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Old 01-30-2018, 09:15 AM   #41
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Yes, my newbie thought exactly. it is a LOT of zincs...as long as it is just zincs I should worry about. His initial comment..."Did (guy who referred me to him) tell you how anal I am?".... keeps coming back to me as does the fact that I watched him go through the boat with good reading after good reading until he got to one in particular which was off and then declaring that the bonding system needed to be replaced. Struck me as a little, well, anal. Why replace an entire bonding system due to one thing that is off? He may be absolutely correct but I don't know.

I need knowledge/understanding before I break out the checkbook so I went ahead and called another guy to come fix the bilge pump issue and then give me another review and opinion on everything. Something psneeld says frequently "It's a boat". Where is the happy medium between this view and "anal" when electrical systems are in doubt? What is an idiosyncratic and what will burn down the boat? I don't mind spending a couple of hundred to get some more education. I will get a fixed pump and am better prepared to understand the other areas as he goes through them. This time I need to write down the exacts as they are found though. That would be helpful!
Any chance you remember what he was checking when he stopped getting good readings and got a bad one?
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:27 AM   #42
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Thanks comodave. My current bonding is ribbon not wire. Not sure how that plays into this but when I follow it around the bilge it is painted over but connections appear solid. I had an old through hull/strainer removed as well as an old ball valve right next to it replaced with a true through hull fitting. The installer left the bonding hanging close by. The one for the removed strainer is just open ended. I need to extend and connect the one for the replaced through hull. The zinc eating was happening prior to this though so I don't think it has anything to do with it. Need to reconnect the one through hull though. Should copper ribbon be soldered to extend it or is it better to through bolt it? Or should I extend it with wire?
Copper ribbon is used when an SSB radio is struggling to eliminate interference from on board systems. In your case, is that what the ribbon was used for? There may be nothing left of an older SSB installation other than the copper ribbon. It may have nothing whatsoever to do with bonding.

When digging deep in my own bilge I sometimes come across things one of the first owners did that causes a lot of head scratching. At least with copper ribbon, I knew what it was for, as I had to remove and trash the dead SSB radio.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:15 AM   #43
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Hi Keith, all older Grand Banks used copper ribbon for bonding.

I didn't read all of this but rebonding is easy if tedious. Get 3 or 4 bus bars and locate them in convenient, dry areas central to the areas you wish to bond. Buy at least a 100' roll of green 8 gauge wire, ring terminals and a crimping tool. Get some pieces of Scotchguard to clean the connections at the fittings. Connect all the bus bars and connect them to the transom anode. Start up front and bond all the through-hulls to the bus bar. Use dielectric grease on the connections. Wire the engine, shafts and the rest of the engine room through-hulls to the next bus bar. ETC. The worst/hardest/poorest connection will be the shaft brush and the connection to the bolts at the transom, stainless just does not conduct well (unless your GB has bronze shafts).

Don't forget to secure the wires where you can. I removed the old copper strips because they were unsightly but you don't have to. Also, check your connections for continuity with a meter as you go.

This worked very well with my GB.

Try that first. Then pay for an electrician to go through the 120 system, the bonding work is not skilled and is not worth 8 boat dollars, unless you want to pay that to me to do the work...?

I now have an aluminum boat with an isolation transformer but no bonding system because the entire boat is a bonding system. I use aluminum anodes. I do not think a 'glass boat NEEDS an isolation transformer but if you choose to get one, get an industrial one, they are still sealed and marine friendly and they are much cheaper and more robust than "marine" stuff.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:33 AM   #44
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Some useful background on Galvanic Isolators can be found here: Testing A Galvanic Isolator Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
Good link. and, no capacitor.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:44 AM   #45
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Anode wasting is usually associated with a DC leakage. If the leakage is large it can eat away a through hull in hours. AC leakage can kill someone in the water. So they both need to be addressed asap. You had good advise about redoing an older Grand Banks bonding system.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:48 AM   #46
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Copper bonding straps running length of vessel are acceptable provided they are of sufficient size. I seem to recall minimum dimensions of 0.8 MM (1/32") X 12mm (1/2"). The key for any bonding system is integrity/design of wire and attachments, location of 110 buses and how/where 110/220 v (ship's ground) is tied into 12 v and through hull bonding system.

