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No Boots!

As I ran through the several hundred photos I collected as a Cruising World Boat of the Year judge this past fall I came upon the above which is showing a typical Volvo Penta auxiliary engine installation. The yellow lines you see just behind the alternator shown are pointing to the B+ terminal on the back of the alternator and the DC positive terminal on the starter motor. Neither of these terminations have protective insulating boots installed. It seems that every few years I need to send out a reminder about how potentially dangerous this is. Keep in mind that neither of these conductors are likely to have over current protection installed. So, if a metal part inadvertently comes into contact with either of these terminals and the engine block, a direct short circuit to ground will have occurred. Without a fuse to blow or breaker to trip, either of these points will allow full battery short circuit current to flow. Think major current here and lots of smoke and burning PVC insulation! All for want of a two dollar boot or two. Its not compliant with standards as an installation and this small detail could cause a major on board catastrophe if the stars became mis-aligned while underway in a rough sea. Get those terminals booted!

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