Having a boat is a great way to spend your time on the water for recreational purposes. For those working on the water their boat is their livelihood, so ensuring the electrical system is in top shape will always be a primary concern.
Often the simple things like the wiring used in the boat can be the biggest problem. People may research and review different batteries and components for the system, but they may not think to use the best in 16 AWG marine primary wire.
Often with boat repairs or electrical system changes, the project is a do-it-yourself task. If you considering this, using 16 AWG marine primary wire as the wiring of choice will be important.
This copper wire is tinned to maximize protection from salt water and salt spray that is very damaging to electronic components. The wire you select should also be UL and USCG approved for use in marine environments.
While it is possible to use other standard wiring for vehicles for some components, never use anything but 16 AWG marine primary wire if the wiring will be exposed to water drips, spray or in bilge spaces.
Additionally, do not use general wire in the engine compartments and spaces. The special marine wire, in addition to being resistant to corrosion, is also resistant to exposure to oil, fuel and gasoline. Without this extra protection, the jacket can easily degrade and create a potentially dangerous exposure of the wires in these environments. The marine primary wire is also very resistant to abrasion, meaning it will not be damaged by the constant vibration created by the motor and the movement of the vessel on the water.
Always make sure to choose the right connectors for marine application. This can include watertight connections and connectors that are designed to withstand vibration.