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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through April 01, 2004 » alternators « Previous Next »
By william walden (spicoli) on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 8:20 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
does anyone know if there is a coast guard law about changing your alternator, to say, an h.o. unit that isnt marine specific, like a stinger, or etc.
By thomas ryan (g3revenge) on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 9:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i would say you'll get a ticket for it. you should at least screen the housing yourself.
By william walden (spicoli) on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 10:35 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
im looking for about 140 amp, i looked in west marine, and they were like 900 bucks? does anyone know of any cheaper? i have access to all the big car audio brands, but none list marine apps, and i want to do it right. a ticket would suck!
By badzuki (badzuki) on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 11:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

I got my HO alt from Max at the Battery Shack for the same cost of a new factory regular output alt.

If you get a ticket for that I think you better just hang it up and go home becuase your pretty unlucky.

By thomas ryan (g3revenge) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 6:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
no, if the boat explodes, that's unlucky. get the highest output MARINE aternator you can afford. they all spark, but the screens stifle the flames. it does happen.
By WakeNup (hockeyruss) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 7:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Do you really think the Coast Guard is going to inspect your alternator? I have been through many coast guard inspections both volunteer and been boarded and never have they scrutinized over engine components.
By thomas ryan (g3revenge) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 7:32 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
inspected, caught or not. be safe. got screen?
By Mark B (wakehound) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 8:27 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I wouldn't worry about the CG, but I would worry about sparks in a closed compartment with gas fumes. There is a reason they make marine alternators, and it's not just so they can charge more.
By NoneYa (noneya) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 8:48 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Probably no ticket but you might get a Darwin award
By Geoff Maus (bluemalibu) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 10:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Several years ago, I was boating past the gas dock in the marina, all of the sudden BOOM! Some unlucky boaterís boat just exploded. The people that were in the boat were blown out, and were now in the water. The engine cover was sent into the air like an unguided missile. I was 40 or 50 yards away and was totally surprised at how strong the percussion was, even at that distance. People from the gas dock were in the water pulling the people that were blown out of the boat. The Coastguard was on the scene in less that a minute. It was totally amazing that nobody was killed.

I donít know what ignited the explosion, but I will never have a non-marine alternator, starter, distributor, or engine compartment mounted ballast pump on my boat.

By william walden (spicoli) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 10:22 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
i contacted a couple of places, and got quotes for between 150-200 range for a direct replacement 140 amp marine, so thats really reasonable, imo, thanks for the advice!
By Grant (whitechocolate) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 10:31 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I upgraged my Alternator from the Bat Shack, it was $400 for a 165 Amp No Problem's Bolts right up, dont "f" around with anything other than a Marine Alternator for your boat. Or at least tell us where you are going to be so we can watch what Geoff explained happen to you J/K.
By Grant (whitechocolate) on Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 10:32 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Instructions and photos here

By Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis) on Thursday, February 19, 2004 - 5:19 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
There are laws regarding using non-marine certified parts in the engine compartment. This includes all items of the fuel system and electrical system.

It takes three things to get an explosion: Air, Fuel, and an ignition source.

You can't do anything about the air, it is going ot be there. The marine certified parts are used to make sure that the remaining two elements never exist together.

Keeping the gas fumes out of the boat is fairly easy, but subject to failure. Rubber hoses eventually crack and can leak. Sloppy handling at the gas pump can allow gas fumes to settle into the boat.

Avoiding a source of ignition is a bit harder, but at least it doesn't degrade much over time. Motors, especially starters, generate massive sparks in normal operation. A standard autmotive part would certainly ignite any gas fumes that happened to be around.

The alternator doesn't generate as much sparking as a motor, but they do have brushes that could spark.

It may be tempting to use the non marine part, especially since there are no inspections or other "preventative" measures. However, if your boat blows up, the insurance company may wonder why and have their inspector take a look. If he finds non-approved parts the insurance company may deny the claim.

Years ago I was witness to an accident at a marina. A small runabout had just filled up at the gas dock, and when the boat was started it literally blew up and burst into flames. The boat had already been untied from the dock, and the blazing wreck drifted across the marina into a dock full of large cruisers and houseboats. There were several large boats that burned to the waterline and many others that had significant damage.

There were all sorts of people examining that boat! I would hate to have been the owner if there were any non-approved parts used on that boat!


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