BAA stocks a selection of ANL fuses, thermal circuit breakers, magnetic circuit breakers, blade fuses, glass fuses, fuse assortment kits, electrical buss bars, electrical connection boxes, fuse boxes, fuse holders, junction boxes & terminal blocks.
Electricity can be a lot more dangerous on board a boat or yacht than it is in a house or car. Sea water is a good conductor of electricity, and with water both inside and outside the vessel there are many more potential ground paths for electricity. As such, there are many more rules about what materials can be used for marine electrical equipment, and how that equipment should be installed on a boat or yacht.
It is extremely important that only equipment and materials rated for marine application should be used. This is because standard wire, wiring devices and electric equipment safe for use in houses or buildings can become very dangerous on a vessel due to not being properly constructed, connected, insulated or grounded. This could result in a fire being started (which can be fatal on a vessel) or a person being electrocuted. In Australia and New Zealand, the Australian/New Zealand Standard for Electrical Installations on Boats is a good starting point if you are unsure of the applicable standards.
A fuse is an electrical safety device designed to provide protection of an electrical circuit in the event of a larger-than-intended electric current. A current that is larger than the circuit was designed for can cause excessive heat generation and increased risk of fire or equipment damage. Its main component is a metal wire or strip that melts when too much current runs through it, which essentially stops the current. A fuse becomes an open circuit once this metal wire/strip has melted, and so must be replaced.
Circuit breakers can be used as an alternative to fuses, but function in a very different way. A circuit breaker is essentially an automatic switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by either excess current or a short circuit. Unlike fuses however, circuit breakers can be re-set and used again. They can trigger the metal lever in the switch mechanism in one of two ways – via an electromagnet or using a bi-metal strip.
Fuses are cheaper, and react more quickly to overloading, which offers more protection to electrical devices. But they need to be replaced whenever they are blown, which can be difficult if you don’t have a replacement on hand. Circuit breakers can be re-set each time, but are more expensive to install, repair and replace. Fuses and circuit breakers are not always interchangeable either, which makes it critical that you always consult or hire an electrician with a lot of marine knowledge & experience for electrical work on your vessel, however minor.