This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s Bareboat Charter Course, a comprehensive online course that equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. The Bareboat Charter course is part of the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses, fully preparing you for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

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Typical Boat and Battery Wiring Schematic

Here is a typical wiring schematic of how your batteries are connected to your boat and charging system.

Typical Wiring

The alternator produces electricity from the engine as it turns. The electricity is distributed through a device called a battery combiner. The battery combiner is a smart device that can charge multiple banks of batteries but still keep each bank separate and apart. Here, the house and engine bank remain electrically separate; current can not flow from one bank to the other but the alternator can distribute electricity to both at the same time.

After the Battery Combiner, the electricity flows to charge the batteries. Following the house bank set, electricity can then flow to the DC Panel where it is distributed to the boat’s DC electrical devices.

The isolator and parallel switch are manual switches that allow the boat user to disconnect the DC circuit from the batteries. This switch can also connect the house bank and engine bank together just in case energy is needed from one bank to the other. For example, if your engine bank was flat and you needed some energy from the house bank to start the engine.

Electricity also comes into the boat from the shore pedestal. It flows to the charger which converts the power to DC and then charges the batteries. Shore power can also power any AC devices on the boat.

The above is a very typical setup on a boat. The system gets a little more complicated when adding in solar and generators to be shown in a few pages.

You can learn more in the Bareboat Charter Online Course....

The Bareboat Charter online sailing course is your go-to resource for planning an unforgettable sailing vacation. This comprehensive online course equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. Upgrade to the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses to fully prepare for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

Source: Bareboat Charter
Topic: Bareboat Chartering
Authors: Ed Mapes, USCG Captain Master Mariner. Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.