Surprisingly, I have found and still find marine electricians that are trying to address older boat or design issues, are in disagreement with each other as to ABYC recommendations, dock power GFICs, bonding systems, galvanic isolators and ITs. No wonder we wannabes are at odds.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:49 AM   #47
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XSBank, Does your aluminum boat need anything special for anodes since aluminum is one of the fresh water flavors of anodes? I wondered about that when reading about the Wooden Nickel boats.

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I now have an aluminum boat with an isolation transformer but no bonding system because the entire boat is a bonding system. I use aluminum anodes. I do not think a 'glass boat NEEDS an isolation transformer but if you choose to get one, get an industrial one, they are still sealed and marine friendly and they are much cheaper and more robust than "marine" stuff.
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:37 PM   #48
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A Grand Banks’ AC wiring without the grounded conductors separated from the grounding conductors? Strange!
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:00 PM   #49
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Copper bonding straps running length of vessel are acceptable provided they are of sufficient size. I seem to recall minimum dimensions of 0.8 MM (1/32") X 12mm (1/2"). The key for any bonding system is integrity/design of wire and attachments, location of 110 buses and how/where 110/220 v (ship's ground) is tied into 12 v and through hull bonding system.

Surprisingly, I have found and still find marine electricians that are trying to address older boat or design issues, are in disagreement with each other as to ABYC recommendations, dock power GFICs, bonding systems, galvanic isolators and ITs. No wonder we wannabes are at odds.
Indeed:

11.18.2.5.2.1. If the DC grounding bus is

fabricated from copper or bronze strip, it shall have a

thickness not less than 1/32 inch (0.8mm) and a width

of not less than 1/2 inch (13mm);

...

11.18.2.5.2.2. Copper braid shall not be used.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:05 PM   #50
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Indeed:

11.18.2.5.2.1. If the DC grounding bus is

fabricated from copper or bronze strip, it shall have a

thickness not less than 1/32 inch (0.8mm) and a width

of not less than 1/2 inch (13mm);

...

11.18.2.5.2.2. Copper braid shall not be used.
I've done new bonding systems with Guest brand strap. Tin plated copper, perforated to make bolted connections easy. Quite durable.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:26 PM   #51
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No, no prop corrosion at all. If I only knew what voltage differential was and how to check it...I would!
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:31 PM   #52
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Any chance you remember what he was checking when he stopped getting good readings and got a bad one?
Not really. I believe it was a through hull and it may have been the one he noted was unbonded when I had some work done on them. That of course would make sense but I really don't remember exactly. No need to remind me that I'm an idiot. At least during this electrician visit. He came up from the engine room and said something about one reading being off and the whole system need to be reworked/replaced. He was going a mile a minute.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:34 PM   #53
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Copper ribbon is used when an SSB radio is struggling to eliminate interference from on board systems. In your case, is that what the ribbon was used for? There may be nothing left of an older SSB installation other than the copper ribbon. It may have nothing whatsoever to do with bonding.

