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I’m just back from a trip up to see my friends in Halifax Nova Scotia where I’ve been conducting an ABYC Marine Systems Certification course all week. One of the folks in the class turned me on to a video that is a must see for anyone doing their own repairs on their boat and thinking that the “ignition protected” rating you see on marine electrical equipment is some sort of gimic that enables the vendors to charge more money for their products over the automotive counter-parts.

I’ve probably discussed this before here, but just in case I haven’t and especially as we get ready to seal up our boats for the winter and start putting our checklists together for the work that needs doing next spring here’s another not too subtle reminder about why this is all not stuff you want to cut corners on.

Basically any electrical device being installed in an area of the boat where gasoline is stored or there is a gasoline fueled engine or a place where LP gas bottles are stored must be rated for ignition protection.

There are a few global standards that may get referenced as a part of the ID process. ABYC references UL 1500, SAE J-1171 and simply the USCG Designation “Ignition Protected”. Europeans reference ISO 8846 Standard. Any of these designators is OK.

So, the film in question was produced by our friends at Transport Canada, the government group in the Canadian Provinces that overseas all things related to transportation, equivalent to our US DOT. The film is intended to educate people on the importance of using ignition protected components and I think once you view the short video, you’ll make the right choice no to try and cut corners here. Check it out here:  http://ram.canadacast.ca/asxgen/transport/BoomEnglish/BOOMEN_1.wmv

So, as you select those new electrical accessories over the winter to install on the boat. If ignition protection is indicated, don’t mess around and try to save a few dollars. I think you’ll agree after seeing the video link, its just not worth it!

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