Few would disagree that water and electricity are far from a perfect mix but for one NAPIT member it’s a combination which provides the backbone for a successful business, writes Roger Ryan.
Karl Day of Cambridge Installations specialises in marine electrical work and he has a full diary with leisure craft a-plenty requiring the expertise of a skilled electrician.
He travels across the country working on boats of all shapes and sizes – some costing millions of pounds to buy.
I caught up with Karl on a gloriously sunny morning on the east coast at the Haven Marina in Lowestoft. He was working aboard a sleek-looking Fairline Targa 33 motor cruiser, capable of more than 30 knots in the open water.
Full scope NAPIT member Karl was sorting out problems linked to a tripping RCD and fixing a GPS navigation device that was failing to pick up a signal. Marine work has its own specific electrical requirements, as I found out.
“The fabric you are dealing with, the methods used and the interpretation of the regulations make the job different,” explained Karl. “You are working with materials like glass-fibre instead of brick. On any day I can find myself tackling a wide range of jobs. Today I am in the process of fixing an immersion heater and working out where this GPS is going wrong.
“I follow a code of practice set down by the British Marine Electronics Association and the European Union Recreational Craft Directive that differs vastly from BS7671 in the way that it is written. It’s more of a guide that will help you do the job rather than a strict rule book. The onus is on the installer to ensure that the job is completed safely and competently.”