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Working as a park ranger on the lake I see everything that can happen to a boat, and of course operators of boats. One of the smartest things you can do TODAY is check your battery connections for inline fuses at the battery. I rarely see inline fuses where a main line connects to a battery. Trolling motors have an internal fuse, but most power wires back to the battery are not protected in the event of a short. They just burn up from bow to stern, and so brittle you don't have an old wire to pull a new wire through to replace a burned wire. If you are lucky you don't have a boat fire. Whatever is connected to a battery ought to have the correct size fuse inline before passing power on even to a main fuse panel. Those fry too. Add up the amps on any wire attached to a battery then install a fuse that will handle those amps. It could save your life, your boat.

Think again about that fire extinguisher you've been carrying onboard! It might be depressurized. A green knob on it ought to pop back out when depressed to test. If in good condition it'll handle most fires above board, but it's practically useless for interior wire fires you can't get to. The answer is prevention of wiring fires. The alternative is jumping overboard and hoping you can get clear, if not blown overboard.

Jim
 

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Jim, on the fire eztinguisher, I would like add that if you are using a Dry Chemical, & most of are, you should tap the unit while holding it upside down every so often. The powder can compact over time & it won't spray put like it is supposed to.
Rodney
 
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