A "Current" Affair – Republished from Passagemaker Magazine

The first indication of trouble we saw was smoke on the horizon. Closer investigation revealed a boat on fire, with one crewman sitting on the bow as flames engulfed the boat. As we approached, it became clear that the boat was beyond salvation. After we picked up the crewman, he told us the boat had old wire-and-pulley steering, and one of the wires had broken and fallen across the exposed battery terminals. Sparks flew.

Batteries can be a serious hazard, so if it is time for a refit of your boat, then it is time to take a close look at the batteries. On modern boats, nothing works without the batteries. Engines will not start or run, nor will electronics systems for navigation and communication.