I spent some time yesterday morning discussing skiff construction with legendary builder and in-demand boat rigger Tom Gordon of Islamarine Boat Repair. One of the questions I asked him was about maintaining electrical systems. Specifically, I wanted to know what to do when you were dealing with electrical rigging that isn’t bulletproof–either because of shoddy workmanship or because of age.
Tom said, “It’s very simple: keep it dry. If you have plugs in the rigging wells or anywhere else that are preventing water drainage, remove them.” It stands to reason that any additional exposure to moisture–leaving wet items or rags in compartments with electronics (e.g. wet anchor lines beside batteries), leaving standing water in a bilge, or even leaving your boat in the water rather than pulling out each day–will all shorten the working life of your system.