has a higher conductivity.”

These faults come in a number of forms and can result from the AC current coming into contact with the DC system and diverting the power through the DC ground. The hazards are especially severe in marinas with poor quality shore power, private docks, and houseboats with alternating current available via shore power or generator. The highest risk areas are fresh water marinas and any dock using household fixtures in a marine application. Bottom line – do not swim around fresh water docks with AC power and boats in fresh water with a generator running. The photos below show a few fire and shock hazards at a local marina. Visit for more info.


The electrocution of a man at a Kentucky lake last summer, along with two electrocutions that killed four children on the Fourth of July last year, has officials urging swimmers and boaters to use caution where electricity is present around water.

Kevin Short, 34, died Sunday when he was electrocuted at a private dock on Lake Cumberland when a frayed electrical cord came into contact with the aluminum ladder he was climbing, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Last year on the Fourth of July, two children died on Cherokee Lake in Tennessee and two children died in Missouri on Lake of the Ozarks.

In the wake of these tragedies, Safe Electricity, the American Boat and Yacht Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/National Electrical Contractors Association issued a release reminding boaters and swimmers of safety precautions.

“Wet environments are particularly dangerous when it comes to electricity. It’s vital to ensure electrical connections on or near the water are properly installed with appropriate safety equipment,” Safe Electricity executive director Molly Hall said in a statement. “Your loved ones’ lives just might depend on it.”

Docks with electrical installations should be properly maintained, but the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association warns against swimming in or near marinas, docks or boatyards.

Swimmers who start to feel a tingle should swim away from any apparent electrical sources and get out of the water as soon as possible without touching metal objects, such as ladders. Bystanders should immediately turn off power to everything possible but should not jump in to help.

In addition, the 2011 National Electrical Code mandates a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, on all dock receptacles. An imbalance of the current in a circuit, such as a discharge into the water, will trip the GFCI and cut off power.



Read your boat insurance policy carefully

Think piracy exists only in Somalia and the Straits of Mollucca? All yacht policies include depreciation clauses which reduce the value of the boat or of a given component by at least 10% per year up to 80% of the claim. This is regardless of actual condition or market value. Engines, deck hardware, and rigging are depreciated at 20% annually. You can easily encounter a loss of say $100,000 for blown or submerged engines and only get a check for $20,000. Also be sure to investigate changes wrought by a “named storm.” Deductibles are often doubled under such circumstances and you may only collect $10,000 for the same claim. Of course, your premiums don’t go down as the boat is depreciated. Arrggghhh.