When digging deep in my own bilge I sometimes come across things one of the first owners did that causes a lot of head scratching. At least with copper ribbon, I knew what it was for, as I had to remove and trash the dead SSB radio.
No sign of an old SSB and the ribbon is defintely the bonding as it is joined to everything in the ER. I can trace it for the most part and it goes to all of the suspect locations i.e. through hulls/strainers. He also mentioned maybe putting brushes on the shafts. I don't really see any of the ribbon going to the shafts.
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Old 01-30-2018, 05:58 PM   #54
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Firstbase, you're in Jupiter. Just down the road in Riviera Beach is Ward's Marine Electric. Paul Connelly works there, and he's an absolute magician when it comes to boat electricity. We had him onboard out boat in July, and he found things out about our boat that we didn't even know to be looking for. And, he solved our zinc problem, after doing a thorough galvanic corrosion survey (and documenting the results in a report, a copy of which I have - with lots of details). (The problem was that the shore power connectors were grounded to the house of the boat - and it's a steel boat. Just plugging in the shore power cord - not even turning anything on - resulted in a 100 ma increase in the voltage potential. Isolating the shore power connectors from the house/hull made the voltage potential disappear, and in the time we've been in the water since then, our hull zincs have barely eroded.)

Ward's Marine Electric in Palm Beach, and ask specifiically for Paul Connelly.

As for figuring all of this out yourself - IMO, your life is too important to count on that happening any time soon. Most boat fires are electrical in nature, and too many people each year are electrocuted by improperly wired boats. Of course, that's just my opinion.
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:21 PM   #55
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Thanks for the name/referral Brian. I have no thoughts of doing much to any of this myself. I just don't know electrical as you can tell. As I mentioned above I do want to get some education along the way though and will volunteer to be a gofer for a day or to. I will give him a call tomorrow. Left a message for another guy suggested by my diver people but didn't hear back.
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Old 01-30-2018, 09:18 PM   #56
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Not really. I believe it was a through hull and it may have been the one he noted was unbonded when I had some work done on them. That of course would make sense but I really don't remember exactly. No need to remind me that I'm an idiot. At least during this electrician visit. He came up from the engine room and said something about one reading being off and the whole system need to be reworked/replaced. He was going a mile a minute.

Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel bad.
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Old 01-30-2018, 10:29 PM   #57
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[QUOTE=Xsbank;631757]Hi Keith, all older Grand Banks used copper ribbon for bonding.


Who knew? Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:47 AM   #58
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Sorry, didn't mean to make you feel bad.
LOL, not a problem! I am rebooting this whole thing with another review so I can give some real info on the whole thing.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:35 AM   #59
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The problem with copper strapping is it sits in salt water in the bilge and over time corrodes to green and its impossible to service. But it works fine but by now is likely unsightly in a clean engine room.

My aluminum anodes are a different alloy than the plating so they are sacrificial. They last about 30% longer than the zincs did and (so far) are cheaper too. The boat previously used zincs with aluminum straps so they could be welded but that makes little sense to me to use zinc.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:54 AM   #60
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Bonding a lot of money

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Lou, the boat is a GB 42'. I appreciate everybody's comments and putting up with my lack of knowledge. I intend to get all three items sorted out, bilge pump, ground/neutrals and bonding. Just trying to get a little education along the way.

Boatpoker, he did tell me to sideline the bonding for now and get the grounds/neutrals sorted first as that is more important. That is the plan in a couple of weeks when I have the time to be there for a day. Also, I have no GFCI on the boat. That's not good so addressing that as well as at the same time.

Our plan is to cruise for a couple of years when I retire, 2019 most likely, so am getting everything up to par now. Both equipment and knowledge.
Since you asked for opinions I will give you mine. I would not bother with bonding the boat. The jury is out about the real benefits of bonding. The largest boat manufacturer in the world, Beneteau, for example, does not bond. My current boat, and Ocean Alexander is bonded.

When I bought my boat a previous owner had installed galvanic isolator’s. Still, I was going through zincs quickly. I tested The system and determined that the isolators were not working. Long story short, some previous installer had installed the isolators on the generator grounds and stead of the shore power ground. I swap things around and everything was back the way it should be.

$8000 for a procedure that has little “proven“ benefit is a lot of money. For sure, Many here on this site will argue that bonding is necessary. However thousands of Beneteau‘s being run around on the seas sans bonding, is a pretty large database. For sure, bonding your boat will not cause harm. It is merely a question of necessity.
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