Boat Electrical Connections Cleaning Tip

Quite often a boat, especially around salty environments, develops quirks and things begin to work intermittently or stop all together.  First I check fuses if they are in the system and then I start checking connections for corrosion and making sure they are tight.

electrical connections

If you see green on the outside, you probably found your problem, or one you’re about to have.  Its pretty simple to clean a connection, except for the fact that its in a boat, which usually means you need to stand on your head and be double-jointed.

Battery leads can get corrosion on them and cleaning the outside won’t cut it.

You need to take them off the battery and clean them.  I often use a piece of sand paper to get the oxidized green metal off and get down to a new layer of clean metal.

boat electrical

Once you have shiny new metal exposed, you can go one step further and use a battery terminal cleaning solution like the one I’m using in the picture.

boat tipsThis spray comes out yellow, but anywhere it encounters corrosion or battery acid it bubbles up and turns pink.  The spray is eating up the corrosion and neutralizing any acids on your metals.  Wipe it all down with clean towels and reconnect your leads to the battery posts.  Those post can get the same treatment too to assure you make a solid electrical connection.  You can also use a spray or brush on treatment to protect the battery from the effects of corrosion.  Give your battery protector spray a backdrop to focus the product on the terminals.  It is often gooey until it firms with time.

While this doesn’t fix every problem that your boat can throw at you, it will fix some of them and more importantly, it can prevent issues from ruining your fishing trip when you make it part of your maintenance program.

Get a lots more boating how in the BD archives.

Capt. Scott Goodwin started fishing in the lakes of Kentucky where he grew up. A move to Florida, however, brought him into a whole new realm of fishing. After receiving a bachelor's degree in biology from Eckerd College, he decided that he liked catching fish more than studying them and thus began ...