Familiarizing yourself with your boat’s electrical system is important in order to be able to identify and correct potential hazards. 

What is a circuit breaker?

A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by an overload or short circuit. Circuit breakers were designed to detect faulty electrical conditions within electrical systems and interrupt current flow.

What is a GFCI?

GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. These outlets or circuit breakers prevent shock and electrocutions by quickly shutting off power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning.

What is a portable GFCI?

While most GFCIs are outlets, a portable GFCI requires no special knowledge or equipment to install. It adds flexibility in using receptacles that are not protected by GFCIs. Portable GFCIs should only be used on a temporary basis and should be tested prior to every use.

What is an ELCI?

Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters (ELCIs) are Circuit Breakers that provide protection from current leakage and overcurrent. ELCIs measure current flow within electrical wires and immediately switches electricity off if an imbalance of current flow is detected.  ELCIs provide whole-boat protection.

What is a shore power cord or marine power cord?

A shore power cord is a cord designed specifically for use near water to provide shore side electrical power to ships and boats while its main and auxiliary engine is turned off.

What is a pedestal or dockside electrical system?

A pedestal or dockside electrical system is a power box designed with corrosion-resistant materials to provide electricity safely on the dock meeting safety standards for use in marine environments.